Black Diamond Cyborg | $199.95 | bdel.com ★★★★★
The Cyborg is Black Diamond's teched-out crampon for ice and mixed climbing. Its materials, bindings, finish and adjustments are the same or similar to those used on the Sabretooth, so we'll stick to the details that are different.
The Cyborg comes with two replaceable vertical front-points. (The additional framework necessary for the replaceable points makes the Cyborg six ounces heavier per pair than the Sabretooth). For those interested in highly technical ice/mixed climbing, you can convert the Cyborg to a mono-point crampon by cutting/sawing out part of the anti-balling plate, a one-time hassle. In either front-point configuration, an aggressive set of secondary points gives you a stable platform when kicking up a steep column of water ice. The side-points, due to their alignment and length, are great at inside and outside edging, especially when using the combination of the front and secondary point. Having this capability is critical in many mixed-climbing situations, and one that I have found lacking in some crampons I've tested over the years, where the secondary points are too long or short or poorly articulated, making it impossible/awkward to get the side- and front-point on the same hold without cocking your foot or raising your heel too high.
As a technical crampon, the Cyborg is excellent, and you'd be pressed to get better performance outside an integrated bolt-on crampon rig (aka fruitboots).
As a technical crampon, the Cyborg is excellent, and you'd be pressed to get better performance outside an integrated bolt-on crampon rig (aka fruitboots). Two thumbs up for ice of any sort, rock, ice and rock (alpine climbing!), and even technical mountaineering when you need the precise performance of vertical front-points and are willing to sacrifice some security on snow slopes.
ABOUT THE RATING
I gave the Cyborg five stars because I have never used a crampon that was better.
- Rigid crampon with two vertical front-points (convertible to mono-points). Excels on steep ice, technical mixed routes.
- Stainless-steel construction is light and durable and doesn't rust.
- 2 pounds 8 ounces/pair (with anti-balling plates).
- Choice of Clip or Pro binding will accommodate most boots.
- One size fits all; easily adjustable design.
- Replacement front-points $12.95 each.
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