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By bearbreeder
Jan 31, 2013
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?



go find someone with small cams ... lead with their cams ... and keep doing that till you find the cams you like best ...

try as many different types of cams as you can

the flip side is that small cams arent the most durable things out there, so dont go whipping on their microcams ... if you do whip on them and damage the gear of someone who was nice enough to let you lead on it ... replace it

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By Daryl Teittinen
From Truckee CA
Jan 31, 2013
Drew: these will take a while to come out, and will likely need design tweaking to get just right. Always goes that way.
The Mastercams are sweet, they have matching offset sizes, and are made in the USA. Some folks prefer the Totems, I think they are cheap looking.

The X4s will be cool to see in person, but I never dive in to a new product. Give it a season or two to mature and you will get a better product.

D

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By reboot
From Westminster, CO
Jan 31, 2013
I've briefly climbed on pre-production X4s (I hear the production ones will have slightly longer stem and a few other tweaks). They seem like nice cams & looks to improve upon blue & black aliens w/ internal spring. I'm a bit dismayed the 0.3 is pretty much the same size as the green alien/totem basic instead of being in between green & yellow the C4 0.3 is. The 0.4 & larger are nothing too special, but they are much narrower than C4s (the shorter leverage hopefully won't bend the axle as easily as C4s in those sizes) and are either in between sizes to alien/totem basics or bigger.

I wouldn't mind getting a set sans the 0.3 (and the 0.2, if totem can make the internal spring blue size work), but it's not a top priority, especially not at full retail. How do they compare to Metolius? If I can only climb on Metolius cams, I'd seriously consider quit trad climbing.

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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Jan 31, 2013
OTL
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?


Price matter? Keep a watch and don't buy until they're under $45/ea
spadout.com/p/metolius-master-...

$45 vs $70 is significant. If you don't like them or want to upgrade, you can unload them for ~$40/ea usually.

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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Jan 31, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3
everything can easily be gotten for 20% off online.

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By Drew Hayes
From Charlotte, NC
Feb 1, 2013
Lost in Space
Cool, thanks for the advice guys. So far I've used C3s, Metolius tcus and mastercams. I like the mastercams the best out of those. I need to find someone with aliens on their rack now.

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By 20 kN
Administrator
From Hawaii
Feb 2, 2013
Meh, it is BD. I am starting to loose respect for BD. They make great great gear. But they are quickly becoming the "Wal-Mart" of the industry. They have a habit of firing American employees, and shifting their labor overseas. They also have pretty shitty customer service technicians. It is like when you call Dell to get technical support, and the technician is just a nobody lame IT tech who only knows how to troubleshoot very basic issues. Unlike BD, if I contact a different manufacturer, say Sterling Ropes, and I ask an esoteric question that the e-mail clerk does not know, they actually forward my question to a senior engineer. BD refuses to do that.

They also completely refuse to assist in college research; again, unlike other manufacturers. I have contacted them asking technical questions about theories as they relate to their products and they wont comment (even though I work for a BD distributor.) No other company has a problem with answering those types of questions. In fact, most strongly support research. So, buy from Metolius. The Master Cams are awesome and you support American jobs and a good American company.

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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Feb 2, 2013
20 kN wrote:
Meh, it is BD. I am starting to loose respect for BD. They make great great gear. But they are quickly becoming the "Wal-Mart" of the industry. They have a habit of firing American employees, and shifting their labor overseas. They also have pretty shitty customer service technicians. It is like when you call Dell to get technical support, and the technician is just a nobody lame IT tech who only knows how to troubleshoot very basic issues. Unlike BD, if I contact a different manufacturer, say Sterling Ropes, and I ask an esoteric question that the e-mail clerk does not know, they actually forward my question to a senior engineer. BD refuses to do that. They also completely refuse to assist in college research; again, unlike other manufacturers. I have contacted them asking technical questions about theories as they relate to their products and they wont comment (even though I work for a BD distributor.) No other company has a problem with answering those types of questions. In fact, most strongly support research. So, buy from Metolius. The Master Cams are awesome and you support American jobs and a good American company.


Well.....you're not really comparing apples to apples, there. BD is a big company (for the outdoor industry), Metolius and Sterling are not. Metolius, Sterling, Bluewater, and Trango combined wouldnt even amount to the same number of employees as BD. The bigger the company, the busier the management is, and the harder it is to get to them unless you're on their radar. This is true of 95% of companies out there. Its tough to get to important people at big companies- but its for a reason. They are busy and the company has an interest in keeping them focused and on task.

This is not to excuse Black Diamond, of course, they should make a better effort to be good to their customers and engage more, but when everyone buys your shit, everyone calls you with stupid questions and the filters get thicker and the CS team gets numb. It is what it is, unfortunately.

Ps- i'm currently using a set of the X4s, and personally, I think they are very similar to a MasterCam but they did the one thing Metolius didnt do and that, imho, will be why they can compete better with Aliens. [They used those 'beads' instead of the twin cables for their trigger assembly- thus the cam can bend better than a Master Cam in all directions].

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By patto
Feb 2, 2013
Daryl Teittinen wrote:
The Mastercams are sweet, they have matching offset sizes, and are made in the USA. Some folks prefer the Totems, I think they are cheap looking. D


'*rolls eyes*

Totem cams have significantly different performance characteristics than ANYTHING else out there. Dismissing them by saying they are cheap looking is absurd.

Narrow head, unsurpassed holding force, and unsurpassed flared performance means that I personally choose Totems for my needs. Master cams are great too, in fact their my cam of choice in sizes below Totem.


(I am definitely a strong fan of Totems. Sure everyone has some biases. ;-) )

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By Moof
From Portland, OR
Mar 11, 2013
patto wrote:
'*rolls eyes* Totem cams have significantly different performance characteristics than ANYTHING else out there. Dismissing them by saying they are cheap looking is absurd. Narrow head, unsurpassed holding force, and unsurpassed flared performance means that I personally choose Totems for my needs. Master cams are great too, in fact their my cam of choice in sizes below Totem. (I am definitely a strong fan of Totems. Sure everyone has some biases. ;-) )


What are the units of "holding force". How do I measure it? How much more Holding Force do Totems have?

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By Robbie Brown
From Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 12, 2013
Jumping across the mace gap with a PBR
+1 for totem basics. I have a few aliens, basics, totems, WC zeros, C3s, and a mastercam and honestly the basics are the bomb. Like a less "mushy" alien. X4's look sweet, i want a cam that cam fill the void between a green and blue alien. Its about a red c3 or like a tight blue mastercam. I hope that the X4's have a cam that fills this spot. You can look at ranges online all day but i feel like you never know till you have one in your hand.

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By Ian Stewart
Mar 12, 2013
20 kN wrote:
They also have pretty shitty customer service technicians. It is like when you call Dell to get technical support, and the technician is just a nobody lame IT tech who only knows how to troubleshoot very basic issues. Unlike BD, if I contact a different manufacturer, say Sterling Ropes, and I ask an esoteric question that the e-mail clerk does not know, they actually forward my question to a senior engineer. BD refuses to do that.


I've emailed Kolin Powick, the director of quality at BD who writes the QA Labs reports, a couple times directly and got responses pretty quickly.

20 kN wrote:
They also completely refuse to assist in college research; again, unlike other manufacturers. I have contacted them asking technical questions about theories as they relate to their products and they wont comment (even though I work for a BD distributor.) No other company has a problem with answering those types of questions. In fact, most strongly support research. So, buy from Metolius. The Master Cams are awesome and you support American jobs and a good American company.


What kinds of questions are you asking? BD makes money selling gear, which they make after spending tons of money on R&D. It's not surprising they wouldn't want to share any of their research considering that's how they make their money.

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By jordand
From Seattle, WA
Mar 13, 2013
Climbing in Leavenworth, WA.
Trad newbie here. Wondering if there are likely to be any advantages to the more flexible stem and narrower head width of the .5 and .75 X4s vs. the stiffer and wider .5 and .75 C4s. From what I understand, a set or two of .5-3 C4s (plus stoppers) has been the standard recommendation for a starter rack for a while now. Is that likely to change after the .5 and .75 X4s come out?

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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Mar 13, 2013
There will be an advantage but not huge, so that recommendation stands.

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By TWK
Mar 13, 2013
superkick wrote:
everything can easily be gotten for 20% off online.

20 kN wrote:
Meh, it is BD. I am starting to loose respect for BD. They make great great gear. But they are quickly becoming the "Wal-Mart" of the industry. They have a habit of firing American employees, and shifting their labor overseas.

Hmmm, I wonder if these observations could somehow be related. Squeezing manufacturers and their local retailers to death to save a few bucks by buying online, and then wondering where the jobs and locally owned shops are.

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By Andrew Mayer
Mar 13, 2013
top of mt. lady washington - rmnp
jordand wrote:
Trad newbie here. Wondering if there are likely to be any advantages to the more flexible stem and narrower head width of the .5 and .75 X4s vs. the stiffer and wider .5 and .75 C4s.


Yes, more placement options. But not as prominent as the advantages of the more flexible stem and narrower head width of a mastercam/alien/totem basic/X4 as compared to a BD .3 or .4 C4

jordand wrote:
Is that likely to change after the .5 and .75 X4s come out?


Not likely but only time will tell. It will be interesting to see how floppy the .75 X4 is (which is why I personally dont like the bigger mastercams)

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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Mar 13, 2013
Andrew Mayer wrote:
It will be interesting to see how floppy the .75 X4 is (which is why I personally dont like the bigger mastercams)


From handling some x4 .75's I didn't notice any "flopiness" like I know some of the larger aliens had and some people complain about the totem cams (not basics). Seems like the beaded sleeve adds just enough stiffness.

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By Andrew Mayer
Mar 13, 2013
top of mt. lady washington - rmnp
NorCalNomad wrote:
From handling some x4 .75's I didn't notice any "flopiness" like I know some of the larger aliens had and some people complain about the totem cams (not basics). Seems like the beaded sleeve adds just enough stiffness.


Oh sweet, good to know. thanks

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By Luke Stefurak
From Mountain View, CA
Mar 13, 2013
Below "Inspect Her Gadget" at HP40 after sending it the previous day.
I would say that a .75 C4 will be standard but the .3-.5 would be much better in the X4.

I've played with the X4's and the head width a big improvement over the C4's.

I would recommend that new climbers get one each .5 C4 and X4.

I like C3's so perhaps a set of C3's and the Smaller X4's.

Right now I climb with the smallest C3's Green/Purple and then aliens from Green to Red.

In Yosemite the Red Alien is much superior to the .5 C4 in Pin Scars.

Clearly all of this depends on where you go climbing.

- Luke

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By willeslinger
From Golden, Colorado
Mar 14, 2013
I was pretty bummed when they didn't greenlight my "Bourne Identity" style reboot of The Eiger Sanction. This was from the rough draft's first act.
I think the .1-.4 X4 will be pretty rad in Eldo...

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By Aaron L.
Mar 19, 2013
Hiking in the Adirondacks
I was able to get a little info about the release date from an REI live help agent. REI appears to have the product on file and are expecting to receive a shipment on April 16th. In addition, you will probably be able to order the X4s before that date (but wont actually get the cams until REI receives them from BD). I assume that other vendors will have a similar timeframe

Black Diamond X4's expected to be delivered to REI on April 16th
Black Diamond X4's expected to be delivered to REI on April 16th

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By Michael Sullivan
Administrator
From Madison, WI
Mar 20, 2013
So, does anyone know if the X4's will be made in Utah or not? If they were american made that would attract me a little more. I'm excited that BD is stirring up the 4 lobed micro-cam market a little bit but in many ways I'd prefer to give my business to a company like Metolius when I can.

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By bearbreeder
Mar 20, 2013
MEC lists them as made in china ....

u know the nimble chinese fingers are just the best ;)

mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Climbing/Ro...

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By mike h
From Denver, CO
Mar 20, 2013
vv, laos
Now says, "**Available Late April / Early May**"

blackdiamondequipment.com/en-u...

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By Taylor Bentz
Mar 20, 2013
Me waiting for the X4's to come out



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