Friday, December 30, 2016

Review > Binary > True Grit 1 & 2 and Almost Triangle

It's pretty unusual that a climbing hold company flies under our radar! Binary is one such company that for some reason we missed until someone who was stoked on their products brought them to our attention... they managed to get away with almost 2 years of hold making before we got some of their shapes and started to do what we do...

And you know what we do :)

We have three sets for you this time True Grit 1 & 2 and Almost Triangles

The True Grit's are part of the Grit Series that Binary Holds produces and the Almost Triangles are part of the Waves series...

Binary have started making holds to allow route-setters to focus on the movements that the climber is being asked to execute rather than have fancy crazy looking shapes.. and we think you know where we stand on that, simple is generally better when it comes to climbing... of course it depends upon the person that is setting and or the person that is holding the budget when it comes to actually ordering shapes

Normally we'd post some of the rest of the line ups here but their website doesn't have an option to see holds by their series... but a little digging and a download of their order form allowed us to pull up some info for you to digest...

The Wave Series consists of four sets that totals 15 holds, Tsunami (2), Almost Triangle (3), Over Easy (5) and Nemesis (5) and the True Grit Series has 40 holds, True Grit 1&2 (10 holds), Grit Edge (5), Grit sloper (5) Grit Bits (10) and just added Grit Pinches (10)...

There are 670 shapes split over 170 sets and kicking in at an average MSRP of $63 CDN which translates to sub $50 USD per set (footholds included to the number is off)

If you stop and peruse their site you can see that there is a pretty good range of simple clean looking shapes that the images do not do any kind of justice to... the Almost Triangles are just clean looking and feeling shapes where the True Grit have a proper grit texture and style to them; it's not "Grit-lite" but any stretch of the imagination!

 The Grits really shine and then you look at the Almost Triangles and well Noodles he broke out the camera and made some magic

Yeah these are some pretty looking shapes... but how functional are they??

Lets get digging... we set and we set hard with these two sets... how hard...

Pretty damn hard; the route totally split the top climbers with no one getting to the top on the evening of the competition. But there were a number of sends in the following weeks, none of which we saw but one of our CHR athletes walked in and flashed it in a pair of sneakers :)


Now these holds are pretty versatile; 90% of them will go easily on a 45 degree wall if you're somewhat strong, the slightly sloped ones are going to cause you a hard time... if you watch the climbing video then you'll that we're actually pulling on almost a roof for the start of the route on these holds. But that is careful foot placement and many hours of tweaking to get that move to work

For most people these holds will be awesome on a 30 degree wall and anything that's less than that

If you want some really Grit like holds then these are well up there, they're not something that you can session for hours and hours because of the grit texture and some sharp edges


We're not sure if this is the lowest angle we've ever given to a set of holds; on 15 degrees these holds are going to be hard!! But hard-awesome-hard; these holds are like we said in one of our videos "the slopers of doom"

Hard? So so hard even on a 22.5 degree wall that we just built you cannot (or we cannot) hang on these holds, they are evil (in a good way); if you need some holds that are going to test you on shallow angles then these guys are your answer

  • Number of holds:
    • True Grit 1: 5
    • True Grit 2: 5
    • Almost Triangles: 3
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons):
    • True Grit 1 & 2: Martini bolts
    • Almost Triangle: Normal bolts
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds):
    • True Grit 1: $32/5 = $6.40 CDN per hold
    • True Grit 2: $34/5= $6.80 CDN per hold
    • Almost Triangle: $118/3 = $39.33 BDN per hold
  • Color: Red across the board
  • Bolt placement: Middle
  • Sanding: Great
  • Hollow backed: Almost Triangle yes
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: 
    • True Grit 1 & 2: Almost perfect grit texture, not for long sessions
    • Almost Triangle: Slightly smooth with a slight bite
  • Set size:
    • True Grit 1 & 2: Small
    • Almost Triangle: XL
  • Versatility:
    • True Grit 1 & 2: Good up to 45 degrees
    • Almost Triangle: Limited to shallow angles
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: YES!!!
  • Shaper: 
    • True Grit 1 & 2: Graeme Olson
    • Almost Triangle: Kate Slaba
  • Weight:
    • True Grit 1 & 2: 430g & 450g
    • Almost Triangle: 3150g
  • Where can you get them:
We'll start with the most puzzling thing about the True Grits, despite the holds being pretty much the same size not all of them had set screw holes... it seemed a little strange when Noodles was doing the walk through that he was genuinely confused by it... maybe not having a set screw hole to see the look on his face was worth it :) The other downside is that the Almost Triangles aren't quite the same shade of red as the True Grits; this does sometimes happen with larger shapes but it was off just enough for us to notice it

Bad's done.. now with the good

It's nice to see people making holds for martini headed bolts because they do distribute the weight of a climber pretty damn well and it also means that you can make thinner holds! Now we did complain about the lack of set screw holes above so lets get this elephant out of the closet... the True Grits never span and we didn't use set screws... "aha you say, then why complain about it?" because you should always use a set screw even if the weight is evenly distributed across the hold just as a safety precaution.

The True Grits are probably the most 'grit like' holds that we've seen in a long time and it's kind of refreshing for a change but there is a down side to all of the lovely grit texture... they are very bitey so they can get a little painful... BUT your skin does get a bit better because of that. On the opposite side the Almost Triangles are so nice to grab onto (if you can grab onto them) that you want to climb and can climb on them all day, their texture is superb

Big ol slopers means good hollow backs and Binary Holds have gotten this down it seems; nice even hollow backs for the Almost Triangles and nice center columns means they've shed weight but have retained all of their strength. Sanding across the ranges is good with a couple of small bobbles that didn't make any difference what-so-ever

These holds went through a number of resets and they were not pampered in any way shape or form... the setters just unbolted them and threw them into a bucket and washed them a few times. The True Grits held up wonderfully but there was a slight chip to the outside edge of one of the Almost Triangles, it's tiny but it did happen :(



I cannot talk about the Almost Triangles without talking about other slopers that have captured my imagination over the years; of course I'm going to mention Enix and Teknik. The triangles do remind me of some shapes from those companies and these holds would fit in pretty well in their company that's for sure

What irks me slightly is that I've built a new wall at 22 degrees and I can't hang on these holds on it.. yup when we talk about limited angle range for the Almost Triangles we do mean it, these holds are hard and anything over 10 degrees overhung is going to be a work out that's for sure. That being said Binary Holds have so many slopers that all I'm going to do is invest is some of them for the wall (aka: more review fodder) so that I can happily play around on more of their shapes

It's a bit of a sad excuse... and it's also sad that these holds are sitting in a box either waiting for me to expand my wall (lets not kid ourselves here... it'll happen) or for me to just get stronger

On the whole I'm pleased with all of the holds; setting with the Triangles and Grits on one route made for an interesting experience, it pushed my setting skills a little and it did make a fun route that I did manage to climb (I hit the second sloper and launched to the volume) and other people seemed to like. Some did complain about the Grit's being sharp but my answer was "go to the Peak District and go climb there :)

I'm pretty pleased with what we've seen from another Canadian hold company; it seems that making holds and not just holds, quality products up here in the Great White North is picking up

Welcome to the family Binary Holds; good work I can't wait to see what else you have planned

Watch Noodles run and watch him hide from the True Grit's :) Strange as you'd think with him being from England, Land of the Grit that he'd be all over talking about them.

Let me recount a little session we had the other night; we were putting the new wall through its paces and whilst we waited for more holds to arrive we had a limited range of things to play with. The Almost Triangles were out because they were too hard so that left us with the True Grits and an overhanging wall... you know what happened? We relived some classic grit stone movies on the computer whilst we had a fun session of these holds... With Hard Grit playing in the background and then One Summer Bouldering in the Peak ready in the wings we were Ben Moon and Jerry Mofffat (I think I was Moon and Noodles was the fat one) we were climbing the Joker and End of the Affair we were probably transported to another place entirely

We hit these holds hard and as they got more chalked up they did get a little "softer" on our skin but not much. After a few hours we were done; our skin was sore but we both had smiles on our faces. With a beer in hand to help soothe the skin we talked about the holds; we decided that if you want some "proper grit edges" then these are probably the best that we've seen in years but if we were setting long routes that we'd want something to mix up the hard edges so that it wasn't so brutal. Now there are slopers in the sets and they do provide some nice relief but we'd probably want something like the edges but with a little less aggressive texture

I'll shadow the boss; it's great to see another addition to the Canadian climbing scene; I'm impressed with what we've seen

  • Cheap if you're paying from the US
  • Great build 
  • Large range of holds
  • Almost Triangles have a limited angle window
  • True Grits are only good for short sessions because of their texture

1 comment:

Succinct Gear Reviews said...

Great review! Looking forward to trying some of the true grit holds myself.