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BD X-15's non carbon version

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BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby kylenicolls » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:25 am

Being that I am getting increasingly experienced and into steeper slopes, I was looking for some used ice tools for the steeper slopes on mountains, 70° range. General alpine use on more technical routes. Basically looking for some input here.

I was originally looking to just get a second bent neck axe along with my straight 65 but then figured why not get a pair of older tools for about the same price as a BD Venom that could be more appropriate.

I ran into these online, emailed the guy and they are still availible. I offered $125 shipped and he countered at $130: http://neice.com/classifieds/hardware/p ... tools.html

These seem to be the all-aluminum X-15's (not BRS) that are known to be on the heavy side, 50cm run about 1 lb 11 oz. 3oz heavier than BD Reactors that I have used before in a course. I saw some similar ones on ebay, not sure what BD model but they were black, same bent shaft, but fully rubbered with leashes go for about 125 on ebay last week. Some, I think it was a pair of Charlet Mosers, tools went for about 115 last week with a pair of new picks along with the used ones.

Is 130 worth it? You reccomend a different approach? These are primarily to get my foot in the door for steeper slopes.

If you dont want the link:
Image


Thanks, Kyle.
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby mvs » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:25 am

It's hard to say about the price...seems high for such old tools, but maybe that is fine. And the picks don't look very beat up. The leashes are good.

I can vouch for older style tools still being useful and appropriate for alpine ice. I have Petzl Nomics for water ice, but still take my (bent shaft) Black Diamond Prophets for alpine faces, most recently last month. These X-15s will serve you well. I also have a straight-shaft X-15 that I still use with some regularity.
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:18 pm

$65 per tool seems like a decent price. I owned bold the BD Shrikes (almost identical to these tools) as well as CM Pulsars, also very similar. Both are decent tools. I have yet to climb pure water ice as hard as I did with my CM Pulsars and Lowe Lightfangs.

The largest advance in tool technology, leashless capability not withstanding, is the bend near the head of the tool. I think moving from the Venom to a tool without this feature, you will miss it. If you can find a pair with a bend at the top and an egronomic grip you would be better served. A pair of used Petzl Aztars would be a good choice. Or just buck up and buy a matching Venom. Ice tools are a bit like computers, you may as well buy the the latest technology you can afford because as soon as you walk out of the store it is already obsolete.
Last edited by ExcitableBoy on Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby climbamt » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:08 pm

The good thing on these tools is that you can get new picks, and even a "classic" style pick for general mountaineering. They will last forever.....The bad is that they are HEAVY..... To my knowledge there is not a carbon fiber X-15. Another tool to keep you eye out for would be the Petzl Aztar. Similar versatility, easily modifiable to leashless. they will however cost you more, but they are also lighter. They also have a more comfortable grip in my opinion.

Good luck!

Gary
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby kylenicolls » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:29 pm

Thanks for the input, any others? Seems like its on the upper end of the reasonable price range.

Apparently after these X-15's, BD made a X-15 BRS that was a aluminum shaft wrapped in carbon fiber. Or so I have read.
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:31 pm

kylenicolls wrote:Thanks for the input, any others? Seems like its on the upper end of the reasonable price range.

Apparently after these X-15's, BD made a X-15 BRS that was a aluminum shaft wrapped in carbon fiber. Or so I have read.


The X-15 BRS was wrapped in rubber and was made before the red, all aluminum shaft models. I remember because I had the Chouinard X tools, and the BD X-15s were very similar. Shafts were made of fiberglass - slippery when icy. Then came the X-15 BRS (Bonded Rubber Shaft) which solved the slickness issue, but were too fat for those of us with short fingers. None of these models to my knowledge used carbon fiber.
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby Yeti » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:10 pm

Fair price for those tools, i also had a set fo Shrikes and found themt o be satisfactory as a learners set of tools. I moved up to some CM Quasars and never looks back, they're great tools.
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby kylenicolls » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:25 am

Yeah I thought carbon would've been a bit bigger deal too. Some people are saying carbon, but possibly not. Seems like they'd be hyped a lot more.

Anyhow thanks for the info all.

Kyle.
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby Yeti » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:58 am

Speaking for myself; I like my tools having some inertia. There is such a thing as too light for me, I make better placements with metal tools.
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:37 am

Yeti wrote:Speaking for myself; I like my tools having some inertia. There is such a thing as too light for me, I make better placements with metal tools.

Big, strong fellas usually like a heavier tool. Until I wrecked my arm (I used to swing a 26 oz California framing hammer) I liked Black Diamonds for their heavy, steel heads, not to mention simple pick attachment. Now with a gimpy arm I like the light weight Aztars, also with a simple attchment system but with better forged picks.
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:42 am

Yeti wrote:I moved up to some CM Quasars and never looks back, they're great tools.

FWIW, Don Serl, the pioneering Canada, B.C. ice climber and ice climbing guide book author said Quasars were the first tool to make a real difference in ice climbing.

Folks like Dane1 are saying similar things about the CM (ahem) Petzl Nomic and Ergo.
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby Yeti » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:53 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:Big, strong fellas usually like a heavier tool.


No one has ever called me a big strong fella before.... not a man, anyways. :?

I'm not sure a leashless tool is right for me, due in no small part to my tendancy to be a clutz. What is the benefit of going leashless?
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby coldfoot » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:42 pm

kylenicolls wrote:Apparently after these X-15's, BD made a X-15 BRS that was a aluminum shaft wrapped in carbon fiber. Or so I have read.


The BD Black Prophets came after X-15's, and came in an aluminum shaft, fully rubber wrapped version, and a carbon fiber version.
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:42 pm

coldfoot wrote:
kylenicolls wrote:Apparently after these X-15's, BD made a X-15 BRS that was a aluminum shaft wrapped in carbon fiber. Or so I have read.


The BD Black Prophets came after X-15's, and came in an aluminum shaft, fully rubber wrapped version, and a carbon fiber version.

My partner had the Carbon Black Prophets, which before the Cobras came out were the shit.
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Re: BD X-15's non carbon version

Postby JHH60 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:11 pm

Yeti wrote:I'm not sure a leashless tool is right for me, due in no small part to my tendancy to be a clutz. What is the benefit of going leashless?


I'm still an ice acolyte but maybe my experience will be helpful as a result. I hired a local guide several years ago to work with me on my water ice skills and he insisted I go leashless, so I've been climbing that way on WI ever since. An obvious benefit is that you can change your grip on the tools, switch hands, and remove your hands from the tools to place screws, futz with gear, etc. more easily. But a more important benefit for me is that it forced me to focus on my tool technique and particularly on getting a good strike with minimum effort and thrashing. If you're tired, you can't just let the tool dangle, or if the tool pops loose, you can't rely on the leash to save it. I have to admit that I still like leashes on alpine ice where losing a tool often means really losing it, but going leashless on water ice has definitely improved my climbing.
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