/ Could we just pause for a moment re belay devices

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Deadeye 09 Aug 2019

I did my duty and clicked on some of the advertising - https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/climbing/belays/wild_country_revo_-_the_first_bi-directional_belay_device_with_a_backup-11765

Am I alone in feeling a bit disquieted about the direction that belay devices seem to be going?

It looks (to me anyway) as if manufacturers are trying to create an idiot-proof device.  I'm not sure that's a good thing and, even if it might be, they are doing so by making heavier, more expensive and more complicated devices.

The Revo weighs 285g (https://www.outside.co.uk/wild-country-revo-belay-device.html?utm_source=ukclimbing&utm_medium=adv-buyb&utm_campaign=1908revo)!  Yes, you read that correctly - that's 70% more than a grigri and more than three times the weight of a Bug, stichplate or tuber.  It's also £110.

Can't folk just learn to belay correctly and not put blind trust in ever more complicated devices?

/humbug mode

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Red Rover 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

I agree I think there's a lot to be said for a simple device where its easy to see if its rigged correctly. Also no amount of innovation is a substitude for an attentive belayer.

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John Stainforth 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

I am with you. I love the simplicity of the standard "tubular device", which evolved from the Sticht belay plate. Even the wildly popular, tried and true GriGri is overdesigned for most climbing purposes.

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jezb1 09 Aug 2019
In reply to John Stainforth:

>  Even the wildly popular, tried and true GriGri is overdesigned for most climbing purposes.

Depends what kind of climbing one mostly does I suspect.

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Ron Rees Davies 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Red Rover:

> no amount of innovation is a substitude for an attentive belayer.

True, although as what seems like a reboot of the "silent partner" (but not actually marketed for soloing ) the Revo may be most useful precisely as a substitute for a belayer......

https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/skills/how_to_rope_solo_-_with_pete_whittaker-11160

Post edited at 23:57
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Stefan Jacobsen 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

That’s why I bought it. As a normal belay device it’s pretty mediocre. 

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captain paranoia 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

I did boggle at the price tag...

I also thought that it looks like it might chew a rope up in short order...

It looks clever, but I'm happy with simple and effective. I'll stick with my Bug.

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andyman666999 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

Everyone I’ve spoken to that’s used it for lead rope solo have said it’s not so good as it takes faster fall speeds to lock up as opposed to the silent partner. Anyone getting on better with it in this respect??

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Aly 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

> I did my duty and clicked on some of the advertising

It's called an "announcement", not an advert ;-)

I struggled to understand half of the content and gave up, what with all the "double SS jaws" and "all these USP's" - what does that stand for?  I'm sure it makes sense to some people, maybe I'm just a bit slow.

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Andy Gamisou 10 Aug 2019
In reply to John Stainforth:

> Even the wildly popular, tried and true GriGri is overdesigned for most climbing purposes.

Not really.

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PaulW 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

I work occasionally in a climbing shop and recently have noticed more and more new climbers wanting a grigri / click up / whatever as their first belay device because they have been convinced that they are safer for inexperienced climbers.

My thoughts are that there is a learning curve to all these devices over and above a simple tube style plate

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syv_k 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

But we also have ‘can someone belay with XYZ disability‘ threads and it’s another tool in the box.

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DaveHK 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

It's possible that you may not be their target market...

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two_tapirs 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Aly:

"all these USP's" - what does that stand for? 

USP = Unique Selling Points

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snoop6060 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

Couldn't you post this about basically anything? Cars, phones etc etc. Although whilst we are on the subject of rediculous climbing products there is now a £90 fingerboard on the market that doesn't come with any holds! They come seperate at  £60 a pair. Haha. Its actually real and they had one at the bouldering champs in sheff. 

https://www.sadalienclimbing.com/base-station-10/

I wish them all the best but christ on a bike! 

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Lusk 10 Aug 2019
In reply to snoop6060:

Routering out them stars don't come cheap!

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AlanLittle 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

Do you also dislike antilock brakes and seatbelts on cars? They add weight, cost & complexity.

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AlanLittle 10 Aug 2019
In reply to John Stainforth:

> Even the wildly popular, tried and true GriGri is overdesigned for most climbing purposes.

Not if you mostly sport climb it isn't. Sport climbing is a team sport, and the grigri is absolutely superb for holding and precisely positioning a climber who is projecting and working moves. Whereas that's really hard work for the belayer if they're using a non-locking ATC/Reverso/similar.

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jon 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

I notice that from your profile you don't seem to sport climb, so maybe you don't appreciate the convenience of a locking device? I'm with you on the weight and price, but not the idiot proof bit. What's wrong with idiot proof?

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Neil Williams 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

I presently use a DMM Bug (old-school!) but I am much more of a fan of the passive designs of brake-assist device, particularly the Mammut Smart.  I suspect one of these may be in my gear bag before too long.

Others I think are somewhat overkill/overdesigned, and my views on the Grigri are well known.

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Stefan Jacobsen 10 Aug 2019
In reply to andyman666999:

> Everyone I’ve spoken to that’s used it for lead rope solo have said it’s not so good as it takes faster fall speeds to lock up as opposed to the silent partner. Anyone getting on better with it in this respect??

The Revo will not engage before the rope running through exceeds 4 m/s. This takes around a meter of free fall. When it eventually engages, the catch is around 3 kN as the rope will slip through the device at higher forces. I use it from time to time for lead rope solo and it catches similar to a belayer with a tube device with some slack on the rope and trying to perform a hard catch.

I have no experience with the Silent Partner, but I know it has reached cult status. Probably because it is no longer in production.  

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DaveHK 10 Aug 2019
In reply to AlanLittle:

> Do you also dislike antilock brakes and seatbelts on cars? They add weight, cost & complexity.

When was the last time you carried your car anywhere?

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Robert Durran 10 Aug 2019
In reply to captain paranoia:

> It looks clever, but I'm happy with simple and effective. I'll stick with my Bug.

Overengineered gimmick. I'll stick with my waist belay.

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silhouette 10 Aug 2019
In reply to syv_k:

> But we also have ‘can someone belay with XYZ disability‘ threads and it’s another tool in the box.


But that's a legitimate issue. It doesn't deserve ridicule.

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Fruitbat 10 Aug 2019
In reply to jon:

> but not the idiot proof bit. What's wrong with idiot proof?

Never underestimate the stupidity of idiots. 

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andyman666999 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Stefan Jacobsen:

I am aware of the physics and speeds involved with the revo. I also own a silent partner which works great. I know several people whose opinion I respect due to their experience and they don’t rate the revo as a belay device or as a rope solo device as it takes too long to catch - they decked. They even offered it to me.  Have to say that the SP engages straight away. Would be interested to hear from someone who has used both. Anyway apologies for the hijack. 

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Deadeye 10 Aug 2019
In reply to jon:

> What's wrong with idiot proof?

Well, it's an arms-race between engineers and idiots and the idiots are both more numerous and more inventive.

Given that you can never be 100% idiot-proof, adding complexity just creates more opportunities for the idiots to be creative.

So marketing that gives the idea of idiot-proofness is, in my view, a bad idea.

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Robert Durran 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

> So marketing that gives the idea of idiot-proofness is, in my view, a bad idea.

Better to think of them as anyone-can-have-a-moment-of-carelessness-proof. 

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DaveHK 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

It's hard to see them selling many of these now that so few of us roll our own cigarettes.

Or perhaps hands off photography for the instagram generation is filling that niche?

Post edited at 15:38
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