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Thread: Crampon comparison

  1. #1
    Senior Member Paradox's Avatar
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    Crampon comparison

    What is the difference between an $85 pair of crampons and a $185 pair of crampons? I imagine the quality and toughness of the steel used in the points is an important factor. But does a hundred bucks buy you the difference? I am interested in your opinion on how you like the pair of crampons (brand) that you have?
    WNH4K:48/48, SLAT50:50/50, NEHH:100/100, NE115:115/115,
    TW72:60/72, WADK46: 18/46, 52WAV:16/52, Cat35:9/35(39)

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    Senior Member kmorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox
    What is the difference between an $85 pair of crampons and a $185 pair of crampons? I imagine the quality and toughness of the steel used in the points is an important factor. But does a hundred bucks buy you the difference? I am interested in your opinion on how you like the pair of crampons (brand) that you have?
    This has been discussed here before, but one of the big differences I experienced was with the connecting bar between the front and rear set. I originally bought a pair of AustriaAlpins from Campmor. They seemed nice, but on the first hike the bar on one set snapped. I replaced them with a pair of Grivel's and haven't looked back since.

    Kevin

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    Senior Member cbcbd's Avatar
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    I have Petzl Sarkens, Petzl Vasaks, and Grivel G14s.

    The Vasaks are the "simplest", having 12 points and horizontal front points. I got them on Ebay used so I can't really say they were cheap or expensive. They have a spirlock binding.

    The Sarkens have 12 points and the front points are vertical and the secondary points have an extra point machined on them. I have these with Leverlock (step-in) and at one point saw them clearanced at $100 - which is a great price for these excellent and very versatile (snow and vertical ice) crampons.

    The G14s have forged front-points that come with the hardware to change them front double to mono front-points. They are more expensive then my other ones and the forged front points are nice to have for ice climbing.

    As far as the price goes, I'd say that labor and materials play the biggest part in it, since my G14s obviously took more off both to make.

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    Senior Member NH_Mtn_Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox
    What is the difference between an $85 pair of crampons and a $185 pair of crampons?
    Ummm...$100?!

    Nobody can accurately answer that question unless we know what specific crampons you're referring to.

  5. #5
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH_Mtn_Hiker
    Ummm...$100?!

    Nobody can accurately answer that question unless we know what specific crampons you're referring to.
    I agree - give us more info.

    Assuming you're in need of general mountaineering (alpine crampons) - the stock advice is buy some 10 pointers, such as BD Contact Strap or Grivel G10's. Both run about $100 and in their class, as good as they come. Astri Alpin also makes a 10 pointer, and runs about $85, but they don't hold up, so it's false economy.

    Personally, I like Grivels for a 10 pointer because they're not as aggressive (sharp), and they come in 4 different flavors of binding systems so you can really tailor them to your boot. But, quality-wise, they're both winners.

    Of course - this may not be the question you're asking at all ...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Paradox's Avatar
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    Thank you, to all. It looks like I would be making a wise choice with a good set of Grivels.
    WNH4K:48/48, SLAT50:50/50, NEHH:100/100, NE115:115/115,
    TW72:60/72, WADK46: 18/46, 52WAV:16/52, Cat35:9/35(39)

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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Rooney
    the stock advice is buy some 10 pointers
    I've heard this repeated often. Yet a lot of folks post references to their 12-pointers. What's the difference (Yes, it's 2, I realize)... What's the practical difference?

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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    Senior Member sapblatt's Avatar
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    I have understood it as the 10 pointers are a solid set of crampons for what most of us here do - hike on some snow and ice. The 12 and 14 pointers have more points (obviously), and often have a more agressive front point. These are used more often in mountaineering and steep glacier travel.
    - Mike

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    Bobby

  9. #9
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    After I posted my last note, I found this:

    http://www.grivelnorthamerica.com/pr...hp?gid=5&id=43
    G10 is the standard by which all other modern 10-point crampons are measured. They are tried end tested (since 1990) and used by trekkers, climbers, ski mountaineers, mountain rescue groups and elite, special operations personnel. Ten-point crampons provide security on terrain where the technical capacities of a 12-point model are unnecessary, from frozen streambeds to Mount Rainier to the Lions Head trail on Mount Washington to Everest’s normal route. Ten-point models “walk” more efficiently than 12-point configurations, and they are lighter and more compact as well. Three different types of bindings are available to adapt to virtually any type of footwear. Also available in a Wide configuration to fit snowbaord boots, Sorels, etc.
    and

    http://www.grivel.com/Products/Detta...mponi.asp?ID=2
    A light-weight, universal crampon. G10 is designed to meet the classical demands of general mountaineering. It is perfect for ski touring, trekking, or for women and children (whose small boots don´t require many points underneath them). The crampons are fully adjustable by hand, without tools and one size fits all. G10 folds easily for transportation. The G10 crampon is delivered with the Antibott included.
    The part about "...whose small boots don't require many points..." concerns me, as I wear a 47 (Eur) 12.5/13 US boot, which of course is 1/2 size too big for standard crampons, meaning anything I buy needs an extension bar. At 6'3" and ~200 pounds, this comment concerns me -- will 10 points be enough?

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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    The $185 crampons are designed for vertical ice and mixed climbing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish
    ...I wear a 47 (Eur) 12.5/13 US boot, which of course is 1/2 size too big for standard crampons, meaning anything I buy needs an extension bar...

    Tim
    The G 10 wide with flex bar fits both my EU 12.5 Kolflacks (last notch on the bar) and soft Columbia boots (size 12). The rigid bar may fit differently.

  12. #12
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish
    I've heard this repeated often. Yet a lot of folks post references to their 12-pointers. What's the difference (Yes, it's 2, I realize)... What's the practical difference?

    Tim
    Grivel's 10 pointers (but not BD's Contact Strap) have shorter points which are not as sharp (i.e., 'aggressive'). This 1/2" shorter means you're less likely to trip, which is a factor especially late in the afternoon when you're heading down - you're tired, low light conditions, etc. And since you're less likely to trip, you're less likely to puncture yourself, clothing or companions with a sharp crampon. It also means that when you're standing around, talking with your companions and you accidently step on their feet (or your dog's feet - yup, someone stepped on Brutus one day) that less damage will be done to them.

    When using crampons in mixed alpine (mixed meaning both snow/ice and rock), they dull after a bit. This doesn't have much impact on their effectiveness in the Northeast, as the grades on most hiking trails don't require sharp points. If you end up doing glaciated peaks where a more aggressive crampon (12 point or more) is needed, then consider buying a second pair for this use.

    Kevin

  13. #13
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish
    I've heard this repeated often. Yet a lot of folks post references to their 12-pointers. What's the difference (Yes, it's 2, I realize)... What's the practical difference?
    Once upon a time, 10-pointers used to have all their points under the foot and pointing downward. (The two points under the toe of the boot might have been "cheated" forward somewhat.) The 12-pointers added two horizontal front points sticking out horizontally from the toe of the crampon. The 10-pointers were intended for hiking (and flat-footed ("French Technique") low angle (<45 deg) ice and hard snow climbing). The 12-pointers added front-pointing ("Austrian Technique") for high angle (>45 deg) ice and steep hard snow climbing.

    Nowdays, the distinction may be blurred somewhat, but horizontal front points are still designed for steep ice climbing. A hiker might use the front points on a very short steep step or on steepish hard snow, but is unlikely to use them continuously for any distance. An ice climber may use the front points for extended sections of up to beyond-vertical ice.

    If you have front points, it is very easy to rip one's pants, gaiters, scar one's boots, or injure one's lower legs with them. Thus it is frequently recommended that hikers avoid front points, which usually means stick with 10-point crampons.

    Doug

  14. #14
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Doug -

    Don't know if you're aware of this or not, but - most 10 pointers on the market today do have two front tines. It might be difficult to find new crampons without them.

    Kevin

  15. #15
    Member MissionsMan's Avatar
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    Black Diamond Sabertooth and/or Contact 'pons

    I use Black Diamond's Sabertooth - both the full step-in version (which requires a stiff "welt" to set the heel/toe bails) and the newer Clip version. The Clip version is my primary crampon. Easy to put on nearly every boot i have. Except for pure waterfall ice, I am usually not limited by my crampon selection.

    I will soon be buying the BD Contact crampons for my winter training runs/walks. They strap on beautifully to trail runners and the "longer" (than Grivel) points are not a problem for me as i am pretty used to wearing BD crampons. Also, they are made of steel and will last a longer time than the alloys.

    The Contacts can be had for around $100 and well worth the money.

    fm
    "...silence is greater than the absence of noise"

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