Anyone know anything about these racks?

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Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby S0laGratia » Mar 25, 2013 9:53 pm

Hey, I'm just curious to see if anyone has used or knows anything about these rappel racks? thanks.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RAPPEL-RACK-5-BARS-ZINCED-rock-climbing-caving-rescue-belay-device-new-/321086430263?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ac23e1c37
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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby NZcaver » Mar 25, 2013 10:40 pm

Welcome to the forum.

I haven't personally used one of these, but check out this previous post.
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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby S0laGratia » Mar 25, 2013 11:50 pm

Oh ok thanks. I missed that post. You can delete this one if you want. Thanks so much!
-Luke
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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby Shane S » May 2, 2013 9:28 pm

Without even opening the website I see the word zinced which raises the first red flag. It's worth the extra money to make sure you have a stainless rack. The other types such as zinc and aluminum will shed debris of breakdown into rope as you wear the bars. This doesn’t diminish the strength of the rope but will affect the speed of a drop and can cause inconsistencies. You will also find that many cavers will not let you on their rope with an Al rack. If you are going to load up on someone else’s rope it's just plain common courtesy to have a stainless rack.
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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby ian mckenzie » May 4, 2013 10:27 am

Shane S wrote: You will also find that many cavers will not let you on their rope with an Al rack. If you are going to load up on someone else’s rope it's just plain common courtesy to have a stainless rack.

Really?

I was once denied use of an American's rope because I had a Frog system. How things have changed!
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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby Chads93GT » May 4, 2013 9:45 pm

Yeah, really. Even in missouri. Best have stainless else you aren't getting on a lot of ropes here. No one likes a blackened rope from polishing someone's aluminum bars. Stainless doesnt blacken the rope ;)
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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby Scott McCrea » May 5, 2013 8:09 am

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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby trogman » May 5, 2013 8:21 am

Yes, I am not real fond of aluminum racks on my ropes either. But the racks being discussed here are steel, just not stainless steel. The problem is the zinc coating wears off, and then the steel below is exposed and subject to corrosion. Most people don't want a rusty rack on their rope either! :yikes: Not to mention the health concerns associated with breathing the zinc dust that will be coming off of your rack every time you use it. In addition, the workmanship doesn't look really great, and my main concern would be about the overall quality of a piece of equipment that I am trusting with my life.

In spite of the dislike for aluminum racks among American cavers, Petzl still sells them. I see them on U.S.-based speleo-gear websites as well, although I don't know how many they actually sell. Any Euro cavers on here want to comment on how many are in use on your side of the pond?

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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby graveleye » May 5, 2013 1:06 pm

not just abrasion will take off a zinc plate. Get it wet and it will rust too. Zinc doesn't protect steel from rust for very long. I wouldn't use anything zinc plated for caving.

Oh and no aluminum on my ropes either... paid too much money for them!! Sorry!
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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby hank moon » May 5, 2013 8:51 pm

ian mckenzie wrote:
Shane S wrote: You will also find that many cavers will not let you on their rope with an Al rack. If you are going to load up on someone else’s rope it's just plain common courtesy to have a stainless rack.

Really?

I was once denied use of an American's rope because I had a Frog system. How things have changed!


Thanks for that. I got a good laugh that this silly (anti - Al) bias is still in effect. Apparently, the voice of tradition has a looooooong decay. :tonguecheek:

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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby GroundquestMSA » May 5, 2013 10:22 pm

hank moon wrote:I got a good laugh that this silly (anti - Al) bias is still in effect. Apparently, the voice of tradition has a looooooong decay.


I found this curious too.
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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby Chads93GT » May 6, 2013 10:29 am

Sorry. I was a car guy before a caver. Ive polished lots of aluminum and it turns everything black, ropes included. I would rather keep aluminum out of my ropes. Its not tradition, its a personal preference.
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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby NZcaver » May 6, 2013 4:02 pm

Chads93GT wrote:I would rather keep aluminum out of my ropes. Its not tradition, its a personal preference.

trogman wrote:Yes, I am not real fond of aluminum racks on my ropes either.

graveleye wrote:Oh and no aluminum on my ropes either... paid too much money for them!! Sorry!

Me too. My opinion from 6 years ago still stands.

NZcaver wrote:
kmstill wrote:How much do y'all feel that aluminum deposits affect rope handling compared to inherent rope type (pit vs easybend, #mm....)? Anyone out there feel so strongly that they wouldn't let an aluminum user on their rope? If so, why?

Yes - me. There are a few others out there too. [...]

Personally, I highly doubt "aluminizing" rope will cause a significant (dangerous) reduction in strength. But I do feel it's permanently detrimental to the handling properties, and that's enough for me to prefer aluminum bar racks and figure 8's not be used on my ropes. However I'm happy using combination stainless and aluminum devices, as long as the stainless surface absorbs most of the friction and wear (like with the Petzl Stop).

Once a rope is aluminum-black, there's almost no point in cleaning it at all. It's not about making the old caving rope look new again - we all know that isn't going to happen! But once rope gets really black, even after cleaning it's still difficult to properly inspect the fibers for damage... in my humble experience.

I know plenty of cavers are happy with aluminum devices on their ropes - and that's fine. [...]
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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby wyandottecaver » May 6, 2013 5:29 pm

how funny. retailers still sell AL racks because they are cheaper, newbies buy them, then learn they *need* stainless, they buy a 2nd rack, then they learn they *need* a micro or a long frame then buy a 3rd and 4th....

The folks I cave with use stainless but we wont turn away a newbie with AL. The real concern I have is you crazy people who keep your ropes so long that enough AL accumulates enough to turn the rope past a light gray to black :yikes: :tonguecheek:
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Re: Anyone know anything about these racks?

Postby GroundquestMSA » May 6, 2013 6:28 pm

I re-read that entire old thread about aluminum on rope. NZ seems to be the only person who feels that aluminum adversely effects the handling of the rope, and no one who has done their research thinks it's dangerous. The very existence of aluminum descenders rather suggests that they don't destroy rope. If a person doesn't want to use aluminum, that's obviously perfectly fine. However, the fact that their objection has no practical basis other than an aesthetic one (which is truly baffling among a group of people who pride themselves in happily trekking through the cruddiest of crud) suggests that disallowing a poor innocent caver from riding down their precious rope on aluminum is maybe a bit of an abuse of "personal preference."

(perhaps NZ's claim of rope fibers being obscured by aluminum deposits can be confirmed by someone. I use an aluminum 8 very often for practice and most of the black cleans off when I wash my rope. I have no trouble inspecting it.)
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