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Rambo 4 crampon - dual point?
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chrisnovak


Nov 29, 2010, 9:09 PM
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Rambo 4 crampon - dual point?
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Hi - I just got a pair of Rambo 4 crampons, and I can't wait to use them.

I got them because I wanted a mono-point crampon, and the heel-spur option looked nice. However, I was not sure if they have a dual-point configuration. It would be nice to have that feature if, for example, I let someone who prefers dual points borrow them. But it wasn't a major issue for me.

Now that I'm actually looking at them, I find that there is a spacer that looks like it could fit a second front point. I can't seem to find a clear mention of a dual-point configuration option anywhere on-line - and I can't find anything in the enclosed instruction book that addresses this.

So, can anyone clarify if, assuming that I purchase the two additional front-points, I can install them to create a functional dual-point configuration on the Rambo 4's?

Thanks!
Chris


Colinhoglund


Nov 29, 2010, 11:24 PM
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Re: [chrisnovak] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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chrisnovak wrote:
Hi - I just got a pair of Rambo 4 crampons, and I can't wait to use them.

I got them because I wanted a mono-point crampon, and the heel-spur option looked nice. However, I was not sure if they have a dual-point configuration. It would be nice to have that feature if, for example, I let someone who prefers dual points borrow them. But it wasn't a major issue for me.

Now that I'm actually looking at them, I find that there is a spacer that looks like it could fit a second front point. I can't seem to find a clear mention of a dual-point configuration option anywhere on-line - and I can't find anything in the enclosed instruction book that addresses this.

So, can anyone clarify if, assuming that I purchase the two additional front-points, I can install them to create a functional dual-point configuration on the Rambo 4's?

Thanks!
Chris

Like with many things I'm sure you could find a way to do so, but I don't think you'd want to. I'm pretty sure the other grove is for switching from point under big toe, to point in centre of foot (not sure of the practicality of this, maybe it's better for some routes???). I suppose you could put another point on, but not sure this would help any. They would be pretty darn close together and might shatter the ice between the points which sometimes happens with a dual point that is way further apart (which is part of the appeal of a mono). If you want to give-er-a-go and tell us how it worked (or didn't). Shes a wicked crampon, if I had the cash I'd buy em and quit wasting my time switching mono/dual on my cyborgs.


chrisnovak


Nov 30, 2010, 12:47 AM
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Re: [Colinhoglund] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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Hmmm...thanks! The alternative mono-point location idea is a very good thought...

But it's confusing: the Grivel website lists the number of points for the Rambo 4 as 11-12, with 1-2 front points - this is how other mono/dual convertible crampons are generally listed. Yet everything written about it that I've been able to find just calls it a mono-point crampon...

I am really surprised that there is so little about this anywhere. I would have thought that, whatever the purpose of the additional spacer (i.e., center monopoint option or second front point) it would be listed as a feature somewhere....

Well, no big deal. As you say, even if it's not the intended purpose, it might be worth trying it a dual-point configuration, just to see how it works out. If I get around to it, I'll post my findings.

BTW - I just finished adjusting them for my La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX boots. They seem to fit rock-solid. I can't wait to try them out!

Chris
PS - I will check with Grivel - if I find out anything, I'll post it.


brokesomeribs


Nov 30, 2010, 2:03 AM
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Re: [chrisnovak] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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The Rambo IV is sort of a hybrid monopoint, It has short hooked secondary frontpoints, but is definitely only designed to have one primary front point. Turning it into a dual point would certainly involve some jury-rigging and probably wouldn't be worth it for the above reasons. Also, being fully ridgid with those shorter front points makes it amazing stable for a monopoint. Way more stable than my Cyborgs in monopoint configuration. Converting the R4 would be silly, IMO.

I had a pair of R4's and sold them, but only because my objectives were leaning more towards alpine, where a set of hybrid crampons (Cyborgs, to be specific) were more appropriate. The Rambo definitely climbs pure ice and mixed routes like a beast. I'll probably buy another pair someday.

My one major complaint is the built-in antibots. Those large yellow "balls" underfoot are slippery as all hell when hiking in on verglassed talus. You slip and slide on those plastic balls until the crampon points hook up with rock. Almost dangerous, actually. Also, the attachment method for the balls is these little teeth that fit into the perimeter of the ball - those teeth start popping out once they have a couple miles on them and the teeth have been bent around enough. Short of those somewhat minor nitpicks, they're an awesome crampon. If you feel like doing surgery, find a better anti-bot system. That would be a better use of your time.

EDIT - Clarified my thoughts and fixed a couple 2AM typos.


(This post was edited by brokesomeribs on Nov 30, 2010, 7:56 AM)


Colinhoglund


Nov 30, 2010, 9:46 AM
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Re: [chrisnovak] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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Ps. If you haven't already noticed, the R4 is the only crampon I know of that can inside/outside edge like a rock shoe. Those splayed 2nd and third points can be "edged upon" = hello back stepping on Ice! The possibilities are endless for hooking and scumming as well.

*DISCLAIMER* practice all the above techniques on toprope in a safe environment before attempting on lead. Or else . . .Wink


chrisnovak


Dec 4, 2010, 10:20 AM
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Re: [brokesomeribs] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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Hi all - great input. To be clear, I specifically bought these because I wanted a monopoint crampon. However, when looking into crampons, I was a little put off by not being able to make it a dual point - in fact, I had originally thought about buying the G-14 because of this feature - but I wanted the heel spur option. I also looked at the new G-21's. In in the end, because I'm using a leather boot I thought that a rigid crampon would be a better choice. So, while I regretted (apparently) not being able to switch to a dual point mode if I ever wanted to, it wasn't a deal breaker for me.

However, now that I've got some time, I took a closer look at the crampons. As you can see in these pictures (this is the right crampon), they come out of the box in mono-point configuration - the point is inside the midline of the crampon. But there is an additional small red plastic bar in place (this is called a "spacer" in the instructions). It appears to be outside of the midline of the crampon (therefore, I do not think that it would make a good alternative single point option).

Although it takes removing two screws to get the spacer out (as opposed to only needing to remove one to replace a front point), once it is out, a second front point goes in easily and securely (I used the one from the left crampon - although additional frontpoints can be purchased for about $32/pair!). These pics show what it looks like (note: to save myself some work, I didn't tighten up the bolts - but it wouldn't have been a problem to do so).

In case you're wondering, the front points appear to be perfectly aligned, and the tips are 18 mm (11/16") apart. Now, whether this is too close for dual points in general to prevent excessive ice fracturing, I don't know. I don't have any other dual point crampons to compare with. But as far as I can tell, these look reasonable and functional.

As a result, I think that the Grivel website, which states that the number of front points is "1-2" likely supports the idea that the Rambo 4's can be configured as mono or dual front points.

I agree that putting them into dual point mode, especially as they are probably very stable in mono point configuration, takes away the purpose of buying this very technical (and expensive) crampon. Still, it would seem to me that others might be interested in this crampon (e.g., because it's rigid, or the heel spur option) but might not buy it because they would prefer a dual point crampon. So, Grivel might be able to sell more of them if this feature (assuming that I am correct) were at least acknowledged.

I would also point out that it wasn't exactly fun converting them - I wouldn't want to do it very often and especially not in the field. But it's nice to know what the options are.

Hope this of interest,
Chris
PS - I e-mailed Grivel about this earlier in the week...still no response.
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Colinhoglund


Dec 4, 2010, 2:36 PM
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Re: [chrisnovak] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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Looks gnarly bro.
Let us know how it works like that. Those 2 points look wicked close to each other, be interesting to see how that affects purchase in ice. Nice writeup thanks.


gunkiemike


Dec 4, 2010, 4:49 PM
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Re: [chrisnovak] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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So now you gotta sack up and make like the old timers did - try your little modification out! Don't wait for a blessing from Grivel or the folks on this forum. Just get out there and see how it goes.

Trivia question for the peanut gallery - what was the first commercially available monopoint crampon?


chrisnovak


Dec 4, 2010, 5:35 PM
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Re: [gunkiemike] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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Well, my next ice trip will be to the Ouray Ice Festival...so it'll take me a few weeks to get my new assignment done. A problem is that I don't really have enough experience to know if they're working as good/better or worse than a 'true' dual point. And I won't even get much info for comparison - it's too much of a pain to switch them back and forth. So, I might just try it out on a climb or two, just to make sure I'm not going to die!! Wink

And perhaps a Grivel rep will be there and can give me the official word.

But does anyone have a set of dual-point crampons where they can measure the distance between the points and report back? If the front points are much greater than 18 mm apart, then I could expect some issues. If they're close/the same, then probably not.

Chris


gunkiemike


Dec 4, 2010, 5:56 PM
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About 30-31 mm between frontpoints on Charlet Grade 8's.


moose_droppings


Dec 4, 2010, 8:08 PM
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gunkiemike wrote:
So now you gotta sack up and make like the old timers did - try your little modification out! Don't wait for a blessing from Grivel or the folks on this forum. Just get out there and see how it goes.

Trivia question for the peanut gallery - what was the first commercially available monopoint crampon?

The Lowe FootFang?


chrisnovak


Dec 4, 2010, 8:18 PM
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Re: [gunkiemike] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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Thanks! That's a pretty big difference...

BTW - I just thought of an alternate hypothesis. While the Rambo 4's are asymmetrical crampons (i.e., distinct left and right foot), the front part for the left and right seem to be the same shape. It may be that Grivel has a standard form for the front components, but to be able to put the front point off the mid-line they needed to have two placements (left sided and right sided) in the plastic form - they use the spacer to fill in the alternative for stability.

That is, there's only one type of anti-balling plate and spacer that's made for both sides, but the front point goes into the appropriate space depending on the foot (right slot for left foot, left slot for right foot). This seems a bit convoluted odd to me...but from a manufacturing perspective perhaps it makes sense?

So, the apparently really narrow placement of the two points, combined with the above, makes me suspect that the Rambo 4's aren't really meant to be used in dual point configuration. Well, I'll just see how they work and report back. Thanks again!

Chris


altelis


Dec 5, 2010, 8:32 AM
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Re: [chrisnovak] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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chrisnovak wrote:
Thanks! That's a pretty big difference...

BTW - I just thought of an alternate hypothesis. While the Rambo 4's are asymmetrical crampons (i.e., distinct left and right foot), the front part for the left and right seem to be the same shape. It may be that Grivel has a standard form for the front components, but to be able to put the front point off the mid-line they needed to have two placements (left sided and right sided) in the plastic form - they use the spacer to fill in the alternative for stability.

That is, there's only one type of anti-balling plate and spacer that's made for both sides, but the front point goes into the appropriate space depending on the foot (right slot for left foot, left slot for right foot). This seems a bit convoluted odd to me...but from a manufacturing perspective perhaps it makes sense?

So, the apparently really narrow placement of the two points, combined with the above, makes me suspect that the Rambo 4's aren't really meant to be used in dual point configuration. Well, I'll just see how they work and report back. Thanks again!

Chris

That, actually, sounds like the best explanation. IF I remember correctly, my G14's (which are asymmetrical) are ONLY asymmetrical because of the way the slider bar that holds the front and back 1/2 together is shaped. I THINK the actual front and back 1/2 of the crampon are identical. Granted, haven't seen them since this summer, so couldn't say for sure...


Colinhoglund


Dec 10, 2010, 8:23 PM
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Re: [chrisnovak] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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I'm a little late, but what the heck more info is good.

Both my Cyborgs and my Sabretooths have approximately 35mm distance between the inner edge of each frontpoint.

That makes the Rambo's 2 frontpoints seem ridiculous close together. Considering the fact that one of the benifits of a mono setup is less shattering b/w two points 30-35mm apart, having half of that seems like a bad idea.
Either way thanks for your efforts!


vdotmatrix


Dec 20, 2010, 6:06 PM
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Re: [chrisnovak] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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I have used this crampon for 2 seasons now and always wanted it in monpoint. I think i went through the same gyrations matching the points on there like you did but you will diminish the monopoint advantage by doing this.

I was originally looking for instructions on how to re-fit my crampons on the same boot you have the Evo GTX etremes. I just got back from climbing this weekend and it seemed to me that the monopoint was sticking out a little far and wanted to "adjust" it back just a bit so at least the secondarys would make more contact without having to kick the SH*T into the ice.

With that said, I think you's be defeating the purpose of climbing in monopoints by putting the etra points in there. I liked the monos because you can pivot a little on the monopoint like as in a high step or even re-hook precise feet placements and I seemed to not "CAM" out with the tripod placement.

I will be in Ouray again after the festicle. I'd love to go and meet some of my heros but it is really going to be crowded...but fun all the same.

BTW, I love these. I have never climbed in anything but monopoints. I'll have to post my question in a different post.

cheers..


chrisnovak


Jan 10, 2011, 9:02 PM
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Re: [chrisnovak] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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Hi all - I hope everyone had a good time at the festival in Ouray. It was great to be out on ice again! :)

So, for anyone who's still interested, and for posterity, I will report back that I did not complete my homework. Given the choice between climbing and playing around with different configurations of crampon points (they're NOT easy to change in the field) this weekend, I chose to climb. However, here are some findings.

First, the combination of the Rambo 4's and the La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX was awesome. Once I figured out how to adjust them (you can move the front bail, change the crampon length, and affect the tension with the screw in the heel lever, so there's lots of options) they fit great: easy to take on and off, yet attach super-solid to the boot.

Second, regarding the actual original question I posed: I'm not sure it matters. That is, once I actually climbed with these crampons (as monopoints) I found them remarkably stable. And my wife, who had never climbed ice before, used them without any difficulty. So, my general impression is that converting them to dual points probably isn't ever necessary - they're great as-is, probably for climbers of any level.

If I ever get some time to waste, I may just do an actual comparison of Rambo 4's in mono vs dual somehow, just to be sure. But for now, I'm quite happy with my new gear and I want to spend my limited time climbing. However, thanks for everyone's input.

Some additional notes for those looking for more info: my friend was using new DMM Terminators - these looked interesting, especially given the many front point configurations available, and I wish that I could have compared them with the Rambo 4's directly. Again, I preferred to climb then to spend time playing with crampons. But he seemed to like them. So, they may be a good choice if you really do want to be able to have multiple front point options.

As an aside, while he didn't use the heel spike, my understanding is that it isn't too great on the Terminators. Meanwhile, the spur on the Rambo 4's seemed ridiculously long (almost as long as the front point), but it actually appeared to be necessary to be effective. So that might be a consideration, but whether a heel spur option is relevant to the majority of climbers, I don't know. But there you go.

Also, I wear men's size 8.5 (US) shoes. When sized for my boots and with the heel spur in place, the Rambo 4's didn't even come close to fitting into the Petzl Fakir crampon holder. I'm not sure what other holders they might fit in...for now, I may just buy an appropriately sized Tupperware and punch some air holes in it (for drying) just to save my gear from being shredded until I figure this out...

Finally, I was shocked by how fast (cosmetic) rust forms. Everyone says to dry your gear after use...but I had no idea how quickly this happens: I had significant rust on the front point, heel spur, and bolts the next morning! Still, short of using a hair dryer, I'm not sure how to get into all the nooks and crannies to dry them completely. I guess that's just how it goes.

Well, I hope that this has helped anyone who might be looking into boots/crampons and considering the Rambo 4's. Of course, trying things out before buying would be even better. I didn't find this easy to do last summer...But it was mind blowing how much demo gear was available at the festival, so if you can get there, that would probably help. If you can't make it to the festival, then maybe this was useful.

Climb safe!
Chris
PS - still no response from Grivel to my question. So, crampons: fantastic. Customer service: not so much.


anykineclimb


Jan 19, 2011, 12:30 PM
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Re: [chrisnovak] Rambo 4 crampon - dual point? [In reply to]
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Grivels always have a bit of surface rust on them. NBD I used rambo comps for a couple years and loved them I generally use G14s now and go back and forth on dual/ mono setups.

you may consider just removing/ retract the heel spurs as you probably won't find much use for them


chrisnovak


Jan 19, 2011, 8:39 PM
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Yup - I don't actually mind the rust on the points - I was just shocked at how fast it occurred. Also, I was concerned about rust forming around the bolts, making future adjustments difficult. But this weekend I just took some extra time to dry them, and it seemed to be ok.

Removing the heel spurs would be a good option, but it's a bit of a pain - it requires removing a bolt. Not that big of a deal occasionally, but probably a hassle to do regularly.

On the other hand, now that I've got spurs, I like them. I haven't needed them yet on any WI3, I've found gratuitous ways to use them on WI4, but they've come in handy on a couple of WI5 pillars. Not that I've got that much experience in general - and mostly in Ouray, so that may be an unusual situation...but I'll keep them on for now and just deal with it.

Finally, I think that there are several crampon bags out there that are big enough to hold them (spurs and all) - Grivel (Crampon Safe Bag) and Black Diamond (Toolbox), to name a couple (although i have not actually tried either). I just pointed out that the Petzl Fakir's don't fit the Rambo 4's with heel spur as an aside, since they look like a good bag otherwise. But I ended up just putting them on my pack for the hike in - and i bought a Grivel Ice Organizer Bag (see http://www.gravityfed.com/outdoorgear/outlet/Grivel-Ice-Organizer-Bag.html) that holds everything for general storage/transport.

Anyway, sorry (again) for the long posts. But I found it hard to get specific information or practical guidance on a lot of this stuff (it probably changes regularly, anyway). But this is what I've found so far - I hope it can be of use to someone.

Cheers,
Chris
PS - just in case anyone is wondering, I am not employed by Grivel - heck, they won't even answer my e-mail question. But I do like their gear...


chad.nuesmeyer


Feb 25, 2013, 8:07 PM
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Has anybody found a decent heal spur for the R4?

The factory heal spur barely sticks out past the heal bail (yes I have the heal bail slid as far forward as it will go). It is so small that it is completely useless.

As a data point, my boot is a Sportiva Silver Bullet, nothing abnormal about the shape of my boot. I am totally fine making a hack I just want to find the best make to get it on.


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