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Thread: microspikes or crampons

  1. #16
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by --M. View Post
    Here's a question: have many others experienced the link failure in Microspikes; is it common? I'd appreciate hearing from more users.

    No link failures, no problems whatsoever -- been using these for a good solid six months over the past year and a half.

    (I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)

  2. #17
    Member werdigo49's Avatar
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    Maybe this should be a separate thread... but...

    In addition to crampons, I have Stabilicers; are they a good substitute for Microspikes? (I'd never heard of mS's until I saw this thread.)
    --Werdigo49

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by werdigo49 View Post
    Maybe this should be a separate thread... but...

    In addition to crampons, I have Stabilicers; are they a good substitute for Microspikes? (I'd never heard of mS's until I saw this thread.)
    Click on the tag at the bottom of this thread ("traction"). Scroll through the past threads shown. You may find all and more of what you want to know.
    I'm just outwalkin....

  4. #19
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by werdigo49 View Post
    In addition to crampons, I have Stabilicers; are they a good substitute for Microspikes?
    Yes, but they are bigger to carry, heavier, and occasionally lose studs.

    Microspikes/stabilicers are in turn a good substitute for instep crampons.

    Doug

  5. #20
    Member werdigo49's Avatar
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    Thanks, Carole and Doug.

    Carole, I'd never used (or even noticed) those tags before, but followed the "traction" tag as you suggested. [(slap slap); that's the sound of my knuckles being rapped for not doing a better search before posting.] But dozens of posts didn't provide the answer; they were nearly all about the "crampon vs micro/Stab" tradeoff.

    Doug, that's what I finally inferred: good, but not perfect, substitutes. Thanks --- I think I'll pick up some micros if the local REI has them in stock.
    --Werdigo49

  6. #21
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    I've never lost studs from my STABILicers, but I have seen studs lost from "something" of the trail. Neither have I had the chains on my MICROspikes come undone. Perhaps I'm not aggressive enough?

    My STABILicers are now retired as spares, kept with the spare tire in my car. MICROspikes stay on my feet better and offer superior traction. And as Doug said, they weigh less and take up less room in my pack when I'm not wearing them.
    Ellen

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    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

  7. #22
    Senior Member --M.'s Avatar
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    Thanks as well to the responders; it seems there is some issue of spike links coming loose, but not prevalent.

    As a happy user of Stabilicers, I've been considering Microspikes as a lighter-weight alternative, with perhaps a slightly different specialty (deeper snow / thicker ice, where the spikes won't get bent?) and plan to buy a set.

    Appreciative,

    --M.

  8. #23
    Senior Member Oldmanwinter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by --M. View Post
    As a happy user of Stabilicers, I've been considering Microspikes as a lighter-weight alternative, with perhaps a slightly different specialty (deeper snow / thicker ice, where the spikes won't get bent?) and plan to buy a set.
    --M.
    My wife and I started using the Microspikes when they first came out and have put the stabilicers in the spare gear bag, mainly because, as others have said, for the reduced weight and take up less room. We have never had a problem with the links, I did an inspection after reading this thread and everything looks good. Also we have never bent a spike and we don't hesitate to cross the rocks if we have to, it doesn't feel right but no problems yet. We liked them so much that we each bought another set in case they were taken off the market (not worried about that any more) and we sometimes loan out the extras. those borrowers usually end up buying their own ASAP.

    We also have crampons and carry those when the conditions could warrant them (usually any winter day). We did one hike last winter over Lincoln and Lafayette. Microspikes up the falling waters trail, crampons above tree line and snowshoes down OBP.

  9. #24
    Junior Member BriFly's Avatar
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    Microspikes rock

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldmanwinter View Post
    We liked them so much that we each bought another set in case they were taken off the market (not worried about that any more) and we sometimes loan out the extras. those borrowers usually end up buying their own ASAP.
    I'll second what Oldmanwinter said. I can't say enough good things about microspikes. My only complaint is "Why did it take so long for some one to invent them!?" I bought microspikes for myself and my girlfriend a year ago. We now *swear* by them. They work for 80% (or more) of the Winter hiking conditions we encoutner in the White Mountains. We've had several friends go out and by a pair after borrowing ours for only one hike or just seeing how well ours worked while they were slipping around.

    This past weekend, my girlfriend and I hiked up Mt. Washington, up Ammonoosuc Trail and down Jewel trail. About halfway up Ammonoosuc, the rocks and slabs were getting way too slippery with thin ice, so we threw on the microspikes. As we got to the Lake of the Clouds hut, there was a lot of bare rock, but still enough ice to slip and break a leg on if you weren't careful. We kept the microspikes on all the way up Crawford Path, to the Washington summit, and down to Jewel Trail ... grinding on bare rocks and patches of ice the whole way. The microspikes took the abuse with no problems whatsoever. I finally took mine off when we started down Jewel Trail, but my girlfriend kept her's on the whole way down -- she liked the sure-footed traction in the dirt, espcially as it got dark (!!). I inspected both of our pairs of microspikes last night when we got home. Again, no problems at all. No links prying open, no nothing. I was amazed because I thought all of the hiking on bare rock would (at a minimum) dull the spikes a lot. The spikes might not be quite as sharp as when I bought them, but they're not far off (keep in mind that microspikes aren't super sharp like crampons to begin with).

    Obviously, I am super impressed with our microspikes so far ... :-)

    FYI -- I am 165 lbs and my girlfriend is 115 lbs. So we're a little on the "light" side. It's possible that some of the problems people have had are weight-related (not to be read as "overweight"). I'm sure a 200 lb guy would be exerting much greater forces on the micropikes than I would.

  10. #25
    Senior Member forestgnome's Avatar
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    I'm not the most extreme winter treker, but I have been on enough trails in shear ice, including alpine zone. I used to use 10-point crampons until I tried the microspikes. The microspikes handle anything I've encountered. They are less likely to be overkill and they go on and off much easier.

    I don't use ropes, etc. This is strictly trail hiking. I don't use plastic boots because I must be comfortable. Otherwise, it's no fun and I don't do lists, so no reason to be uncomfortable.

    Never tried Stabilicers, so can't compare there.

    Microspikes are incredibly easy to pack.

    HTH

  11. #26
    Senior Member forestgnome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BriFly View Post
    I finally took mine off when we started down Jewel Trail, but my girlfriend kept her's on the whole way down -- she liked the sure-footed traction in the dirt, espcially as it got dark (!!).
    Oh yeah, I learned last springtime that they are wonderful on steep terrain even without snow or ice. Leaves can be quite slippery and I found that the microspikes were wonderful in this situation.

  12. #27
    Senior Member Lawn Sale's Avatar
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    I just picked up some of the Trampons at Ragged Mountain and will report on them as soon as things ice over. They were the same price as Microspikes, but since everyone else has those, I decided to give these a try.
    Appearances are not everything, it just looks like they are.




  13. #28
    Senior Member TrishandAlex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Sale View Post
    I just picked up some of the Trampons at Ragged Mountain and will report on them as soon as things ice over. They were the same price as Microspikes, but since everyone else has those, I decided to give these a try.
    Looking forward to your report -- those Trampons look great!
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  14. #29
    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Some other things I like about micros -- you can wear them over trail runners and I've even kept them on my boots when I've had to switch over to MSRs -- and they've been suprisingly comfortable. Saves time changing over.
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  15. #30
    Senior Member Dave Bear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Sale View Post
    I just picked up some of the Trampons at Ragged Mountain and will report on them as soon as things ice over. They were the same price as Microspikes, but since everyone else has those, I decided to give these a try.
    Knowing your thrifty reputation they must be a reasonable price as well. I've had plenty of pulled links and very dull points on my microspikes (its that weight per contact point crap I have to deal with). I had contemplated making new point plates for mine out of stainless. I like having an intermediate traction device to save wearing the crampons on mixed easy terrain.
    The heart of the journey is in the path not the peak!

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