Battling With My New Rope Runner Pro and Its Feisty Bollard Adjustment Settings

Knotorious

That Guy With The Face
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About three months ago, I decided to buy a new rope. After careful consideration, I decided to purchase 150' of Teufelberger Drenaline 11.8mm rope. At this point, buying a new Rope Runner Pro (RRP) wasn't on my radar. Fast forward to roughly one week ago and, after tirelessly researching multicender options, I eventually decided to buy an RRP. It was my hope that this device would work well on my new rope because of how its diameter were toward the middle of the size spectrum compatible with it and because the rope is 32-strand, which theoretically could help it work with any mechanical device more effectively. At least this was my reasoning for getting my hopes up.

Unfortunately, despite four days (for roughly 1 hour per day) of testing the RRP "low and slow," I have encountered a number of challenges. One issue I'm having is finding a position for the upper bollard which represents a "happy medium." The more open settings I dial in result in a nice, easy to depress bird but, once I start descending and lift my hand off of the bird to re-engage it to stop, the rope will continue to run through the device until I hit the ground.

In the more close end of the spectrum, as one might expect, the bird grabs the rope securely and swiftly, but depressing it to initiate a descent is extremely difficult or impossible or, after much effort, it will break, drop abruptly until it suddenly locks up yet again.

When the bollard is somewhere in the middle of these two aforementioned adjustment settings, depressing the bird to initiate descent isn't too difficult, but it's not that smooth functionality that I've heard countless people raving about. So even though the bird's operation in most of these settings would be tolerable, I found that whenever I bounce on the rope with my body weight, the rope will slip much more than I'm comfortable with. In some cases, this action can cause the rope to start running through the bollard until I hit the ground.

Another element of potential concern is how much the RRP will flatten my rope. I realize that the device relies on some level of compression of the rope for it to work, but I hadn't expected it to be so aggressive. I'm not entirely sure how concerning this should be. My understanding has always been that mechanical devices will function better with ropes which maintain their natural round shape. But I'm brand new to the RRP, so I suppose the flattening could be neutral or even positive. If anyone knows, feel free to elucidate me.

In any event, I now find myself wishing I had bought the RRP before the new rope so that I could have purchased a rope approved for the device by the manufacturer. Has anyone else had any experience using a Drenaline rope with the RRP? It's beginning to look as though I may have to invest in a second new rope. Asking anyone with experience using the RRP, which ropes (approved and otherwise) have worked the best with your RRP? It seems that a lot of people like the Xstatic lines. Perhaps I just need to break my rope in more before the RRP willl behave itself like a good multicender.

Anyways, sorry for the lengthy message. I never keep anything short. I'm done!
 

Knotorious

That Guy With The Face
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I washed my rope yesterday and then thoroughly dried it out on a table using a fan overnight. Today I went out to give it another go. I am delighted to report that I was finally able to get my Rope Runner Pro to work under a bollard position which didin't have me fearing for my safety. Overall, it's working beautifully and I was confident enough to do some climbing with it on a relatively small tree, just going up and down SRT, testing the setting I had dialed in. To CurSedVoyce, thank you so much for your stellar suggestion and wisdom! You've turned my frown upside-down! :D
 

lxskllr

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Glad you got it working to your satisfaction! It's a bit of a gamble trying new devices, and they aren't cheap, so failures aren't too fun.
 

biggun

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It is also weight dependent. A lighter climber may have had different results before you washed the rope.

I always find new ropes are a bit slick to start with. Use it and it should get better with time.
 

TINYHULK

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I’ve been climbing in my RRP for about 7-8 months now. When I first got it I tried it on my blue moon (approved rope) and had the exact same experience as you at first. The blue moon would oval out very quickly and start slipping. Once I got the drenaline I was able to find a spot for it to work decently but I was able to find a working bollard position from day one and got to use the device more confidently. I’m 160-170 before gear. Make sure to keep some cleaner and lube for it with you at all times! I’ve had the bird get hard to move just from sitting in my box. I personally use brake clean to spray out the ports then I use wd40 dry lube (doesn’t attract more dust/dirt).
 

Knotorious

That Guy With The Face
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I’ve been climbing in my RRP for about 7-8 months now. When I first got it I tried it on my blue moon (approved rope) and had the exact same experience as you at first. The blue moon would oval out very quickly and start slipping. Once I got the drenaline I was able to find a spot for it to work decently but I was able to find a working bollard position from day one and got to use the device more confidently. I’m 160-170 before gear. Make sure to keep some cleaner and lube for it with you at all times! I’ve had the bird get hard to move just from sitting in my box. I personally use brake clean to spray out the ports then I use wd40 dry lube (doesn’t attract more dust/dirt).

Thanks for the heads up about needing to have some kind of lubricant. With all the forces being exerted on that bollard, I can imagine it could get pretty stuck after awhile if it isn't kept lubricated. Good advice!
 

TINYHULK

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Another issue I had at first was tightening down the bollard at the settings. It will rotate in a funny manner and not be true to your desired setting. If I was going for 3, once I tightened it depending on which screw I tightened first it would go up or down about half a number. Which made a huge difference when I was first working with it. Once I got it paired right with my Drenaline I haven’t moved it since. It was prone to slipping with the original “L shaped” Allen key. Ended up partially stripping out one of the bollard screws. I ended up buying a “T” allen off Amazon and cut the long Allen down. Doesn’t fall out my bag on my harness and I always climb with it
 

Knotorious

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Another issue I had at first was tightening down the bollard at the settings. It will rotate in a funny manner and not be true to your desired setting. If I was going for 3, once I tightened it depending on which screw I tightened first it would go up or down about half a number. Which made a huge difference when I was first working with it.

That's really interesting. I can honestly say that I know exactly what you're talking about. Every time I line up the bollard, it would stay where I wanted it until the final 25% of the available screw rotation, where the twisting would cause it to climb up the slot it is in like a tire catching traction on a paved road. I had to start using my fingers to preemptively push against the bollard in the opposite direction, while at the same time avoiding pushing it past where I wanted it to lock in, but this movement the bollard makes is surprisingly difficult to prevent. Eventually, I started setting the loosened bollard a few millimeters behind where I actually wanted it to go and the tightening process would inevitably lock it in where I actually wanted it as it rolled in its slot. Honestly, it's kind of a pain in the ass. Now that I've found the sweet spot for my rope, I periodically check to ensure that it's screwed in tightly so that I don't lose it or have a failure incident. Part of me wants to see if I can find an even better setting (if one even exists), but the user unfriendly nature of the bollard has me deterred.

Now that I've shit talked the RRP, it's only fair that I point out that it's otherwise an amazing device and that the bollard adjustment headache was worth it.
 

TINYHULK

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I’ve always liked the idea of matching a rope to a climbing system. My rrp is matched to my drenaline. My hitch climber set up has the blue moon. And as I gain other devices I’ll probably have a rope for each one. I’ve always wanted to have a rope set up specifically for trees that have a lot of pitch, but honestly the rrp isn’t too bad in our pines, since it’s mostly just a fall arrest since I’m spurring up the tree
 

biggun

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I set my RRPro on the second tightest setting. I did this before I had a rope in there and haven't adjusted it at all. The only thing I have had to do was wash it in the dishwasher and relive the bird after it became a bit sticky.

I have had it since Treestuff did the first run. Forget how long ago it was but I was browsing late at night and noticed they had just put it onsite that afternoon. It was definitely one of the first in Norway, maybe Scandinavia.

Can I have a medal please? ;)
 

Knotorious

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I set my RRPro on the second tightest setting. I did this before I had a rope in there and haven't adjusted it at all. The only thing I have had to do was wash it in the dishwasher and relive the bird after it became a bit sticky.

That's interesting that you put it into the dishwasher. I presume you did so without any dish soap? Or did you need soap to get off the "sticky" stuff? Was it sap/generic tree fluids?
.Now, once you washed it and dried it out, did you need to re-lubricate the joints? Or did it not have an effect on the smoothness of the device's operation?
What size rope(s) are you using with your RR? With the bollard closed all the way, I'd imagine that you're using small diameter access lines.
Last question while I have your attention: Have you ever had your RR suddenly slip/fail to grab the rope, causing you to drop, either just a few inches or even several feet?
For anyone reading this who has an RR, please feel free to share whether your RR has ever experienced some kind of failure, resulting in downward rope sliding.
I've only ever had this happen back when I was messing around with the bollard, trying to find a good setting. But for some reason, I don't yet fully trust my RR, and "gear fear" affects my performance as a climber to some extent.
Anyways, thanks for reading!
 

greengreer

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Haven't tried the pro but with the original rope runner the bollards needed to be broken in a bit to smooth them out. Basically that straight cylinder needed to wear the start of a groove to get the friction right. A few times "bombing out" did the trick.
 

biggun

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That's interesting that you put it into the dishwasher. I presume you did so without any dish soap? Or did you need soap to get off the "sticky" stuff? Was it sap/generic tree fluids?
.Now, once you washed it and dried it out, did you need to re-lubricate the joints? Or did it not have an effect on the smoothness of the device's operation?
What size rope(s) are you using with your RR? With the bollard closed all the way, I'd imagine that you're using small diameter access lines.
Last question while I have your attention: Have you ever had your RR suddenly slip/fail to grab the rope, causing you to drop, either just a few inches or even several feet?
For anyone reading this who has an RR, please feel free to share whether your RR has ever experienced some kind of failure, resulting in downward rope sliding.
I've only ever had this happen back when I was messing around with the bollard, trying to find a good setting. But for some reason, I don't yet fully trust my RR, and "gear fear" affects my performance as a climber to some extent.
Anyways, thanks for reading!

Slight error on my part. I have the bollard on the 2nd notch from the bottom so the second widest setting.

I generally use 11.7 mm ropes.

I just put it through the dishwasher cycle with the usually stuff that goes in there. I did use a couple of drops of light oil on the joints after it came out.

It has been fine since.
 

Marc-Antoine

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I don't have the RR pro or regular, but I had quite a few sudent drops with the Zigzag. It wasn't malfunctionning at all, just super sensitive. Each time it lost its grip, that's because something touched the top link, either a small limb, a loose rope /chainsaw lanyard or even just a sleeve. It worsened as the wear began to round the top link's edges around the rope. Just to say something, that's not related to the RopeRunner.
 

Jed

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All the guys in our shop are vastly preferring the old school Runner to the "Pro"

I only have the old one anyways. No fuss just send it
 

treebilly

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I love my original. I know a lot of guys (mostly young bucks) that rave about the RRP but I’m not impressed enough to buy one. Biggest reason I don’t “need” one is because the originals are made in West Virginia. RRP is Taiwan I think.
This reminds me that I need to order new bollards for my original.
 

Knotorious

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@treebilly In my sometimes useless opinion, I believe that the RRP is an improvement upon the RR. Notice I didn't say "huge" improvement, because it isn't. But the improvement is nonetheless tangible and I am admittedly a "young buck" as well, so perhaps I am unwittingly biased because I'm a sucker for fresh, new technology like the rest of my Millennial counterparts.

EDIT; I removed something potentially inflammatory.
 
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