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olyclimber

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Lot's of cool belay devices coming out these days but haven't seen anything new that can belay 2 strands of rope in a while.

 

I'd really love a belay device that provides braking-assistance for lead belaying, rappels smoothly but automatically stops your rappel if you take your hands off, can be used in guide mode to belay from the top, can be used with both single or twin ropes, feeds ropes as smoothly as an ATC in all of these use cases, and isn't absurdly bulky/heavy.

 

The megajul/microjul devices from Edelrid tried to do this but fail on the "feed ropes smoothly" front.

Edited by ilias

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I'd really love a belay device that provides braking-assistance for lead belaying, rappels smoothly but automatically stops your rappel if you take your hands off, can be used in guide mode to belay from the top, can be used with both single or twin ropes, feeds ropes as smoothly as an ATC in all of these use cases, and isn't absurdly bulky/heavy.

 

The megajul/microjul devices from Edelrid tried to do this but fail on the "feed ropes smoothly" front.

 

What diameter ropes do you use your mega/micro jul with?

 

I use the micro with my 7.8mm and the mega with my 8.7mm exclusively (no other belay device, unless I am bringing a spare) and don't feel there is any issue feeding rope smoothly ... there is definitely a learning curve, but once that is overcome they are brilliant.

 

with something 9.0-9.5 I will still use the mega jul to belay a leader, but belay from above with a gigi ... a little tougher to feed smoothly, but still no real problem accomplishing it.

 

above a 9.5 the mega jul does not really belay smoothly and I use a normal atc guide with a gigi.

 

so your statement claiming the mega/micro jul fails might only be accurate if you are using a huge rope ... otherwise they work like a dream and am actually very surprised they have not caught on like wildfire ... I love mine.

 

back to the original post, definitely some cool stuff, I found a couple new things to put on the list, thank!

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I used a mega jul quite a bit last summer, I found it pays out ok with a 9mm rope. Not quite as smooth as an ATC. Belayer a follower in guide mode (with a full round stock biner) had too much drag for me. I'll use a gigi for followers. If there isn't much simul climbing or a lot of rappels the combo works great (not a fan of rappelling with a plate).

 

The auto block rappel with the megajul is a joke, I've never had such a herky jerky rappel in my life. Tried it a few times, never could find a sweet spot of angle for the device.

 

Ilia I can't remember if we talked about it before, but the alpine up would be worth checking out for your 7.5s.

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What diameter ropes do you use your mega/micro jul with?

 

I've used it on everything from 7.5mm twins to a 9.8mm single and most sizes in between, and didn't find that it was great at any of those diameters. Here were my impressions:

 

- As Nick mentions, the autolocking rappel mode is way too jerky for me, even when hooking a biner through the nose of the device to control the rappel as they recommend.

- For belaying from the top, it's alright but takes slightly more effort than an ATC to pull the ropes through. It's usable but I often find my arms tiring out belaying followers up if I'm leading pitch after pitch.

- For lead belaying, it takes a higher level of micromanagement to make sure that you don't accidentally short rope your leader. If they make a sudden move up or jerk up on the rope to clip, the device may auto lock and then be a slight pain to resume normal belaying with.

- For top rope belaying it's great, but then so are a ton of other devices.

 

I gave it a good long chance of using it as my primary belay device for almost a full season thinking that as I got used to it it would get smoother but unfortunately, it never got smooth enough for me to really like it.

 

Nick - yeah we've talked about the Alpine Up, I keep meaning to try it out but haven't yet.

Edited by ilias

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