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3 C4 lobe severely bent
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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Mar 16, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
How did this even turn into a thread about REI return/exchange ethics? Simply astounding. You guys are magicians.

Seriously though, it looks like the cam took a load with uneven distribution of force applied to the lobes. I think Ian is probably right; it probably slipped before fully engaging and rotated a bit on a crystal or some other textural inconsistency in the rock, applying a lot of torque in a direction that the lobe was not designed to withstand.

Thank your stars it held. Buy a new one, try to exchange it, whatever. Just be glad that your gear system works and learn from this experience.

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By Dave Swink
From Boulder, Co
Mar 16, 2013
Use and abuse of REI's return policy has been debated here many times. In my observation, the conversations come down to whether you believe that a behavior that is technically allowed is necessarily right from a moral perspective, or whether that even enters your decision-making process.

If you are not guided by baseline morals outside of contracts and rules, this is not the first time you have heard from people taking exception.

Obviously, I have an opinion on the subject but it doesn't bother me if yours differs.

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By Dave Swink
From Boulder, Co
Mar 16, 2013
Jon Zucco wrote:
Seriously though, it looks like the cam took a load with uneven distribution of force applied to the lobes. I think Ian is probably right; it probably slipped before fully engaging and rotated a bit on a crystal or some other textural inconsistency in the rock, applying a lot of torque in a direction that the lobe was not designed to withstand.


I am not at all qualified from an engineering perspective, but the cam damage and the description of the fall sounds a lot like the issue of Link cams breaking when side-loaded. If so, it comes down to protection only working optimally when placed with consideration of the fall line, movement during a fall, and whether the rock features will allow the cam to move in a fall.

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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Mar 16, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
Dave Swink wrote:
I am not at all qualified from an engineering perspective, but the cam damage and the description of the fall sounds a lot like the issue of Link cams breaking when side-loaded. If so, it comes down to protection only working optimally when placed with consideration of the fall line, movement during a fall, and whether the rock features will allow the cam to move in a fall.


Yeah, I think we are thinking about the same thing here. The cam moved, got caught some where but rotated somewhere else, torquing at least one lobe sideways instead of inline with the fall... Is this what you mean?

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By Mr. Holmes
From Cascade West
Mar 16, 2013
#2
...and there goes another Co-op

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By Dave Swink
From Boulder, Co
Mar 16, 2013
Jon Zucco wrote:
Yeah, I think we are thinking about the same thing here. The cam moved, got caught some where but rotated somewhere else, torquing at least one lobe sideways instead of inline with the fall... Is this what you mean?


Yah, again, I am not an expert (and there are some in this forum) but that scenario makes sense to me. I would guess this type of damage seldom happens to C4s because they will swivel into the fall line in most falls (unlike Link cams). A rock feature would have to block a C4 from turning before energy would be directed sideways against a lobe and damage it like the OP reported.

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By Zach Pickard
From Riverside, California
Mar 16, 2013
Roof romp
Adam Stackhouse wrote:
Classic thread drift....



Isnt that the truth.....

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By Zach Pickard
From Riverside, California
Mar 16, 2013
Roof romp
Adam Stackhouse wrote:
Classic thread drift....



Isnt that the truth.....

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By Pete Spri
Mar 16, 2013
Garrett Harmsen wrote:
Has anyone actually ever seen this happen before on such a small fall? It seems like BD should make cams more durable than 1 fall pieces.

I've seen almost exact pictures before of a #3 C4. It was maybe 1 year after they came out. Same warped look to it. A fall in IC, if I remember correctly. I think it was even this site, if you want to look for it. Lots of talk about quality of the aluminum but all conjecture per typical MP discussion.

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By Andrew Mayer
Mar 16, 2013
top of mt. lady washington - rmnp
to the OP - thanks for sharing. I've never seen a lobe deform quite like that before. I would send it in to BD to hear what they say.

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By Kirk B.
From Boise, ID
Mar 16, 2013
belay slaving on some route I forgot the name of way right of Bloody Fingers.
As if they cared.

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By Andrew Mayer
Mar 16, 2013
top of mt. lady washington - rmnp
Kirk B. wrote:
As if they cared.


Well hey, in my mind, if BD doesn't reply to him or politely says "we don't care" then that in itself would be worth learning.

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By Nate Ball
Administrator
From Taipei, TW
Mar 18, 2013
Some route at Smith Rock
So I've been climbing for a few years, but back in the day when I was cutting my trad teeth at Trout Creek, I took this "big" fall on my #3 C4. I'm quite certain it was a solid placement, as all cracks at TC are even, parallel, symmetrical. Then again, I was a spankin' new trad climber at the time...



Obviously, I have continued to climb on it
Obviously, I have continued to climb on it


Look at the distance between the silver cam lobes and the axle joint.
Look at the distance between the silver cam lobes and the axle joint.


Another angle
Another angle


The plot thickens.

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By NYClimber
From New York
Mar 18, 2013
Awesome slab climb right out of the water! Rogers Rock, Lake George, NY. Summer 2013.
I'd send it back to BD and let them inspect it.
One never knows. they could have had a bad run of alum alloy - tho I doubt it - and this could be the 'red flag' of an issue and/or a recall if that was found to be the case.

No so much of an issue of the $60 - because like the other folks have stated - it held, you're alive and well, and it did it's job. There are so many factors involved on how a piece of pro is subjected to stress - torgue, fall factor, type of belay, type and hardness or rock, shape of crack, etc.

but I'd let them take a look at it anyway. Might be worth the cost of shipping it back to them! perhaps they will feel generous and replace it or repair it for free. One never knows!

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Mar 18, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
Nate- I can't tell from looking at the pic, but is the axle holding the silver lobes bent? Or is this just that the lobes are slightly bent and causing them to flare? Story? Good pic.

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By Nate Ball
Administrator
From Taipei, TW
Mar 18, 2013
Some route at Smith Rock
Jake Jones wrote:
Nate- I can't tell from looking at the pic, but is the axle holding the silver lobes bent? Or is this just that the lobes are slightly bent and causing them to flare? Story? Good pic.


No, the axle is not bent. One of the cam lobes is just torqued outward. Minor enough to not really be an issue.

Story: I fell from 3/4 of the way up "Usual Suspects" at TR, about 10-15 feet onto my #3.

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By Greg D
From Here
Mar 18, 2013
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />
Dave Swink wrote:
I am not at all qualified from an engineering perspective, but the cam damage and the description of the fall sounds a lot like the issue of Link cams breaking when side-loaded. If so, it comes down to protection only working optimally when placed with consideration of the fall line, movement during a fall, and whether the rock features will allow the cam to move in a fall.



Let's see. Link cams exploded and failed. This cam bent and held. To put C4's in the same category is silly.

Yes cams can rotate some in the direction of loading. But they also can rotate away from the direction of load from rope movement before the fall. At the instant of the fall the cam is subject to two vectors. One from the direction of the falling leader, one from the direction of the belayer or towards the piece below the top piece. The net resultant vector will be approximately mid way between these two vectors. But the cam only has a very brief window of time where it can rotate because the load is increasing on the lobes.

Climbing an angling crack guarantees a lateral loading of the cam.

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By TheBirdman
From Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Mar 18, 2013
I miss bearbreeders constant use of emoticons.

Oh the REI policy. Just because you are allowed to do something, doesn't mean it's right. It also doesn't mean doing it doesn't make you a scumbag. I love the REI policy when ethical and moral people use it legitimately. It's morons like bear breeder that will force it to be revoked because they bring a used cam, blown out shoes, or a ten year old sleeping back for a full refund. You've got to be kidding thinking that's legitimate. You can make all the arguments you want in favor of what you do, but if you asked a 2 year old child whether that sounded fair, even they'd quickly and easily recognize it isn't. BD, REI, members of REI all have costs that are driven up by people like you who for some reason believe you are entitled to free gear the rest of your life based on a very customer friendly policy.

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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Mar 18, 2013
Me on Supercrack
Jon Zucco wrote:
yep. sounds like they're beggin' to replace your cam for you, kipp.



And if they give you any grief be sure to go Taco on them!

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By bearbreeder
Mar 18, 2013
TheBirdman wrote:
I miss bearbreeders constant use of emoticons. Oh the REI policy. Just because you are allowed to do something, doesn't mean it's right. It also doesn't mean doing it doesn't make you a scumbag. I love the REI policy when ethical and moral people use it legitimately. It's morons like bear breeder that will force it to be revoked because they bring a used cam, blown out shoes, or a ten year old sleeping back for a full refund. You've got to be kidding thinking that's legitimate. You can make all the arguments you want in favor of what you do, but if you asked a 2 year old child whether that sounded fair, even they'd quickly and easily recognize it isn't. BD, REI, members of REI all have costs that are driven up by people like you who for some reason believe you are entitled to free gear the rest of your life based on a very customer friendly policy.


Dont shop at rei ... Its that simple ... Since yr "costs" are driven up

No shop there ... No pay more

Its that simple ;)

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By TheBirdman
From Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Mar 18, 2013
I didn't say anything about me not liking REI's policy or me not wanting to shop there. I just said in my opinion, you're a morally pathetic person. I'm happy to pay the increased costs for legitimate users of the policy. The problem is it doesn't differentiate between decent people who respect and appreciate it and self centered abusers of the policy like you.

My point is you can make all the justifications you want. You have to look yourself in the mirror and realize that you're taking advantage of others. If you want to hide behind your argument that REI's policy entitles you to only have to buy a product once because you can bring it back anytime it wears out, you want a new one, or whatever reason, that's your prerogative. My prerogative is to put you in the same category as those who abuse any social service. Again, just because something is allowed or you can get away with it doesn't mean you should.

One last thing, if everyone was like you, the REI policy wouldn't exist. So be careful what you wish for when you tell other decent people who don't like your systemic abuse not to shop there because without them to foot the bill for your hustle and scam operation, you'd actually have to pay for your gear. Gasp!

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By Boissal
From Small Lake, UT
Mar 18, 2013
Nate Ball wrote:
So I've been climbing for a few years, but back in the day when I was cutting my trad teeth at Trout Creek, I took this "big" fall on my #3 C4. I'm quite certain it was a solid placement, as all cracks at TC are even, parallel, symmetrical. Then again, I was a spankin' new trad climber at the time... The plot thickens.

Can't tell if the lobes are really bent or just torqued out. There's quite a bit of play designed in the C4s and I can get a new piece to look like that by pushing the base of the silver lobes into the head of the cam and pulling on their outside.
I'm not saying it's not bent (the 3rd picture definitely makes it look like there is a bend at the base of the left silver lobe) but the first picture looks like a perfectly normal cam to me.

Send to BD, they'll probably send you a new one and torture yours a bit in the test lab.

And bearbreeder, will you either shut the fuck up and die, fluff out the 3 word argument you're trying to make or learn how to convey your point in a somewhat articulate and properly spelled way? Every post you've made makes me want to shit in your mouth and tape it shut.

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By EricSchmidt
Mar 18, 2013
TheBirdman wrote:
I miss bearbreeders constant use of emoticons. Oh the REI policy. Just because you are allowed to do something, doesn't mean it's right. It also doesn't mean doing it doesn't make you a scumbag. I love the REI policy when ethical and moral people use it legitimately. It's morons like bear breeder that will force it to be revoked because they bring a used cam, blown out shoes, or a ten year old sleeping back for a full refund. You've got to be kidding thinking that's legitimate. You can make all the arguments you want in favor of what you do, but if you asked a 2 year old child whether that sounded fair, even they'd quickly and easily recognize it isn't. BD, REI, members of REI all have costs that are driven up by people like you who for some reason believe you are entitled to free gear the rest of your life based on a very customer friendly policy.


Give it a rest. The policy has been in place for at least 30 years... and people have been abusing it for at least 30 years. Yet it is still in place. Quit crying about what other people do and go tell your mommy that "it isnt fair". If REI has a problem with it they will change it.

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By Paul-B
Mar 18, 2013
Flakes of Wrath
TheBirdman wrote:
I didn't say anything about me not liking REI's policy or me not wanting to shop there.


Don't try reason, it won't work. He will just keep repeating the same nonsense. I think that he believes if he keeps saying it, it'll be true.

As far as the bent cam situation goes... BD cams hold lots and lots and lots of falls every day. It is unsurprising to me that there may be situations where a fall will damage a cam, even one that seems well placed. The ratio of damaged cams to number of falls they (BD cams) take seems to be vanishingly small. The fact that the fall torqued the cam in a weird enough way to bend it, and the cam still held is more impressive to me than the fact that occasionally one gets damaged after a fall. I would expect that. Clearly the 2nd poster still felt confident in the cam since he kept climbing on it.

I don't think BD owes anyone anything, as their cam did its job, it saved your ass. Pretty sure in the booklet each cam comes with it will say something to the effect of "inspect after each use/fall discard if it looks weird." Marvel at the fact that that spring loaded device you shoved in a crack saved your life, buy another one and go enjoy some more climbing.

(however, I don't think its a bad idea to at least contact BD, show them some pics and see if they are interested in checking out that cams, I'm sure they are always looking for ways to improve, but it would likely be hard to figure out how to as reproducing falls in the same manner as the original would be impossible)

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By Dave Swink
From Boulder, Co
Mar 18, 2013
Greg D wrote:
Let's see. Link cams exploded and failed. This cam bent and held. To put C4's in the same category is silly. Yes cams can rotate some in the direction of loading. But they also can rotate away from the direction of load from rope movement before the fall.


Greg, I meant to say that the Link cam fall scenario seemed similar to the fall that damaged the OP's C4. The BD cam obviously tolerated lateral loading (thanks for that phrase) better than Link cams. I reluctantly sold my Link cams a year ago because of the reports of their complete failure in less than optimal placements.

BD recommends placing a cam "in the direction of expected pull". I was suggesting that the damage to the OP's cam should not be viewed as a failure of the product, but rather damage that resulted from a less-than-optimal placement that force lateral loading on the lobes. I think it kicks ass that the BD cam still held in a fall that it was not designed for.

Does that fix the silly part? :-)

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