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Are Russian Cams Good?

28-Jan-2010
By Gear Guy

I have found a gear maker called Gear4rocks that sells cams for around $20. It seems too good to be true. Are they credible?

According to the numbers published by Gear4rocks, their units stack up favorably against those of Black Diamond, DMM and Wild Country. The number 1 2-axle cam, for example, has a range of 1.37 to 2.36 inches, weighs 6.1 ounces and has a rated strength of 13 kN. Pretty good. Gear4rocks states that their cams have been tested at Ukrainian National Scientific-Certification centre STANDART' in the capital of Ukraine, Kiev city. What does that even mean? They do say that as soon as they get the paperwork figured out, they'll get them CE tested and certified. Paperwork is a real bugger, eh?!

I made my first clean pro by hacksawing a steel pipe into bits and slinging the bits with boot lace, but the notion of getting strung out above one of those Mad Max cams has me shitting my cage. Their two-axle unit indeed has two axles, but that's where the similarities between it and the world's other two-axle unit, the Black Diamond Camalot, end. For starters, the Ukrainian model uses lock nuts to fix the cam lobes to the axles. This method was abandoned decades ago when units started falling apart because the nuts unscrewed themselves. Their real beaut, though, is the Link Cam. These units go for $86 for a set of five, yes, five. What do you get for $15.20 a cam? Imagine what Dr. Frankenstein could do with sheets of aluminum, cable, a swager and a hacksaw, and you get a pretty accurate picture. Death-row inmates would have a hard time nutting up to use them.

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