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Trango Cinch Use
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By Jake Jones
From The Eastern Flatlands
Oct 17, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

Mal Daly used to have a vid out showing proper use feeding slack by simply holding the device by its pivot point and rotating the device 90 degrees. If you do this, the cam does not need to be held open to feed. As a matter of fact, it's probably safer to do it this way (and this is the prescribed method by the manufacturer) than to hold the cam open to feed. Even so, you're supposed to keep your brake hand on the rope while you feed, you know, like you do on your GriGri when you intentionally hold the cam open in order to feed slack more readily?

I think it's been taken down because he sold Trango and also because the recommended configuration/orientation has changed.

No one needs to make you a video to satisfy some burden of proof. However, if I'm thinking about it and remember to do it, I'll make one this weekend.

Thanks to everyone for contributing to what is probably an important discussion about a device with a dubious reputation.


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By Bill C.
From Fort Collins, CO
Oct 17, 2013

I think people are misunderstanding me, so I'll try to say this again in a different way.

For a cinch to feed, both plates have to oriented in such a way that the rope can bassically run in a straight line through them. Thats why it feeds so smoothly. The only way to acomplish this to hold the device so that it is in this position. I feel like people are getting confused by using the word cam; I'm just trying to say that I've never been able to, and I've never seen anyone feed slack through a cinch without touchig the device at all.

As far as im concerned, like I said before, these "auto assist" devices only work 100% of the time when people let them work by not touching it.

I think people who belay with grigris with their thumb on the cam the whole time are misusing the device. Which is why I try to avoid doing this with the exception of feeding a quick armful of slack every once in a while for clipping. And like I said, this is done only briefly. Because it only takes a moment of inattention to render the "auto assist" feature useless. Just like I think that people who have their hands glued to the cinch (no matter the configuration) are presenting an opportunity for misuse. Unfortunately, as far as I'm aware, there is no other way to use this device.

I dont care who you are, when you are surprised by a fall, our first human reaction is to tense up, and likely squeeze whatever we are holding harder. In the case of the cinch, you would be squeezing the rope yes, but there is also a decent chance you are going to squeeze the device, thereby comprimising its "auto assist" feature.

If you like the cinch by all means use it! I'm not trying to rip your device out of your gear bin. And I'm not looking for a burden of proof, I am genuinly curious if it can be done.

You can all belay however you would like, I just prefer to keep my hands on the rope, and only the rope, as much as I can when I'm belaying, which is why I've chosen to not use the cinch.


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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Oct 17, 2013

Bill, the way i belay normal climbing is basically micro clips. i put out a bit of slack and then go back to the brake fully. i do not keep my hand on the device in any way that prohibits the locking motion. It is possible but you continue to tell me it isn't.

I've used the device for around 5 years, you have not. I'll believe what i see on a daily basis over someone with little experience, sorry.

go watch my video again, i am holding it and jerking the lead rope side and it locks instantly. This has worked hundreds and hundreds of times without issue. i weigh 125lbs, most of my friends outweigh me and most lead falls pull me off my feet. I feel quite in control with the Cinch and have caught some big and some quite surprising falls.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Oct 17, 2013

Jake D. wrote:
Bill, the way i belay normal climbing is basically micro clips. i put out a bit of slack and then go back to the brake fully. i do not keep my hand on the device in any way that prohibits the locking motion. It is possible but you continue to tell me it isn't. I've used the device for around 5 years, you have not. I'll believe what i see on a daily basis over someone with little experience, sorry. go watch my video again, i am holding it and jerking the lead rope side and it locks instantly. This has worked hundreds and hundreds of times without issue. i weigh 125lbs, most of my friends outweigh me and most lead falls pull me off my feet. I feel quite in control with the Cinch and have caught some big and some quite surprising falls.


Its funny that you two are saying the same thing- you have to put your hands on the device (however briefly) to feed slack. This is true for the Cinch and for the Grigri (under most conditions).


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By Jake Jones
From The Eastern Flatlands
Oct 17, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

Bill C. wrote:
For a cinch to feed, both plates have to oriented in such a way that the rope can bassically run in a straight line through them.



Bill C. wrote:
I'm just trying to say that I've never been able to, and I've never seen anyone feed slack through a cinch without touchig the device at all.


This is correct.
Bill C. wrote:
As far as im concerned, like I said before, these "auto assist" devices only work 100% of the time when people let them work by not touching it.


Yep. In other words, correctly.

Bill C. wrote:
I think people who belay with grigris with their thumb on the cam the whole time are misusing the device. Which is why I try to avoid doing this with the exception of feeding a quick armful of slack every once in a while for clipping. And like I said, this is done only briefly. Because it only takes a moment of inattention to render the "auto assist" feature useless. Just like I think that people who have their hands glued to the cinch (no matter the configuration) are presenting an opportunity for misuse.


Couldn't agree more.

Bill C. wrote:
Unfortunately, as far as I'm aware, there is no other way to use this device. I dont care who you are, when you are surprised by a fall, our first human reaction is to tense up, and likely squeeze whatever we are holding harder. In the case of the cinch, you would be squeezing the rope yes, but there is also a decent chance you are going to squeeze the device, thereby comprimising its "auto assist" feature.


This is where I disagree. It is no more difficult to move from touching the device (feeding) to not touching (brake hand only on brake strand) on a Cinch than a GriGri. In fact, I have found that because I do not have to move my hand on top of the device to depress a cam, and because the Cinch feeds slack (IMO) more smoothly, thus quicker, it is actually easier to feed, then move immediately back to the braking position- which is the correct and prescribed way to use the device.

I also disagree that when surprised by a fall, you immediately grasp to what you're holding. Good belayers, and belayers that are experienced and catch lead falls all the time have trained themselves to go through proper motions. Why do you think it is possible to be depressing a cam with your right thumb across the device on a GriGri while feeding, and then quickly move to the brake position not touching the device in the event of a fall, but not possible on a Cinch- which has an inherently simpler and quicker feeding process? That doesn't really jive.

If you're going to freeze and squeeze during a fall, it isn't dependent on the device you're using. Furthermore, if your reaction is to do this every time someone pops off, then you're not a very good belayer.

The pin wear issue, if it is indeed an issue, is the only thing that concerns me regarding this device. I've seen others say that their rope slid through on rappel or top roping because it was too worn, and that the wear was normal. I have not found this to be the case. The device upthread that I posted pictures of holds extremely well on brand new, slick sub 10mm ropes without issue.

However, like I stated before, I believe in paying attention when multiple incidents pop up, whether or not the cause of failure can be determined. This is why I also have a GriGri2. As more people become aware of the Cinch's reputation, founded or not, inevitably more people will resist or refuse being belayed on one. It's understandable.


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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Oct 17, 2013

Would you buy a car with a seatbelt that works 100% of the time or 99% of the time?

Gris are the standard. Buying anything else is silly.


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By Jake Jones
From The Eastern Flatlands
Oct 17, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

99% of the time, mine works 100% of the time. In fact, I have a brand new one for cheap if anyone's interested. Never been used and only dropped once.


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By Gregger Man
Oct 17, 2013
gg

Don't bump the plate with the thumb.
No need to defeat the device:


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By KevinK
Oct 17, 2013

Jake Jones wrote:
99% of the time, mine works 100% of the time. In fact, I have a brand new one for cheap if anyone's interested. Never been used and only dropped once.


Did you buy a new one because you wanted to replace your old Cinch?


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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Oct 17, 2013

Nice video Greg, where is your thumb holding in the 2nd part?


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By Jake Jones
From The Eastern Flatlands
Oct 17, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

KevinK wrote:
Did you buy a new one because you wanted to replace your old Cinch?


Haha, no. I bought a GriGri. I was just making a joke.


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By Bill C.
From Fort Collins, CO
Oct 17, 2013

Jake Jones wrote:
It is no more difficult to move from touching the device (feeding) to not touching (brake hand only on brake strand) on a Cinch than a GriGri. In fact, I have found that because I do not have to move my hand on top of the device to depress a cam, and because the Cinch feeds slack (IMO) more smoothly, thus quicker, it is actually easier to feed, then move immediately back to the braking position- which is the correct and prescribed way to use the device. I also disagree that when surprised by a fall, you immediately grasp to what you're holding. Good belayers, and belayers that are experienced and catch lead falls all the time have trained themselves to go through proper motions. Why do you think it is possible to be depressing a cam with your right thumb across the device on a GriGri while feeding, and then quickly move to the brake position not touching the device in the event of a fall, but not possible on a Cinch- which has an inherently simpler and quicker feeding process? That doesn't really jive. If you're going to freeze and squeeze during a fall, it isn't dependent on the device you're using. Furthermore, if your reaction is to do this every time someone pops off, then you're not a very good belayer. .



I couldnt agree more. The only difference is that when my thumb is on the cam I wouldnt ever be surprised because my attention matters there more than any other time during a belay. (not to say you shouldnt always be attentive, but that goes without saying)In fact, the main reason I even use an "assited locking" device is to protect my climber during those "caught off guard" moments. So why not belay with a technique that protects you THE MOST during those ocassional times?

For me, if I am going to be caught off guard for whatever reason, I just feel better knowing that my go to position does not involve messing with the device. Whereas the cinch instructions actually tell people to have their hand on it all time; whether the climber is moving fast, slow, clipping, or resting.

Id personally rather only mess with the device during those "oh shit, my climber needs slack NOW" moments. The rest of time I treat it no differently than an ATC.

Anyway, all of this is pointless because if you feel confident in whatever you do, and I feel confident in whatever I do, everyone goes home happy. I guess what I see as a design flaw doesn't bother other people as much, but we're all entitled to our opinions.


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By Gregger Man
Oct 17, 2013
gg

Jake D. wrote:
Nice video Greg, where is your thumb holding in the 2nd part?


I'm only holding the pencil that goes through the hinge opening. Three fingers around the brake strand at all times. When I first started belaying with the device I would bump the lever with my thumb, but Mal pointed out that it was a bad practice in one of these Cinch threads.


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By Jake Jones
From The Eastern Flatlands
Oct 17, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

I understand what you're saying Bill. Normal, incremental feeding with the GriGri is done the same as an ATC. With a Cinch it is not. This can indeed be seen as a design flaw- if one is used to not having to do that. Fortunately for me, my first experience with an "assist" device was with a Cinch. I've learned how to feed incrementally (and it irks me that some don't and they just yard out slack with a huge bight almost touching the deck between bolts- pure laziness, but I digress) with my hand only on the device for a split second while actually pulling rope through, then immediately back to just the brake strand.

I can totally see how this would be viewed as, well, unecessary. It took me a while to get used to reaching across a GriGri and using my thumb while awkwardly holding the rope almost in a loop as well. Each device has its idiosyncracies. Dave is correct though. The GriGri is the standard. It was before the Cinch with the 1 and continues to be preferred with the 2. My preference is to be adept with any device that I own. I no longer favor the Cinch over the GriGri, now that I'm proficient with both. If I were to say one device is superior, it would be the GriGri- and for the reason that you mention. However, to say that the Cinch is a death machine, or to infer that, especially without foundation, is something I can't subscribe to.

Either way you're right. Not much- if anything will change. But I disagree with you when you say it's pointless. Discussions like these may illuminate something to those that are falsely confident in the device because they do not know of certain failure modes or intricacies involved with its use. YMMV.


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By coldfinger
Oct 18, 2013

IF YOU FOLLOW TRANGO'S INSTRUCTIONS AND HINTS IT FEEDS ROPE OUT BETTER THAN ANY DEVICE MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reason being it is the only belay device I am aware of that has the rope running through on a straight line. I can "feel" the leader even if I can't see him so short roping NEVER happens.

IMHO if you can't feed rope YOU are the problem, so just learn to use the damn thing.


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By nicelegs
From Denver
Oct 18, 2013

coldfinger wrote:
IF YOU FOLLOW TRANGO'S INSTRUCTIONS AND HINTS IT FEEDS ROPE OUT BETTER THAN ANY DEVICE MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Reason being it is the only belay device I am aware of that has the rope running through on a straight line. I can "feel" the leader even if I can't see him so short roping NEVER happens. IMHO if you can't feed rope YOU are the problem, so just learn to use the damn thing.


You sound exactly like me three years ago.

I never had an accident or close call. I just saw enough other accidents by people who seemed as competent as anyone out there.

It really comes down to arrogance. Most of you stating that the Cinch is fine are basically saying that you are superior to those having accidents and therefore, immune to it. It's a classic definition of
The Dunning Kruger Effect . It's so pervasive that even with the knowledge of the effect, most people will point out others that suffer from it and once again reassure everyone that you are in fact, superior.

With how soft and thin most ropes are now and with how well the gri gri 2 works, there isn't an argument anywhere but on the internet. Of course the internet is where groups no matter how specialized can find each other. Family guy porn, naked pictures of Betty White, Bronies, and Cinch users, you are all welcome here.


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By coldfinger
Oct 18, 2013

nicelegs wrote:
You sound exactly like me three years ago. I never had an accident or close call. I just saw enough other accidents by people who seemed as competent as anyone out there. It really comes down to arrogance. Most of you stating that the Cinch is fine are basically saying that you are superior to those having accidents and therefore, immune to it. It's a classic definition of The Dunning Kruger Effect . It's so pervasive that even with the knowledge of the effect, most people will point out others that suffer from it and once again reassure everyone that you are in fact, superior. With how soft and thin most ropes are now and with how well the gri gri 2 works, there isn't an argument anywhere but on the internet. Of course the internet is where groups no matter how specialized can find each other. Family guy porn, naked pictures of Betty White, Bronies, and Cinch users, you are all welcome here.


Well said, my bottom line is that the main benefit of a Cinch is the feel for your leader you get since the rope runs in a straight line through it.

That being said, you have to treat your belay as if you are using an ATC, PAY ATTENTION!!!!!!!!! Don't blame the device if you don't understand it.

As for lowering, if the person to be lowered is heavy and/or there isn't rock friction on the rope due to steepness, I redirect the belay strand through a biner on my leg loop and its smooth.

I don't like rope slime so I always wear belay gloves, which help greatly with lowering also.


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By WDW4
Oct 30, 2013
Global Village, Red River Gorge KY

Update on Cinch use:

I recently gained access to a GriGri 2 (brand new), and used it side by side with my Cinch (used with some moderate wear - less than shown in the pictures by Jake Jones). Clearly, comparison between these two devices is not exactly fair, since one was used and one was new. However, the info may be useful to anyone wondering how a used Cinch might perform less than adequately. Below are the results in repeated indoor testing.

Jerk Test: GriGri 2 consistently locked with jerk test on new 10.1 mm rope. Cinch consistently engaged the cam, but did not completely lock off (both with 10.1 and 9.6 new ropes). Pulling hard, I consistently produced rope creep of about 1 cm in 5 seconds.

Rappelling: GriGri 2 consistently locked off when weighted (I weigh about 175 lbs), while Cinch consistently engaged but with rope creep similar to before only about twice as fast (maybe 1 cm per 2 seconds). Next I tested a scenario where the lever is pulled to create a "free fall" and then released. The GriGri2 consistently locked off with zero rope creep, while the Cinch performed in an inconsistent manner: about half the time, it engaged producing rope creep similar to before (about 1 cm in 2 seconds), while half the time it partially engaged, producing rope creep of about 1 foot per second.

Belaying from the top jerk test - same results as Jerk Test above.

These results are not definitive, especially as they were an "unfair" comparison, due to the GriGri being new and the Cinch being used. They may, however, be useful to anyone wondering what common shortcomings of a used Cinch may be. I'll probably test the Cinch again outside and backed up, and will post again if the results are any different.

Cheers


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