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arnaudsors

Grivel X-monster : DANGER !!

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm writing this message after an incident that happened to me last winter while ice climbing with my X-monsters. (I fell twice) The protection was good and there hasn't been any more consequences but falling on ice is never appreciable and in other circumstances I could have been really injured.

I would have prefered for GRIVEL to pass this information themselves but they haven't been replying to my several messages, in spite of very polite and detailed explanations. (I consider this is OUTRAGEAOUS , when it comes to a matter of safety...!)

 

Anyway, here is the problem: There is a design problem in the shaft/blade angle. When the tool is hold on the upper position (when matching/changing hands) the tool can suddenly pop out ! This happens suddenly and unexpectedly, as everything is going fine otherwise...

I've carried out a series of test on the ground (also with quarks, fusions, and viper) and this was confirmed. This only happens with the X monster.

 

I hope this will be useful,

 

Best,

 

Arnaud Sors

 

arnaud.sors-2 (AT) laposte.net

 

For those who read French, here is the explanation I sent to Grivel (which remained unanswered...)

 

 

 

Je vous envoie cette lettre suite à des problèmes de désancrage de mes X-monsters.

Je reviens d’une semaine de glace en Norvège avec ces piolets et suis tombé deux fois. Le scénario a été exactement le même pour ces deux chutes : Glace assez raide (5), piolet ancré et tenu au niveau de la poignée supérieure, je m’arrête pour brocher avec l’autre main. Un peu de traction sur le piolet au moment d’amorcer la broche, et tout d’un coup le piolet désancre et je vole. Fort heureusement mes protections étaient très bonnes et aucune de ces deux chutes n’a eu de conséquences.

 

Cependant et pour être honnête ceci m’a beaucoup remué. La première chute, en particulier, m’a fait un choc : Le désancrage est arrivé à un moment absolument inattendu : La grimpe était sereine, mes placements étaient bons, j’étais à l’aise et à aucun moment « daubé », j’estimais donc mes ancrages sûrs et voilà que je vole…

Je me suis donc complètement remis en question…

Quelques longueurs plus tard et malgré mon attention dans la qualité des ancrages le même scénario s’est reproduit.

 

J’ai alors effectué quelques tests avec les X-monsters : Piolet solidement ancré dans la glace, j’ai effectué des tractions du manche vers le bas d’abord en tenant l’engin par sa poignée normale puis par la poignée « surélevée » (bas du manche muni du snake-grip). Le résultat a été frappant : En tenant le piolet par la poignée du bas, la tenue est parfaite, le piolet ne désancre jamais. En revanche, en le tenant par la poignée du haut, le désancrage a systématiquement lieu, en général après 2 ou 3 franches tractions vers le bas (parfois après une seule). Je pense donc qu’il y a un gros problème de conception du piolet, plus précisément du couple position de la poignée/ angulation de la lame.

 

Après une petite étude rapide voici ce qui ressort : (voir schéma) Appelons D la droite reliant le point de traction de la main avec le bout de la lame, et d la droite de la surface de repos du bout de la lame sur la glace.

 

http://www.hiboox.fr/go/images/divers/image-3,2d6978d4aa2c9ffb50081d3eb78239cd.png.html

 

Bien que la traction de la main ne s’effectue pas toujours dans l’axe de la droite D, cette droite correspond au « cas limite » : pour une traction « plus en arrière » le piolet bascule c’est à dire que le bas de la poignée jaune ne touchera plus la glace (et risque donc, légitimement, de désancrer)

 

Cependant, pour tous les axes de tractions « plus vers le bas » ou selon D, le piolet se doit de tenir pour être fiable.

 

Or, on voit sur le schéma que l’angle alpha est légèrement supérieur à 90 degrés alors qu’il devrait être au grand maximum égal à cette valeur, sinon la lame glisse et désancre. C’est ce qui se passe ici.

 

Plusieurs solutions pour éviter ce phénomène : Rabaisser la poignée (je ne pense pas qu’une poignée si haute soit vraiment nécessaire), avancer la poignée (ok, on perd l’avantage du galbe), ou augmenter l’angulation de la panne. Ou, à l’extrême, supprimer cette possibilité de tenir le piolet par le manche (dommage pour le dry)

 

Je précise que je n’ai pas modifié la lame en l’affutant : 2-3 affutages légers mais sans jamais changer la forme.

 

Par ailleurs il se trouve qu’à la fin de ma semaine en Norvège (Rjukan) un festival avait lieu et un distributeur local Grivel était présent. Je lui ai donc signalé le problème et il vous l’a probablement déjà mentionné.

 

J’espère que vous serez à même de communiquer ce message afin qu’aucun accident n’ai lieu. J’espère qu’il sera possible de rectifier le tir, car de façon générale je trouve la balance, l’ancrage, et la performance en général de tous les produits Grivel excellents. Croyez-bien que je ne songe pas du tout à faire de la «mauvaise publicité » pour la marque, mais il me semble dommage que des problèmes de ce genre puissent nuire à des produits par ailleurs excellents.

 

En ce qui me concerne, plus de peur que de mal, mais je ne vais plus grimper avec mes X-monsters. J’apprécierais et trouverais normal un geste commercial de votre part, remboursement ou fourniture d’un autre modèle de la gamme.

 

Dans tous les cas, je vous remercie de me confirmer réception de ce courrier et me faire part de vos réflexions futures sur l’évolution (peut-être ?) du modèle. J’espère sincèrement que le concept du manche plat, et du piolet « pas cher » ne sera pas abandonné.

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Google translation:

 

I send you this letter after undocking problems with my X-monsters. I returned from a week in Norway with ice axes and these came twice. The scenario was exactly the same for these two falls: Ice steep (5), piolet anchored and held at the upper handle, I stop for broaching with your other hand. A bit of traction on the ice ax as they engage the pin, and suddenly the ice ax undocked and I fly. Fortunately my guards were very good and neither of these falls has had consequences.

 

But to be honest and this disturbed me a lot. The first fall, in particular, gave me a shock: The undocking arrived at an absolutely unexpected: The climb was serene, my investments were good, I was at ease and at no time "Daubé" j 'I felt so safe anchorages and now I'm flying ... I'm being questioned ... A few lengths later and despite my attention to the quality of the anchors on the same scenario was repeated.

 

I then performed some tests with the X-monsters: Piolet firmly anchored in the ice, I made ​​pulls the handle down first taking the machine by the handle and the handle normal "elevated" (bottom of the handle with snake grip). The result was striking: While holding the ax by the handle down, the dress is perfect, the ax does not undocked. However, by holding the top handle, the depinning has consistently held, usually after 2 or 3 free pulls down (sometimes after only one). I think there is a big problem with the ice ax design, specifically the torque handle position / angulation of the blade.

 

After a little quick study what emerges here is: (see diagram) Let D be the line connecting the point traction of the hand with the tip of the blade, and the right of the resting surface of the tip of the blade on the ice.

 

http://www.hiboox.fr/go/images/divers/image-3, 2d6978d4aa2c9ffb50081d3eb78239cd.png.html

 

While pulling the hand does not always take place in the axis of the line D, this line corresponds to the "borderline" for traction "further back" is rocking the ax to say that the bottom of the yellow handle will not receive more ice (and therefore might, legitimately, to undock)

 

However, for all axes of traction "more down" or according to D, the ax must be taken for reliable.

 

However, we see in the diagram that the angle alpha is slightly greater than 90 degrees when it should be at the most equal to that value, otherwise the blade slips and undocked. This is what happens here.

 

Several solutions to avoid this: Lowering the handle (I do not think a handful so high is really necessary), move the handle (ok, you lose the advantage of the curve), or increase the angle of the fault. Or, in extreme cases, remove the possibility of holding the ax by the handle (too bad for dry)

 

Note that I have not changed the blade in the honing: 2-3 sharpenings light but without changing the shape .

 

Moreover, it is at the end of my week in Norway (Rjukan) a festival was taking place and a local distributor Grivel was present. I have therefore reported the problem and you probably already mentioned.

 

I hope you will be able to communicate this message so that no accidents have reason. I hope it will be possible to rectify this, because generally I find the balance, grounding, and general performance of all products Grivel excellent. Believe me, I am not thinking at all to the "bad publicity" for the brand, but it seems a pity that such problems can interfere with the otherwise excellent products.

 

In my case, more frightened than hurt, but I'm not going to climb with my X-monsters. I appreciate it and find a normal commercial gesture on your part, or refund providing another model range.

 

In any case, I thank you for confirming receipt of this letter and let me know your thoughts on the future evolution (perhaps?) model. I sincerely hope that the concept of flat handle, ice ax and "cheap" will not be abandoned.

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Perhaps it is just your pair? I have been climbing 2 seasons on a pair of grivel x-monster ice tools and I have not had any problems. I was in Ouray this last January and climbed on a whole assortment of ice tools and the x-monsters did a fine job.

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Google translated Grivel response:

 

 

First you apologize for the delay in our response. Due to a misunderstanding between the parent and we, the French distributor for the delayed response because each of us thought the other had answered.

Your message has arrived home and every question deserves an answer, so it was not our intension to not give our opinion.

We deliver X-monster since 2005 and since then seven years the design has never changed. According to statistics tens of thousands of copies are used in all the mountains in the world with about 7000 in France with satisfaction and increasing success over the years.

Many amateur and professional climbers among them is a renowned monster-X use intensively.

Obviously with any ax there compromises.

An ice ax with an acute angle such that the axes of dry tooling are fine for the changes in hand but are very difficult to plant in the ice.

Instead an ax with a less marked will be very effective to plant but much less efficient for changes in hand or high hand position.

Using x-monster should be aware of these tradeoffs therefore accept a very comfortable offset handle, a great angle on the ice in the bottom position and on the other hand pay attention to his disadvantage because of course the higher up the hand with the along the handle and the ax tends to go out.

Over the handle is curved this effect is less important.

This explains the very curved handles on the axes of dry or positions with hands on the handle are very common in the upper position.

Ice in the most important thing is to plant the ice ax effectively, why a lower curve is needed. For information you can take the handle of the second X-monster at different heights, either with the index finger or two fingers or entire hands.

I hope that answers your questions.

On our part we would consider that you contact the proper response in any forum in which you put your message.

I remain at your disposal.

 

Sportivement,

 

Bruno ROBERT

Grivel France Chamonix

marile@grivel.com - www.grivelfrance.com

264, avenue Ravanel le Rouge

74400 CHAMONIX MONT BLANC

Tél : 04 50 53 07 43 - Fax : 04 50 53 27 51

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Even though this is an older post, I was curious about the difficulty and I didn't quite understand Google's translation. So I did an attempt myself.

 

---

 

Hello Mr. Sors,

 

First, excuse me for the late response. Due to a misunderstanding between the headquarters and us, the French distribute, the response was delayed because we both thought we had responded.

We have received your message, and every question deserves a response, so it was not our intention to not give our opinion.

We have been making the X-monster since 2005, and in these last 7 years, the design has not changed. According to statistics, some tens of thousands of copies are used in all the world's mountains (about 7000 of those in France) with increasing satisfaction and success each year.

Many amateur alpinists and professionals, including some well known ones, make a great deal of use from the X-monster.

Obviously with all ice axes there are compromises.

An ax with a sharp angle, like dry-tooling axes, are very good for changing hands, but are hard to place in the ice.

On the other hand, an ax with a slighter angle will be very effective at placing, but much worse for switching hands or moving hands to the high hand position.

When using the the x-monster, it's important to be aware of these tradeoffs. so you get a very comfortable, offset grip, an excellent angle on the ice in a low position, on the other hand, watch out for its disadvantages because as you can see the higher your hand is along the shaft[1], the more likely the ax is to come out.

The more curved the handle is, the less important this effect is.

This explains the sharply curved handles of dry-tool axes where the hands are frequently placed higher along the shaft

On ice, the most important thing is to place your ax with efficiency, a lesser curve is better at this.

FYI, you can take the second (higher) handle of the x-monster to different levels: with the index finger, with to fingers, or with the whole hand.

I hope I have answered your question.

On our behalf, we think it would be best if you relayed our response to all the forums in which you put your message

I remain at your disposal.

 

Cheers,

Bruno Robert

 

[1] I think that's what it means, it's slightly ambiguous to me.

Edited by Alan Trick

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The Google translation leaves much to be desired. If work was slow enough I'd translate the letter myself for the benefit of non francophones.

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