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Fixe Hardware Alien Evolution LITE Cam Failure
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Nov 3, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: south six shooter
It was the 4th time my 1/2 Alien Evolution LITE was placed and the 1st time it took a fall (fall was about 3 or 4 ft). The plastic around the trigger snapped. The crack was a very thin, non-flaring, vertically oriented crack and the cam was positioned at a downward angle. It was extended with a single length sling. It was checked multiple times for movement/rotation before the fall and also weighted. The cam held the fall perfectly and did not move, but the plastic connecting lobes to the trigger shattered after coming in contact with the surrounding rock (is my guess).

Has anyone else had this problem?

I emailed Fixe Hardware, but they didn't respond.


Rock Climbing Photo: Alien LITE 1/2 double sling
Alien LITE 1/2 double sling
skye bacus
From Lakewood, CO
Joined Mar 21, 2013
36 points
Nov 3, 2015
Seems like quite a few people myself included have had problems with the new aliens (maybe not to your extent though). Check this out
mountainproject.com/v/new-alie...
Zak Munro
From VT,CO, Bar Harbor ME
Joined Sep 30, 2012
272 points
Nov 3, 2015
They shouldnt have gone plastic to save a few grams, the way aliens (and x4s) are designed means theres a good chance the upper bar would end up in the crack

Not to mention they made it much harder to replace the trigger wires than the old version for no real gain

And then theres the QC issues ...

Rock Climbing Photo: KAPUT !!!
KAPUT !!!


;)
bearbreeder
Joined Mar 1, 2009
3,068 points
Nov 3, 2015
Looks like time for duct tape! David Gibbs
From Ottawa, ON
Joined Aug 18, 2010
10 points
Nov 3, 2015
Just out of curiosity, how big was the fall? JeffL
From Salt Lake City
Joined Jun 14, 2012
85 points
Nov 3, 2015
Warranty. Notify Fixe USA immediately. John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined Feb 1, 2004
2,461 points
Nov 3, 2015
I've had 4 of these cams for a few months. In about 20 pitches (including some aid, but no whips) I had broken a trigger wire on my green piece. Fixe was very slow about email (abhorrently slow, like ~3 weeks) but had me mail my cam back and claims they're sending me a new one. Its been about 2 months since the cam broke and a month and a half since I mailed the cam. Since then, I whipped on a blue alien. I wound up ripping the cam and a master cam beneath it. The maser cam is totally fine. You can see the alien below.
Rock Climbing Photo: Broken Fixe Alien Lite
Broken Fixe Alien Lite

So yeah I'm pretty unsatisfied with the aliens. Probably will replace them with more mastercams or totems.
James Willis
From Evanston, IL
Joined May 14, 2013
116 points
Nov 3, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: en route to wham ridge  Photo by Carl Schnitker
how many fixe alien explosions does this make? I'll stick with my zeros eli poss
From Durango, Co
Joined May 9, 2014
427 points
Nov 3, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: south six shooter
bearbreeder wrote:
They shouldnt have gone plastic to save a few grams, the way aliens (and x4s) are designed means theres a good chance the upper bar would end up in the crack Not to mention they made it much harder to replace the trigger wires than the old version for no real gain And then theres the QC issues ... ;)


Yeah, the use of plastic in an area that will be contacting rock frequently makes zero sense. It's almost like they didn't even use engineers to design these things. I'm a little ashamed that I purchased them.. but I guess I know more of what to look for in gear from now on.

^^^HOW does that even happen??
skye bacus
From Lakewood, CO
Joined Mar 21, 2013
36 points
Nov 3, 2015
Are lobes inverted? It is impossible to see at the photo provided at mountainproject.com/v/11125451... Pavel Burov
Joined May 6, 2013
70 points
Nov 3, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: BD Fuel
James Willis wrote:
I've had 4 of these cams for a few months. In about 20 pitches (including some aid, but no whips) I had broken a trigger wire on my green piece. Fixe was very slow about email (abhorrently slow, like ~3 weeks) but had me mail my cam back and claims they're sending me a new one. Its been about 2 months since the cam broke and a month and a half since I mailed the cam. Since then, I whipped on a blue alien. I wound up ripping the cam and a master cam beneath it. The maser cam is totally fine. You can see the alien below. So yeah I'm pretty unsatisfied with the aliens. Probably will replace them with more mastercams or totems.


Looks like the cam umbrellaed and ripped the cables.
rocknice2
From Montreal, Quebec
Joined Nov 27, 2006
3,024 points
Nov 3, 2015
rocknice2, seems so. I would like to see a photo of this cam where it's clearly visible were those lobes inverted or not. Pavel Burov
Joined May 6, 2013
70 points
Nov 3, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: BD Fuel
Pavel the original can photo just shows a snapped trigger stem. The cams invert because there is nothing holding them back.
I was commenting on the mangled cam James Willis posted. That one invested from a fall.
rocknice2
From Montreal, Quebec
Joined Nov 27, 2006
3,024 points
Nov 4, 2015
rocknice2, that was my initial impression and I'm pretty sure lobes were inverted. Just don't want to guess and to speculate on the topic. Pavel Burov
Joined May 6, 2013
70 points
Nov 4, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: south six shooter
Pavel Burov wrote:
Are lobes inverted? It is impossible to see at the photo provided at mountainproject.com/v/11125451...



As rocknice2 pointed out, the lobes are inverted in the photo because the trigger is broken. The lobes didnt invert during the fall. The cam held fine, but, unfortunately, the craptastic plastic broke.
skye bacus
From Lakewood, CO
Joined Mar 21, 2013
36 points
Nov 4, 2015
skye bacus wrote:
As rocknice2 pointed out, the lobes are inverted in the photo because the trigger is broken. The lobes didnt invert during the fall. The cam held fine, but, unfortunately, the craptastic plastic broke.


Got it, thanks.
Pavel Burov
Joined May 6, 2013
70 points
Nov 4, 2015
rocknice2 wrote:
Looks like the cam umbrellaed and ripped the cables.


Yeah, Thats what I believe happened. One cable survived. There was no rock breakage, but one of the cam lobes was flat spotted
James Willis
From Evanston, IL
Joined May 14, 2013
116 points
Nov 4, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: it's 10 degrees outside in this winter wonderland
Yeah I think the moral of the story is: don't buy Alien Evo Cams. I'm glad I've been following this thread as I'm currently in the process of building my rack and was looking at adding some aliens to the mix.

Too many people have reported these Aliens just falling apart when you actually need them to take weight.

Right now I almost have a complete set of metolius ultralight power cams and will probably stick with them and get a set of their master cams or diversify with BD cams.
Mr.Andreson
From Pittsburgh, PA
Joined Jun 28, 2015
45 points
Nov 4, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Eldo!
I considered those aliens at one point. Very glad I didn't.

But I roll with a set of C3's and .2 & .3 of the X4's and I'm very happy with their performance.
Jfriday1
From Lakewood, CO
Joined Jun 25, 2012
82 points
Nov 4, 2015
The sad part is that the alien design is a great proven design

Folks have whipped on em over and over again and theyve fit places where at one time no other cam would fit .... And the soft lobes were just gravy

Not to mention they were easily user maintainable, you could easily replace the triggers with a pin

Totem makes their own aliens and there havent been many reported issues with those ... Though if u did have a problem have fun shipping it to spain !!!

Fixe needs to get their QC act together and simply bring back the metal bars and the pin triggers ... Keep the narrow heads of the lite

It might increase the weight bu a few grams but the product will last longer and be more servicible

;)
bearbreeder
Joined Mar 1, 2009
3,068 points
Nov 5, 2015
bearbreeder wrote:
have fun shipping it to spain !!!


My fixe alien that I shipped out to their office in bishop had to go to spain, and my replacement is being shipped from spain, so it sucks no matter what.
James Willis
From Evanston, IL
Joined May 14, 2013
116 points
Nov 18, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Rock wars, Red River Gorge
Gonna bump this a bit. Between my friends' aliens, about half of them have completely broken trigger systems from three completely different problems (cable pulled out of lobes, plastic trigger fell off, spring slipped out). The quality control on them is just miserable.

Honestly, the fact that there isn't a recall on at least the first few batches has virtually guaranteed that I will never be purchasing them for myself.
shoo
Joined Aug 9, 2010
86 points
Nov 18, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Middle
totemcams.com/ Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Joined Jul 23, 2010
180 points
Administrator
Nov 18, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Devil's Tower 1973 w text
Don't confuse Quality Control with Design Defect. The "old" Aliens had QC problems because individual units had failures ("QC" should have found the existence of such issues with proper sampling and testing of units "off the line"; from what climbers have posted (plastic triggers breaking....wires breaking/unraveling) I'd say there's a DESIGN DEFECT in these newer units. If a design defect causes catastrophic failure (i.e. the piece doesn't hold a fall) then ALL should be recalled. "QC" isn't necessarily responsible for checking EVERY possible circumstance that MIGHT cause an issue with the product, that's the DESIGNER's responsibility. Or, more accurately, he/she needs to at least EXAMINE the POSSIBILITY. (That's why so many disclaimers on everything we buy these days!)

However, in the final analysis the unit HELD THE FALL...correct? Isn't that the most important thing? It also seems that somehow the unit was able to be extracted even with the trigger broken (hence the photo).

Sounds like the person who posted " it's a shame they tried to save pennies per unit" (going to plastic) is correct!

Robert Hall
Joined Aug 27, 2013
9,736 points
Nov 18, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Middle
Robert Hall wrote:
Don't confuse Quality Control with Design Defect. The "old" Aliens had QC problems because individual units had failures ("QC" should have found the existence of such issues with proper sampling and testing of units "off the line"; from what climbers have posted (plastic triggers breaking....wires breaking/unraveling) I'd say there's a DESIGN DEFECT in these newer units. If a design defect causes catastrophic failure (i.e. the piece doesn't hold a fall) then ALL should be recalled. "QC" isn't necessarily responsible for checking EVERY possible circumstance that MIGHT cause an issue with the product, that's the DESIGNER's responsibility. Or, more accurately, he/she needs to at least EXAMINE the POSSIBILITY. (That's why so many disclaimers on everything we buy these days!) However, in the final analysis the unit HELD THE FALL...correct? Isn't that the most important thing? It also seems that somehow the unit was able to be extracted even with the trigger broken (hence the photo). Sounds like the person who posted " it's a shame they tried to save pennies per unit" (going to plastic) is correct!


Fixe appears to have a problem with both QC and design.
Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Joined Jul 23, 2010
180 points
Administrator
Nov 18, 2015
Ray Pinpillage wrote:
Fixe appears to have a problem with both QC and design.

Fixe has had problems with their Aliens since they started making them. Fixe has never been able to produce a product with the consistent quality control of its competitors. I think it's time to just call it like it is and let the design die. I love my Aliens but Fixe has had over 20 years to get it right and they haven't which makes it pretty clear that they are never going to get it right.
20 kN
From Hawaii
Joined Feb 2, 2009
1,214 points


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