gear4rocks

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gear4rocks

Postby creektrails » Feb 9, 2010 8:24 pm

has anyone used gear4rocks racks? Besides for the obligatory "would you trust your life with a lower priced product" does anyone have any real world experience w/ these? There website tauts them as a tested product from 06. I'm not buying yet but it made me think. Does higher price neccesarily mean more quality? I did notice that the products as of yet are only tested to ukrane standards but are currently undergoing uiaa and ce testing. Thoughts?
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby hunter » Feb 9, 2010 10:43 pm

Thanks for the link! I've seen a bit of this stuff on ebay but never looked at there page. Off topic, but they sell plastic nuts (stoppers) for use as climbing protection!

I should say first that I've never used one of these so everything below is just based on there web page and my experience with other gear.

On the rack a few issues jump out, not directly related to safety:
-Not stainless so it will rust once you get through the coating.
-Looks like no way to replace the bars.
-Somewhat on the heavy side, probably due to solid steel bars.
-Looks like not much of a catch on the bars to prevent them from swinging open when you don't want them to. Seems like most newer micro racks have a bit of a lip so the bar won't swing open easily.

I think I'll punt on the safety question of this device for now but personally I would wait until they have UIAA/CE approval. For cheaper climbing gear in the US (i.e. certified) I have never felt like it would break but it never seems to work as well. Carabiner gates don't close as smoothly and catch, cams are heavy and the action is sticky, etc...
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby Chads93GT » Feb 9, 2010 11:27 pm

doesnt look like anything I would ever use......... eek
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby chh » Feb 10, 2010 10:39 am

Plastic nuts, wow. The logical part of my brain says there is probably a way to manufacture plastic hard enough to withstand the use, but I think my guts would turn a little 20 feet over a plastic nut......
Also, all their cams, including the micro units have nylon lock nuts on the ends of the axles. This isn't necessarily unsafe but certainly is low tech. Like a gremlin up next to a corvette. I'd like to look at the swages. The "plus" side is you could take them apart to clean them or replace a bent cable and keep your lobes :laughing:
That said, yvon chouinard sold gear out of the back of his van before Black Diamond Equipment became what it is today. Fernand Petzl and Pierre Chevalier started with a small shop. There are still folks in the caving community that manufacture their own safety gear that we trust. Howie comes to mind. I guess everybody has to start somewhere.
If I lived in the Ukraine I'd rather have that gear than no gear. Knowattameen?
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Feb 10, 2010 10:44 am

Name a compelling reason to use this product over an SMC micro rack.
This isn't meant to sound condescending; it's an exercise.

edit: why is the hyper bar at the bottom where you'd attach the descender?
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby Rick Brinkman » Feb 10, 2010 1:03 pm

Jeff Bartlett wrote:Name a compelling reason to use this product over an SMC or BMS rappel rack.
This isn't meant to sound condescending; it's an exercise.

Price. Much cheaper way to see if you like a micro rack or not. Micro racks are not for everyone and it gets expensive buying one of everything to see what you DO like.

hunter wrote:On the rack a few issues jump out, not directly related to safety:
-Not stainless so it will rust once you get through the coating.
-Looks like no way to replace the bars.

Stainless...depends on what kind of caves you go into. I think this rack would work fine in dry caves. (I made 2 racks. One with a cold-rolled frame, one with spring steel frame. Rust is minimal if you keep them clean. I also don't go swimming with them :roll: :big grin:)
I bet the 'caps' on the frame can be removed with a metric allen wrench.....threads are probably metric too.

Jeff Bartlett wrote:edit: why is the hyper bar at the bottom where you'd attach the descender?

I've seen several racks on ebay set up this way. No idea why...hyper bar should be on top.
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Feb 10, 2010 1:44 pm

Rick Brinkman wrote:
Jeff Bartlett wrote:Name a compelling reason to use this product over an SMC or BMS rappel rack.
This isn't meant to sound condescending; it's an exercise.

Price. Much cheaper way to see if you like a micro rack or not. Micro racks are not for everyone and it gets expensive buying one of everything to see what you DO like.

Right, price. Except a micro-rack that's going to rust as soon as you grind the coating off, and doesn't have replaceable bars (even if they can be replaced, the manufacturer doesn't list them for sale), is going to necessitate a rapid replacement anyway. So it's only cheaper if you decide you absolutely hate micro-racks and never want to touch one again; in any other circumstance you'll need to buy another "gear4rocks" (the manufacturer's brand name is "KROK") rack or a different manufacturer's product in the forseeable future.

Plus, if you don't like it, good luck selling one of these used. I bet I could buy an SMC Micro, try it a half dozen times, decide it's not really my bag and sell it on cavechat without managing to lose $37 in the process.

So, while the compelling argument for buying a $37 item instead of a $75 item is the cost differential, can anyone except Gary Storrick (who will use it twice, do a write-up and zip-tie it to a pegboard) actually claim that the $37 is actually the less expensive option?
Last edited by Jeff Bartlett on Feb 10, 2010 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby YuccaPatrol » Feb 10, 2010 2:10 pm

You could buy this CMI rack on ebay for $41

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-CMI-Mini-Rappel ... _500wt_956

But unless I personally knew the seller, I'd hesitate to buy any critical gear from ebay. . . .
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Feb 10, 2010 2:21 pm

YuccaPatrol wrote:You could buy this CMI rack on ebay for $41

Or the same one at Karst Sports for $45 with free shipping.
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby hunter » Feb 10, 2010 2:24 pm

I bet the 'caps' on the frame can be removed with a metric allen wrench.....threads are probably metric too.


I bet you are right, I stand corrected. Makes perfect sense. I was thinking these were stamped on as opposed to being bolts.
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby NZcaver » Feb 10, 2010 4:18 pm

We're talking about these, right?

Image

Do any forum members own/use one of these? I remember seeing them on eBay years ago and wondering why the hyper bar is at the bottom or why it swings. :shrug: Most 5 bar racks have 3 fixed bars and 2 swingers, not vice-versa. But perhaps this way you can drop to 4 bars while descending? And I guess you can use the wider mouth of the U as an upper hyper bar.

My favorite rack is a long frame SMC with single hyperbar. The Ukrainian and CMI racks seem a little short in the frame (I like that I can spread the bars wide on my SMC, especially when using dirty, crusty rope). On the other hand, on several occasions I've wished my SMC rack was wide enough to accommodate 2 strands of 11mm rope so I can do a pull down rappel.

As far as buying gear off eBay, I stormed across that bridge a decade ago and never looked back. Of course there are items I'd be very wary about buying used, but new commercial gear is new commercial gear. When it's name-brand stuff, I mean. Preferably with UIAA/CE ratings, and all that. As for these Ukrainian things, sure I'd give one a try but I don't think I'd buy one. i've got too much gear already. :wink:
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby chh » Feb 10, 2010 5:07 pm

maybe that hyperbar on the bottom is just indicative of one thing the gear4rocks people DON'T have.....quality control.
Would I use one? Yeah. Would I buy one? Nope.
Creektrails, When there are so many other options which are better why squabble over a few bucks? Especially in caving where the average vertical kit is relatively limited, buy the right thing the first time and use it for a very very long time. This is a lesson I've learned after buying a few things that weren't up to snuff because they were cheap and ended up replacing after limited use. What's 20 bucks over years of use?
If you're unsure about the style of descender, I encourage you to use a mini or u-frame rack first, before buying one no matter who manufactures it. Heck, make your own if it suits you, just make the decision on the information available not just something that is a few bucks cheaper.
Your words of caution are no match for my disaster style!
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby Evan G » Feb 10, 2010 7:05 pm

There is a simple solution to the question of cost:

How much is your life worth? :shrug:

Is it worth questionable gear or used gear off ebay with unknown history or using a reputable gear supplier with the gear that has been tested, cert.

It is up to the individual...
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I second that.

Postby Cavernuke » Feb 10, 2010 10:02 pm

Evan Gehring wrote:There is a simple solution to the question of cost:

How much is your life worth?


The $40 you save in price might cover the first 3 seconds in the emergency room.

Also, when those bars rust, what's that going to do to your rope? I hate using Pit Rope to scrape rust off of bars, almost as much as I hate using it to saw limestone blocks in half.

My personal philosophy is live cheap; but when safety is at stake, then the very best will do nicely, thank you.

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Re: gear4rocks

Postby Rick Brinkman » Feb 11, 2010 10:54 am

Cavernuke wrote:Also, when those bars rust, what's that going to do to your rope? I hate using Pit Rope to scrape rust off of bars, almost as much as I hate using it to saw limestone blocks in half.


ROFLMAO!!!! :clap: :grin: :laughing: :rofl:
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