• Marking the Middle of a Rope
  • Fitting Rock Shoes to Problematic Feet
  • Defining the Cheater Stick and Stick Clip
  • When Your Partner Steals Your Gear...
  • Can You Climb on a Wet Rope?
  • Can You Decrease Fall Factor?
  • Should You Be Allowed to Practice Lead Falls in the Gym?
  • Rope Certifications: Twins, Doubles, or Both?
  • Are Cam Placements Compromised in Wet Rock?
  • What's the Correct Way to Girth Hitch to Your Harness?
  • Choosing Ice Screw Length
  • The Holding Power of Nuts
  • Should You Clip the Belay As Your First Lead Pro?
  • Should I Worry About Spinning Bolt Hangers?
  • Belay-Loop Myth
  • Rock Cleaning Made Easy
  • Why Not Clip Directly to Cam-Stem Loops?
  • What's The Protocol For Naming a Route After Yourself?
  • Is Dropped Gear Still Safe?
  • Can Ropes and Slings Be Contaminated By Essential Oils?
  • Is It Okay to Wear Socks with Rock Climbing Shoes?
  • How Should You Test Gear Placements?
  • Can You Use Adhesive Tape on Ropes, Cords, Webbing?
  • A Better EDK?
  • What's the Difference Between a Double and a Single Rope?
  • Does It Count As a Free Ascent If You Grab the Anchor?
  • I Found a Rope - Is it Safe to Use?
  • Am I Using a Daisy Chain Wrong?
  • Should I Buy a Plastic or Foam Helmet?
  • Why Doesn't Anyone Climb in Knickers Anymore?
  • Is Weight or Range More Important in Cams?
  • The Mysterious Phenomenon of Rope Shrinkage
  • Worst-Case Scenario - A Factor 2 Fall
  • The Nuts and Bolts of Nuts and Bolts
  • Why Are Climbing Shoes So Expensive?
  • Flaws in the Yosemite Decimal System
  • How Durable is Trad Gear?
  • Using Super Glue on Your Fingers
  • The Worst Gear Ever Invented
  • Why Do People Use Oval Biners?
  • Is it Ethical to Clean a New Route?
  • Aid Climbing = Moped Riding
  • Will Sweat Harm My Harness?
  • Should You Use Rope or Webbing to Connect to an Anchor?
  • Choosing Between C4s and Friends
  • Can You Lead On a Static Rope?
  • Can I Use Climbing Bolts For Anchors in a Gym?
  • Are Falls Held or Breaking Strength More Important In a Rope?
  • Does Poop Harm a Climbing Rope?
  • Are Homemade Draws Reliable?
  • Shopping for Economy Carabiners
  • When You Fly, Can You Carry On Climbing Gear?
  • Can I Trust Fixed Draws?
  • Which Helmet WIll Fit My Big Head?
  • Are Adjustable Leg Loops Useful?
  • Should I clip Ice Screws with Screamers?
  • How do I Make a Bomber Anchor?
  • Can I Modify my Crampon Without Compromising the Integrity?
  • Hot Versus Cold Forging
  • Caring For Your Fingertips
  • Are Sewn Slings Stronger Than Knotted Ones?
  • When to Replace Climbing Webbing
  • Using Grip Dip To Color Code Gear
  • The Benefits of Cotton
  • How to Pull a Rappel Rope
  • How to Properly Orient a Carabiner Gate
  • Are My Fuzzy Quickdraws Safe?
  • How to Stretch Climbing Shoes
  • Are 1/2-inch bolts really better than 3/8-inch?
  • Should I Resole My Rock Shoes?
  • How to Hand Drill
  • Lonely Climber Looking for Woman
  • Is My Invented Knot Safe?
  • Difference Between Double and Twin Ropes
  • Dealing With an Argumentative Partner
  • Will Antifreeze Ruin Rope?
  • Why Is a Rack Called a Rack?
  • Rock Shoes For a Big Guy
  • Do They Kill Geese To Get Down?
  • How to Wash a Rope
  • Do Cam Teeth Do Anything?
  • Can I Fix Delaminated Rock Shoes?
  • Can I Mix a Static With a Dynamic Rope for Rappelling?
  • Should You Lower Or Rap Through Anchors?
  • How Should The Middle Man Tie In?
  • How Do I Get a Good Climbing Man?
  • Do Falls Weaken Bolts?
  • Should I Rope Solo?
  • Should I Angle Ice Screws Down?
  • How Should Old Climbers Train?
  • Can I Make a Belay Loop?
  • Reusing Ice Screw Holes
  • Overcoming the Fear of Falling
  • Choosing a Stove Fuel
  • Will My Hiking Boots Work With Crampons?
  • Do Heavy People Shock Load the Rope?
  • Can Offset Cams Subsitute for Regular Cams?
  • Can I Resling My Cams Myself?
  • Are Older Alien Cams Safe?
  • Will sports drinks freeze more slowly than water?
  • The Truth About Climbing Supplements
  • Can I Make My Leashed Tools, Leashless?
  • Rope Stretch Facts
  • How To Cut a Rope Without a Knife
  • Secrets of the Toprope
  • How to Sharpen Crampons
  • Should I Become a Climbing Guide?
  • Preventing Climbing Rope Wear
  • How to Remove an Old Bolt
  • How to Customize Ice Tool Picks
  • Double Rope Facts
  • Do It Yourself Fruit Boots
  • Climbing Rope Sheath Slippage
  • Rockfall Safety
  • Do Screamers Work?
  • Climbing Skin Care
  • Selecting a Gym Rope
  • Quick Links for Climbing
  • Are Russian Cams Good?
  • When To Retire Climbing Gear and Ropes
  • Should I Get a Link Cam?
  • How to Get a Climbing Mate
  • Will Dog Urine Harm My Rope?
  • Using Steel Carabiners for Fixed Quickdraws
  • Petzl Tibloc and Climbing Rope Sheath Damage
  • Overcoming Anger
  • Fixing a Spinning Bolt
  • Video Spotlight
    Chris Schulte: Back to Trad
    Chris Schulte: Back to Trad
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Near Groundfall at Stanage North, U.K.
    Weekend Whipper: Near Groundfall at Stanage North, U.K.
     



    Quick Links for Climbing

    28-Jan-2010
    By

    I live near Rifle and there are a ton of fixed draws with different sizes of quick links attaching them to the bolts. What is the recommended size for this application, and what should the breaking strength be? The ones I see the most are 3/8-inch with a breaking strength of just under 2,000 pounds. And do you buy them from a climbing company like Fixe, where they cost $4 or more, or get them at a hardware store where they cost $1 or even less?

    Quick links have more aliases than an adult-film star. Variously known as screw links, maillon rapides and rapid links, these buggers are made of steel so they are durable, can be cheap, and, once screwed tight to a bolt hanger, are difficult for even crusty bald tradsters to steal. For these reasons they are popular for attaching fixed draws to projects or popular sport routes, and as the rope thread at lowering and rap stations. Mmm, sounds tasty, but hold on.

    I went to the local hardware and bought a couple of quick links from a clerk who looked like the product of a Santa Claus and ZZ Top cross-breeding experiment. He didn’t know if the links had been tested or were rated, or what the 1,760-pound SWL (safe working limit) stamped on the links meant. He searched the literature and found nothing. The manufacturer’s website didn’t provide any specifics. The links did carry a tag that said “Made in Malaysia.” The image of a dirty-faced child with bleeding hands pouring white-hot steel remains troubling in my mind, but not as much as the additional warning that stated: “Do not use for overhead lifting, support of human load or playground equipment.” Since sport climbing is basically all three of those things rolled into one, the answer for you should be clear. If it is not, simply ask yourself if you’d rather climb on a tested and certified rope that cost $200, or one for $50 that is untested, made in the Third World by a sweatshop ragamuffin and had a label that said, “Don’t use for human load.” The Fixe and Petzl quick links cost five times as much as the dime-store variety, but are CE certified. These are tested and rated and backed by the integrity of the brand names. Do we really need to dwell on this some more? Good. Good.

    For rigging perma-draws, the 5/16-inch quick links are good. These are $3.95 from Fixe, and have a 1,540-pound working load that is 1/5 breaking strength. For lowering and rap stations, the larger 3/8-inch links ($5.50) will be kinder to ropes and even more durable. Next!

     

    Find More Climbing Gear Advice Here

     

    GOT A QUESTION? E-mail Gear Guy! rockandicegearguy@gmail.com

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