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Dane

BD's newest Fusion winter '09/ '10 review

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I thought about it, but I want to be able to change the picks easily.

I'd fire some in there. Will make the bolt stiffer to remove but won't bind it there forever. Sounds as if that is better than what you are currently enduring?

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Pretty reasonable thing to do if you don't like them. Have you tried Nomics? Loving mine...

Edited by Matt Kidd

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I've owned a pair of Nomics since they came out but recently passed them onto a friend, I liked them for mixed climbing but prefer my Cobras for ice/alpine climbing.

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I demoed both the Nomics and Fusions in Hyalite last weekend and definitely agree with Doug. The Fusions are for hard routes only. I felt that the Nomics are far more versatile.

 

I personally didn't like the Fusion grips. The pinky support was too tight for my XL hands, and very uncomfortable. (But grip size/adjustability was fine)

 

Cobras, on the other hand, were amazing to climb with.

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Just had a talk with some people at BD.

 

The bolt not staying tightened sounds like a one-off issue, we're trying to figure it out.

 

Getting them to stick sounds like I need just need some more mileage with them, which is fine by me. Let's just say I prefer the Cobra's swing.

 

The cleaning issue may come down to a personal style/pick choice. I'm not exactly known for swinging lightly. Frieh can attest to that! I'm going to play with modifying some Laser and Titan picks to see if I can't get the tools to clean easier.

 

I really want to make these tools work, because of the nice handle design and usability in the alpine. I just need to be able to get the things in and out of the ice which is basically all that counts!

 

Basically...to be continued....

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You poor lads still loving the Cobras :)

 

Just takes some time to get use to the Fusion/Nomic swing..when you do you'll find a most useful tool that takes very little effort to use..plugging it in or unplugging :)

 

Saw Bob's comments useing the Fusion on lower angle ice.

 

My experience with the Fusion and Nomic is either can be awesome and amazingly fast on moderate ice. But I never swing from the lower handle on moderate ice. Obviously YMMV as some have reported.

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I've had such a good experience with the Nomics that I don't buy it's just a swing difference (for the Fusions) from straight handles to offset handles. I've climbed all sorts of ice with the Nomics and never had the problems I had over the last couple weeks.

 

And the sketchiest part of the whole thing was topping out steep ice onto low angle ice. Pretty much impossible to swing solely from the upper grip at that point, there are some tricks you can pull though which make it easier.

 

All that said...blah blah..woe is me, I've got two really nice sets of ice tools. Maybe I should go back to climbing with my Cassin Rainbows and then I'll stop bitching.

Edited by Doug Shepherd

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Hey Doug!

 

I don't use the second grip on a Nomic or the Fusion to pull a bulge unless I am matching. Something I do alot these days in that position. The Fusion's lower handle is a couple of degrees more than the Nomic. That will make a difference. Call splitting the difference between a Fusion (also known as a "bad" ice tool and a awesome mixed tool) and the Nomic...but it isn't really splitting the difference.

 

I have yet to pull on the top of a pillar with the Fusion. The Nomic excelled at that point on a climb for me. Hopefully I'll get out this week and scare myself :) I might find the same thing...

 

Worth checking out the newest BD Lazer picks if you haven't already. Big differnece on strength and how they clean and place.

 

Here is a look at the difference on the new bottom teeth. New Laser is on the bottom in photo.

abi.sized.jpg

 

to be continued :)

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I own the nomics and love them. I don't climb hard; I use them for easy/moderate ice (WI2/WI3). I've also used them following harder stuff (and they excelled). I used them today on a WI2 and they were awesome! I do grip them differently for lower angle stuff though. Thus far the lack of spike hasn't really been an issue for me.

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how are things looking as of recent Dane?

 

Couple of things I have found. The spike while useful in a few scenarios on easier ground it limits the swing arc needed to pull bulges compared to the unlimited arc of swing on a Nomic with a rounded pomel. The tighter grip radius of the Fusion's lower support also hinders the same swing at a maximum arc.

 

I think BD gave us what we asked for but not everyone realised what we be giving up. No free lunch here. Being able to pull off the spike, which was part of the design, doesn't solve the issues completely and leaves no place to attach umbilicals or the BD Spinner.

 

By the feed back I am getting my bet is you'll see some Fusions that have met a Dremel early on.

 

Much hard climbing being done with the new Fusion right now. Be fun to see what the general consensus is by season's end. Voted a winner i suspect.

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Here is a bit of info on the rotation issue some are having with the new Fusion.

 

A few people coming from a Nomic are finding an uncomfortable "bounce" in the Fusion on ice and the tool being a little scary when pulling bulges.

 

Bill Belcourt at BD made a funny comment about how we as climbers have no institutional memory. I agree.

 

Many of us asked for a spike on the Nomic..and BD gave it to us as the new Fusion. But if you have climbed very long you'll remember how we all choked the end of a shaft to get a better swing on short tools often almost negating/chopping the spike all together for steep ice performance to eliminate bounce and help pulling bulges :)

 

For some the arc of swing on a new Fusion with spike intact is limited to small side of 180 degrees without changing your grip. While a Nomic can go something like 210 degrees. Don't hold me to the exact numbers but realise one tool can swing a bigger arc than the other. Important for pulling bulges.

 

Very cool the Fusion was designed with a removeable spike. Remove the spike for steep mixed and ice and you'll gain some but not all of the arc back. Most of the bounce will also disappear. With the use of a Dremel grinder (or just some good rough emery paper) you can get an equal amount of swing arc on the new Fusion by rounding the end of the pommel more like the Nomic grip. Might make a big difference for you if you are having small issues with the tool. Also might be worth opening up the trigger slot on the bottom of the grip to again help rotation of the tool in your hand.

 

Pictures should help you visualise what I am talking about and what mods I found useful. BD should have extra pommels available soon if you want a extra pair to cut up. Simple, inexpensive mod, takes just a few minutes with power tools, that might make a big difference for you. Down side is you loose the umbilical attachment on the spike. But that's not a big deal on hard cragging anyway and most will use umbilicals and the spike on longer stuff no matter what small disadvantages on hard technical ground they both might create.

 

Fusion spike in place

aco.sized.jpg

 

Fusion with a modified pommel end. Obvious in this photo just how much more rotation you can get in the shaft and how much stronger your grip can still be.

acp.sized.jpg

 

Nomic

acq.sized.jpg

 

Fusion and Nomic

act.sized.jpg

 

Unmodified Fusion pommel and a chopped up Fusion pommel. Small changes in the shape of the grip can make a huge difference in grip comfort, available rotation on your swing, grip strength & endurance and power in your strike.

acr.sized.jpg

 

Unmodified Fusion without spike and a Nomic

acs.sized.jpg

 

 

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Thanks Dane. Superb clarification.

 

Excited to see what will be offered through Coldthistle

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For the guys who haven't had a chance to play with the idea? Nothing to do with the swing or stick. I was amazed at how my hang time changed (got longer) by simply opening the finger groove on the pommel a bit (very important for me) and allowing my hand to drop off the end of the tool, sans spike.

 

Not the best pictures and they don't tell the whole story but if you climb cracks or are into Kinesiology/Biomechanics they will tell you a lot just by the angle of the wrist and strength available in the positions of the hand.

 

aco.sized.jpg

 

acp.sized.jpg

 

 

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For the guys who haven't had a chance to play with the idea? Nothing to do with the swing or stick. I was amazed at how my hang time changed (got longer) by simply opening the finger groove on the pommel a bit (very important for me) and allowing my hand to drop off the end of the tool, sans spike.

 

Not the best pictures and they don't tell the whole story but if you climb cracks or are into Kinesiology/Biomechanics they will tell you a lot just by the angle of the wrist and strength available in the positions of the hand.

 

aco.sized.jpg

 

acp.sized.jpg

 

Seems to me like this is kind of like the difference between a jam and a finger lock. Some finger locks you can really relax your hand which might explain why you can hang on longer in the second position.

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Hi Joe, best to leave the new and old Fusions alone and get them on some steep mixed. They both work well there. Mods are for gumbies like me trying to take the Fusion on less than vertical terrain.

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thx, ;) just trying to get my fusions to work in ice, and i thought that might help, but i guess its more about the way you swing them - in steep mixed they work anyway.

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well i am new to this forum.. Normally i climbed with grivel quantum tech carbon axe which are not as curved as fusion or nomic more of an S bend axe with which i progressed trough the grades upp to 6! i recently bought the fusions(before) i read this discussion. i had simelar problems with the swing and the "bite" of the pick but that ended when i just learned how to swing the fusion as it should.. the pick on the qauntum was a "wide" hard one which didn't bite well in the ice unless you really beat it in(almost trough) the pillar.. so i used a metalfile to make a "longer" and narrower contact point(made the endpoint in a smaller angle)and now it bites the ice as if i had paid it to do soo.. on thing though regarded to the swing... if i try to swing from a lower angel(arms bend) then i can be virtually impossible to make it stick.. but then how often do one do that?? :)

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I recently drilled holes in a pair of BD ice picks to add the petzl head weights to these. I can get pictures here, as well as bit sizes (i used cobalt) eventually if anyone is curious about doing the same.

 

The swing changes substantially, but the jury is still out if it's significantly better than stock changed to the ice instead of mixed pick or not. There is definitely more momentum in the pick, so the thing sinks hard. Overall, makes the tools pretty damn heavy. It'll be a question of whether the added weight increases the chances of a one swing stick or not. Can't tell for sure yet. It really doesn't do much towards making the tool swing more like a nomic, in my opinion.

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