gear4rocks

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Re: gear4rocks

Postby gdstorrick » Apr 4, 2010 6:23 pm

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Re: gear4rocks

Postby shotinthedark » Mar 28, 2012 11:16 am

I purchased one of these racks from Ebay recently. It shipped from the Ukraine so it took a few weeks to arrive. I needed it for our trip to Rusty's cave this past Monday, but I knew it wouldn't arrive in time, so I went ahead and bought a Petzl 5-bar J-frame rack so I could have one for the descent. The gear4rocks rack arrived today and I have had the chance to inspect it and compare it to the rack used on the trip.

Let me just say that this rack is exactly what you would expect for $43. The first thing that jumped out at me was that the hyper bar is on the bottom where you attach the rack to your harness. Secondly, it's not stainless steel so it will definitely rust in no time. All the bars are hollow except the hyper bar. There doesn't seem to be any easy way to disassemble the rack to replace bars. There are marks where they ground off the excess metal at the end of the legs and on the metal stopper ring at the bottom.

This thing just looks like a piece of shit, especially when compared to the quality construction of the Petzl rack. The two bottom bars on the Petzl have notches to lock into the frame to prevent the bars from popping out. There is nothing like that on this one. Also there is no groove for the rope on the bars. I haven't tried the rack out yet, but I will definitely have to test it above ground and at a low height before taking it into the field.

My personal verdict is spend the extra money for a high quality stainless rack. I can see this rack being very stressful to use, as I would be constantly worried about it opening or slipping during a descent. Bottom line: it will probably work well enough on short drops (maybe 40' max) but I wouldn't trust it on anything longer. And you might be able to get a couple uses out of it before the bars start to rust, but not much more than that. I would recommend using this rack to lower loads down a pitch, but I definitely wouldn't trust my life to it except MAYBE as a last resort. I carry my figure 8 to backup my rack, but I suppose I would use this thing in the off chance that my primary rack shatters and I drop my figure 8 right after that.

Don't kill yourself - drop the extra money and get a rack you can trust.
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby gdstorrick » Mar 29, 2012 4:57 am

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Re: gear4rocks

Postby LukeM » Mar 29, 2012 8:43 am

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Re: gear4rocks

Postby snoboy » Mar 29, 2012 4:08 pm

Couple thoughts with the caveat that I am not a regular rack user.

Hollow bars are not necessarily a poor design, am I right?.

The hyper bar at the bottom makes sense to me. The ends of the U act as an upper hyper bar I imagine.

Bottom bar has to swing so that you can go to three bars right? Then it follows that every other bar swings...

The description notes the lack of groove as an advantage increasing the utility of the rack so that you can use it with two ropes. Not something most of us SRT people are likely to do.
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby Amazingracer » Mar 29, 2012 7:01 pm

shotinthedark wrote:especially when compared to the quality construction of the Petzl rack


Surely you jest lol. Even had Petzl reps admit their rack is poppycock.
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby shotinthedark » Aug 5, 2012 11:00 pm

Amazingracer wrote:
shotinthedark wrote:especially when compared to the quality construction of the Petzl rack


Surely you jest lol. Even had Petzl reps admit their rack is poppycock.


The Petzl rack works extremely well for me. I'm about 150 lbs and have used the rack on several drops over the past months, recently dropped Cemetery Pit (~150' drop) with zero problems.
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby Randy88fj62 » Aug 9, 2012 2:54 pm

While I am a relatively new caver, I have been trad climbing for a long time. Their cams (rock climbing protection) are horrible quality specifically due to poor materials, poor tolerance fit, and inferior design.

Link to a review here:
http://mountainproject.com/v/gear4rocks ... 7427860__1

I personally would not trust the quality of their gear. It's comparable in my mind to Harbor Freight, good for one use then it breaks and you throw it away.
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby Downundercaver » Aug 10, 2012 3:19 am

I always buy middle-high priced gear as is your life really worth that $50 saving on a cheaper rack? The same goes through most of my caving/climbing gear yes cheaper is better on your wallet but that might and probably mean that it is weaker, heavier and hold less weight.
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Aug 13, 2012 8:47 pm

shotinthedark wrote:This thing just looks like a piece of shit, especially when compared to the quality construction of the Petzl rack. The two bottom bars on the Petzl have notches to lock into the frame to prevent the bars from popping out. There is nothing like that on this one. Also there is no groove for the rope on the bars. I haven't tried the rack out yet, but I will definitely have to test it above ground and at a low height before taking it into the field.

Thanks for the detailed write-up on this item! I think you've proven what many have suspected. For the same $43 it costs for that paperweight and the $95 it costs for the wildly-unpopular Petzl rack, a new caver looking for a vertical caving rig could buy a standard SMC 6-bar stainless rack, or a BMS micro rack, and have $50-$60 left over to spend on other gear.
"Although it pains me to say it, in this case Jeff is right. Plan accordingly." --Andy Armstrong
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby Patrick Wilson » Aug 13, 2012 9:10 pm

The way I look at it is as follows:

Once you've bought it, you don't have to buy it again.

Personally, I am partial toward my SMC rack and Petzl ascenders. A tad pricey sure, but worth every penny in my opinion.
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Re: gear4rocks

Postby gindling » Aug 14, 2012 10:36 am

I second the poppycockiness of the Petzl Rack. Aluminum bars and that ridiculously chincy looking strap of metal where you attach it to your D-link... If im not mistaken, wasnt the rack invented in America? Then why would you buy it from across the pond? I love Petzl's ascenders but have always frowned upon their rack and the Petzl Slow (you could call it the Stop but lets not kid ourselves), not the Simple mind you, just the Slow. On a second note, has anyone ever put spacers on a micro rack to see if it would help with the passage of swollen 11m pit rope? I just did @ 1000ft of 11m in a cave with standing project ropes swollen with water and grit and practically had to push the rope through the rack in order to get to the bottom, it was more tiring than ascending. Im just too used to 9 and 10 mil these days I guess.
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