Monday, January 28, 2008

Review > Metolius > Cobblestone


If you look in the dictionary (or in these days of technology.. and look up the word "Cobblestone" you will be given the following:

Cobblestone – noun :
a naturally rounded stone, larger than a pebble and smaller than a boulder, formerly used in paving

And when you get these holds from Metolius...

..they're almost exact definition of what the dictionary says... Now these days as climbers, our roads are vertical and not horizontal, and the only time our feet will touch a Cobblestone is when we're trying that tricky hand / foot match on that new problem at the gym, rather than walking about town in Victorian times :) So the holds are aptly named!

The holds come in Macro, Modular and Micro sizes (we've got the modular) so depending upon your needs you can get pretty much whatever you want...The holds all have a pretty aggressive texture when you first start to pull on them, I'd go so far to say it's a little bit too much for my taste, but thankfully with some blood, sweat and chalk it evens out after a while. Our local gym has had some one the wall for about the same time as we've had ours and with the amount of traffic that the holds get over there headed down midweek to have a sneaky climb and to see how they felt... I was pretty impressed, despite the fact that someone should get up there with a brush the holds were still positive to pull on (mind you this is on a 40 degree wall and the holds are part of the crux sequence on a 5.10)... so the texture came into it's own as even with a lot of traffic, the holds were still nice to pull on, surprising really, no one likes slick holds. If these get too slick give them a quick brush and have another go at the route, I think you might be surprised, they come back to life.

But saying that, don't be afraid to get out the ol sandpaper if you want to knock down the texture some, the holds are all good even shapes and its not hard to do.Now normally with holds once you've had a route up for a while you'll end up taking it down and moving the holds about (I know, I do it A LOT) but one thing I found nice about the Cobblestones is that you can just turn them... the holds generally have an area that you want to pull on (i.e: the best (biggest) bit) and then they taper into the wall, so all you need to do is rotate a hold a little and your V1 just became a V3, I found it a nice way to keep people on their toes. Chris was over twice last week and he's climbed the route a bunch, so when he left I turned all the holds... leaving them in the same place and then a few days later suggested he try it again. Oh the fun I had watching him flail about on a route that he'd nailed before, I left it for a few goes before I told him that's what I'd done.

The Cobblestones all look like they're pretty similar at first glance, but there is enough difference in the radii of the holds to make them all feel unique... Most of the holds aren't that positive (but there are a few) so they're not really destined for any super overhanging walls, but if you're strong and know how to use that core tension you're going to have a whole bunch of fun setting problems with these.

At first they're going to make your hands burn... and then over time they become nicer to hold. Too much chalk build up will make them a little slick especially if your wall is warm, but a quick brush and you're cooking with gas again! If you want some good slopers that are going to last a long time then you can't really go wrong with these holds, I've climbed on all of the sizes and they're as good as each other. If you're tight on space on your home woody so for Micro, if you have room to spare go with the Modular, if you want something larger then hit up the Macro's, three sizes and one common goal... to make you strong and yet be tendon friendly :)

You had me fooled on this one noodles! Rotating these holds a few degree's make them especially harder to stick. Some of the holds in our set were a little too small for an open hand and too round to crimp so its all about footwork on these guys. They have enough texture to stick them on a slight overhanging wall like we did but be prepared to be shut down a few times. The set is well rounded (excuse the pun) and is great for anyone who is looking for a way to train hard and save tendons.


  • They hold up pretty well in a commercial gym
  • Holds get better the more they are used
  • Changing a route means rotating a hold a little
  • Very tendon friendly shapes, not a sharp edge in sight
  • They only come in one color... lime green
  • They do take a few climbs before they get REALLY good
  • Depending upon how strong you are will dictate how overhung a wall they can be used on
  • 5 pack of holds is $34.95 = $6.99 per hold
  • 15 pack is $97.50 = $6.50 per hold
  • 30 pack is $177 = $5.90 per hold
  • (They come with all needed hardware :P)

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