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canadug

MADE IN CHINA! BD Cams

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.....I could give 2 shits about R&D in the outdoor sports industry it's mostly fashion driven....

 

Ummm...yaaahh....I carry around those double axle cams for their good looks....same thing with that highly breathable single wall tent....

 

well, you epitomize the suburbanite fashion climber :)...

 

Never conceived of an excess of functionality being a fashion statement? Check out the Hummers at Bellevue Square some time.

 

Ooops.

 

Good thing for me that the preponderance of twin-tips on folks who are *all-about* riding and especially landing switch doesn't make your point either...

 

 

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Oft overhead just after sinking a placement while quavering at the crux "God-DAMN that extra expansion range!!!!!!...."

 

It's probably heard as often as "I love 4wd" on I-90 heading to Snoqualmie. Leisure activities are fashion. I'm guilty too - I've a mass of stuff that can climb harder, ski better, and take better photos than I will ever be able too because those things made the most economic sense at the time.

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I was considering posting about this very same issue a month or so ago when I first discovered 'made in China' BD cams and shortly thereafter found a bunch of other Chinese-made BD hardware. I've worked in the computer hardware industry for years now, and have had the chance to visit plenty of Chinese manufacturing operations (including companies in Zhuhai, where I believe BD's products are manufactured). It's a mixed bag for me, I've come to terms with nearly all tech products being made in China, from the components to the final assembly. However, it still struck a chord seeing the 'made in China' label on BD gear. I've spent many dollars on BD gear over the years (I've bought lots of stuff directly from Jeff, he's a great guy), some of it on stuff I knew was Chinese-made (tents). BD gear has been some of the most durable, well-designed gear I've owned. I don't doubt that BD has "moved" their quality to China as well, stuff made in China is as good quality as the company making it wants it to be. If the goal is cheap, they'll do cheap; if the goal is good, they'll do good.

However, I am still uncomfortable buying Chinese-made climbing gear. I'm sure I'll come around eventually, either by choice or because there are no other options. As irrational as I know this is, my money will go elsewhere for the time being. (I also will not buy Chinese-made skis.)

As a side-bar to this thread, when a company opens a manufacturing operation in China it is usually the first step in series that culminates with the vast majority of work moving off-shore. As someone else pointed out, the supply chain is often next in line to move, and then most new investments go to China because the costs are lower. The transfer process often happens under the auspices of "expanding where our growth is," and then ends up as the same old "low cost manufacturing" for all markets.

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We need to start a "Carl's Confessional" forum where you can castigate yourself for succumbing to the same temptations that ensnare lesser beings who - whatever their faults - could at least claim ignorance when cross-examined and held to account for their sins.

 

But not you, Sir. Fully conscious, hyperaware, eyes-wide open...you still succumb. For you there will be no mercy....

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For you there will be no mercy....

 

Whats the penalty? Deportation to the lEast Coast? Internment in the Bellevue forced labor camp?

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For you there will be no mercy....

 

Whats the penalty? Deportation to the lEast Coast?

 

The move to an environment where all of the gear is effectively useless and *literally* serves no tangible purpose whatsoever might be just the tonic you need. The lEast Coast will put you closer to the goal, but for you, the bleak Cartesian infinity that is Iowa might be the only place where you could truly cleanse your soul.

 

As things stand now, the move to Seattle is roughly analogous to a moth changing the angle of his orbit around the autoloatheorecreoconsumo flame inward a few degrees and flapping the wings with even greater vigor...

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For you there will be no mercy....

 

Whats the penalty? Deportation to the lEast Coast? Internment in the Bellevue forced labor camp?

 

The East Coast will only work if you're willing to live in NYC without a car. Since your carbon emissions will be so much lower than the rest of the denizens on this board, you'll be allowed to board JetBlue once a month for parole visits to the mountains. You'll also be allowed twice a month to ride in a Prius driven by somebody wearing Vibram FiveFingers (made in Italy) to the gunks or the ADKs to climb ice or the best trad crag in North America.

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For you there will be no mercy....

 

Whats the penalty? Deportation to the lEast Coast?

 

The move to an environment where all of the gear is effectively useless and *literally* serves no tangible purpose whatsoever might be just the tonic you need. The lEast Coast will put you closer to the goal, but for you, the bleak Cartesian infinity that is Iowa might be the only place where you could truly cleanse your soul.

 

As things stand now, the move to Seattle is roughly analogous to a moth changing the angle of his orbit around the autoloatheorecreoconsumo flame inward a few degrees and flapping the wings with even greater vigor...

 

People are a little too down-to-earth in Iowa....Dallas Texas gets my vote - with no car to get to either the hill country or the Quachitas

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For you there will be no mercy....

 

Whats the penalty? Deportation to the lEast Coast? Internment in the Bellevue forced labor camp?

 

The East Coast will only work if you're willing to live in NYC without a car. Since your carbon emissions will be so much lower than the rest of the denizens on this board, you'll be allowed to board JetBlue once a month for parole visits to the mountains. You'll also be allowed twice a month to ride in a Prius driven by somebody wearing Vibram FiveFingers (made in Italy) to the gunks or the ADKs to climb ice or the best trad crag in North America.

 

NYC. Visit for the boroughs, stay for the skiing...

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NYC. Visit for the boroughs, stay for the skiing...

 

Leave JFK at night at you can be in Chamonix by midday.

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This crap went on with Aliens, again with laser picks, and now BD cams are under review. Couple things to consider.

 

Yvon sold the BD to the employees when profit margins weren't what he wanted and diverted his energy into patagonia and I am sure we are all glad he did. Climbers are, for the most part, a bunch of penny pinching bastards (myself included). The company is trying to reduce production cost which could allow them to spend more money on R&D or whatever. If you don't likem don't buy em.

 

Climbing is inherintly? (I can't spell) dangerous, ever heard that anywhere. That doesn't mean that cams should fail, but use your head. It isn't until you are about to explode that you worry about the integrity of you gear.

 

Most of the larger retailers test the gear themselves. I am sure they'll let you know if they find some inconsistencies.

 

Finally. To beat this into everyones head, I am sure everyone has heard it before. All this gear is just for show anyway, the real trick is not falling.

 

Get out have fun, place your gear correctly and while you can and you'll long and happy life. Peace

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Lots of people may have issues with this - safety concerns, ethics, whatever. The fact that BD cams are made in China seems like a valid topic for discussion to me. You seem to be implying it's not? When you say "If you don't likem don't buy em." true enough, but without knowledge, you can't make an informed decision one way or another.

Edited by spotly

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NYC. Visit for the boroughs, stay for the skiing...

 

Leave JFK at night at you can be in Chamonix by midday.

 

Or for fresh tracks in SLC, or Whistler or ...

 

Cheap tickets too...

 

There's a reason I live here! (wish i could remember what it was...)

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Have any cams failed yet? Is it a valid concern? I've watched these discussions snowball out of control. It is just bad press, and BD makes a functional product. They aren't going to sacrifice function for profit. If you want to do something productive take some of the new BD© cams and test them yourself. If you find discrepencies then make a post. Otherwise you are just bandwagon bashing a company trying to gain a professional edge.

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You miss the point. Many of us would be happy paying an extra couple of bucks for a product that's made somewhere other than China - preferably the US but at least not China (among some others). So it's not just a safety thing, it's an ethics thing.

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Have any cams failed yet? Is it a valid concern? I've watched these discussions snowball out of control. It is just bad press, and BD makes a functional product. They aren't going to sacrifice function for profit. If you want to do something productive take some of the new BD© cams and test them yourself. If you find discrepencies then make a post. Otherwise you are just bandwagon bashing a company trying to gain a professional edge.

 

So does BD pay you to be a press agent? If moving to China makes bad press, maybe they should have considered that and the reasons (some valid) why moving to China makes for bad press :ooo:

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Yvon sold the BD to the employees when profit margins weren't what he wanted and diverted his energy into patagonia

 

Completely wrong

 

In 1988, a client being guided by Jim Bridwell, in the Tetons, took his harness off to take a dump. When he put the harness back on, he threaded the buckle improperly. He never told Bridwell that he had doffed his harness. The harness failed during a lower, or a rapell, and he died.

 

Everyone got sued, Chouinard Equipment, the guide service, and Jim Bridwell. Chouinard Equipment had the deepest pockets. In order to protect Patagonia Inc., Chouinard Equipment declared bankruptcy, and was sold. I am not sure if it was sold prior to bankruptcy.

 

To imply that the sale of Chouinard Equipment was driven by profits is misleading, there was much much more to the story than that.

 

Makes you wonder what else Alaska Bum doesn't know

Edited by Markmckillop

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Yvon bailed out the Badger-TwoMedicine Alliance in 1987 from his own pocket.

We used the money to pay some lobbying debts and fund the next rally. We ended up keeping the Forest Service and BLM from drilling for small pockets of oil laden with Sour gas. It would have been a major loss. The Badjer Two Medicine is the area immediately south of Glacier Park. It winters the largest wild elk herd in the lower 48. It is prime Grizzly habitat. It is Sacred ground.

Without that money, we would have been pissin in the wind.

There are more stories like this about Yvon.

 

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Fair enough. Thats just what my boss told me when I was peddlin wares. I don't know too much of the ol climbing gossip. Scott said that Yvon was kinda worn out. I think did hear something about the lawsuit, whatever. I use BD cams I like them. Made the mistake of looking for some canadian beta, and a partner for tomarrow. Saw another gear post about cams I use (I rack Camalots and aliens, had a rough year). Glad to see none failed and I'm tired of hearing all hatin. I'll shut up. Rag away guys. Have a good winter, be safe.

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Yvon sold the BD to the employees when profit margins weren't what he wanted and diverted his energy into patagonia

 

Completely wrong

 

In 1988, a client being guided by Jim Bridwell, in the Tetons, took his harness off to take a dump. When he put the harness back on, he threaded the buckle improperly. He never told Bridwell that he had doffed his harness. The harness failed during a lower, or a rapell, and he died.

 

Everyone got sued, Chouinard Equipment, the guide service, and Jim Bridwell. Chouinard Equipment had the deepest pockets. In order to protect Patagonia Inc., Chouinard Equipment declared bankruptcy, and was sold. I am not sure if it was sold prior to bankruptcy.

 

To imply that the sale of Chouinard Equipment was driven by profits is misleading, there was much much more to the story than that.

 

Makes you wonder what else Alaska Bum doesn't know

 

Chouinard Equipment was sold after the Chapter 11 filing. YC had several lawsuits against CE at the same time, including the one you mentioned.

 

There was a great Outside mag article by Krakauer about the change shortly after it happened. Searched for it but couldn't find it. I remember the lawyer-climbing client died not on rappel, but from slipping out of his harness or off the rope while being belayed from the guide above, who was at the top of the first pitch on a short multi-pitch climb. At any rate, I think the accident was also written up in ANAM.

 

And right, according to the Outside article, legal advice given to YC was he needed to lose Chouinard Equipment to protect his real cash cow: Patagonia. It wasn't really much of a choice to sell the company, but today's Black Diamond came out the best for it. While the company's roots and its place in climbing history are incredibly significant, as an employee-driven company and with Metcalf at the helm, BD has continued to provide high-quality, innovative products I'm not sure they would have developed otherwise.

 

YC himself, excerpted from his book "Let My People Surf," at Outside Online:

 

------------

"In the late eighties, Chouinard Equipment became the target of several lawsuits. None involved faulty equipment or climbers. We were sued by a window washer, a plumber, a stagehand, and someone who broke his ankle in a tug-of-war contest using our climbing rope. The basis of each suit was improper warning--that we had failed to properly warn these customers about the dangers inherent in using our equipment for uses we could not predict. Then came a more serious suit, from the family of a lawyer who was killed when he incorrectly tied into one of our harnesses in a beginner climbing class.

 

"The litigators thought that Chouinard Equipment and Patagonia were the same company and that, since Patagonia was doing so well, they could milk the corporation. Our insurance company refused to fight any of the suits, because of the costs involved, and settled out of court. Our premiums went up 2,000 percent in one year. Eventually, Chouinard Equipment filed for Chapter 11, a move that gave the employees time to gather capital for a buyout. They successfully purchased the assets, moved the company to Salt Lake City, and built their own company, Black Diamond Equipment Ltd., which to this day continues to make the world's best climbing and backcountry-ski gear."

-----------

 

On topic, I'm not sure yet what to make of the made-in-China thing, but know that my BD cams are the ones (among Friends, Metolius, Alien cams I use) I'd rather be falling on.

 

 

 

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Thats really cool that BD replies to inquires such as on this website and I have to say that gains my respect that they put the facts out in the opinion for their consumers to know.

 

This is the bottom line. I don't care if a clothing item is made in China. So be it. What I do care is that my technical climbing gear is made there. Half of the argument is based on the non logical argument that by having my gear made here makes me feel better. This argument is easy to dismiss on the grounds of emotions, but you have to actually think of how many consumer purchases are made on the grounds of logic. Not many. Most purchases are made on a non logical basis. I want to know that my gear is made in the States and not thousands of miles away and then shipped here. It makes me feel better. It also makes me feel better that when I spend money that is totally irrelevent to everyday survival (like cams and climbing) its at least going back to the States.

 

By looking into the fishbowl from the outside you see things differently and perceptions change. I could keep going, but today is the start of another (at least once a month) three day week here in Spain and I'm going climbing.

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I want to know that my gear is made in the States and not thousands of miles away and then shipped here. It makes me feel better. It also makes me feel better that when I spend money that is totally irrelevent to everyday survival (like cams and climbing) its at least going back to the States.

 

Curious to see your rack, since you exclude products by

 

Petzl

Charlet-Moser

Grivel

Mammut

Trango (cams and nuts made in the Czech Republic)

Wild Country

DMM

Beal

Camp

Edelrid

On Sight

Arcteryx (those Canadians are pretty sketchy, though)

 

and others.

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