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By TheBirdman
From Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Jan 29, 2013
Some concrete answers:

blackdiamondequipment.com/en-u...

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By patrick donahue
From Gunnison, Colorado
Jan 29, 2013
me climbing at lost horizon, NH
dont be fooled wont be for sale until late march or as late as early may

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By Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Jan 30, 2013
blah
they will most likely be "unavailable to order" with the print "available in March/April," well into July.

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By shoo
Jan 30, 2013
Rock wars, Red River Gorge
BD (and basically all other gear companies) are usually late regarding roll-out of new products by their stated deadline.

I wouldn't expect to actually see these things until end of summer, maybe later.

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By Snoopy
Jan 30, 2013
backcountrygear.com/climbing/c...

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jan 30, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
The new sizes are funky with regard to the color scheme of the old sizes. What I mean is, I would think that BD would have made the new red X4 correspond with the same size as the red C3. They did not.

The new red X4 size .1 (smallest one) range: .33 - .54 in.
strength: 5kn

Purple C3 size 00 range: .35 - .54 in.
strength: 6kn

The only real improvement I can see is that it has greater flexibility laterally than the C3. Range - same. Strength - less. Surface area lobe contact - debatable. In the smallest of sizes, the double axle amazingly greater expansion range blah blah doesn't hold up- unless you consider 1/50 of an inch a profound improvement.

Further up in size, the .75 C4 range and the .75 X4 is the exact same. The head width looks smaller on the X4. The stems on the C4s are fairly flexible. I would wager that the stems on the X4s are a little more flexible- more like Mastercams. The X4s are probably a little lighter as well, but I don't know for sure.

My point with all this super geek jargon is that for sizes .75 through 00 in the BD brand, they want you to pay $10 more for each cam for questionable improvements in usable range, flexibility, weight, an overall loss in strength, and a noticeable improvement in head width (for the top three sizes). Worth it? Did I miss anything?


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jan 30, 2013
Bocan
I never understood why people run out and buy the first rendition of a new product. You know they are just gonna be either recalled or redesigned within a season or two to fix any issues or to make it better.

Anytime I've done that I always wish I ended up waiting.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jan 30, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
My point is that it's really not a better product than what's already out there by BD. Unless flexibility, smaller head width in three sizes, and covering 8 (only 7 if you count the .3 and .2 as the same size) of their old cams with 6 sizes = a vast improvement, a roughly 15% increase in price doesn't really fly. Seems to me like they just really wanted to compete with Mastercams in the .75 and down range. There's probably nothing wrong with them. I'm sure they're great cams, but the mind-blowing improvement hype doesn't really hold water. Especially not at $70 a cam in smaller sizes that aren't as strong as the previous product in that range.

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By Goldsmith
From Ithaca, New York
Jan 30, 2013
The metal Y triple swage junction looks massive, itll definitely load funky over a lip. Scott's got the right idea, wait until the kinks are worked out...

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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Jan 30, 2013
OTL
They needed to fill a hole in THEIR product lineup. Narrow-head, four-lobed, small cams. Now someone doesn't have to buy MasterCams or Aliens - they can stick with BD the whole way through. C3s can supplement.

How many rack building threads are answered "0.5-3 C4s to start and MasterCams/similar for smaller"? Evidently BD read at least some of those threads and wanted to capture more of the small cam market.

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By bearbreeder
Jan 30, 2013
the c4s arent that flexible ...

i dont call a cam flexible until you can bend it back over at least partially ...

;)

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By Shelton Hatfield
From Austin, Texas
Jan 30, 2013
Photo by Damien
bearbreeder wrote:
the c4s arent that flexible ... i dont call a cam flexible until you can bend it back over at least partially ... ;)

if you can't put a cam's head through its thumbloop, it might as well be a rigid friend

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By shoo
Jan 30, 2013
Rock wars, Red River Gorge
Matt N wrote:
They needed to fill a hole in THEIR product lineup. Narrow-head, four-lobed, small cams. Now someone doesn't have to buy MasterCams or Aliens - they can stick with BD the whole way through. C3s can supplement. How many rack building threads are answered "0.5-3 C4s to start and MasterCams/similar for smaller"? Evidently BD read at least some of those threads and wanted to capture more of the small cam market.


This is pretty much it. Pretty much all the best stuff from the mastercams and aliens (except maybe the soft metal, which I'm not so hot on anyway due to durability issues) at a pretty reasonable price. They're cheaper than fixe aliens right off the bat, and a 20% off coupon would make them cheaper than the un-discountable totem aliens (since they're only sold directly from manufacturer). They're a touch more expensive than the mastercams or c3s, but probably better than either for most people.

As for the comparison with c3s, they are different beasts. Personally, I much prefer the stability of a 4-lobed cam than a 3-lobed one, especially where head width isn't a big deal.

The X4s are by no means a game changer. They are NOT revolutionary. They won't make you send harder. They are, however, a very competitive product, and (assuming there are no surprises) look to be a touch nicer than what's out there. And they aren't comparatively expensive, either. Competition is good.

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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Jan 30, 2013
shoo wrote:
As for the comparison with c3s, they are different beasts. .


The C3 was the big hole in their line up. Over hyped and over priced when they were released just a few years ago. People were slavering for the latest and greatest from BD, just like now. Only to find out they were basically an inferior TCU that cost twice as much. BD dropped the price 10 bucks after a year and you still seldom see them... because they aren't that good (except the two tiny ones.)

Good luck to them selling their fancy new Xstercam.

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By mattm
From TX
Jan 30, 2013
Grande Grotto
Jake Jones wrote:
The new sizes are funky with regard to the color scheme of the old sizes. What I mean is, I would think that BD would have made the new red X4 correspond with the same size as the red C3. They did not. The new red X4 size .1 (smallest one) range: .33 - .54 in. strength: 5kn Purple C3 size 00 range: .35 - .54 in. strength: 6kn The only real improvement I can see is that it has greater flexibility laterally than the C3. Range - same. Strength - less. Surface area lobe contact - debatable. In the smallest of sizes, the double axle amazingly greater expansion range blah blah doesn't hold up- unless you consider 1/50 of an inch a profound improvement. Further up in size, the .75 C4 range and the .75 X4 is the exact same. The head width looks smaller on the X4. The stems on the C4s are fairly flexible. I would wager that the stems on the X4s are a little more flexible- more like Mastercams. The X4s are probably a little lighter as well, but I don't know for sure. My point with all this super geek jargon is that for sizes .75 through 00 in the BD brand, they want you to pay $10 more for each cam for questionable improvements in usable range, flexibility, weight, an overall loss in strength, and a noticeable improvement in head width (for the top three sizes). Worth it? Did I miss anything?


"Long Ago" they had pre-C4 camalots that ran down to .1 The colors of the new X4s are in line with these older ones. When the C3s came out people bitched that THEIR colors didn't match the old .1-.4 etc The C3 ranges are unique and don't correspond to other BD product ranges, hence the different colors.

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By Pete Spri
Jan 30, 2013
BD X4
[.1] 8.4-13.8 mm (.33-.54 in)
[.2] 9.9-16.5 mm (.34-.65 in)
[.3] 12.4-21.2 mm (.49-.83 in)
[.4] 15.5-26.6 mm (.61-1.05 in)
[.5] 19.8-33.7 mm (.78-1.33 in)
[.75] 24-41.2 mm (.94-1.62 in)

BD C3
(size 000) 7.8-12.9 mm, 0.30-0.50 in
(size 00) 9.0-13.7 mm, 0.35-0.54 in
(size 0) 10.7-15.8 mm, 0.42-0.62 in
(size 1) 12.0-18.8 mm, 0.47-0.74 in
(size 2) 14.2-22.6 mm, 0.56-0.89 in

Metolius Master
[00] 8.3 -13.9mm (0.33-.55 in)
[0] 9.6-15.4mm (.38-.61 in)
[1] 12.1-19.3mm (.49-.71 in)
[2] 15.4-24.1mm (.61-.95 in)
[3] 18.5-28.7mm (.73-1.13 in)
[4] 23.3-35.5mm (.92-1.4 in)

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jan 30, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
mattm wrote:
"Long Ago" they had pre-C4 camalots that ran down to .1 The colors of the new X4s are in line with these older ones. When the C3s came out people bitched that THEIR colors didn't match the old .1-.4 etc The C3 ranges are unique and don't correspond to other BD product ranges, hence the different colors.



Makes perfect sense. I didn't consider pre-C4 Camalots. Before my time. Thanks Matt.

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By mattm
From TX
Jan 30, 2013
Grande Grotto
Jake Jones wrote:
Makes perfect sense. I didn't consider pre-C4 Camalots. Before my time. Thanks Matt.

They really only discontinued the .1 and .2 which went on to become sort of a collectors item, especially for those who like really hard and thin desert splitters. You can spot the old .1 and .2 in several IC and Moab Area vids.

Dean Potter on Tombstone (I think the famous whipper was onto a .2)
Air Sweden in Return to Sender had, IIRC, some .1s



I'm actually really looking forward to the .1-.3 X4s. Their size range always seemed to compliment my Aliens really well.

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By Luke Cormier
Jan 31, 2013
"I'm actually really looking forward to the .1-.3 X4s"

Dido

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By mmainer
Jan 31, 2013
To boil this down more:

Size-for-size (somewhat inexact because they don't perfectly correspond), X4's have 1.2 times (.2 X4 vs 00 Met) to 1.4 times (.75 X4 vs #4 Met) the range of a corresponding Metolius. Even messing around some more, I can't find a way to get an X4 that is less than 1.1 times the range of a corresponding Metolius size.

A full run of X4's will weight about 1.5 oz more than a corresponding set of five Mastercams. Seems pretty negligeable.

I haven't seen widths published, so who knows how much you gain there.

The X4's are priced $10 more than Mastercams. So the question then is the 20% or so greater range worth $10 per cam ($50 per set)?

Edit: Forgot to include the .1 X4... fair enough, they probably aren't great for much more than body weight.

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By Boissal
From Small Lake, UT
Jan 31, 2013
caughtinside wrote:
The C3 was the big hole in their line up. Over hyped and over priced when they were released just a few years ago. People were slavering for the latest and greatest from BD, just like now. Only to find out they were basically an inferior TCU that cost twice as much. BD dropped the price 10 bucks after a year and you still seldom see them... because they aren't that good (except the two tiny ones.) Good luck to them selling their fancy new Xstercam.

Assholes, opinions and something about everyone having one uh?
You couldn't pay me to rack up TCUs. They make me feel like I'm borrowing grandpa's tele boots for retro day at the resort...

A third of the climbing gear market these days is noobs with too much cash rolling into the store and being sold the latest and greatest from the big names. The other third is 9-to-5ers getting every new iteration of a product hoping it will offset the effects of a growing beer gut on their climbing ability. The last third (and I'm being generous with the numbers) has evaluated all the options, has a well-thought preference and won't succumb to gear envy.

BD wants to make money and with the X4 they will, the first two groups are ripe to be parted with their money. Same with their new soft goods line which is entering a very crowded market. Will it be better than anything out there? Most likely not... Will you see plenty of bros on the tram deck rocking the stuff? Fuck yeah.

Don't hate, if anything, the X4s will make TCUs cheaper when everyone looking for an excuse to update their rack lists them on here.

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By Eric G.
Jan 31, 2013
Boissal wrote:
You couldn't pay me to rack up TCUs. They make me feel like I'm borrowing grandpa's tele boots for retro day at the resort... .


Older gear no good.

Boissal wrote:
BD wants to make money and with the X4 they will, the first two groups are ripe to be parted with their money. Same with their new soft goods line which is entering a very crowded market. Will it be better than anything out there? Most likely not... Will you see plenty of bros on the tram deck rocking the stuff? Fuck yeah.


Newer gear no good.

Boissal wrote:
Don't hate, if anything, the X4s will make TCUs cheaper when everyone looking for an excuse to update their rack lists them on here.


Older used gear good. Got it.

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By bearbreeder
Jan 31, 2013
Boissal wrote:
Assholes, opinions and something about everyone having one uh? You couldn't pay me to rack up TCUs. They make me feel like I'm borrowing grandpa's tele boots for retro day at the resort... A third of the climbing gear market these days is noobs with too much cash rolling into the store and being sold the latest and greatest from the big names. The other third is 9-to-5ers getting every new iteration of a product hoping it will offset the effects of a growing beer gut on their climbing ability. The last third (and I'm being generous with the numbers) has evaluated all the options, has a well-thought preference and won't succumb to gear envy. BD wants to make money and with the X4 they will, the first two groups are ripe to be parted with their money. Same with their new soft goods line which is entering a very crowded market. Will it be better than anything out there? Most likely not... Will you see plenty of bros on the tram deck rocking the stuff? Fuck yeah. Don't hate, if anything, the X4s will make TCUs cheaper when everyone looking for an excuse to update their rack lists them on here.


whuddah he said ^^^^

C3s, zeros, aliens, mastercams, TCUs ... the best climbers use all of em ... its the climber that matters

not to say that the difference in small cams dont matter for certain placements ... but chances are that a climb at the level most of us climb at has been done with most types of cams at one point

heres one for the c3 haters ... 00 c3s for the dyno crux ;)




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By shoo
Jan 31, 2013
Rock wars, Red River Gorge
mmainer wrote:
Forgot to include the .1 X4... fair enough, they probably aren't great for much more than body weight.


The .1 is rated to 5kn, which is plenty for free climbing, and similar to other cams in this size. As usual, the placement matters much more than the inherent strength of the unit.

As to whether the extra $10 per cam is "worth it" over the mastercams, it's a fairly compelling argument on paper. A touch extra range, a touch narrower heads (presumably). If a combination of those two reduce fiddling time, it's certainly plausible that it's worth the extra cash.

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By Drew Hayes
From Charlotte, NC
Jan 31, 2013
Lost in Space
I'm working on my rack and currently have no small cams. Would it be worth it to wait on these or go ahead and get some mastercams?

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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Jan 31, 2013
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.
Drew Hayes wrote:
I'm working on my rack and currently have no small cams. Would it be worth it to wait on these or go ahead and get some mastercams?


Considering very few people have climbed with the X4s right now, I doubt anybody is going to be able to give you a good opinion on that.

Personally, I would pick up some Totems before Master Cams since I've climbed with both.

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