Deal or no Deal? Price Judge a WC Rigid Stem Friends Purchase


Original Post
David Fogel · · Lake Forest, CA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 1,210

Deal or no Deal? Price Judge a WC Rigid Stem Friends Purchase (if you so desire).

I picked up some old school WC forged friends from a local bloke today. I'm very happy with my deal, but I'm also curious what others think would be a:

-killer deal! (within good reason)

-good deal

-and awww shit... not so good a deal.

If I posted how much I paid today... well where would be the fun in that? I also think it would detract in MP feedback purity of price assessment if I said how much I paid upfront for this topic. Moving forward...

The Purchase:

Three Cams - WC Rigid Stem Friends size 3, 3.5, and 4. For all intensive (edit: INTENTS & PURPOSES lol haha) purposes appear to be in good shape upon initial inspection. NEW slings (by mountain tools) only 3 months old.

Backstory: Old School Climber (Original Trad Badass deserving the Utmost Respect) was the first owner, had to stop climbing and hang up his shoes in the closet for life :( So he sold a full WC rigid stem rack to a beginning Trad climber (who I know through an acquaintance). He used them on some easy local weekend climbs for 3-4 months. Then I bought the 3, 3.5, and 4 as a doubles to compliment my BD C4's (and for specific climbs in specific areas). On a budget this season... like most seasons...

So, as stated previously, in your opinion, what price do you consider to be a:

-killer deal! (within good reason)

-good deal

-and awww shit... not so good a deal.

Note:

WC rigid Stem side note comments and stories welcomed! Pros and Cons also welcomed. I find it all interesting and potentially useful for me in using this gear. Stoked. Thanks Folks!

Respectfully - David

Xam · · Boulder, Co · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 73
amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20

Shit, it was 99c


brysonh · · SLC, UT · Joined May 2012 · Points: 0

I bought a lot of budget trad gear early on off MP (really old BD cams, a set of link cams, some rigid friends, some old kong cams, etc). I thought it would be a good starter rack. I ended up replacing it all with C4s. If you are going to put mileage on them and trust them, then they are probably worth it. I wouldn't personally spend more than $15/cam for rigid friends, but I'm cheap. At this point I wouldn't bother with older gear. 

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 95

I bought a set of rigid friends back around 2005, just because they were on sale.  That may have been pretty close to when they were getting phased out by WC, not sure.  They're really just not that versatile for anything other than straight vertical splitters; I only use them for Creek trips where I need five sets of everything.  Everyone talks about how they need a tie-off for horizontal placements, but forget that even a slightly wavering dogleg crack can have the right shape for the stem to get levered and just break.  The #1 forged friend is also possibly the most useless piece of gear I've ever owned; the stem is wider than the cracks that it's designed to fit!

For all intense porpoises, I wouldn't pay more than $15-20 on a new forged friend, and probably not even that.  If anyone wants to buy mine at $50/apiece (historical value!), by all means message me, haha!

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352

I wouldent really pay anything for them. They have no value to me as I wouldent climb on them unless I desperately needed a piece in that size range, and I'd borrow a piece before buying one of those. However, if I were to theoretically sell some I'd probably ask for around $35 for the set of three.

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 871

They are ancient but will work fine for all in tents, intents and intensive purposes to get you started.  5 to 10 bucks a piece max.  

Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 290

I've seen them for $25-$35 a piece on EBay in decent condition, reslung.

Joe Prescott · · Fort Collins · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 20

Good for sculpture art for a few dollars, for all in tense and proposes. You might say "pro poses."

· · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 1970 · Points: 0

Buy a set of ultra-light BD cams instead...

http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/climbing-cams-stoppers-nuts-hexes/camalot-ultralight-BD2621640000ALL1.html

Those ridged cams look too antiquated (i.e., only for past-tense purposes.)  Yeah, I tried, but I'm not funny.

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 277

For all intoxicants and propofol, pay cash, under the table, and don't talk about it on the internet.

For rigid stem friends, not sure I'd use them, so I'd be hesitant to part with any money.

ABG · · Winston-Salem, NC · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 70

Depends on climbing location. Most places out west they are not a crucial piece of gear and can be replaced by any other cam. You can usually buy them for around $20 and if you are looking for a budget cam to add sizes to your rack they are the cheapest way to go and, besides the sling, they are completely bomber into eternity. If you climb in the southeast or the gunks they are really nice go to cams. I find that when i have a shallow horizontal placements I reach for my rigid stem friends first. This is for two reason: 1) if you fall on them in a horizontal you dont risk kinking the cam or damaging the trigger wires and 2) When you have them tied off, they can go in a really shallow placement and act as a piton so you get the added comfort of knowing they wont yank out. Only downside to the version you have is that the lobes cant be replaced with an allen wrench like with other generations of the rigid friends. I disagree with the above comments about the only use for these being splitter cracks. The main use, these days, is for horizontal cracks tied off. Despite what has been said. A tied off rigid stem in a shallow horizontal is bomber than any other cam imo. That being said... I only ever use a #1 - #2.5 friends.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740

OP - you already bought these, right? So what's the point of asking if it was a good (vs great) deal?  You have them now; use them.  Enjoy them - they are FINE cams and you can trust them.  If for some reason you don't, let me know and I'll take them off your hands, albeit at a loss.  

David Fogel · · Lake Forest, CA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 1,210

Laughed hard on this one. My purposes are in tents and intensively in tents only...

Thanks for the replies folks. I'll get some good use out of them, and it's nice to know I didn't overpay, figured I didn't overpay, but it's good to hear from others (deal/no deal).

^^^ Ya I already bought them, and ya I'm gonna go use them (Yosemite and eastern Sierras tomorrow through Sunday). I wanted to be sure I didn't pay too much, and to hear others opinions on rigid friends. These babies are going in the pack tonight! For all In-Tense and Porposes...

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 277
David Fogel wrote:

Laughed hard on this one. My purposes are in tents and intensively in tents only...

Thanks for the replies folks. I'll get some good use out of them, and it's nice to know I didn't overpay, figured I didn't overpay, but it's good to hear from others (deal/no deal).

^^^ Ya I already bought them, and ya I'm gonna go use them (Yosemite and eastern Sierras tomorrow through Sunday). I wanted to be sure I didn't pay too much, and to hear others opinions on rigid friends. These babies are going in the pack tonight! For all In-Tense and Porposes...

So... now that you have your answer... how much did you pay for them?

David Fogel · · Lake Forest, CA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 1,210

Intensive Answers Indeed! I paid $15 each ($45 total) after talking down the price, added bonus of new slings (by mountain tools) definitely made it worth it for me. Also got 4 DMM hexes with newish slings for $10. Couldn't say no to that. Psyched to use these in the Sierras this week. Intensive Stoke! 

pfwein · · Boulder, CO · Joined May 2006 · Points: 35

I would pay a few bucks ($10-$15, maybe even $20 if I were feeling flush) for the #4 because that's a size that isn't easily duplicated by any C4 or, as far as I know, any other cam currently being sold.  (It's very close to the old 3.5 Camalot--between a #3 C4 and a #4 C4).  

As others have said, I wouldn't pay anything for the other sizes because I have modern cams that I much prefer,  but if you like them and don't have the cash for new cams, they should work.

Sara Paradis · · Lincoln, RI · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

I would say $2 each would be an acceptable deal if you wanted them for décor or paperweights. You would have to be getting paid for it to be a killer deal. I've had them in the past, still have some in my retired gear bin. My reservation isn't the age, I have cams that I still rack that are 20 years old, flexible stem cams are just superior.

Sara Paradis · · Lincoln, RI · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0
pfwein wrote:

I would pay a few bucks ($10-$15, maybe even $20 if I were feeling flush) for the #4 because that's a size that isn't easily duplicated by any C4 or, as far as I know, any other cam currently being sold.  (It's very close to the old 3.5 Camalot--between a #3 C4 and a #4 C4).  

As others have said, I wouldn't pay anything for the other sizes because I have modern cams that I much prefer,  but if you like them and don't have the cash for new cams, they should work.

I have an old 3.5 Camalot   , weighs almost as much as a set of the new ultra-lights.

that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 205

I found a near mint condition rigid 0.75 friend stuck in a crack seized up (It wasn't even stuck i think the guy just never cleaned it), i nursed it back to health though i don't think i would ever pay money for it though. they really just aren't worth the space on your rack especially considering how cheap flexible stemmed cams are.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740
that guy named seb wrote:

I found a near mint condition rigid 0.75 friend stuck in a crack seized up (It wasn't even stuck i think the guy just never cleaned it), i nursed it back to health though i don't think i would ever pay money for it though. they really just aren't worth the space on your rack especially considering how cheap flexible stemmed cams are.

I believe the rigid AKA forged Hriends were never smaller than size 1.  The Technical Friends went down to 0.5.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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