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layton

why the mastercam hate?

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I'm re-posting my question in a new thread since the folks in the know are probably (and rightfully) not reading the thread I posted it in originally.

 

"Mikey, Sol, or Blake - So since the three of you all are not on the mastercam bandwagon, can you please specificy detail why? Also, if you like TCUs, aren't they pretty much identical to mastercams in their sizing? If that's the case, what do like more about tcus. To me, mastercams are way more flexible - thus way more secure. Next, up are the C3's. Waaay less flexible, and I've had them blow placements. I do not feel as secure with a C3 because they are so damn stiff and the heads are way smaller and sliperier than mastercams. I'll concede that I know there are placements that C3s excell because they are narrower, but the vast majority of my placements on smaller sizes don't require a super narrow head. I alway concidered a C3 a "specialty piece".

Granted I don't lead 5.12 and I haven't broken one (which would shake my faith in them, as blowing a couple placements on a C3), but I feel like I've climbed enough, and had to make some pretty creative placements from "marginal stances". another point? what does the grade matter? if a sketchy run-out 5.6 with funky thin pro is wicked hard for someone, wouldn't it be the same situation? do cracks fundamentally change at a certain grade?

 

Anyway, hope I can get a better less emotionally charged answer. The reason I ask is because I always want to have full faith in my gear, and the mastercam hate kinda shocked me. At first I really missed my aliens, but after the withdrawl, I haven't looked back. I just want to be using the safest gear.

 

For those of you that for some reason get emotional about this (check your priorities yo!) please don't respond, I don't care what you have to say."

 

one more thing I didn't post - if you're complaining about the trigger wires, make sure you didn't get the older ones - they've long been updated and seem to hold up just fine.

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My only issue with them is that the lack of range. With small cams, range is even more important. I've used them when climbing with friends a couple of times and been annoyed because they just won't go in as many places as my aliens do.

 

The finish and handling seem nice though, like all metolius products.

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I like my mastercams, but I do have a couple of things that I don't like as much:

 

1) the mastercams only come as quad cams. The downside versus the old metolius tcus is that the quad cams will not pivot in an upward pull. This was always a feature that I loved about the original metolius, but with the quads, the upwards pull has the potential to allow for the cam to walk.

 

2) sizes from #4 (red) and larger "stick" some when you first pull the trigger. This is obviously a minor issue, but it is annoying.

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1. The triggers are small and slippery. No texture.

2. Small range

2. The larger ones stick and are hard to engage without bending the floppy stem

3. I had a #5 placed 3 or 4 times and the cam lobes started rubbing against each other. Basically rendered it useless in 2 climbs.

4. The machining on the lobes looks down right janky compared to c4

 

I don't hate 'em, I just think they need some serious refinement.

Edited by Mugsy

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i should have mentioned this is just an inquiry for the orange size on down. there is no reason to get anything bigger

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If you are going to basically copy an existing and well-loved product in any industry, you better make something as good, if not much better. I think Mastercams aren't terrible, but I can't see ever preferring them to aliens.

 

To me, they are alien copies with no advantages and several downsides.

 

- annoyingly small trigger

- no range

-easily stuck

-disingenuous marketing about "holding power"

-less flexy

- trigger strings that snap

- spring tension that relies on the cam stops

 

(this is in comparison to correctly-assembled aliens, not the ticking timebomb models that failed under bodyweight)

 

 

 

 

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Well, those are specifics one can actually respond to...

 

- annoyingly small trigger

I prefer the sculpted trigger to the triggers on my Aliens.

 

- no range

Yeah, on the #0 and #1, but I'm usually reaching for a ball nut as often as a cam for those placements.

 

-easily stuck

I don't find it to be more a problem than any other small cam.

 

-disingenuous marketing about "holding power"

The cam-angle statements that backup those claims aren't disingenuous - the Master Cam cam lobes are cut from the same cam stock as their TCUs. It makes no sense to diss the one and praise the other on that basis. And at least the cam lobes don't turn to mush after a season or two.

 

-less flexy

True, but I personally like that, and the fact that they are way more flexible than C3s.

 

- trigger strings that snap

I've never had one snap or heard of it being any widespread problem since they fixed the degreasing issue of the first few runs. If it were really a problem then aid climbers would be up in arms about it on ST.

 

- spring tension that relies on the cam stops

Pretty much have to diss most cams on that basis.

 

(this is in comparison to correctly-assembled aliens, not the ticking timebomb models that failed under bodyweight)

Yeah, they were unreliable with issues with cams dated before and after the recall. And a rough survey of 'well-assembled' aliens showed many had randomly mis-drilled axle holes which rendered their holding power an inconsistent crap shoot. Hopefully the Spaniards do a better job of it.

 

I basically never touched my Power Cams, TCUs, or two sets of Alien Hybrids again after Master Cams came out. But again, it's what you [can] get used to I suppose.

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If you are going to basically copy an existing and well-loved product in any industry, you better make something as good, if not much better. I think Mastercams aren't terrible, but I can't see ever preferring them to aliens.

 

To me, they are alien copies with no advantages and several downsides.

 

 

Aliens have a 16.25 degree cam angle.

Metolius has a 13.25 cam angle.

 

Math wise the Metolius master cam puts more force outward on the rock and should result in more holding power. So it does have some advantages.

 

I however avoid woven sheaths Cams in general as much as possible for others reasons...

 

From Colin Haley Colin Haley equipment for alpinism

 

"Avoid cams with woven-sheathed cables (Aliens) for alpine climbing, as they can freeze up and become useless, dead weight."

 

Edited by Laughingman

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It all comes down to which fits more places.

 

I actually like the grey and purple master cams better then the equivalent black and blue aliens. The heads are narrower on the master cams in these sizes and I feel I can wiggle them into narrow seems and still see in to inspect the heads.

 

Yellow and up it is close to being a wash with a slight edge to aliens.

 

The green alien is far far better then any other cam in that size. For whatever reason the blue master cam just seems to get jammed oddly in a marginal placement too often. The added range and narrower head of the alien let you wiggle it into a good placement and the flexy stem and long sling lets you clip it and go. It practically turns tips cracks into sport climbs.

 

I love the blue fcu's for index cracks (clean and parallel) and I don't hate the master cam but the green alien rocks.

 

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I'm re-posting my question in a new thread since the folks in the know are probably (and rightfully) not reading the thread I posted it in originally.

 

"Mikey, Sol, or Blake - So since the three of you all are not on the mastercam bandwagon, can you please specificy detail why? Also, if you like TCUs, aren't they pretty much identical to mastercams in their sizing? If that's the case, what do like more about tcus. To me, mastercams are way more flexible - thus way more secure. Next, up are the C3's. Waaay less flexible, and I've had them blow placements. I do not feel as secure with a C3 because they are so damn stiff and the heads are way smaller and sliperier than mastercams. I'll concede that I know there are placements that C3s excell because they are narrower, but the vast majority of my placements on smaller sizes don't require a super narrow head. I alway concidered a C3 a "specialty piece".

Granted I don't lead 5.12 and I haven't broken one (which would shake my faith in them, as blowing a couple placements on a C3), but I feel like I've climbed enough, and had to make some pretty creative placements from "marginal stances". another point? what does the grade matter? if a sketchy run-out 5.6 with funky thin pro is wicked hard for someone, wouldn't it be the same situation? do cracks fundamentally change at a certain grade?

 

Anyway, hope I can get a better less emotionally charged answer. The reason I ask is because I always want to have full faith in my gear, and the mastercam hate kinda shocked me. At first I really missed my aliens, but after the withdrawl, I haven't looked back. I just want to be using the safest gear.

 

For those of you that for some reason get emotional about this (check your priorities yo!) please don't respond, I don't care what you have to say."

 

one more thing I didn't post - if you're complaining about the trigger wires, make sure you didn't get the older ones - they've long been updated and seem to hold up just fine.

:rolleyes:

 

 

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If you are going to basically copy an existing and well-loved product in any industry, you better make something as good, if not much better. I think Mastercams aren't terrible, but I can't see ever preferring them to aliens.

 

To me, they are alien copies with no advantages and several downsides.

 

 

Aliens have a 16.25 degree cam angle.

Metolius has a 13.25 cam angle.

 

Math wise the Metolius master cam puts more force outward on the rock and should result in more holding power. So it does have some advantages.

 

I however avoid woven sheaths Cams in general as much as possible for others reasons...

 

From Colin Haley Colin Haley equipment for alpinism

 

"Avoid cams with woven-sheathed cables (Aliens) for alpine climbing, as they can freeze up and become useless, dead weight."

smiliegojerkit.gif

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I have the size zero purple master cam and like it a lot. My partner took a 7 foot fall on it on Lazybum in the valley, held fine. Mastercams are less flexible than Aliens, but with a sling, who cares. The machine work looks far better than Aliens.

 

The single stem wire on mastercams looks like it might be more susceptible to bending, but I've also bent a bunch of my camalots where the wire meets the head, so that's also really just me being leery of a new design.

 

For a small finger sized cam, I love the "u" shaped 4 cam metolius units. I bought two of the 3 cam version back in 1982 when they were selling them out of a pickup in Yosemite. They have stood the test of time. I was still using both of them a couple years ago, they hadn't even broken a trigger wire.

 

http://www.rei.com/product/737372/metolius-ultralight-range-finder-power-cams

 

The "u" stem four cam metolius units seem very stable and able to grab uneven shaped cracks. You will usually need to sling them due to the relatively rigid stems. It's nice to have a mix of different brands of cams, I think all the big name cams are fine. And bottom line, nothing beats a well set wired nut. I see people place wiggly cams in a perfect v shaped slot where a wired nut would hold a truck...

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i am psyched for some new aliens. wonder if there is any difference between the Totem and the Fixe? Looked like the Fixe has a much higher breaking strength.

 

I agree, aliens had better range and got stuck less. The big downside was the trigger wires were a bitch to replace, the cam head got deformed very quickly, they were useless in mixed climbing, and the whole part about them breaking.

 

I also prefer aliens (that work) except in snowy/icy conditions. But I also have been extremely happy with my mastercams as a substitute.

 

Anyone else hear the rumors that BD was going to make a similar cam to the alien?

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i am psyched for some new aliens. wonder if there is any difference between the Totem and the Fixe? Looked like the Fixe has a much higher breaking strength.

 

I agree, aliens had better range and got stuck less. The big downside was the trigger wires were a bitch to replace, the cam head got deformed very quickly, they were useless in mixed climbing, and the whole part about them breaking.

 

I also prefer aliens (that work) except in snowy/icy conditions. But I also have been extremely happy with my mastercams as a substitute.

 

Anyone else hear the rumors that BD was going to make a similar cam to the alien?

 

The CCH/Fixe rating being higher is due to a different testing regime. Totem posted on this at some point on ST. Basically, the Totem rating is with less cam closure vs the Fixe.

 

I'm with RyanB. Below a Green Alien the Master Cams and other designs are better. Green-Red Alien are their sweet spot.

 

The Totem Basics are a near spot on version of the CCH Alien with some tweaks and improvements that make it better overall.

 

I did an initial review here - read down a few posts, I saw I posted on the Strength ratings as well.

Totem Basic Review @ MtnProj

 

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You couldn't do better then with a rack of Totem cams. They are THE state of the art gear protection available right now, and I can't emphasize enough how well they work in what are questionable or sketchy placements with BD or Metolius cams, whereas Totem cams lock in and you can just feel when they aren't walking or coming out, just awesome. I am a manufacturing engineer, but my asessments are based on climbing regularly and placing gear and not dyanmic testing or working in the lab with them. To me, out on the rock is where they shine and 20 feet out when all you can find is that shallow pocket or flared slot, you will be super stoked to have them.

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I'm going to wait until people have been climbing on the totems for a couple of years before I spring for them. Those skinny wires running over the lobes seem like they'd wear out pretty fast.

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i am psyched for some new aliens. wonder if there is any difference between the Totem and the Fixe? Looked like the Fixe has a much higher breaking strength.

 

I agree, aliens had better range and got stuck less. The big downside was the trigger wires were a bitch to replace, the cam head got deformed very quickly, they were useless in mixed climbing, and the whole part about them breaking.

 

I also prefer aliens (that work) except in snowy/icy conditions. But I also have been extremely happy with my mastercams as a substitute.

 

Anyone else hear the rumors that BD was going to make a similar cam to the alien?

 

The CCH/Fixe rating being higher is due to a different testing regime. Totem posted on this at some point on ST. Basically, the Totem rating is with less cam closure vs the Fixe.

 

I'm with RyanB. Below a Green Alien the Master Cams and other designs are better. Green-Red Alien are their sweet spot.

 

The Totem Basics are a near spot on version of the CCH Alien with some tweaks and improvements that make it better overall.

 

I did an initial review here - read down a few posts, I saw I posted on the Strength ratings as well.

Totem Basic Review @ MtnProj

 

Comparing Totem Basics vs Fixe Aliens on the published specs: the Fixe look like they have a bigger expansion range. Is this also selective measuring. I read that Totem tweaked the range to make the grey obsolete, but when I add up the numbers, it still looks like Fixe wins. Is one company publishing actual range while the other is publishing usable range?

 

And ditto on the comment about waiting on the regular totem (the non-alien). I'm glad I waited on the link cam and the supercam.

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Totems wear as well as any of the other cams. Way more burly and long lasting then Aliens (which I loved), but thats not saying much. In fact, they even appear to wear better because of the dual axle they seem to clean easily, so you don't have to yank them around as much to get them out or in a tight placement. I think until you actually go out an use the Totems crack climbing for a weekend, anyone is resistant to them and how they look, which is kind of funky at first glance. I wasn't impressed when I first saw them, but in placement after placement on a big aid climb they worked where anything else was questionable, and thats what convinced me. Use them side by side with the BD's and Metolius cams, thats what it takes.

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How many days have you climbed on your totems? How many falls have you taken on them? I've got aliens that are 12 years old, probably 30 days/year? At least a fall or two a day? But, I don't aid climb at all, maybe that bashes them up worse.

 

 

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First, name dropping for who uses what and for what reasons isn't really a convincing argument. Just about any name brand cam on the market is going to safely hold a fall when properly placed, even on 5.hard terrain.

 

I've been down at Indian Creek for the past few weeks climbing on all types of gear. A few thoughts.

 

1.) 3 cam units (TCUs/C3s) don't do very well on soft sandstone. Several locals claim to have pulled bomber C3 placements at Indian Creek. I was a bit skeptical as normally I'm a big fan of C3s on granite and basalt, however I had a green C3 fail on me last week in a body weight situation while at IC. Beware of the sandstone!

 

2.) Master cams aren't perfect but in my mind they are a solid small cam. The bigger sizes are too flaccid so I'd say blue-orange is my master cam rack. In Smith tuff or pods of Basalt nothing is better.

 

3.) Trigger wires on Master cams get snagged in the crack at times making them hard to remove, I could care less as I'll make my second deal with it. :-)

 

 

Oh back to the name drop thing.. I watched a guy send the "

Optimator" yesterday using master cams in the tips section. But oh wait, master cams suck and this guy was a total moron because nobody that climbs hard trad uses master cams. But wait, this route isn't hard so never mind...

 

My rack: C3s from purple to green (for basalt and granite)

Master Cams Blue-Orange.

BD C4s. Grey-#6.

 

-Nate

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First, name dropping for who uses what and for what reasons isn't really a convincing argument.

Oh back to the name drop thing.. I watched a guy send the "

Optimator" yesterday using master cams in the tips section. But oh wait, master cams suck and this guy was a total moron because nobody that climbs hard trad uses master cams. But wait, this route isn't hard so never mind...

-Nate

 

There hasn't been one "name dropping" on this thread. Not sure where all this hate is coming from. Looks like everything here is just personal opinions. Take a chill pill brother.

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MY biggest issue with Master Cams and all Metolius cams are their sizing choices. Since they use the smaller 13.25 cam angle they have a smaller range. Given that you'd expect them to have MORE sizes for more overlap and better "Coverage". Instead, Metolius Cams always seem to have gaps. I HATE the spacing between BLUE and Yellow. There's a reason many love the Green Alien. It's the size you WANT between Blue and Yellow. I've actually emailed the guys in Bend about making half sizes. Same goes for the jump from Orange to Red. It's a bit too much.

 

 

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Gene, I think Nate was referring to the argument stated in both threads that 5.12 and beyond climbers don't like mastercams.

 

In any "scene" it is hard to tease out actual opinion vs. group mentality, posturing, and wanna-being.

 

I remember not long ago when it was hip to trash talk a route that was long seen as a big challenge to most.

 

I am far from immune to this, but I agree with Nate.

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I have several friends that climb 5.12+ trad, and they LOVE their Metolius cams for crack climbing, so I don't think there is some group concensus that 5.12 crack climbers don't like Metolius cams. However, they have not used the Totem cams YET! The new engineering that allows you to load a Totem cam on just one side(2 lobes) and hang off it(no guarantee it will hold a lead fall set like that but good for aid), should tell you something about their holding power in other then perfect placements and also their resistance to walking when both sides of the cam are engaged.

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