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Gear Review - Black Diamond C3s
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By Dave Budge
From South Slope of the Hindu Kush
Apr 26, 2008
Brian in SLC wrote:
A direct comparison to Metolius TCU's would be nice...function, placement, especially shallow cracks and/or pin scars, size range, weight.


Although I've only used C3s a few times now, I thought I'd share an interesting anecdote regarding placement.

Last year I removed an old cracked angle protecting the crux of a local route. After removing the pin I could not place Metolius TCUs or FCUs in the pin scar. However, I could get a nice bomber C3 placement in the pin scar in addition to placements above and below.

I thought it was a nice real world example of the different placement possibilities with C3s and an improvement in style. Hence, the piton was not replaced.

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By aluke
From PHX, AZ
Jul 29, 2008
John McNamee wrote:
I still think the C3 is overpriced. If it was 60.00 and not 70 I would buy them.


$53 at mountaingear, got a set coming! But would not have paid 70

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By John McNamee
Administrator
From Littleton, CO
Jul 29, 2008
Artist Tears P3
Thanks for the update. I like that price!

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By Brent Silvester
Aug 25, 2008
a good hair cut goes a long way. Dress For Success...
Took a 15 footer on a size #0 c3, and it held like a dream. Don't know if I would go any smaller than that though.

As for the cams themselves, I like them. TCU's are awesome, but these guys can go into some pretty weird places. I got the 0, 1, and 2 sizes and have had no problems yet. Haven't noticed an unusually stiff trigger either. Maybe because of the bigger sizes? Teamed up with the new c4 cams, they complement each other well.

Would still get a set of TCU's.

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By Josh Dulberger
Sep 5, 2008
Racking up for Warrior I
Compared with Metolius TCUs, I prefer the 0, 00, 000 BD C3s to the grey, purple TCUs. But I find that with the c3 1s and 2s, I still like my TCUs (blue, yellow) more. I find the trigger tension to be a small issue, bust mostly the trigger action and the placements appear more stable and less prone to walking/easier to clean with the metolius pieces. I'll try to get some pics to demonstrate this soon.

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By Nelson Day
From Joshua Tree, CA
Feb 14, 2012
me (about to sneeze)
I tried these as well on a few pitches. I really don't like the trigger system, and don't like the way the cam won't flex side to side. I really like the master cams. Way better unit, and since they are a single stem unit, work in any direction. I definitely recommend master cams for small camming units.

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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 15, 2012
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
I think a lot depends on the kind of rock you climb on. If the cracks are deep and parallel-sided, head width doesn't matter. If the cracks are shallower and are wiggly, perhaps with internal features, then nothing is more important than head width, since considerations such as flexibility and trigger action are meaningless if you can't place the piece.

If you climb in areas where fitting the cam between obstructions is a feature of many placements, then there is nothing better out there than C3's. (Of course, if you don't have C3's, then you don't know about all the placements you might have been able to make if you did have them.)

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Feb 15, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
Andy Laakmann wrote:
One of the cams had completely inverted, the other two cams were still engaged. I'm talking completely upside-down for the cam lobe.


I had this happen to my blue TCU. The cam was the first piece in, and it walked just enough to let one lobe enter a flare, and invert. There was no damage though, and no repair needed. It took a few minutes of coaxing to get it out. My second had to leave it and I got it on the way down. The only thing that really happened was one of the trigger wires was slightly bent close to where it attaches to the lobe. I love TCUs and don't have any C3s. They look like they defintely have a place on a rack though. Wouldn't mind picking up the green and red. To the OP: Good review. Thanks.

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By kevin deweese
From Oakland, Ca
Feb 15, 2012
Birds and Beards
These cam fell out of favor on my rack while I was primarially freeclimbing. Now that aid has taken up most of my time, these are back on my rack with a vengence.

They work well (...er... well enough) in pin scars and can often fit into places where my offset mastercams/totem aliens don't always fit.

They work best as a backup cam to offset cams when aiding in pinscars. Definately not my "go to" cam, but more than once, they've saved my ass from having to be more "creative" on the wall.

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By Ben Philbrick
From lucerne, switzerland
Feb 24, 2012
i love my c3's.

they fit in amazingly weird placements, are totally bomber, and way easier to clean than my tcus.

never noticed an issue with the high spring tension. usually i'm so stoked to find a placement i just grab em and sink the bastards right in.

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By Roswell
From Newnan. Ga
Mar 7, 2012
Baby Rosalyn ready to send
Must say that i am fully confident in the C3's. I was just starting a climb where my first piece was a size 00. Got about 6 feet above the placement when a hold broke from the wall. I am 6'8'' 165 pounds and took about a 10-12" whip on the 00. Granted, i was pushing my luck because it has a rating of 6 Kn and i was right around that for my force that was generated. So as long as you place them correctly they will work for you. Though i have seen the smaller sizes of a set walk a bit when placed vertically.

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By Cor
Mar 7, 2012
black nasty
rockklimber,
look at the picture again. it will lock fine.
it may run smoother if turned, but does not effect locking.

john,
in your first picture of the purple c3 (2nd picture in post.)
i see that the middle wire (that pulls the middle cam) is hanging
down - popped off of the black plastic cylinder. did you have
many problem with this happening? or has anyone else?

overall they seem great. (the few that i have used.)
i do like how the plastic sleeve protects the wires from being
abused, but am unsure on the wire / cylinder connection.

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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Mar 7, 2012
Ross Mac wrote:
Must say that i am fully confident in the C3's. I was just starting a climb where my first piece was a size 00. Got about 6 feet above the placement when a hold broke from the wall. I am 6'8'' 165 pounds and took about a 10-12" whip on the 00. Granted, i was pushing my luck because it has a rating of 6 Kn and i was right around that for my force that was generated. So as long as you place them correctly they will work for you. Though i have seen the smaller sizes of a set walk a bit when placed vertically.


I don't think that means what you think it means.

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By BackCountry
From West Point, UT
Mar 7, 2012
Whaaaat?
Ross Mac wrote:
I am 6'8'' 165 pounds


You sure about that?

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By Roswell
From Newnan. Ga
Mar 7, 2012
Baby Rosalyn ready to send
BC Sortor wrote:
You sure about that?


LOL, 265. Thanks for the catch brother.

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