Although climbing is a fun sport, it can have devastating consequences if you don’t use quality tools and safety precautions. Safety is of utmost concern when climbing rocks or trees. Why have fun and end up injured? To ensure safety, you require quality tools from reputable manufacturers.
There are many ropes out there. However, each rope has been designed for a specific use and purpose. Therefore, you should know their differences before purchasing one. In this post, we will look at the bi-pattern climbing rope and bi-color climbing ropes.
As their names suggest, the climbing ropes have varying patterns and colors at the halfway section of the sheath, respectively. The changing patterns and colors help know a climbing rope’s midpoint.
What is a Bi-pattern Climbing Rope?
Bi-pattern climbing rope changes its color or pattern in its half, marking the point in the middle. However, this has no impact on the application of dry treatment. It only concerns the climbing rope’s outer layers and does not have any effect on its core. Bi-pattern climbing ropes are classified into two categories – bi-color climbing ropes and bi-pattern climbing ropes.
Bi-color climbing ropes
The color of the bi-color climbing rope changes in the middle, showing where the other half starts. The variations in the pattern show the midpoint.
Bi-pattern climbing ropes
The bi-pattern climbing rope has the same color throughout its length. However, they have a unique change of pattern from the rope’s middle point.
These climbing ropes comprise two parts:
This is the part of the climbing rope that offers a dynamic stretch during the fall. It comprises a system of twisted thick strands of nylon.
It protects the core of that rope you climb with from sunlight and abrasion. They make the sheath using nylon fibers woven in a specific pattern around the climbing rope’s core.
How are Bi-pattern and Bi-color Climbing Ropes Made?
The manufacturers have to change the configurations of the bobbins, weaving the sheath up to the climbing rope’s midpoint, to make a bi-color or bi-pattern climbing rope. They can also splice some nylon strands with a differently colored strand.
We also used splicing in sailing to connect two ropes that have the same diameter. You achieve this with no loss in the rope’s strength of using a knot.
Various manufacturers may use different techniques to make both ropes. We will look at two companies that make bi-pattern and bi-color climbing ropes: Edelrid and Sterling.
How are bi-pattern climbing ropes made?
The manufacturing process for bi-pattern climbing ropes used by Edelrid (one of the best brands for climbing equipment) is as follows. They alter the patterns in the sheath without splicing it. By doing so, the bobbins are aligned in a fixed pattern on the climbing rope’s braiding machine. The sheath’s weaving pattern is altered. It affects how the rope appears.
How are bi-color climbing ropes made?
In making the bi-color climbing rope, they change the color of some of its strands. Eventually, this changes the entire appearance of the climbing rope’s second half. To do this, Sterling uses an air splicer. It joins two differently colored strands made of nylon with no loss of strength.
Are Bi-Color and Bi-pattern Climbing Ropes Worth It?
Before you get confused, here is a simple guide on how to choose a climbing rope.
However, these ropes offer unique experiences with climbing. In this post, we will concentrate on the rope pattern and colors. What are the purpose of bi-color and bi-pattern ropes?
Are Bi-Color and Bi-pattern Climbing Ropes Worth the Money?
The cost of the two is another disputed issue. Are they worth the money? Because you need more materials and time to create just two climbing ropes, they are more costly than others.
When deciding the kind of rope to purchase, the most vital factor to consider is the types of climbing you participate in.
Are you an alpine climber, or do you regularly climb multi-pitches? Then bi-pattern climbing ropes and bi-color climbing ropes are worth the additional expenses.
Bi-pattern climbing rope costs more compared to a similar rope model having a basic middle marker.
You can go without it if you use the rope only for one-pitch cragging or at the gym. However, it is up to the climber to decide based on their use cases.
Why Should You Use a Bi-pattern and Bi-color Rope for Climbing?
By using a bi-pattern or bi-color climbing rope, it is easy to know the position of the mid marking on your rope when climbing. Knowing the position of the mid marker is vital when climbing or rappelling, for instance, multi-pitch climbing. That is why the ropes having a solid color have middle markers.
Bi-pattern and Bi-color ropes add security to climbers with little experience
With bi-pattern and bi-color climbing ropes, the entire second half has a distinct pattern or appearance. Thus, you know when over half of the climbing rope has been used even when you did not see the marker go through the belay device.
Such a visual clue adds an extra safety element when rappelling or climbing. Rappelling is among the parts of the climbing process that are most dangerous.
Many pros and beginners are prone to avoidable accidents per year. However, with a bi-pattern or bi-color climbing rope, you can track the portion of the rope that you have used.
What are the Downsides of Using the Bi-Pattern Rope?
Owning a new climbing rope can be quite an investment. Bi-color climbing ropes can be even more expensive. They cost 25%-35% more compared to solid-colored climbing ropes.
However, if you own a high-quality rope, you get indispensable climbing equipment that can be long-lasting if you take good care of it.
After using the rope for some time, a moment will come when you must cut some bit off the rope’s one end. With bi-pattern rope, cutting off one of the ends can cause a change in the rope’s mid-point.
Thus, the color pattern does not correspond with the real middle position of the bi-pattern climbing rope anymore. It poses a significant security risk to the climber.
It means that you must measure and cut equal lengths on both parts of that rope you use for climbing. It makes the middle point at the right position on the rope.
The same case applies to a climbing rope having a midmarker, but you can remark a new midpoint in this case. Such a practice is not ideal and can cause a catastrophic accident.
When you remark the middle position on a climbing rope, ensure that you tell other people who use the rope the correct marking of the climbing rope’s midpoint.
Middle Marker Ropes vs. Bi-pattern Climbing Ropes
As we have seen above, the primary advantage of using bi-pattern rope over a middle mark rope is that it is possible to tell which side of that rope you are on.
Thus, even when a climber misses the change of color or pattern going through the rope’s belay device, they know that there is a change in the climbing rope’s color or pattern. It shows that you’ve gone past the rope’s middle.
The Advantages of Using a Middle Marker Ropes
Let’s take a look at the advantages of using a middle marker rope.
You get to make your mark
A climber can put a mark on the rope themselves again if they cut its one end. According to some studies, the chemicals in the paint on an old sharp item can leave lasting damage on your climbing rope.
Has the middle marker of your rope faded because of use or any other reason? The best option is buying a climbing rope marker from a reputable dealer or threading a differently colored thread on the upper sheath fibers making the rope.
You can easily see the markers, and they do not wear off
Even when the middle marks are brand new, they take up a few inches on the rope you use for climbing. Therefore, you can miss them with ease, especially for a person with less experience. The markers quickly fade away after some time.
Although color and pattern changes are permanent, it is the climbing rope’s material that changes. Thus, the external marker does not wear off. Marking your rope using external markers is beneficial and may add to your climbing rope’s lifespan.
You will feel a slight bump
You may feel a slight bump in the midpoint of a bi-pattern rope for climbing. It arises from the manufacturing process when fusing two varying strands.
It may also be because the strands are more crisscrossed in this area because of a change in the weaving pattern.
However, the strength of a climbing rope does not change because of this. Therefore, you should not mistake the bump for damage when inspecting a climbing rope.
Final Thoughts on Bi-pattern Climbing Ropes
Climbing is an exciting sport. However, to avoid any accidents, you should have quality tools like climbing ropes. As we have seen above, two ropes make climbing safer.
Bi-pattern and bi-color climbing ropes help you see when you have crossed half the rope because of the changes in color or pattern.
The two have a higher cost than other ropes. However, your safety comes before anything else includes the expenses.