Grivel G14 Cramp-o-matic
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At last alpine climbing crampons with the technical performance of their ice and modern mixed counterparts. Grivel's G-14 crampons combine the technical performance of forged vertical frontpoints with the low profile collapsible frame of the G-12 to make an altogether fresh modular and customizable crampon suited to many climbing disciplines. Front points are simple to configure on the G14 allowing the user to build mono or dual point crampons and replace worn points easily. The low profile of the crampon frame places the climber's foot closer to rock or ice and is less prone to balling up. Semi-rigid and asymetrical in shape Supplied with anti-balling plates Fit boot sizes: 36-47 Weight: 1065g Crampon grade: C3
Grivel G14 Cramp-o-matic Reviews
Reviewed by David Cowan (Aberdeen) on 2006-01-05:
General comments: With many types and makes of crampons out there, how do you know which ones to buy? Well if walking and climbing up to grade 2/3 is your thing and you don't fancy progressing through the grades then these probably are not the ones for you. However, for technical climbing, the Grivel G14s are awesome.
The vertical front points are really good, they sharpen up really well to give good penetration into ice providing a good stable platform espescially in dual point mode. In fragile water ice it can take a few kicks to get a good placement unfortunately.
It is on mixed ground that these crampons come into their own. The front bale can be moved back or forward to increase or decrease the front point length. For mixed, move the bale forward making the points short, this decreases the leaverage and makes life easier on your calf muscles. In mono point mode the point sits directly under your big toe giving very precise placements. You get really good feedback so you can gauge how good the foot placement is.
With the G14 being a semi ridged design they do flex a bit depending on how much your boot flexes. I found this to be a benefit have used fully rigid ones before. The flex helped give a bit more feedback helping you climb more precisely and avoid scrabling around so much which ultimately saved energy.
They clip on to your boots very easily and are quick to adjust to fit your boots. This can all be done without tools making life easy. When clipping on they make a load clunk when on properly and in 3 seasons of using these they have never come off my boots even when having to walk in them. The straps tighten up well and dont get in the way. All in all these crampons are brilliant.
Pros: Precise placements, secure fit at home on steep mixed ground.
Cons: Can take a couple of kicks for secure placements in fragile ice.
Rubbish for walking in.
Reviewed by Chris Chaddock (Staffordshire) on 2006-01-22:
General comments: These crampons I find are good all rounders. At home on steep ice and also Alpine mountaineering. In the past, Grivel G14 crampons have been criticised for been slightly uncomfortable for walking in but I haven't had a problem. They are as comfortable as my old G12's and I have spent long days in them. I have had no problems with the Crampomatic binding system either, however, I do know people who have, and I believe a lot of problems are down to the boots that the wearer couples with them. I personally wear La Sportiva boots and the toe and heel clearance for the bales is quite pronounced. However, certain boot manufacturers do not have an adequate 'lip' on the toe to accomodate the front bail. A friend of mine really struggled with Salomon boots which is something to bear in mind when choosing a binding system for that particular brand.
Pros: Good points for the Grivel G14's include the aggressive front points and their ease of penetration into the ice. After previously owning G12's, I wanted a crampon that was going to instill a little more confidence on the steeper ice, and the G14's do that with aplomb. The front points are well ground and remain suprisingly sharp after the best efforts to blunt them on mixed terrain. Other pluses include the Anti-ball plates fitted as standard which offer the wearer an unprecedented level of safety and are really effective compared to the old one's. The G14's crampomatic binding is trouble free as long as it is well suited to the boot as previously mentioned.
Cons: If you want to alter the position of the toe bale to give better front point clearance (recommended) it is a nightmare to get the toe bale out. The holes are slightly elongated and the trick is to pass the flat part of the bale through length ways. It is a battle though and persistence is the key. Another negative is when setting these Grivel crampons up for mono points. The points cannot be directly positioned centrally, they are positioned over the big toe which can cause the single point to lever out, especially if bridging.
|This review has 1 comment(s):
Simon Lloyd responded : I struggled to move the toe bales. After trial and error, if you unscrew the points and remove them and the anti bot rubber, you can get a flat surface behind each of the end of the bale and push them through. Easy when you know how. I had tried hanging off them with two slings to pull them out and they wont move !! Shows they're pretty bomber when they're on your feet. (2009-02-01)
Reviewed by Tony (Sheffield) on 2006-01-26:
General comments: This is the crampon of choice for me and most of my ice climbing friends! A totally independent outcome, so they must be good! It excels at steep vertical ice. The points are really well-positioned. Changeable front points - an essential. Points are easy to file sharp and seem to keep sharpness well. I use it exclusively in mono-point configuration, and it gives real precision to footwork on ice. Worth checking the fit to your boots. I haven't seen major problems here, but the crampons are fairly flat and do not always fit well at the heel for rockered soles. Certainly there is a gap of a few mms at the hell with my La Sportive Nepals. Also the toe bail is made of quite thick wire and might need a bit of bending to fit your boot's toe profile well. The crampons are well adjustable and I just make sure that they really snap onto the boots tightly. Use with anti-balling plates it using on snow. I've got the rubber ones. They work well, but I prefer removing them for icefall climbing.
Pros: Fit, configuration, the front points.
Cons: Only really the need to have anti-balling plates for snow.
Reviewed by Matt (UK) on 2006-01-27:
General comments: I bought these crampons second hand and, having already used DMM Terminators for a year or so was sceptical of how good I would find them on steeper ice. I really bought them to use for mountaineering given the fact that they fold down fairly small and they have considerably better antiballing plates than the Terminators. Having said this I use the old style black antiballing plates which have been replaced by the two part yellow type which seem far superior. I have climbed with people using the new system and they seem excellent and very durable. The new crampons are supplied with the accordeon as well. To be honest I think that this is an answer to a problem that wasn't really there - I have never had problems with the bar balling up but I guess it can't do any harm to protect it! Still I don't think I'll be buying a set...
I have only used these on Scottish grade IIIish ice so I can't really compare their steep ice performance to the Terminators. However I was very impressed with how well they penetrate the ice given the fact that they are not rigid. The crampons perform well on mixed ground also - no complaints here. The binding system is very secure and the fact that Grivel supply the crampons with regular and asymmetric bars means that they should fit most B3 boots on the market.
So far I have only used them with dual front points but they can also be set up as offset monos. The front points themselves are very aggressive and easily sharpened. One annoying feature that I have found when using these crampons is that when you fold them up the extending bar sometimes jams under the crossbar that supports the front points.
Pros: Excellent antiballing system. Crampons fold down quite small for climbing crampons. Good binding system.
Cons: The extending bar has an annoying habit of jamming under the crossbar which supports the front points. The length of the front points cannot be adjusted unlike some other crampons.
Reviewed by Jim (Bristol) on 2007-06-19:
General comments: Nice, well made set of crampons. A great set for mountaineering and a bit of ice climbing. I wear a pair of Scarpa Manta's and the work great with them. Binding system is quick simple and easy to put on and take off. two front points are easily removable for replacement. I have size 48 boots and they only go to size 47 but larger bars can be bought to extend them further. Bought mine with the anti balling plates which are easy to take off and put on.
Pros: Tough as! Feels really sercure footing. Great for Mountainneering and ice climbing. Easy to use binding system.
Cons: Size staright off the shelf were not big enough but was sorted with larger bars.
Reviewed by john kazanas (Melbourne) on 2008-09-22:
General comments: I have used my G14's for over 4 years now. They are awsome. Mono points for steep ice and hard mixed stuff and dual pointa for all round. Despite what others have said on their reviews they are good to walk on especially with the anti-balling plates. I have used my crampons from anything on highly technical terrain in New Zealand on Sacrpa Inverno boots to high altiture mountaineering in Nepal on La Sportiva Olympus Mons boots.
My only criticism is the expensive and poor durability of the anti balling plates. In 4 years I ahve gone through 2 pairs and I get out about 6 weekends per year so I think that is not that good.
Pros: Excellent design and strength for a variety of terrains
Cons: Poor durability of the anti balling plates