Sunday, July 25, 2010

Review > Delire > Polisporine

elire climbing holds
So we picked up a couple of sets of Delire holds from last years Tour De Bloc and we've had them lying around with some stints on the old wall and the new. Delire holds aren't new to our wall and we've done some reviews for them in the past, notably a mixed set we picked up from Le Mec and the Red Point Training Board.

When we spoke with Lisa, the owner of Delire holds, she asked us what set we want. Our answer was all of them but since that was a bit of a steep demand, we settled on two sets: The Egypts and the Polisporine. This week we'll be looking at the Polisporines and keeping The Egypts on ice for a future review.

This seven hold set is a dual textured doppelganger. Are they pinches? Are they slopers? Are they edges? Now we thought that this set was full of pinches but there are some holds that gave us a surprise. The base of the set is made up largely of good positive pinches but there are some that have only one side of the hold that is textured for grip. Out of these guys, there are some that are slopey while others are more of an edge. Can you say alter ego?

Alter Ego! :D

So we sat there with a set of holds, some pinches others not so pinchy and we figured on putting them on the 45 (the old wall). . There are two types of holds found in this set. Now you could clasify them all as pinches although some holds only have one textured surface. The others have texture on opposing sides with an incut that make them bomber on the 45. The holds with one textured surface could also be used as pinches although you'll be finding yourself on your ass pretty quick if you're placing them on overhanging terrain.

So for us we found that the set was best suited on over hanging terrain. Putting them up on a vertical wall would not pose too much of a challenge and we used the angles of our wall to create our problems, even when you put them on a straight wall upside down you can actually hold onto the dual texture, it's not that slick :(

From easy to hard, we put some beginners onto the holds and when they're on a moderate overhang people just walked through the problems, get them onto a more competition style route and then things start to get interesting, thank god all of the holds are easily matchable


A set like this can be used in all kinds of applications. The holds are diverse enough to have holds suited better for vertical while others can be used on overhanging terrain as well. We spoke about how the Comfy Pinches from Summit Labs could be used as system training holds but noted that they are very small. The Polisporines could be used for this set up but they are right or left hand specific and you'll need two sets of holds to make it effective, but the holds themselves....well the pinches anyways....are a good way to train pinch strength on a 45 degree wall.
Putting these holds onto the 60 degree wall was possibly one of the silliest ideas we've had in a while; if the holds are set with the edges with the most positive direction with some good feet (and there are some semi incut holds in here) it is soo close to being doable, so so close. Even on the 45 degree wall some of the holds some of the holds are pretty hard and as you can see from the video there were some interesting ways of getting through some of our sequences.

  • Number of holds: 7
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt on
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds):
  • Color: Mustard yellow
  • Bolt placement: Middle
  • Sanding: Ok
  • Texture: A little rough on the part you're gripping, slick part is smooth
  • Set size: Medium
  • Versatility: Not bad
  • Pre-drilled screw holes:
  • Shaper: Lisa
Overall build isn't that that bad, the sanding is nice and flat as is the bolt placement, they're nice and centered and the holes are 90 degrees to the backs. Texture-wise is very grippy, maybe a little too much for some peoples taste. As these holds are dual texture with one part being slick and there other part textured (textured being the part you grab obviously) we'd expect to see a slightly better defining line between the two.

Color-wise these holds are what you'd best call mustard yellow, it's not a color you'd see everywhere... they're certainly unique.

These holds certainly have personality, they're an interesting mix of pinches / edges or slopers. They work best as pinches, but they do have multi use's and it's up to you which way you use them. Delire use resin, so these holds do weigh in as pretty heavy, the mixture is still also a little brittle so you have to take care to not drop them and make sure you store them carefully (no throwing them into a bucket!)

Resin, and it's pretty brittle. Even though we put all of the holds we have for review into a separate box for moving some of these holds got chipped

We picked these up direct from the maker

Ah Delire, like Chris I'm going to come out and mention that I have a love / hate relationship with their holds. Some of their holds are sublime, some of them... well not so much :) The reason we asked for these sets is because we were at the Delire gym for a Tour De Bloc and as we were at the gym that is owned by Delire, and the wall was (surprise) covered with Delire holds it was pretty easy to pick out what we wanted. (think of the gym as basically a Delire hold showroom, there wasn't much from other companies)

The reason we picked these holds is because they were used in some problems that we really enjoyed... well maybe we didn't get up all of the routes and that was part of the reason that we wanted them.

From the old wall to the new wall these holds hit a lot of angles and a lot of people climbed on them. I'm not sure if they're edges, pinches or slopers; they're an interesting mix of all of these things. I find these shapes could do with the edges being sloped off a little bit more, they're not super sharp but when you're hauling ass on the 45 I find my fingers hurt a little. Saying that I find that Delires texture is a little rough but when I say rough it's a very close thing... it's probably about 2% off of perfect for my liking.

Resin? Really? We chipped holds just moving them around and that is something that people should take note of. Here anything that is resin are kept in separate boxes and are looked after. But even after mixing out to be reviewed holds in a small box (with no wrapping) and this was moved with a bunch of TLC the holds still ended up getting little chips in the edges. I'm pretty sure that if I pulled a drop test that there would be some pretty sizable chips and possibly a breakage, if you're a routesetter and you have resin holds of course you're going to take care with what you're doing, but I think one of these holds from 20ft to a padded surface might make some interesting results.

Do I like these holds? I like the way they look, and at the comp when my brain was in comp mode I was centered on just getting up the route. What I should have taken more notice of how the holds actually climbed when I was playing with them... but that would have been hard to do when I'm trying to climb for point. I learnt an interesting lesson... and that is "all that looks nice may not necessarily climb well" They climb fairly well, but they're not some of my favorites because of their weight and because the texture is a little rougher than I really like
I'll say it right now: I've never been a fan of Delire holds. That may be a bit of a harsh statement but I've never liked the way they feel. Don't get me wrong, there are things I do like about their holds. They have some really awesome shapes that are both artistic and unique. Their holds are always challenge to climb on but it always comes down to the same thing, I just don't like climbing on them. It's hard for me to give you any specifics but I always know that I'm climbing on a Delire hold. With that being said, I 'll get into what I like with this set.
The texture of the holds is nice. You won't be able to keep you feet on the smooth part of the hold. The other textured part of the hold is actually quite smooth and is not abrasive but gives you just enough texture to grip. The pinchy holds of the set have an incut side to them that help you grip the hold but with the others that are flat or a little slopey, the texture quickly becomes a negative. Any bit of sweat will have you slipping of the holds in no time.
Now for me, I found the holds a bit of a challenge. The good holds (the ones with texture on opposing sides) are great on overhanging terrain and I could easily commit to a move without worrying too much about breaking off. As for those other holds that who find themselves in no mans land somewhere between slope, pinch and and edge gave me problems on the 45. Those holds are hard to grip since you can't use your thumb to pinch down on the hold and the movements on them needed to be very static.

So what's the verdict? For the price, its a good set and you find a diversity of holds and grips. The dual texture is very good, not as good as DRCC, but almost. The shapes are nice and comfortable and out of all the Delire holds that we have, they are the most comfortable. I have found in the past that Delire holds, be it a jug or crimp, bite into the hands and it doesn't make for pleasant climbing. The edges on these holds have a nice radius and the texture is nice on the skin. As far as the set is concerned, I'm sold, but I'll need to climb more Delire shapes before I come over to the dark side:)


  • Pretty nice Mustard Yellow color
  • Good price
  • Resin holds that chip easily
  • Heavy (because they're resin)

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