Offset Cams


Original Post
Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 115

I have a pretty decent case of gear acquisition syndrome, and a while back I picked up a couple of offset cams. At the time, I thought they were a great idea, since there are always a few spots on a climb there they could be useful. But whenever I rack up, they are always part of the gear that is left behind. And even though I can see where they would be useful, I can always slot something in. Maybe the offset would be better, but they are not essential.

Any opinions on offsets? Are they a solution in need of a problem? It is a way to market more gears to guys like me? Or am I just climbing in the places where they are essential?

patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25

All cams will go in spots with some degree of differential camming on their lobes. Offsets will handle a greater degree. There are certainly some spot where they go where other cams won't.

Until earlier this month I had never placed an offset... Climbing with a friends rack I ended up using them nicely in pin scars.

Xam · · Boulder, Co · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 73
Matt Himmelstein wrote: Are they a solution in need of a problem? It is a way to market more gears to guys like me? Or am I just climbing in the places where they are essential?
Aid
kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 350

Before totems: yes

After totems: no

JK- · · SLC · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 58
Xam wrote: Aid
And any old route that used to be nailed. And quartzite.
Creed A · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 775

If I'm climbing granite harder than 5.9, I place one almost every pitch.

SRB25 · · Woodside, ca · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 5

Yosemite they seem to work very well and very often.

patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25
kevin deweese wrote:Before totems: yes After totems: no
I'm one of the more enthusiastic Totem owners out there. But I don't see how Totem cams are substitutes for an offset cam in a significantly offset location.
kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 350
patto wrote: I'm one of the more enthusiastic Totem owners out there. But I don't see how Totem cams are substitutes for an offset cam in a significantly offset location.
Their independent lobes allow them to fit well (though they will look like bad placements) in offset placements that don't exactly conform to the ratios of X-brand offset cams. In my bigwalling travels, I've placed totems in many many pin scars, old head placements, and oddly shaped constrictions that held up to bounce-testing, standing on, and being falling upon in offset placements that offset cams wouldn't even hold up to a hard hand tug.

In reality, I'll often place offsets just because I want to keep the totem for possible future placements on the pitch.

patto wrote:Until earlier this month I had never placed an offset... Climbing with a friends rack I ended up using them nicely in pin scars.
Next time you encounter a pin scar, pull out your Totem blue or yellow and enjoy the safety. I literally don't even try using offsets in pinscars unless I'm out of totems (a worse situation than running out of beer or green on the wall)
patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25
kevin deweese wrote: Their independent lobes allow them to fit well (though they will look like bad placements) in offset placements
All cams have independent lobes. Worry about differential expansion in lobes shouldn't be a concern for any cam brand. Though I've frequently seen it discussed as an issue.

kevin deweese wrote: In my bigwalling travels, I've placed totems in many many pin scars, old head placements, and oddly shaped constrictions that held up to bounce-testing, standing on, and being falling upon in offset placements that offset cams wouldn't even hold up to a hard hand tug.
Yep. They work in flares that no other cams would work in. I don't need to be convinced of that.

But in a put offset position with significant offset the realities of cam lobe expansions mean that some placements exist where offsets are within their expansion range but totems aren't/

kevin deweese wrote:Next time you encounter a pin scar, pull out your Totem blue or yellow and enjoy the safety.
Climbed Serenity Crack the other week. I was damn glad for the double totems makes protecting it easy.

But don't get me wrong. There have yet too been a climb for which I would prefer a set of offsets over a set (or a second set) of Totems!
Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200
patto wrote: All cams have independent lobes. Worry about differential expansion in lobes shouldn't be a concern for any cam brand. Though I've frequently seen it discussed as an issue. Yep. They work in flares that no other cams would work in. I don't need to be convinced of that. But in a put offset position with significant offset the realities of cam lobe expansions mean that some placements exist where offsets are within their expansion range but totems aren't/ Climbed Serenity Crack the other week. I was damn glad for the double totems makes protecting it easy. But don't get me wrong. There have yet too been a climb for which I would prefer a set of offsets over a set (or a second set) of Totems!
All cams may have indipendent lobes but on Totems each lobe is independently activated for lack of a better term. You can stick two lobes in a pod and clip the stem linking those two lobes, Totems are unique in this respect compared to other cams. I have used two lobes on a master cam in the same placement as a Totem and the Master is nowhere near as solid. I am a big fan of Master Cams and have a ton of them in regular and off set but they don't come anywhere near as close to working as well as Totems.
kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 350
patto wrote:I don't see how Totem cams are substitutes for an offset cam in a significantly offset location.
+

patto wrote:Until earlier this month I had never placed an offset...
=

This thread sucks.
Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200

Hey, at least he's enthusiastic about Totems ;)

patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25
Kevin Mokracek wrote: All cams may have indipendent lobes but on Totems each lobe is independently activated for lack of a better term. You can stick two lobes in a pod and clip the stem linking those two lobes, Totems are unique in this respect compared to other cams. I have used two lobes on a master cam in the same placement as a Totem and the Master is nowhere near as solid.
No arguments there. But like I said a totem doesn't have as much offset range as an offset cam. This means that some offsets are impossible to cover with a Totem.

But there is nothing that inately makes a totem cam better in offset locations than regular cams. Flared placements yes, offset placement no. You seem to be confusing flared placements with offset placements. Master cams perform quite poorly in flared placements whereas totems excel. (Master cans have the lowest camming angle, totems have the greatest.)

The fact that flared and offset placements often occur together in pin scars seem to be confusing you about the difference in the requirements of these.

kevin deweese wrote: + = This thread sucks.
When you can't argue with logic you can attack the person. Great work dude... The fact remains that an offset can can be placed in cracks with greater offset than a totem. That is a FACT based in simple geometry.
Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200
patto wrote: No arguments there. But like I said a totem doesn't have as much offset range as an offset cam. This means that some offsets are impossible to cover with a Totem. But there is nothing that inately makes a totem cam better in offset locations than regular cams. Flared placements yes, offset placement no. You seem to be confusing flared placements with offset placements. Master cams perform quite poorly in flared placements whereas totems excel. (Master cans have the lowest camming angle, totems have the greatest.) The fact that flared and offset placements often occur together in pin scars seem to be confusing you about the difference in the requirements of these. When you can't argue with logic you can attack the person. Great work dude... The fact remains that an offset can can be placed in cracks with greater offset than a totem. That is a FACT based in simple geometry.
Your comment makes me wonder if you are referring to Totem Basics or regular Totems. The Basics are the like Aliens, regular Totems are completely different. Regular Totems work better in just about every case than any off set cam I have ever used. Just because the lobes are the same size on regular Totems does not mean it's not an off set cam, I consider the regular Totem an off set and reach for it in circumstances that would make other off set cams run and hide. I just don't see any circumstance where a Totem would be worse than a off set master cam or off set Alien or Basic Totem for that matter except for smaller sizes but the new Totem Black is a big step forward in that regard. Totems are better than other off set cams and that is a FACT.
patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25
Kevin Mokracek wrote: Your comment makes me wonder if you are referring to Totem Basics or regular Totems.
I've owned my Totem for over five and a half years. I know what Totems are.

Kevin Mokracek wrote:Regular Totems work better in just about every case than any off set cam I have ever used.
I can't argue with that. But I can say that Totems are not offset and they cannot accomplish the same offset range that and offset cam can cover. That is simple geometry.

Kevin Mokracek wrote:Just because the lobes are the same size on regular Totems does not mean it's not an off set cam
Yes it does. Surely that is the VERY DEFINITION of an offset cam.

Kevin Mokracek wrote:I consider the regular Totem an off set and reach for it in circumstances that would make other off set cams run and hide.
That doesn't make it an offset.

Kevin Mokracek wrote:I just don't see any circumstance where a Totem would be worse than a off set master cam or off set Alien or Basic Totem
For a significantly offset crack which has an offset greater than the totem but within the offset range of the offset cam.
Emmett Lyman · · Somerville, MA · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 355

I started carrying offsets as my doubles in smaller sizes this season. I've been impressed by how useful they are. Everyone knows they place especially well in pin scars, but I've also found that they're really confidence inspiring in vertical constrictions that don't take nuts well, where the smaller lobes nestle down inside and the larger lobes can still make great contact with the vertically flared crack above. Hard to describe, but I assure you it feels almost like a bomber nut placement. I only carry mastercams in grey/purple through yellow/orange or orange/red when I want doubles in those sizes for my traditional aliens, but I find that it gives me a much wider range of great placements than another rack of traditional aliens or mastercams would.

baldclimber · · Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0
Emmett Lyman wrote:Everyone knows they place especially well in pin scars, but I've also found that they're really confidence inspiring in vertical constrictions that don't take nuts well, where the smaller lobes nestle down inside and the larger lobes can still make great contact with the vertically flared crack above.
Is the stem aligned with the direction of fall or is it sticking out at a 90 degree angle?
Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,430

I don't do much aiding at all, and from what I understand that's where they're most useful. Most of the time when I find a placement where one would be perfect, they're not with me because like you, I find these situations to be rare, and so usually I don't bring them. Usually when I climb something and place a cam in a flaring placement, two of the lobes are flared a bit more than I like and the other two sit correctly. There have been times, a few that I can recall where I actually had them and was able to get a really good placement after a runout where nothing else would fit and I was really glad I had them. For this reason, I've kept mine, and also for this reason if I'm racking up for something I've never been on before, I'll bring a couple of them.

Downtownt Kay · · Everett, WA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 110

solution:
totem basic offsets...?

just a thought

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 115

I didn't expect this thread to devolve into a discussion about how Totems are the most amazing things ever.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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