by EriksfromFusion vs. NomicThese tools may be great for rock climbing but on ice, at least for me, they did not perform well. I had a chance to test the new BD Fusions (Laser picks) side by side with Petzl Nomics (Astro picks) at the Adirondack Mountainfest while running several laps on ice (ca WI 4) with a pair of each. I was considering buying the Fusions because I liked the look of them and the spike seemed like an advantage compared to Nomics. Overall, I was hugely disappointed. The test was on ice only, so I cannot speak about the rock. The Fusions did not swing well at all. The tool felt not balanced and a kind of wobbled in my hand. I had to make an extra effort to keep the swing balanced. The pick did not stick well even when the swing was all right. I had to use the beginner's trick of "dropping the elbow" to get good sticks. I was a sort of "fighting" the tool to get it in the ice. Although it may be just me not getting the right feeling for the swing, I had none of these problems when I took Nomics for the next lap on ice. The Nomics felt perfectly balanced and swung naturally almost without any effort. The stick was solid and reliable and in most cases I got it right with the first swing, while in the same spot I was swinging Fusion three to four times to get the stick. I also liked the Nomic's handle better – it felt like a more ergonomic grip. All the differences became more obvious by the end of the day as the fatigue set in – while my last lap with Fusions was miserable, I was ready to go again after my last lap with Nomics. To sum up, the Fusion may be a great rock tool, but on ice it did not feel good at all for me. I believe similar complaints were raised about the previous (orange) version of this tool – at least for me, it seems that BD has not fixed the issue. In contrast, the Nomics performed superbly all day long, especially, in some tough spots where I really wanted to get the tool in with my first swing. That said, it may be personal and it should be possible to learn swinging the Fusions right. I just do not see the need to do so, since the Nomics feel so natural and perfect to me.
Date published: 2010-01-29
Rated 5out of5
by ds_daltonfromUpdated SicknessI was quite skeptical of the "new" Fusions. What could be so great about them?! After thouroughly testing the tools out at the Ouray Ice Park, I can see what difference have been made... for the better! I've climbed on my old pair of Fusions for over two years and immediately noticed the difference in the weight. The distribution of the weight (namely, a nice heavy head) gives the tool a very natural swing, even though it appears uber agressive. The clearance is the most noticeable shape difference, allowing for aggressive hooking and pulling around bulges. The pommels and nicely coating in plastic and the stainless steel head is a wonderful finishing touch.
On pure ice I find these tools work great and swing easily, especially for ice that is WI4 or steeper. I found on lower angle ice, due to the aggressive curve, it was moderately difficult to get an easy secure stick, (this was a problem with the old Fusion too.) I'm sure that if you replaced the pics with the BD laser, they would do much better in pure ice.
For steep mixed, these things are great. Even the smallest holds can be hooked with these beasts. The upper and lower pommel are off only a few degrees, making sure that when you match your placement does not skid off the rock. A nice feature when you are already on manky placements and don't want to pop!!! They handle much more like the Petzl Nomics in the sense that they are light-weight and easy to maneuver with, but still feel different in my opinion.
Overall, an amazing tool that is quite versatile. This will replace my old Fusion as well as my old Cobras, since the new Fusion will be able to tackle the same terrain easily.
If you got the ca$h and are out there using the tool and making it worthwhile, I think these are a great option.
Date published: 2010-01-21
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