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Buying Used Climbing Protection
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By brianjames
From Appleton, WI
Feb 9, 2013
Working on a boulder problem in yosemite, can't remember the name of the problem

So I really want to build up my climbing rack, but I just cannot afford new gear especially cams which are so expensive. I check out the sales on ebay and MP and sometimes I think about buying used gear, but before I put in a bid I start thinking do I really want to trust used cams?

Should I pull the trigger and buy discounted used gear? Or be forever stuck top-roping?


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By Rob Dillon
Feb 9, 2013

If you have to ask,










stick to toproping.


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By Mark Wyss
From Denver, CO
Feb 9, 2013
Mt. Baker

Plenty of good cams can be found on MP. I am always careful as to what I purchase on here. If it doesn't pass the eye test I wouldn't bother with it.

Most of the time, you can find cams at online retailers for ~45. Most cams here on MP go for 35-40 depending on condition. However most of the time you have to pay for shipping which will put you at 45 anyway.

If you can wait for a sale, buy new to start yourself off. Then once you start to double up sizes, you can fill in the gaps with deals on MP when they come along.

Good Resource: www.mountainproject.com/v/any-deals-on-c4s-out-there-right-n>>>
Edit: use google shopping too.


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By jim.dangle
Feb 9, 2013

As far as used pro goes, I've never had a problem but know what you are buying. Make sure you have a reasonable idea about old they are (what they make is, etc.) and that the the cams and slings are in decent condition. Although I've never heard of a sling breaking, if you are concerned you can have them replaced by either the manufacturer or a place like Mountain Tools or Ragged Mountain (though this will add to the cost of the used cam). Personally I have gotten the best deals off craigslist and find ebay always way overpriced. MP is usually somewhere in between but there is generally a steady stream of stuff for sale.

In general, I would be reluctant to pay more than 40 bucks for a used small to mid size cam in good condition and I would try to get a biner or a shipping thrown in with that. You can easily get 20% off new things on the internet and often 30-40% during good sales. Most places ship free. Bear that in mind when buying used gear as the prices often get out of hand.

One another tip is that for the majority of cragging you really don't need double sets of a cams. A single set of nuts and single set of cams up to BD#3 is plenty (I think you could probably lose the .3 and 3 and be pretty good too). Remember that people were crushing 5.12 with all passive pro. Climbing with less gear will only make you awesomer in the long run.

Jim


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By Davis Stevenson
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Feb 9, 2013
Following up a new route out in the Mojave Desert.  Info coming soon maybe?  Fun 5.10 hands and fingers.

YER GONNA DIE!!

Naw, not likely, if you're smart. Think of how many used cams get sold on MP, and now think about how many of those people are dead or seriously hurt from whipping on a 6 year old Camalot...

Also, keep an eye on alssports.com I got all my new C4s there from them. They usually have some stuff on sale. If my memory serves me right I got my C4 4 brand new for $48 (less than my .5 cost me), and most used ones end up for about $40. $8 may be worth the peace of mind...

They almost always rotate Metoilus in and out of sale, too, so if you're patient and get a couple cams a month you could end up with a great deal.


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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Feb 9, 2013
Axes glistening in the sun

It's like asking if you should use a used condom. It might work, it might not. You never know how someone's gear has been used and abused.

I learned how to lead using someone elses gear (the guy that taught me and his gear was freaking old. That was in 1990) I didn't know any better then. I then scrounged after that to build my own rack after about 3 or 4 years. I got kinda lucky as I fell into "teaching" indoors at a rock gym on long island and got pro deals on some of my gear plus we didn't get paid we built up comp time and used that to pay for gear.

If you buy used gear-- "buyer beware" You may never know though you might come across some good stuff.


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By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Feb 9, 2013
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

Spoiled brat students with rich parents aside, everyone starts on used gear.

Buy up all the used gear you need, as you need it. If you get something with manky looking webbing, send it to the manufacturer from whence it came to get reslinged for $5.

How else you gonna break in to trad?


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By Eric Hamer
From Tucson
Feb 9, 2013
Aint nothin like a chihuahua with a backpack. Someone's got to carry the beer

Buy new.

Try going out climbing with some old school traddie with 20+ year old gear. It will make you appreciate new gear so much more.

If expense is a problem then I would say to budget to buy one stopper a week and one cam a month. It will take a while but will be worth it in the long run.


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By Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Feb 9, 2013
Wall Street, Moab, UT

Pretty much everyone who climbs does so with used gear, even if it was new when they got it. If you have a magnifying glass and understand simple machinery and stress cracks you can score some decent used gear. There are people who disagree and feel nothing you don't know the entire history of can possibly be "safe", but we're in a sport that isn't "safe" to begin with- and so the debate goes... sort of like those PAS threads. Everyone draws their own line somewhere- I stick to new stuff if it's rope, harnesses, slings, etc. (basically any kind of fabric), but my used metal equipment has served me well over the years.


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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Feb 9, 2013

Nuts are probably the safest thing to buy used. As long as they look good they probably are. And yeah most of used stuff on here is pretty good. If you are really worried then get it reslung and call it good.


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By Ryan Hill
From Cedar City, UT
Feb 9, 2013

I think I've bought 6 new cams out of the close to 30 that I have. Most of my sport gear is new, but even it is filled out with a variety of old, but good draws. Taken plenty of falls on gear, new and used, never had a concern about it.

My experience is that it is incredibly hard to break well designed climbing gear. Yes, you can damage it in a normal situation, but it is rare and that type of damage is visible(I retired a nut last week as the cable was kinked beyond fixing, if I was interested though I could reswag it and throw it back on the rack). Add to that the fact that I have yet to meet a climber who is willing to sell questionable gear and I have a good amount of faith in used climbing gear.

Be smart with your purchases and you can save a lot of money getting into the sport without unnecessary risk.


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Feb 9, 2013
Cleo's Needle

It's not hard to buy decent used gear. If it looks beat then it probably is. There's a lot of folks that over think this stuff and it is largely their loss.

I bought a used Gri-Gri and when one of my partners found out it was used said he refused to use it. I laughed and asked if he'd looked at the junk on his rack lately.


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By wivanoff
Feb 9, 2013
High Exposure

brianjames wrote:
I start thinking do I really want to trust used cams?


All you naysayers, would you use a bootied cam?

I'd take a good look at it and if it passed inspection, I'd use it. Might have it re-slung. Same with used gear bought on ebay, Craig's list or anywhere else.


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Feb 9, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

Would you buy a used condom?


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Feb 9, 2013
Bocan

I've bought used gear that I totally trust as well as sold used gear that I had complete faith in. Just watch what you buy and who you buy it from.

The only thing I would shy away from is some of those ebay resellers that don't know anything about climbing. They wouldn't know a bad cam from a hole in the ground.


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By clay meier
Feb 9, 2013
Thats Me

buy used gear and place a lot of it.


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By portercassidy
From UT/CO
Feb 9, 2013
Deep in a slot canyon, somewhere on the colorado plateau

My first rack was scored out of a pawn shop in Logan, UT around 2002. Something like 11 metolius cams, a rigid friend, a hand full of stoppers, a pair of Trango ice tools, and a couple of VHS tapes for $150.

Most of the cams were maybe placed once, some looked brand new. I just had some of these cams reslung a few years back, and some of them reslung recently.

Purchasing used cams is just like placing it. Inspect, and make a judgement call.

I always wonder who the guy was that stole or sold the rack to a pawn shop. I definitely used the whole "I dont know what has been done with this climbing equipment" speech to help me get a better deal on the rack.

After writing the check to the pawn shop, my bank account was non-existent. But it was well worth it. I still use all of the metolius cams, and the rigid friend hangs out on my overflow cams.


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By cieneguita
Feb 9, 2013

I have bought new sale priced gear and used. Twice in the last 20 years have I bought a new cam at full retail.
If you want new, buy on a discount. I have 4 sets of DMM 3cu's I picked up for $33-36 each. I see them sell used here and on fleabay for that much (way too high). No rigid friend, tcu, or gen 3 camalot (small to #3) should be higher than $30 especially with suspect slings which cost $15 to resew. But there are idiots right now buying 'vintage' gear on ebay for 5x normal price.

Used... shop fleabay for "buy it now" auctions where you can just capture the deal or auctions ending at bad times (before 2pm PST weekdays). Auctions in the last 2 years have been (for the most part) been running 80% of retail.
If you shop here, move fast or post a wanted to buy ad.

Cams might have service issues so look at pics. Nuts can fall 1,000 feet and be good to go.


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Feb 9, 2013
modern man

portercassidy wrote:
My first rack was scored out of a pawn shop in Logan, UT around 2002. Something like 11 metolius cams, a rigid friend, a hand full of stoppers, a pair of Trango ice tools, and a couple of VHS tapes for $150. Most of the cams were maybe placed once, some looked brand new. I just had some of these cams reslung a few years back, and some of them reslung recently. Purchasing used cams is just like placing it. Inspect, and make a judgement call. I always wonder who the guy was that stole or sold the rack to a pawn shop. I definitely used the whole "I dont know what has been done with this climbing equipment" speech to help me get a better deal on the rack. After writing the check to the pawn shop, my bank account was non-existent. But it was well worth it. I still use all of the metolius cams, and the rigid friend hangs out on my overflow cams.


I wonder what the pawn shop gave the victim if you paid 150


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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Feb 9, 2013
My navigator keeps me from getting lost

If you can't tell the difference between a good cam and a bad one, it may not be a bad idea to keep climbing with experienced climbers (who have gear) until you can tell the difference.


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By Richard Fernandez
From Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 9, 2013
Crack Test Dummies EPC

New.


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By Dustin Drake
Feb 9, 2013

What makes you trust a new cam?


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By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Feb 9, 2013
Courtright Reservoir, September 2013

I have bought and sold tons of used hardware. Slings and the like I don't trust (even my own after a while). Used cams, nuts, and occasionally biners have served me just fine.


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By bearbreeder
Feb 9, 2013

inspect it, replace any slings, and youll be fine if its in good condition

in fact IMO the older TCUs/Powercams are more durable than the UL ones

companies like metolius also inspect, clean and resling their older cams for 3$ apiece


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By stropsa
From Tempe, AZ
Feb 10, 2013

if you are looking to buy new, look up coloradocrackgear.com they have a runing 20% discount for mp users, so you can always find 'sale" priced c4's on their site, also they are an awesome vendor...


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Feb 10, 2013
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

Dustin Drake wrote:
What makes you trust a new cam?


The eight-year-old Chinese fingers that assemble them are very nimble, practiced, and confident.


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