Friday, July 24, 2009

Review > Atomik > Smooth Edges 18 Pack

Have you seen the price on these? I don't know how Atomik makes money!! 10 bolt on holds that are super home wall friendly for sub 50 inc shipping, c'mon there's got to be a catch!

It's been a long road, our relationship with Atomik, but overall it's a good one. We had problems with their texture, so they fixed it... and that's no mean feat in itself! Some of their shapes were a little sharp on the digits... so they fixed the shapes, again that's no mean feat. The Smooth Edges are one of their latest offerings, we'll get round to the others in a different review (the other set they didn't want to send to us because of our earlier comments on their other holds!), the edges compromise of 18 shapes at $49.99.... and that includes (indoor) bolts. Now don't call us crazy but that is a pretty cheap price for 18 holds, and we're not talking foot chips here, these are sized as medium on their site... Let's see what they're like!

Straight out of the box they're orange, can't complain about that, we asked for a different color and it's a pretty nice orange too. Good start! All the holds are around the same size, backs are flat and bolts slide through without any problems... OK, so no worries there. The texture... ah the texture... always a tricky one :) Nope textures fine, nice and even, no bobbles, grippy but not too grippy. There must be something wrong with them right? 18 holds AND bolts for $50.

They MUST have scrimped somewhere

Maybe they're using filler and the holds are weak! That'd be it!!! They've got to be easy to snap.
Nope, they're as strong as every one else's holds, the bench proved that

Damn, looks like we have nothing to complain about... or do we!! Aha! Just when you were getting bored we found something... oh yes we did. What is it? Well apart from the shapes being fairly similar to each other in some places we think that there should be more of these shapes, in smaller and larger sizes. If you have a home wall then these are something that you should probably look at, the price point dictates that alone

We've had these all over the wall, from flat to the overhang and there's been no complaints, the only place that they should dwell for us is the 45 as they're just nice enough for simple problems where you're matching your hands and feet. If anything they could be a little easy, but that's because we do climb on the 45 degree wall a lot these days.. we'd go so far to say that most of these holds could be used as system holds, and that's something that Atomik should look at, make opposites of these holds, double up on a few and you've got a pretty nice system wall crimp set.

As the holds weren't really taxing us all that much we started putting foot holds into our traverses and that's where the fun began. We really didn't put all that many feet in so it was starting to get hard, then we decided that there were too many feet and that they were waaay too close together... the end result was some very long moves with some really sketchy feet, if there were feet at all. Chris went one further and almost managed to get the entire route without any feet, but bear in mind that he was horizontal for most of the route and wasn't having an easy time :)


If you've climbed on a 45 degree wall for any amount of time chances are these holds aren't going to pose any problems for you... if you haven't then you're going to get strong pretty quick, lots of nice simple moves with semi good feet should see you in good stead. If you've got no problem on a 45 stick them on a 60... then you can have a real blast. The holds are just-about-doable on a roof, not all of them mind... but some of them are OK up there for when you're getting horizontal.

There's not really much else to say... the holds are good on the steep stuff, but inversely if you need some beginners routes with some fairly small holds on a vertical or slight overhang then these are good enough to get the job done. We've set easy and super hard with these holds and they've been super fun to climb on.


Versatility: They're small edges, but do make interesting one handed sidepulls
Screw Holes: No
There isn't much to say about the holds, they're pretty well perfect, if you've got a home wall then you should probably have a set of these; they don't take up space on your wall so you don't have to worry about your wall be clogged with holds. The texture is spot on, sanding is well done and the holds are pretty strong... the holds are just well built and considering the price the term (which will appear a fair amount I think) "bang for your buck" comes up again.

Somehow Atomik have priced 18 holds at what they're charging, god knows how as it includes bolts and if you're in the lower 48 states it includes shipping as well. I do believe that they will be selling a fair few of these sets, it they make not_very_much_money every time they sell a set... but they'll make up for it in the volume of sets sold... hopefully their manufacuring boys are upto the job!

Atomik is slowly moving up the ranks as one of our favorite hold companies out there. These shapes are great and I had a fun time setting with them. There are 18 holds to the set and the hardest part with setting a problem with these holds is incorporating the whole set in the sequence.
If I had anything negative to say about these holds (and this is a long shot) is that they're low profile. Even after I covered the wall with the smooth edges, people had a hard time finding the sequence through the rest of the holds we have set on our wall. And on top of that, the colour that they came in is pretty bright and it blended in with the rest of the holds.
  • Cheap as hell
  • Finger friendly shapes
  • Good for walls upto 45 and 60 if you're strong
  • Sucks if you're not in the lower 48 states for shipping :)
$49.99 for 18 holds, that's $2.77 per hold and that includes bolts

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