Thursday, February 21, 2008

Review > Metolius > Inside Outs


Hands up who's had a spinning T nut... if you own a commercial wall or a home wall this will become a problem at some point. I have the answer... Inside Outs from Metolius!! All you're going to need is some of these...And one of these (a circle cutter depending upon the size of hold (ours was 3 1/2 inch)):
And maybe a jigsaw if you get the larger ones!... (you can actually just use a jigsaw if you want)
Now what you're going to get is a hold that is going to have to be placed INTO your wall, thankfully as these screw onto the wall from the front you don't need access to the back (thank god for that because only Chris can get round there... just), they look like this from the side..
..a hold that when in the wall sits flush to the face panel, and a large bit that goes in the hole that is obviously the hole that you'll use. Now I don't have any spinning T nuts, but I did have some space on my panels that were just screaming out for some of these.. Now grab your powerdrill, and a handy Chinesse man called Chris and put them both to work :) The first thing you'll need to do is cut a hole in the wall, this uses a drill, the hole cutter and if your drill has an extra handle I suggest you use it, because when these things bite into the wood they're going to try to break your wrist (I'm NOT joking)
(What you can hear at the end is the neighbour banging on the floor telling us to shut up!)
Then when you realise you need to have a hole thats a little larger than your cutter size you grab the jigsaw and make the hole larger...then add the hold with the screws..
and get ready to climb!!! They take a while to get into the wall, not as long as you think, if you have the correct tools and are pretty organised. The holds that have a round back are a 3 inch diameter, but what we found was that the inset part bows out a little so we needed a larger bit to cut the hole.

I didn't have any spinning T nuts on the wall so I grabbed them and put them onto a side wall to give it a little more life, having the holds up now means we can start around the corner of the main face and move into some of the routes, it also means we can hook and grab around the corner for some moves. The holds we were sent we all pretty big... it meant that as soon as the holds were up I just got onto them in my sneakers :)
They're bomber! Some of them are full size loose your hand jugs and some of them are two finger pockets, but really really deep pockets.. deep enough in some cases to put a mallion into!

You can even get it into the smaller holds (picture above on the right), and lets face it that means that they're pretty deep.

Some of the larger holds that are in the range are monsters, big enough for double hand matching within the hold area (on some of them)..
They'll make wicked cracks for your wall if you place them in the correct fashion (vertically), this means that if your walls are untextured you can cut the holes, place these into them and then make huge crack systems, which I think most commercial gyms are lacking in these days. A friend of mine has gone so far on my wall in the UK to place these everywhere and he's practicing placing cams into the slots when he's bouldering so he's getting ready for the trad season. REMEMBER: These holds aren't rated for a fall, so don't try dropping onto gear on them as you're just going to get hurt and have a broken hold to boot!!

Now our large Inside Out is horizontal (because I'm a dumb ass), you're going to need to jigsaw out a house brick sized hole in the wall (3" x 6"), so make sure you want to have these on your wall, but you'll not be sorry that you put them up, that's for sure. The good thing about most of these holds is that you can use the pocket (in some cases match in the pocket with two hands) but if they're the smaller holds you can match on the outside of them aswell, making some really fun problems. But climbing on them is fun... I've been having a blast on them the last few nights, just getting up to some screw ons I have on the side of the wall..See how you have to be with your feet? My foot slipped out of the hole as the camera went off and I went flying! You really have to get your foot in the right position, really in the right you can milk it for all its worth. Overall if you want to add some life to you wall these are worth a look, they're going to help you train for exact dynos (otherwise you miss and nail your fingers) and they're going to help your footwork alot.


Spinning T nuts or not these holds are a pretty good addition to a wall where you need to shake it up, or have some blank side panels that need some holds :) The holds make for some really interesting hand / foot matches, and will make anyone work on their foot work for pockets, grab them and put them on an overhang and you're going to have a great hand, but have to be precise with your feet to find the sweet spot.

I do have a couple of minor gripes with the holds, and they are only astetic. I'd prefer the holds to have a smaller area outside of the inset part, so I can basically get more of them into a wall. But as the holds do have such a large outside area it means that they're sculpted and you can match on them. The other thing that I think that could be added to the range is making the outside on some of the holds dual texture (i.e: slick) so they could be used in a competiton setting and the climber would have no choice but to put their toes into the pockets.

That aside I'd think that if you need to add something to a wall thats got a little bit static then these, although permanent, are a good addition to look at. Mind you if you do get the holds all in the same size then you can move them around with a few turns of a screw driver, and of course they can be rotated easily aswell, so one week you could have positive pockets and then the next week go and rotate them and change the entire route!! You can even do this with the larger holds aswell, you can't rotate them 360 degrees, but you can turn a once useful pocket to the opposite side and make the climber have to go onto the other side of the crack to progress.

I know that i'm not sorry that I asked to see these holds, they've added life to a section of wall that would have just laid dormant for ages. They were fast to get into the wall so we could do what we like, climb. They're more positive than you think, and you could get away with putting them into some really steep terrain.

Even Jean-Marc looked at them and I know he's thinking about adding some of them to our local gym, and when I think of the opportunitys to play with the climbers on long crack climbs I just sit back and smile knowing I'll be the one that has the route nailed and then he'll rotate a hold on me and i'll just get pitched off :P

They remind me of climbing in the Verdon (South France), for steep walls they are really good...not so positive and you really have to keep track of where your foot will go once you move past... good fun, if you have the space

I can imagine huge crack systems with these holds, it'd be a whole bunch of fun to climb on. I've used these mainly to work on my footwork and my tracking, and i've seen a pretty good improvement on some movement when I'm trying to find the pocket and its around a corner.

Like Noodles says we did have an easy time to put the holds in, but we're pretty well equipt. I would check the holds diameter before hand (not just the base) as the hole cutters are expensive pieces of kit to have kicking about the house. I've not seen insets like these before and I was pretty skeptical about how they'd climb, but the ones we've got are completely bomber and easy to pull on, you can loose you hand in some of them :)


  • Quality holds that you've come to expect from Metolius, this time as inset holds
  • Nothing like these out there
  • You're going to end up with some precise footwork!
  • Larger insets can be used for training cam placements for trad climbing
  • Once inplace they're going to stay there unless you change the panel or have lots of the same sized holds to move about
  • Limited color options
  • Fairly large surface area
  • Could be a pain to set up, if you don't have the right tools
  • The smalls are $10.95
  • The large ones are $12.95


Anonymous said...

You should try picking up a couple of inset holds from synrock. They are a bit more complicated to install, but once you've got it figured out it's not bad at all. And MAN are they fun! I have some of the smallest ones, but am dying to add a full line of the inset cracks and a few of the giant inset jugs on the steeps

ntmb said...

Now that's an intersting idea... i'll try to get some