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Vergo or Cinch as TR Solo Device


Original Post
JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95

I'm interested in upgrading my TR solo setup for working routes. I currently use a microcender (on top) with a microtraxion, both on the same line. This is a fine setup for running laps, but it is a nuisance when working a route because of the 1-direction aspect of these devices. If you fall, and want to go back down 5 feet to try a section again, complicated rope shenanigans are required. Plus, you have to carry a separate rap device. As such, I'm interested in a device that would allow TR soloing and rapping on one device, without any unweighting of the device required to switch modes. The Unicender does this, but is crazy expensive. The Gri-Gri does it too, sort of, but has too much of a bend in the rope and doesn't self-feed adequately while climbing (good smooth self-feed is mandatory). So the Vergo is of interest. It looks like the rope runs straight enough to feed reasonably well, and allows you to easily rap down when you fall.

I'm interested in reports of experiences using the Vergo (or the Cinch, which is almost the same device) for TR soloing. How smoothly does it self-feed? How reliably does it catch? Other considerations?

Caveat: I know that Trango does not officially endorse the Vergo as a TR solo device. I am OK with this. I will always be using a microtraxion below as a backup. I have a high level of confidence in the minitrax. With this as backup am willing to accept a slightly lower margin on the primary, in exchange for some better device flexibility. Key word, though, is slightly. How reliably does the Vergo/Cinch work for this use?

Jon Rhoderick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 850

I'm interested as well. Seems like the key factors will be using a chest sling or bungee to keep the Vergo out of the way of the mini/micro. With the right orientation a Vergo will self feed very well

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95
Jon Rhoderick wrote:Seems like the key factors will be using a chest sling or bungee to keep the Vergo out of the way of the mini/micro.
For sure.
Ryanb. · · Chatt or WA · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 5

Cinch works great for running laps, thin loop of cord through the hole to keep it upright on a chest harness.

Single line with a microtrax below, lock the microtrax open at the top of the pitch and lower on the Cinch.

Works real smooth once you get comfortable with your setup.

DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 341

I would never use a Cinch as solo device as it starts to slip after it gets a bit worn out. Trango should have recalled them in my opinion.

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95
Ryanb. wrote:Cinch works great for running laps, thin loop of cord through the hole to keep it upright on a chest harness. Single line with a microtrax below, lock the microtrax open at the top of the pitch and lower on the Cinch. Works real smooth once you get comfortable with your setup.
This is about the setup I was thinking (albeit with a Vergo). Thanks. So the clip-in hole is the best place to connect the bungee cord to keep it upright?

DrRockso wrote:I would never use a Cinch as solo device as it starts to slip after it gets a bit worn out. Trango should have recalled them in my opinion.
Did Trango fix this issue in Version 2.0 (the Vergo)?
John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530
JCM wrote: Did Trango fix this issue in Version 2.0 (the Vergo)?
The pin is made of a harder steel, but the fundamental mechanism is still the same- so kind of? It sounds like you can expect a longer life out of the device than the Cinch, but as to how much longer, that remains to be seen.
amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20
John Wilder wrote:It sounds like you can expect a longer life out of the device than the Cinch, but as to how much longer, that remains to be seen.
I like Trango Vergo so much, I will go through the trouble of replacing the pin. Will cost me ~8 bucks to order the part, ~15min to swap the pin.
Billcoe · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 655

$8?!!! Your local hardware store should have it for a buck or 2, no more. I haven't pulled mine out to measure it, but it appears to be the same as the Cinch. McMaster Carr has those (5/16 X 3/4 Dowel Pin, Alloy) for $8 and change for 25 pieces. P/N 98381A581

https://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-dowel-pins/=15jtk0b

I like the idea of being on rappel just that easy on top of a toprope pitch. Once the weather mitigates some, I'll try the Cinch/Microtaxion combo.

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20
Billcoe wrote:$8?!!! Your local hardware store should have it for a buck or 2, no more.
It is possible that the local hardware store would carry the pin in question, but I would rather pay McMC 8$ since I would know exactly the type of alloy I would be getting. This is based on prior experience of not being able to source stainless steel hardware for different projects locally while always being able to get at McMC
Michael C · · New Jersey · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 340
JCM wrote:I'm interested in upgrading my TR solo setup for working routes. I currently use a microcender (on top) with a microtraxion, both on the same line. This is a fine setup for running laps, but it is a nuisance when working a route because of the 1-direction aspect of these devices. If you fall, and want to go back down 5 feet to try a section again, complicated rope shenanigans are required. Plus, you have to carry a separate rap device. As such, I'm interested in a device that would allow TR soloing and rapping on one device, without any unweighting of the device required to switch modes. The Unicender does this, but is crazy expensive. The Gri-Gri does it too, sort of, but has too much of a bend in the rope and doesn't self-feed adequately while climbing (good smooth self-feed is mandatory). So the Vergo is of interest. It looks like the rope runs straight enough to feed reasonably well, and allows you to easily rap down when you fall. I'm interested in reports of experiences using the Vergo (or the Cinch, which is almost the same device) for TR soloing. How smoothly does it self-feed? How reliably does it catch? Other considerations? Caveat: I know that Trango does not officially endorse the Vergo as a TR solo device. I am OK with this. I will always be using a microtraxion below as a backup. I have a high level of confidence in the minitrax. With this as backup am willing to accept a slightly lower margin on the primary, in exchange for some better device flexibility. Key word, though, is slightly. How reliably does the Vergo/Cinch work for this use?
For my top-rope solo set up, I use a doubled rope. On one end, I use a Wild Country Ropeman (chest) and on the other end I use a GriGri (belay loop). I like having the GriGri in the system so the option to rappel is there.

I just got a vergo. Haven't gone climbing with it yet, but playing around with it I found it's the same (I know, it's no the same) as a GriGri for belaying, lowering, and rappelling. So, I don't see why it wouldn't work. But definitely have a secondary device.
John Ryan · · Poncha Springs, CO · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 165

I find the lowering arm of the Cinch to be a PITA to lower compared to the Gri Gri, requiring much more force which results in a less controllable descent. I'm guessing due to shorter arm length but I don't have the devices in front of me

Billcoe · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 655
amarius wrote: It is possible that the local hardware store would carry the pin in question, but I would rather pay McMC 8$ since I would know exactly the type of alloy I would be getting. This is based on prior experience of not being able to source stainless steel hardware for different projects locally while always being able to get at McMC
Fine with me. We have a couple real good hardware stores in our town, but lots of places that's not the case. Anyway, at least you'd have 25 pins at that point for a lifetime of replacements.

Note to the board in case no one was paying attention or misread, in no way use stainless steel as a replacement. The high alloy dowel pins are significantly harder/tougher than 18/8 stainless dowel pins.
Andy Rasmussen · · MA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 45

So has anyone tried the vergo yet as a complement to something like a microtraxion or microcender?

Jon Rhoderick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 850

Mine is on the way. I intend on testing TR solo predominantly

Jon Rhoderick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 850

So I gave the vergo a try at the gym today as a solo TR device. I clipped into an autobelay as a backup, but I tried to pull on the autobelay before I fell to get most of the weight on the devices. I also used a minitraxion as a backup.
Here are my main thoughts and findings

DO NOT RIG A VERGO UNDERNEATH ANOTHER DEVICE.
The vergo requires space above the device to function properly, essentially the device locks as the device movesfarther away from your body and harness. The Minitraxion above the device always impeded the locking of the vergo. In addition rigging below also sort of defeats the purpose of having a device that can lower with during solo top roping because you would need to release your top device first with tension on it.

When the vergo was rigged above the minitraxion, things worked well. I used a bungee around my neck clipped to the vergo's locking biner to keep the device upright and it caught every time. It's easier to unlock the minitraxion when it's underneath, and lowering is really good with the Vergo.

I ended up dragging a sandbag over to anchor the bottom of the rope to help with the feed. The last thing I really want to figure out is how much weight is the minimum to make the set up work well.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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