I like the x7 rear and front derailleurs, but the shifters leave a little to be desired. It works fine, but it just feels mushy. I'd go with x9 for these.
Adequate for the job...
This is a great derailleur if you're one who tends to smash them to bits now and again. If you go years between derailleurs I might go for x9, but I have no complaints about the shifting quality of this one. In my book, x7 derailleur > x7 shifters.
Great shoe. Anyone who rides flats should own a pair of 5.10s. Only reason these didn't get 5 stars is that the impact lows are just as good function wise, but 20 bucks cheaper. The Sam Hill's do have a wider toe box though, so if you have fat feet go with these, if not just stick with the impact low-tops.
Are these noticeably stiffer than the impact low, or is the higher price just for the name/"style?"
I normally wear a large, and a large fit well in these. I found the thumb to be a little short. However; the gloves stretched enough for it to be a non-issue. It took a few weeks to break them in, but once done, dexterity was great, especially for an "armored" glove. There were no issues reaching for the break levers or anything like that.
For what they are, they are fairly light and breath surprisingly well. They're not a summer xc glove, but that's kind of the point. The padding is ergonomic and functional. I clipped a tree a few weeks back with my right handlebar. My pinkie finger was sore afterwards, but the padding prevented any "real" injury (barring my pride of course).
Stitching and everything looks great. Time will tell on durability, but looks good so far.
Overall, great glove especially at the sale price
No speed buckles and thick gear loops that take a little getting used to cost this harness a star. Smaller biners can catch on the loops if your not paying attention.
The adjustable rise makes for exceptional comfort. Once you get everything set right, this harness will fit like it was made for you. I find that long belays and long falls are much more comfortable than in my old BD harness.
I find the main benefit of the full strength components is that every piece of the harness feels like it will last for many seasons. I've had nonessential things tear on other harnesses, which was annoying enough to make me by a new one; however, there's not a single piece on this harness that looks like I could possibly blow.
Great harness, not the most convenient, but very comfortable and great durability.
First, why the Dragons over the other 5.10 bouldering shoes, i.e. project, v7, and team. All are great "performance" bouldering shoes, but in my experience lace ups always give me the best fit. This is magnified if you have a slightly funky foot (shape not smell).
The laces on the dragons really help me snug the down-turned sole into the arch of my foot and allow no slippage on the most intense heel hooks. If you yearn for the convenience of a slipper or velcro, or if 5.10 bases their shoe design off of your foot, then go with one of the others (The team is the "latest and greatest" and all that jazz.) they're all great shoes.
As far as sizing goes, these shoes are not meant to be comfy all day affairs. I would not recommend this shoe if this will be your only pair. Your feet will regret it. This is a shoe that is for climbing at your limit (both performance and pain wise, at least in the beginning). Size it "comfy" and you'll get less performance out of the dragons than you would a less aggressive shoe.
I wear a 12 in most street shoes and all hiking boots.
43 in Solutions (pretty tight)
42.5 in Miura vs (pretty tight)
I can climb in both 20 + minutes with only mild discomfort towards the end.
11.5 Madrock concept (comfy, could wear all day: main gym shoe)
Dragons 11 (exceptionally tight)
several boulder attempts or 1 sport climb (and I'll pop the heels at the anchors).
These were so tight at first that I used a shoe horn to break them in for a week. Getting my heel in came close to testing my pocket pulling power.
After a few weeks, they are only painful if I forget to take them off between climbs, or if I try to use them for a whole several hour session. I wouldn't say they are ever comfortable, but I don't notice them, comfort wise, while I climb.
I have a relatively small and narrow heel and a rather low volume foot. This makes me tend to size shoes a little smaller than I'd like to keep my heel from floating. I could not have worn a smaller size. My heel would simply not go in period. If you have a relatively larger heel or a wider foot, then I would not recommend more than a half size below your hiking shoe size.
Remember, this is a "performance" shoe. Size and use accordingly and you should get several great seasons of performance out of it.
Minor axis strength in 7kN
Open gate strength in 9kN
The "less-less expensive no-hook nose" still allows the biner to occasionally snag on webbing and what not.
These aren't really a poor man's Helium. They're more comparable to a hotwire biner from BD. I'd give the nitro the edge though. Better action, a little stronger if gate opens, snags less, and much cooler looking to boot.
I'm tempted to use these as rope end biners and heliums for the bolt biners.
This is a one and done, save your noggin from a gnarly fall or severe impact helmet. This is not a helmet that should be worn when you expect numerous small impacts from falling debris.
This isn't a great helmet to wear if you need one for belaying, as one small chunk of rock can do it in. But that's the trade-off for foam instead of a shell. It's basically a sport climbing helmet for when there's a possibility of bad fall.
The Meteor III offers better side and back coverage than the Black Diamond Tracer helmet, and really feels like it could take a severe impact.
I wear a large in the Black Diamond Tracer helmet. This helmet fits comfortably and is very light, but a beanie underneath makes the fit a little tight.
The headlamp clips work well.
This helmet is pricey (I bought mine during a 20% off sale), but brain buckets are a good place to splurge.
These are the most comfortable aggressive shoes I've worn.
I wear a street size of 12.5 and a 43 in Sportiva Solutions(pretty tight fit). I ordered a 12 in these, and I will go down a half size when I replace them for more secure heel hooks. The 3d heel itself is great. It will stay on most everything, but when my heel's above my head, my foot can pull out a bit.
This shoe is very stiff. The toe has great power, without killing your big toe, but don't expect to "grab" holds with it. Edging is solid, but you have very little feel. The shoe smears better than I thought it would with the dual density sole, but smearing isn't really what this shoes about. Toe hooking is secure and fairly painless (as toe-hooking goes anyway).
Quality is solid. I'd say the rubber is at least as sticky as Sportivas.
Overall great shoe for a reasonable price