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Mad Rock

Aviator Max Air Paradox Wingman
Aviator Max Air Paradox Wingman

Overview


Aviator
(#1692, 2733)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

InstructionsI acquired my Mad Rock Aviator from Juan Lizarraga in 2010. I acquired another from Premiere Consignment, LLC on eBay in 2018.

The Mad Rock Aviator is a notched belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and soft anodized. Mine is 98 mm. long, 51 mm. wide, 100 mm. high, and weighs 100 g. The slots are 37 mm. long and 15 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 20 mm. below the ends of the slots.

The Aviator has a 10 mm. diameter carabiner eye at one end. The eye has a semicircular enlargement that allows a cord to fit in as well. A horn sits above the eye. There is an accessory hole at the other end of the device. The underside has a 2.6 mm. springwire that pivots in two holes in the main forging. The plastic covered cable keeper is quite stiff, almost rigid.

One side is printed with the Mad Rock logo, "MADROCK," and "JE1." The other side has a rigging illustration, a book-with-an-"i" icon, "8-11 mm," and "Pat. Pend."

Comments

The Aviator is large, heavy, and complicated for a belay tube, but it works well. The clever springwire serves two purposes. First, it keeps the carabiner away from the bottom of the device when not catching a fall, making it easier to feed or take rope. During a fall, it helps guide the carabiner to the standing line side of the device, hopefully increasing friction.


Max Air
(#1635)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Mad Rock Max Air from Mad Rock in 2009.

The Mad Rock Max Air is forged from aluminum alloy and then soft anodized. Mine is 56 mm. long, 47 mm. wide, 100 mm. high, and weighs 55 g. The slots are 35 mm. long and 16 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 7 mm. below the ends of the slots. The Max Air has a flexible, plastic-covered, cable keeper.

One side of my Max Air is marked with the "MAD ROCK" and "HE1," while the other has two rigging icons, one showing the high friction arrangement with a "+" in a circle underneath, and one one showing the low friction arrangement with a "-" in a circle underneath.

Comments

The following closely-related belay tubes include the Mad Rock Max Air as an example:

Image Device Keeper High-end
Notch
Anpen Anpen Cable U
Brasovia Lightweight Brasovia Lightweight Cable U
Climb Axe Max Climb Axe Max Cable U
Climb X, Version A Climb X, Version A Cable U
Clog Flyer, Version A Clog Flyer, Version A Rod V
Clog Flyer, Version B Clog Flyer, Version B Rod V
Image Device Keeper High-end
Notch
Ellis Brigham Climb Ellis Brigham Climb Rod V
GrandWall GrandWall Cable U
Kailas Kailas Cable U
Kong Chuy Kong Chuy Cable U
KTD KTD Rod V
Mad Rock Max Air Mad Rock Max Air Cable U
Image Device Keeper High-end
Notch
Ocùn Tuber, Version A Ocùn Tuber, Version A Cable U
Ocùn Tuber, Version B Ocùn Tuber, Version B Cable U
Rock Empire Guard Rock Empire Guard Cable U
Simond Tubik Simond Tubik Cable U
 
 

Each of these is 55±1 mm. long and 47±1 mm. wide, and has a weight in the 54±3 g. range. Their slots are all 35±1 mm. long and 16 mm. wide. The main differences are that most have cable keepers and U-shaped notches on both ends, but some have rod keepers and V-shaped notches on the high end.

These have several distinctive features, but overall, perform like most devices of this type. The rope slots are hour-glass shaped, but this does not appear to affect their performance. They are slightly asymmetrical with a high and a low end, giving two distinct riggings. One would expect a difference in friction for the two riggings, with more friction if the braking line runs over the shorter end; however, I do not notice much difference.

Most of these have shallow U-notches at both ends. The Clog Flyer, Ellis Brigham Climb and KTD have V-notches at the high end, so I call these notched belay tubes. The V-notches are not as tall and acute as those on the Trango Jaws and its equivalents, so they do not provide as much braking. The U-notches on the others are are too shallow to noticeably amplify braking.

I prefer the ones with the rigid rod keeper. For the others, the plastic-coated cable keeper is moderately flexible, but stiff enough that it tends to stay out from under the rope.


Paradox
(#838)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I bought my Mad Rock Paradox new on eBay in 2006.

The Mad Rock Paradox is a notched belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and then clear anodized. Mine is 61 mm. long, 45 mm. wide, 106 mm. high, and weighs 69 g. The slots are 31 mm. long and 16 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 10 mm. below the ends of the slots.

The Mad Rock Paradox is similar to the Black Diamond ATC-XP, Black Diamond ATC-Guide and Wild Country VC Pro in that it has V-grooves on the side to provide additional friction for belaying or rappelling. Each side of each groove has three V-shaped slots, giving the grooves "teeth" to grip the rope more effectively. These teeth act to guide the rope deeper into the slot, in much the same manner as the teeth on the Wild Country Hand ascender work.

The keeper is stiff cable covered by plastic. The keeper is stiff enough to keep it from catching on the rope and being sucked into the device.

One side of the Paradox is etched with the Mad Rock Logo, "MADROCK," and "Ø9.5-11MM." The other side has two rigging icons showing the low and high friction rigging arrangements, with a "-" in a circle under the low-friction rigging icon on the left, and a "+" under the high friction rigging icon on the right, and "FRICTION" in an oval between, with arrows pointing to the "-" and "+."

Comments

The Paradox is rigged with the V-slots on the brake hand end of the rope. Alternately, the user may reverse the Paradox to disable the V-slots. The teeth do not have the narrow angle found on the Salewa Tubus, Singing Rock, or Trango Jaws, so they do not create the same wedging action. For this reason, I find the Paradox to be less effective. On the other hand, the teeth on the Paradox provide a larger bearing area for the rope, which helps reduce localized heating.

Rigging


Wingman
(#1791)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired one Mad Rock Wingman from Unique Outfitters in 2012 and a second from Trench 2 Trail Gear Shop later that year.

The Mad Rock Wingman is a notched belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and soft anodized. Mine is 58 mm. long, 51 mm. wide, 98 mm. high, and weighs 74 g. It has two slots with ribbed v-grooves. The slots are 37 mm. long and 15 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 16 mm. below the ends of the slots. The underside has a 2.5 mm. springwire that pivots in two holes in the main forging. The plastic covered cable keeper is quite stiff, almost rigid.

One side has a printed Mad Rock Logo. The other has a climber icon and a hand-holding-a-rope icon to show the user which end is which, a book-with-an-"i" icon, and "8-12mm.

Comments

The clever springwire keeps the carabiner away from the bottom of the device when not catching a fall, making it easier to feed or take rope. During a fall, it helps guide the carabiner to the standing line side of the device, hopefully increasing friction.