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Cams - how old is too old?
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By Steve Kahn
Oct 11, 2012

i look down at my rack the other day and suddenly (edit - add "some of") my cams are almost 20 yrs old. - they look ok.


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Oct 11, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

Resling. Keep trigger wires in good condition. Good to go.


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By Max Supertramp
Oct 11, 2012

I've heard that 35 years is their sexual prime.


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By Kenan
Oct 12, 2012
Shelf Rd

Umm in all seriousness you should consider spending a few hundred bucks on some new cams for performance and weight reasons, even if your old cams are still safe. 20 years??? Things have come a long way. ...


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By scott cooney
From La Casa Taco
Oct 12, 2012
11th hour of the Sundial

20 years is nothing if they've been taken care of, hell I took some 10 yr ol' micros into BD this week and they actually talked me out of reslinging due to how good the slings still are.


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By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Oct 12, 2012
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

All my cams are about 10 years old, also original slings... also was going to resling them, but after a good washing, they're still bright and tight


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By Allen Corneau
From Houston, TX
Oct 12, 2012

My Metolius cams are all from 1998/99 (pre-Ultra Light), sent them back to Metolius in '09 for new slings.

I fully expect to continue climbing with them for another 20 years (assuming my body holds out that long).


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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Oct 12, 2012
...

I'd bank on it that over half the people that THINK weight is holding them back on their climbing abilities, are climbing under 5.8...

Suggesting someone get new gear even if their gear is safe, JUST to lose a little weight that most likely isn't a factor at all as to why someone sucks is ridiculous.

LOL!


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Oct 12, 2012
modern man

Locker wrote:
I'd bank on it that over half the people that THINK weight is holding them back on their climbing abilities, are climbing under 5.8...


you must have climbed at the Gunks before!


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By bearbreeder
Oct 12, 2012

depends .... some of my cams have been through hell but then theyve been used more or less daily ... and fallen on many many times

the usage and condition dictate when to buy new shiny stuff ... if it looks good amd the sling is new keep using em ;)


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By Kenan
Oct 12, 2012
Shelf Rd

Locker wrote:
I'd bank on it that over half the people that THINK weight is holding them back on their climbing abilities, are climbing under 5.8... Suggesting someone get new gear even if their gear is safe, JUST to lose a little weight that most likely isn't a factor at all as to why someone sucks is ridiculous. LOL!


It's not that weight is necessarily holding someone back or keeping them from climbing at higher levels... But come on, surely you can admit that today's cams perform a bit better (not just weight.. but action, range, lever/trigger usage). I climb frequently with a partner who has some old cams and I dread having to use them when we swap leads with his rack. For me, trad leading is much more enjoyable with newer cams. But I guess it's all about what you're used to...

The OPs question was about safety, so forgive me for digressing and suggesting that he buy new ones for weight/performance, etc. It's just hard for me to understand sometimes how people can be so reluctant to upgrade gear.

Can 20-year-old cams be safe? Yes. There you go, there's your answer.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Oct 12, 2012
Bocan

Kenan wrote:
It's not that weight is necessarily holding someone back or keeping them from climbing at higher levels... But come on, surely you can admit that today's cams perform a bit better (not just weight.. but action, range, lever/trigger usage). I climb frequently with a partner who has some old cams and I dread having to use them when we swap leads with his rack. For me, trad leading is much more enjoyable with newer cams. But I guess it's all about what you're used to... The OPs question was about safety, so forgive me for digressing and suggesting that he buy new ones for weight/performance, etc. It's just hard for me to understand sometimes how people can be so reluctant to upgrade gear. Can 20-year-old cams be safe? Yes. There you go, there's your answer.


^^^^ This.


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By bearbreeder
Oct 12, 2012

Kenan wrote:
It's just hard for me to understand sometimes how people can be so reluctant to upgrade gear.


because some people would rather spend the money on gas money to the crag so they can get stronger and climb longer ... than buying gear they dont really need

or take a road trip to yos ;)


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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Oct 12, 2012
...

"because some people would rather spend the money on gas money to the crag so they can get stronger and climb longer ... than buying gear they dont really need"

You deserve the CEE GAR on that one!

and a BINGO!


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Oct 12, 2012
Cleo's Needle

bearbreeder wrote:
because some people would rather spend the money on gas money to the crag so they can get stronger and climb longer ... than buying gear they dont really need or take a road trip to yos ;)


We're drifting off topic because obviously old gear can be safe but money isn't always a deciding factor. Suggesting that after 20 years an upgrade may be in order regardless of wear shouldn't be met with so much resistance. Are you wearing the same single piece gore-tex suit from twenty years ago?

You're right, some people would rather spend money on gas than gear. The other side is that some people want to replace their gear before the twenty year mark. I happen to like trying new gear (and I think you do too) especially if it is lighter and performs better.


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By Steve Kahn
Oct 12, 2012

great - thanks - how about some more dumb questions from an old moderate dinosaur:

1) how much does it cost to re-sling aliens/metoleus/BD?
2) is this accomplished by sending back to teh manufactuerer?
3) what about trigger wires? i know BD makes/sells them (yeah!), what about others? i have hand fixed lots of my metoleus and aliens, but the small triggers on teh aliens make my home made fixes not as smooth, and my young partners really freak out when they see my home depot triggers...

funny, as my younger partners also shy away from my cams...i have one older HB, that has a great tweak in it that freaks out my partners...i kind of like the asymetrical nature of it, that leads to dialing in placements...point is, they hate these tweaks, that to me, give my gear a bit of personality and specificity...i understand where they are coming from...and i do absolutely notice that my newer BD#3 is way lighter and sleeker than my older single stem BD...thankfully, i'm not using any of the old old plastic coated 2 wire cams.

last time i saw a solid stem friend, it as fixed on the bastille.


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By scott cooney
From La Casa Taco
Oct 12, 2012
11th hour of the Sundial

reslinging through BD is like 5 bucks a cam, you can call them and ask about wires for the other makes(obviously they do wires for BD products), its their warranty center that handles all that. there are other companies that do the work as well, Yates comes to mind and I think its wired bliss, shop around and see who has the best rates vs. turn around. myself I have only dealt with BD's center and those guys are awesome!


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Oct 12, 2012
Bocan

Steve Kahn wrote:
and my young partners really freak out when they see my home depot triggers... funny, as my younger partners also shy away from my cams...i have one older HB, that has a great tweak in it that freaks out my partners


How old is too old? when your partners ALWAYS offer to bring the rack. Not that your cams aren't perfectly fine, but if no one wants to climb on your gear....

"How bout you just bring the rope Steve"? haha!!


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By bearbreeder
Oct 12, 2012

Ray Pinpillage wrote:
We're drifting off topic because obviously old gear can be safe but money isn't always a deciding factor. Suggesting that after 20 years an upgrade may be in order regardless of wear shouldn't be met with so much resistance. Are you wearing the same single piece gore-tex suit from twenty years ago? You're right, some people would rather spend money on gas than gear. The other side is that some people want to replace their gear before the twenty year mark. I happen to like trying new gear (and I think you do too) especially if it is lighter and performs better.


trying the stuff on yr partners rack is great ... i just tried out a set of totems ... would i spend the few $$$ on it rather than a climbing trip? ... not right now

people can buy what they want when they want ... but unless yr always climbing sktetchy hard to protect climbs where only certain gear will fit, doing the gnarliest alpine routes where every gram matters, or doing some super hard trad line where for some reason you can ONLY place a certain type of cam even though other people seem to place other things just fine ... the "lighter and performs better" thing is just an excuse IMO for shiny new gear, at least have the sense to admit it

there are plenty of people who climb WAY harder than me with older gear ... the key is to get stronger and better ... not get shinier gear

besides my post was in response to someone who doesnt understand why someone would keep using older safe gear instead of buying shinier "better" stuff ....

i prefer to climb, gear, even cams are a consumable ... fall often enough and youll replace the gear anyways ... from this weeks redpoint attemps ...



at the end of the day ... ask yourself if you really need the "performance" increase of shiny new cams to climb what you climb ... if its moderates the answer is negative


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Oct 12, 2012
Cleo's Needle

bearbreeder wrote:
trying the stuff on yr partners rack is great ... i just tried out a set of totems ... would i spend the few $$$ on it rather than a climbing trip? ... not right now people can buy what they want when they want ... but unless yr always climbing sktetchy hard to protect climbs where only certain gear will fit, doing the gnarliest alpine routes where every gram matters, or doing some super hard trad line where for some reason you can ONLY place a certain type of cam even though other people seem to place other things just fine ... the "lighter and performs better" thing is just an excuse IMO for shiny new gear, at least have the sense to admit it there are plenty of people who climb WAY harder than me with older gear ... the key is to get stronger and better ... not get shinier gear besides my post was in response to someone who doesnt understand why someone would keep using older safe gear instead of buying shinier "better" stuff .... i prefer to climb, gear, even cams are a consumable ... fall often enough and youll replace the gear anyways ... from this weeks redpoint attemps ... at the end of the day ... ask yourself if you really need the "performance" increase of shiny new cams to climb what you climb ... if its moderates the answer is negative


No argument.


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By Allen Corneau
From Houston, TX
Oct 13, 2012

"great - thanks - how about some more dumb questions from an old moderate dinosaur: 1) how much does it cost to re-sling aliens/metoleus/BD? "


Metolius will re-sling their cams for $3 a piece, re-wire is $8 each, return shipping for the lot is $10.

They also do a serious cleaning on them and then lube them up. They came back looking practically brand new!


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By A.Javi.Gecko
From San Diego, CA
Oct 21, 2012
V3, Castle Hill, NZ

I've climbed with a friend in New Zealand who still uses his dad's OG friends and they worked just fine. However, I will mention that this man's father runs a gear company and designs/mods his own gear so this may be a special case of especially practiced climbers.


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By mountainlion
Oct 21, 2012

Replace gear when it needs to be replaced that's it.

Sketched because your partner's gear is different (in any way than yours)? Don't climb near your limit then. When you are comfortable then step it up. Don't complain that your partner seems to have some experience.

Other than that I agree with Locker!


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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Oct 22, 2012
...

"there are plenty of people who climb WAY harder than me with older gear ... the key is to get stronger and better ... not get shinier gear"...

+1


That sure HITS the nail square on the head.






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