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wdietsch

TCU's, who makes the best and why?

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I started the thread on Robot micros based basically on the low cost. With cost not being an object, who do you think makes the best TCU's and why?

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Well I've only ever actually used Metolius so I really don't have any comparison. I can say however that they seem to work well and more importantly look cool.

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Aliens. Why:1) subjective, they just seem to fit in far more places.2) the flexible stem is the most flexible out there and that is often helpful.Narrow head enables them to fit in more places. 3) Excellent expansion range, matter of fact, italmost as good as the new .3 and .4 double axle camalots.4) softer metal seems to bite the rock better (actually, I suppose it gets bitten by the rock - whatever - same effect).5) For marginal placements, the two cams for them will actually hold you where two cams of a tcu will not.

Other cams that are great for specialty reasons -

a) "splitter" two cam unitsI have one of the new two cam units by "splitter" gear - great b/c of narrow profile.

b) .3 and .4 micro camalot, the expansion range is best. Don't waste time on .1 and .2, no real advantages. but they're heavy

c) lowe ball's: great expansion range in the small stuff and goes smaller than any other camming unit.matt

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Erik speaks the truth.

My rack contains Metolius TCUs supplemented with a set of Alien Hybrids. That way you essentially have doubles for two-cam alien placements (since the sizes overlap) in all but the smallest and largest sizes,and they work great in pin scar placements or flaring granite cracks.

One potential drawback to Aliens, which depends on your own style, is the flexibility of the stem. It's a godsend in most situations, but stuffing a cam in at the end of your reach is easier with stiff cables because you don't have to operate the trigger. I place alot of cams without ever touching the trigger, and I like the Metolius for that reason.

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quote:

Originally posted by wdietsch:
Thanks guys, good stuff. Anyone else got $0.02?

I'll back both TCU's and Aliens. The red TCU always seems to fit when I need something, and one of the small-mid size Aliens held a 20 footer with only 2 cams in good contact. Munched the metal, but kept my ass off the ground...

m

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I've always climbed on the Metolious TCU's and believed in them. However I agree with Charlie (god damn hindsight) if I had to rebuild my rack it would be Aliens.

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See a pattern here? "I use <insert brand name you are familiar with>, and they work great". Go with what you are comfortable with and can afford. I use BD but wish I had a set from DMM (weight). If you place em' right, they are all gonna hold.

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Well, I can't stand all the logos all over my cams, I usually grind them off. And what's up with the metolious deal, bunch a money grubbin corporate bastards. I'll use my home made balsa wood blocks with baling twine.

I have a couple of WC friends, they work ok but don't have the flash of the high buck stuff...

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cmonster, not sure if there is some "tone" in there or not? I am looking for specifics such as you pointed out with the weight of the BD vs the DMM. Great, appreicate the feedback. I am very familier with how to place cams. I own Met FCU's and they have worked fine, no real big complaints, however I also relize there are many other manufacturers out there and would like to hear how others have faired. Things like the thread the other day that told of how well BD handled a "re-sling" job and for free. To me, things like service make a big difference

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In my eyes, the best thing those DMM have going for them are the doubled up slings...clip em both for a short sling or clip one for a longer one. Of course, you can do this to any of your cams with cordage or have it done with webbing.

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quote:

Originally posted by hikerwa:
Well, I can't stand all the logos all over my cams, I usually grind them off. And what's up with the metolious deal, bunch a money grubbin corporate bastards. I'll use my home made balsa wood blocks with baling twine.


Sweet! I gotta route for you. You'll need ice tools, crampons, 2x4s, sunscreen, and a big set of balls. Drive out to the San Rafael desert and look for the biggest, most prominent butte, it's east to spot, name is Factory Butte. You'll have no worries with corporate BS or self-promotion, in fact nobody will know you're there. Oh, BTW there's no snow or ice in sight, you'll be using those tools and cramps to climb the vertical mud/dirt and those 2x4s and your balsa-block/baling wire cams will be the only pro. When you summit, clean out your shorts and relish in the fact that you just made the 3rd ascent. Don't buy it? I think Crack can vouch, he's seen it.UnknownMountain.jpg

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sounds like a good hill to test ma' new truck! [Moon]

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if you ever notice a ford climbing commerical they are always using direct aid, whereas chevrolet is like a rock so its chi is aligned perfectly with the elementssss.....and my chevy has drove right past that pile

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Its been said already, but I'll add my vote for the Aliens because they are light, they fit anywhere a small camming unit is going to fit, and the flexible stem is good in horizontal placements. Some of my partners don't trust them, however, because the flexible stem makes them feel less solid (to them) than a Metolious unit. Also already noted is the fact that they get sticky faster than other units, and while I have gotten used to it, it can be a problem.

On this last point, what do you guys recommend for cleaning and lubricating them? I've been sticking them in boiling water, squeezing the trigger in and out, and then treating them with tri-flow. This works OK, but I wonder if there is a better method.

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no tone intended. not only do the dmm cams have doubled slings, but the sling is color coded, the cams are color coded, they come with a color coded biner AND they are light. mmmmmm... oh, and they will hold a fall. :-)

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CCH Aliens, hands down.

They're actually 4CU's but narrower than all the 3cu's I've seen. Why the best?

1. Very narrow head design, fits where others won't.2. 4 cams allow for reasonably secure 2-cam placements in really shallow stuff (very useful when aiding)3. Stems are super flexible, so you don't have perma-tweaks in your stem cable.4. Internal springs in the cam lobes. Leaves less exposed trigger wire to fray and break (and allows that narrow profile).

Downside?1. They get gritty/sticky quicker than others because of the "sleeve".2. They're sometimes hard to place with gloves on(but they all are)

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another vote for aliens- If I were to do it over, my rack would consist of aliens up to red, with chamelots .75 and up. (unfortunately I have some HB's and trangos mixed in) Aliens are nice in pin scars because of their narrow profile (most tcu's have dual stems on the outside, making them wider and preventing them from fitting in most scars)

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I've been using metolious small cams for 10 years and they take a beating. I've seen a alien cam unit's sleeve blow apart while aiding which makes the whole unit inoperable. The sleeve doesn't seem very durable.

It depends on what type of rock you climb whether the head width makes any difference. In squamish granite, I have never needed a small width cam.

For larger cams I've been using bd cams but in retrospect I would probably get metol. cams through all the sizes. (or some other durable lightweight cam like tech friends) For the same weight, you could get a couple of extra pieces by buying lighter cams.

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I have Metolius tcu's and never had any problems, other than the wires can get bent during a fall. [hell no]

Never tried using aliens. Hear they are great for aid.

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i have both aliens and tcu's they both work great if you have the money get a set of both. one note is that metolius sells 2nds at the factory and so does the redpoint.

truthfully in free climbing i do not pick one over the other, they both work quite well, though in aid the aliens are da shiznit....

if durability and cost are factors go with metolius and then fill in the rest with aliens starting with yellow, then green, then red and then blue....

but it all works in the end.

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Aliens also, but if you really want a 3CU check out DMM. I've got a few and have been very impressed. They were also very inexpensive. Overall I like DMM gear.

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