Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gear Review - Black Diamond Cyborg Pro Crampons

The Black Diamond Cyborg Pro crampon is probably one of the best all around crampons on the market.  The crampon is extremely adjustable and adjustability is its best feature.  It is comfortable, versatile, lightweight and this new version is stainless steel!

Black Diamond made a lot of improvements over the previous year's version.  They increased weight savings, sensitivity and strength.  They did all this by switching from aluminum to stainless steel.  The list below is substantial when it comes to ease of adjustment and usability in the elements.

  1. Micro adjuster is much easier to use
  2. Stainless Steel crampon points
    1. Resist rusting and snow balling
    2. Stronger than aluminum
    3. Lighter weight
  3. ABS plates are more flexible and break up balled snow more easily than before

One of my favorite features of this crampon is the front point adjustment.  You can have two frontpoints, a single in the middle or a single offset to your big toe.  This is super important when it comes to mixed climbing, because it allows the climber to place one point exactly where he wants it.  Having the frontpoint directly over the big toe essentially makes the crampon/boot combination a rock shoe.  The precision is amazing!  Even though this crampon has an amazing feature for mixed climbing, it is also missing one of the best features for mixed climbing.  The secondary points don't have any backward angled points!  This makes it really hard to climb super overhanging rock sections.  The Grivel G20, G22 and Rambo 4 do this incredibly well.
Me using my Cyborgs at Ouray
The only other draw back is the leash that connects the heal clamp to the toe piece.  The leash is incredibly inconvenient and always gets in the way.  It is long and hard to stow out of the way.  There are a couple good ways to tie it off, but it can unravel and then hang loose.  I have tried a lot of different options and a couple have worked well, but this is one feature that could be fixed fairly easily.

Final Say:
Overall this is my favorite crampon.  It has never disappointed me in performance and the fact that Black Diamond is the manufacturer gives me even more confidence when kicking steps or standing on a crimp edge.


What's the weight difference over the previous version of the cyborg? Pretty significant? Stainless steel weighs the same as Cro-mo (traditional) steel.

The crampons are about 6 ounces lighter, i believe. The lack of powder coating is the main weight difference. The biggest difference, between the metals, is the overall wear of the crampon. Black Diamond claims they wear slower than the older version and so far i would agree.

To solve your problem with the incredibly long straps, you do the same thing you do with every other long strap on gear: buy scissors and a lighter, cut the excess and fuse the end.

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