"Twelve Angry Spikes - Review of Rock Empire Crampons Machki Expert“

Are you headed onto ice? Are you hesitant to buy crampons?  Be inspired by Karel Vidlák's review from The World of Outdoors

"Twelve angry spikes - Review of Rock Empire Crampons Machki Expert“

If someone has no desire to experience a proper ride on the ice, they should think of tuning the chassis of their climbing boots. As is commonly known, the sole of your shoe on the ice has about the same grip as bacon on a Teflon pan. Trying to jam the toe of your shoe into the ice is as effective as pounding a nail into the wall with a rubber hammer. In short, it would be best to have crampons named Machki, as the manufacturer called them.

Their generic name is Expert, which indicates that the rear clamping system is only suitable for shoes with a groove on the heel. However, there is also a model offered for classic groove-free mountain boots.

Let's start at the beginning, though. These are classic, 12-spike, steel crampons, suitable for VHT, climbing and alpinism. Today, I would call their construction “classical”, without any extravagances, quirks and so on. But the manufacturer has left one trump card up his sleeve or respectively in the box. After opening the box, in addition to the crampons, you'll find a few more connecting parts for the front and back of the crampons. This is designed for owners of shoes that may have a shoe size as high as EU 48. If the crampons, on the other hand, are for Cinderellas running from the prince, she'll strap on her slipper a shorter connecting part.

Thus, the crampons are easily adaptable to your shoe size.

As I mentioned, the design is basically standard. That doesn't have to mean anything negative. Often the opposite is the case. The top of the shoe is fastened with a massive plastic stirrup of semi-rigid construction. This threads through the strap leading from the heel fastening element. This contains a wheel to fine-tune the pressure of the crampons to the shoe. By tightening the strap, the front and back are then joined together and the shoe and the crampons suddenly become a single unit. I tried the crampons both walking in the snow and climbing on perpendicular ice. Since the front spikes from production are sharpened nicely, I had no trouble. However, given the overall design of the crampons, it is clear that they are not specially designed just for ice climbing. Their main advantage lies in universality. They won´t get lost in alpinism, nor the occasional deployment in rougher terrain. They are something like an SUV car that drives mainly on the road, but doesn't get flustered by lighter terrain or snow.

I confess that I wanted to mention the snow deliberately, as I wanted to mention another useful element. Already in a standard kit, the crampons have plastic snow bouncers. That is, something like plastic bolders, preventing snow from packing onto the crampons. Believe it or not, but this element is very useful when walking in the snow. The bouncers are screwed in with cross bolts, so it's no problem to remove them.

Quick clamping crampon system. Plastic snow bouncers prevent the snow from clinging to the bottom of the crampons. Detail of the front spike and the fastening classical clamping system.

A reasonable weight of around 1060 grams also corresponds to the classic design of the crampons. I have to say, though, not all the models I've encountered made it so easy to set the size. It is done by slightly lifting the tin with your finger, releasing the pin fitting into the hole in the connecting section. There it is  also stamped with digits indicating shoe sizes. To set your size only takes a moment. And so what is the main argument that will get you reaching for this model? It will probably be the balanced price to performance ratio. The truth is that in this price range, steel crampons probably don't have much competition. They don't get you extra excited, but they don't offend you either. For those who want something exorbitant, they can buy titanium crampons with canary green elox and red polka dots. A normal climber and tourist longing for the classic should buy the Rock Empire crampons named Machki.

Intrigued by:

two lengths of connecting parts

universality of use

easy size setting

Karel Vidlák


Dvanáct rozhněvaných hrotů - recenze maček Rock Empire Expert

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