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Quarks or Cobras?
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By John Fatseas
From Denver, CO
Feb 7, 2012
Lake City, CO <br />mixin it up
Which would you buy:

Used pair of Cobras from unknown seller, they seem to be in good condition, just the usual wear of a season or two.

OR

Brand new Quarks from REI?

The prices are almost exactly the same.

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By dirtbag
From Bellingham, WA
Feb 7, 2012
i really enjoyed this drive to the tetons... can't wait to make it back to WY
i loved my cobra's before they got jacked off my stairs in my house by a shady roomate's friend. So, if those tools have twin small hammers and fresh T rated picks on them, give me a shout so I can see if i can ID them.

Without ever having swung the quarks, I'd go with the cobra's. Obviously im biased. The cons are the picks have a tendancy to get stuck. This is apparently remedied by a light pick mod. The tool is comfortable to hold higher up on the shaft (when climbing up snow/neve) and it's carbon fiber, which makes a difference on your hands on really cold days and puts more of the weight in the head of the tool rather than in the shaft, which accounts for it's 'snappy' swing. The carbon fiber is very stiff and feels damp. I liked it a lot.

that's my 2c on tools.

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By Ryan N
From Palo Alto
Feb 7, 2012
RJN
If they are the new Cobras no brainer! Don't even think just buy before someone else does. I climbed with old quarks, then the new Fusions when they came out, then switched to new cobras this season. I get on average 40+ days of ice a season, and the amount of confidence I gained with cobras is amazing. Plus they look badass, chicks will dig you!

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By Bang
From Charlottesville, VA
Feb 7, 2012
Thanks Hank Caylor!
About cobra, will the carbon fiber shaft shorten the life of the tools, comparing to the metal shaft, such as on the Quarks?

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By Tits McGee
From Boulder, CO
Feb 7, 2012
How I Send
Bang wrote:
About cobra, will the carbon fiber shaft shorten the life of the tools, comparing to the metal shaft, such as on the Quarks?


Where did you hear this? I would be interested to see some hard data on the life of carbon fiber vs. Metal. I know people who still climb on carbon black prophets without issue.

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By Joe C
From Boston, MA
Feb 7, 2012
I have the new quarks, they are awesome. you will love them

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By Thomas G.
From SLC, Utah
Feb 7, 2012
hardcore bouldering
+1 for new quarks. The trigrest is sweet, and with pickweights, I actually prefer the swing of the new quarks to the cobras.

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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Feb 7, 2012
Tits McGee wrote:
Where did you hear this? I would be interested to see some hard data on the life of carbon fiber vs. Metal. I know people who still climb on carbon black prophets without issue.


I believe that is why he is asking and not stating a face. hence the "?" at the end.

To the OP

I am biased for petzl, I love their picks, but go with the cobras, they are an great tool. the feel of the carbon fiber is really nice.

If you really want to make cobras shine as the best tool go to
coldthistletools.blogspot.com/
and dump the shitty BD picks for these.

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By Ryan N
From Palo Alto
Feb 7, 2012
RJN
If you really want to make cobras shine as the best tool go to
coldthistletools.blogspot.com/
and dump the shitty BD picks for these.


Link to different BD picks is great. Do you have expierence with these? 100 a pick sounds like alot? Im a total gear whore love trying new things.

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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Feb 7, 2012
Ryan N wrote:
If you really want to make cobras shine as the best tool go to coldthistletools.blogspot.com/ and dump the shitty BD picks for these. Link to different BD picks is great. Do you have expierence with these? 100 a pick sounds like alot? Im a total gear whore love trying new things.



Yes, these pick are amazing. They stick easier than laser picks. I always felt that BD tools have to be swung like a battle axe to get a good stick compared to these; the cold thistle picks stick easier with less effort and clean much much easier. The metal is much stronger. I have snapped laser picks in really cold hard ice before. The coldthistletools picks are much better steel, I have yet to break one and they hold a point for much longer so no need to file them as often. I on average have burned through 1-2 BD picks a season. The Colethistle picks are going on three seasons now and are just now down to the first tooth. $100 bones is a lot to drop on a pick but they last much longer.
Dont hold this to me but I feel that the angle of the coldthistle picks is a degree of so different than the BD picks, it seems more appropriate angle for the tool.

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By tomde01
From 10510
Feb 7, 2012
John Fatseas wrote:
Which would you buy: Used pair of Cobras from unknown seller, they seem to be in good condition, just the usual wear of a season or two. OR Brand new Quarks from REI? The prices are almost exactly the same.


I would suggesting renting either the nomics, reactors or fusions. I started climbing recessed grip axes and I will never switch back. They work great when using your axe as a cane, swing over bulges and anything in between.

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By Bang
From Charlottesville, VA
Feb 7, 2012
Thanks Hank Caylor!
Tits McGee wrote:
Where did you hear this? I would be interested to see some hard data on the life of carbon fiber vs. Metal. I know people who still climb on carbon black prophets without issue.


The reason I asked is because as far as I know carbon fiber can be damaged (such as delamination in the inner surfaces) without showing any visible sign on the outside. Since ice tools can take up a lot of abuses during climbs, wonder if that will affect tools with carbon fiber comparing to metal shaft?

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By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Feb 7, 2012
Lamb's Slide
The best thing to do is take a few swings with each set -- or better yet, a lap or two. You'll likely have a significant preference for one over the other, and of course it won't necessarily match what the majority of climbers on the internet tell you is right for them (kind of like buying shoes: you have to try to them on to see what feels good on your feet; similarly with ice tools there are a lot of individual factors involved).

Before I bought mine, I went to Ouray a couple of times, and climbers there were happy to let me try out their tools a bit. I was surprised to discover that I preferred the Quarks over the Cobras. I can't tell you exactly why -- I was just getting better sticks more easily, and really liked their light weight. Of course, the type and condition of the pick can make a big difference.

Anyway, don't think you could go wrong either way, as they are both excellent tools.

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By AK123
From Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 5, 2012
North Buttress Mt. Hunter, AK
Go with the quarks. As of a few months ago, I owned cobras and climbed with a buddy who's got the quarks. I thought I liked my cobras until we switched tools for a few pitches...The difference was night & day! The adjustable trigger rest on the quark is incredible, the picks are tremendously better, & I was able to get near effortless sticks at the same point I'd be getting pumped with cobras (which are a lot harder, IMO, to get a good swing out of when pumped). Needless to say, I got some money for my cobras & picked up a pair of quarks. Best gear decision I've made in a while...

That's all just opinion, of course, but the difference in tools was to such an extent that I went through the trouble of selling cobras/buying quarks, if that means anything...Cheers!

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 5, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
new quarks will not disappoint !

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By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Nov 5, 2012
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenstein Amphitheater
You should swing some tools on ice before you buy. I tend to think everybody has their favorite and yours might be different. Therefore you may be disappointed you spent all that coin.

Check out the Cassin all mtn tools. Lots of climbers have good things to say about them.

Are you leading? I know people will disagree but leading with equipment you don't know the history of could be sketchy and end with a good story. How do you know those Cobras haven't been dropped down a couple pitches of ice? I know I know.. picks break but still..

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By J. Fox
From Black Hawk, CO
Nov 5, 2012
Me too!
I got rid of my Cobras, and when it came time to get new tools, I chose the Quarks. I've swung both a lot and have to say I am very impressed with the Quarks. IMO, much better than the Cobras. Swing, balance and sticks are all better. I cruised up Bird-Brain Boulevard with my Quarks, and don't hesitate to recommend them. YMMV.

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By Bang
From Charlottesville, VA
Nov 5, 2012
Thanks Hank Caylor!
I own the quarks and used my buddy's Cobra. I love the swing of the Quark better than the Cobra (could be subjective). But the Quark's new pick tends to stick to ice more and harder to take them out than the Cobra's pick (well known problem around the ice climbing community I think.)

Regardless of the drawbacks of the new quark, I still vote for it!

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By Patrick Carey
From Keene, NY
Nov 8, 2012
My recommendation is neither. The Cassin X-All Mtns are the best out there for pure ice. Better sticks from lighter swings than anything else I've used, and I've climbed with most tools currently on the market. And you can buy a new pair for what a used set of Cobras costs.

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By divnamite
From New York, NY
Nov 8, 2012
Bang wrote:
I own the quarks and used my buddy's Cobra. I love the swing of the Quark better than the Cobra (could be subjective). But the Quark's new pick tends to stick to ice more and harder to take them out than the Cobra's pick (well known problem around the ice climbing community I think.) Regardless of the drawbacks of the new quark, I still vote for it!

Just slightly file down the first tooth should help the cleaning problem.

X-All are great, but they are not light swing. For pure ice, I think Quantum Tech are probably the best tools out there.

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By iceman777
From Colorado Springs
Nov 8, 2012
0
+1 For Rocky mtn Highs advice

Swing as many tools as you can then decide for yourself what you like the best....I have a shit ton of ice tools and still climb my hardest lines with my trusty old style Quarks.They work for me which is great for everyone who climbs with me an falls in love with my Nomics.LOL....

Most people I know prefer a lighter tool head ,Im just the opposite Add the head weights baby
and there are certainly pros and cons ,maybe some day Ill give the Cassin X-All Mtn a serious go ( ive played with a pair and they are nice ) but they scare me because I might actually like them then Ill have to buy yet another set of tools.

One thing to keep in mind is Petzl has a nasty tendency to change there tools and Stop supporting the older versions hence Picks might get hard to come by,witness the Quasars,Old style Quarks ect,ect. BD to my knowledge has not.I do have to give Petzl props as the new line of tools has total pick change compatibility.About fricken time

Unless the Cobras are way old style I wouldn't worry too much about the carbon handles the only problems I've ever herd of were due to some worker dropping a load of fresh handles at the factory ,people started having the tool heads pop off , this is all im aware of so take it for what its worth just friendly advice . To the best of my knowledge none of the new tools has any problems . Ive owned cobras and there a good tool if they work for YOU.

AHHHHH just my .02 cents

Cheers









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By Garret Nuzzo-Jones
From Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 9, 2012
Cleaning up in Jenny Lake.
I had quarks and they're great to climb on but those trigrest things are dogshit. If you climb on any kind of featured ice you'll break them right away. I'd pay the extra money for Nomics or just get Cassin X-All Mountains.

Cobras are nice but they have a kind of odd swing because they're so light. They didn't quite feel "right" to me, but obviously they have a lot of fans.

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By EMT
Nov 9, 2012
me bouldering in MT
why do folks feel the need to buy pairs?
i swing a qurk in my right and gravel machine in my left. customize the tool for the hand thats swinging it.

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By Keenan Waeschle
From Bozeman, MT
Nov 9, 2012
on top of the RNWF <br />June 2012
Quarks, mostly because BD picks suck.

If you're willing to shell out the bucks for coldthistle picks the BD's would be sweet, but then you're spending a lot more.

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By divnamite
From New York, NY
Nov 9, 2012
EMT wrote:
why do folks feel the need to buy pairs? i swing a qurk in my right and gravel machine in my left. customize the tool for the hand thats swinging it.

Never match and switch on ice tools?

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By Keenan Waeschle
From Bozeman, MT
Nov 9, 2012
on top of the RNWF <br />June 2012
also, file off the first tooth on the new petzl picks, otherwise they're really hard to remove. Do that and they become much better to climb with as you're not fighting to get them out after every stick.

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