Monday, June 16, 2008

Review > E-Grips > Stealth Edges

Just a quick note before we start this review, we've added some new stuff to the reviews that hopefully you'll all find helpful... we've added:
  • Suggested Uses: this is the angles that we think these holds will be good on, this of course depends upon you're ability.
  • Overall Build: are the bolts in a good place? Urethane / resin good? Good design overall? We've added a short section on the quality (or lack of) of the holds we're hauling on.
As usual, enjoy. Any comments are welcome, just click on Contact Us up on the top right of the page or chuck a comment onto the post, we're always happy to hear what you have to say.
e-grips
E-Grips have a great number of grips on the market, we were able to pick and choose what we wanted to see, we chose two sets, the first set we've already reviewed; you can see our review of the 2-Tex Pure Crimps by clicking on the link...

The other set we grabbed are the Stealth Edges, pictured below:
All though the resemble a jet fighter or a space ship, the Stealth Edges aren't as low profile as you'd think; they stick out way more than you'd expect, the only thing that is kind of stealth about the holds is the texture which is more stealth than most companys products; in fact when you first grip the holds you're going to wonder if it's going to be OK to hold onto!
We've had these holds on some pretty steep walls and they're great to grab, it's really surprising what kind of angle you can use them on, OK some of the edges are flat and others in-cut so they do end up being harder to hold as the angle gets steeper , but not as hard as you'd think given the area you have to play with. These holds are easily matched and have a texture, as Noodles would put it, "like petting a panther", you could session on these all day and have the softest climbing hands out there:)

All joking aside if you got these into a competition the climbers would just love them; unfortunately the set is limited by the number of holds....5. On a bigger wall, like they have at the gym, they could set some good dynos, and short boulder problems (if you added some feet) but on our home wall we lacked the height and the crash pads to be attempting those kinds of maneuvers. (Noodles: Phooey, we still went and dyno'd about anyways)
We set a number of traverses with long committing moves starting on the overhanging wall and into the vertical.As you can see even when I'm fully stretched and on the tips of my fingers the hold is still solid because they're HUGE! (They came at a good time considering all the crimp reviews lately).

Combined with other sets; the Stealth Edges can be used for system training as they don't tear your fingers to shreds, you'd probably want a couple of sets for this, but as E-Grips have a range of Sytem Training Holds it's probably cheaper and easier to get something that was built and is therefore dedicated to system training!

These holds have a big radius so they don't dig into your fingers when you campus, that coupled with the texture means lots of climbing time and little or no skin pain. The holds are pretty damn versatile, it really depends upon how strong you are and how crazy you are when you set, but bear in mind that for us these holds are large flat or slightly in-cut edges, so people with small hands will find that the in-cut holds err more towards a slight jug. We've used the holds in a number of different areas from matched side pulls to under clings, but where these holds start to really get going is when you set something that makes the climber use the slick part of the hold for their feet... Noodles got spat onto the mats a number of times trying to rock on up and over a hold on one route we set, getting your feet to stick on these is super tricky!
What's apparent about these holds (and the other holds we have from E-Grips) is that they're super well made, the sanding on the backs is impeccably flat, these things are smooth as hell! I was interested to see just how flat they were so I grabbed Noodle's level from the cupboard, they are FLAT!, all of them, they're just well made.. there's no burr's where you'd expect to see them where the textures join there's just a nice smooth arched line which must have been a plain in the ass to get right! I'd love to know how many times they carved these to get them right :), mind you considering I used to work in a metal work shop the line is so precise it could have been done be a computer, that, or someone has a very very steady hand with a Dremel!!

SUGGESTED USES





We suggest the above angles for the holds, most people will be OK using the holds on the 15, 30 and of course the 90 (vertical wall), but if you're strong you're going to be able to have a blast on anything up to 45 degrees, we have a couple of the holds on our 60 degree roof section for a while and although they're hard to hold with the right feet they're more than do-able.

The shapes are a mix of flat and in-cut edges, when we say in-cut they are flat but cut at an angle that makes them semi-jug like, not super juggy, but big enough!

OVERALL BUILD
You're going to get what you expect from this set, bomber urethane, clean lines and backs as flat as anything out there. The bolts are well suituated so you don't need to worry about the holds bending or snapping. Texture wise its clean and consistant with the lines between the 2-tex and the texture being well defined thus no sore skin... quality workmanship sums these holds up!

RATING
NOODLES SAYS
Wow, the name doesn't really explain these holds, they have a bigger profile than you'd expect, and a texture that is weird to start but once you've climbed on them for a little while you're going to be surprised. Like Chris says they're bigger than you expect, for a home wall they take up a lot of space, which is a good and bad thing depending upon your priorities... The 2-tex nature of the holds means that if you're using them with your feet following you have to be a little bit sneaky with how you place them to get full use of the slippy side of the holds, more holds are needed so you can set long routes at the gym. but chucking these onto a wall mid way through a route will stop most people and will make them think! Mix these up with the Pure Crimps and you're going to have a route that's going to be absolutely killer... infact that's just what I might do! Climbers at Allez Up beware, I have a wrench and a whole bunch of 2-Tex holds that are coming your way in the next week :P

CHRIS SAYS
Not what I expected. Don't get me wrong, I really like using these holds. Since the texture is soooo skin friendly and the edges are nice and round, they're a whole lot a fun to dyno on. With the limitationa higher roof we might have been able to experience the real potential of these holds. Maybe they'll be the next set to go to Allez Up, our local gym :) On the whole there's not much you can say that's wrong about these holds, they're skin friendly and built super well, i'd like to see more of this type of hold, there's only 5 and more would be very welcome. The texture takes a little getting used to because you feel like you're going to fly off of it when you first start using the holds, but once you realise that its actually very grippy then you'll have a blast

PROS
  • Super skin friendly
  • Great construction, no burrs to catch your skin
  • Matchable, their large size allows you to match pretty well on them
  • Depending on how strong you are these are well suited to overhanging walls to about 45 degrees (then they'd be super hard to hang)
CONS
  • Not enough holds in the set, there could be more and if they expand the range they could make the radii a little smaller so the range could go from small to large
  • Could be stealthier, these holds do take up more room than expected on your wall
  • Do get a little clogged with shoe rubber and chalk after a while, so cleaning is needed every so often!
PRICE
The Stealth Edges are $57.50

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