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hapes

Replacing rods

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As some of you may know, I have a Rev EXP.  It has the green label rods (not the racing rods, just the new crappy rods with the green bands by the label).  If I were to buy a set of better rods, would they fit in my EXP?  Are there differences in size between Bs and EXPs?

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They are the same size (length). The number of feathers on the label, 2, 3, 4, or lack of them denotes the stiffness/flexibility (response time) of the tube. I have, and use, the "green label" as well as the older tubes. I don't find the green label tubes to be so horrible that I would get rid of them, nor as fragile as many people have made them out to be. They do have a different feel to a very experienced pilot that most beginners won't notice, even though the difference is physically measurable. In some lighter wind applications I actually prefer them. They have a softer almost "lazy" flex, but with a snappier rebound. This reference is to the green label Diamond frame. In a sail which has very little mass (read: under 4 ounces kite and frame together) they allow quicker transitions between a loaded and flat sail configuration. This allows the kite to move briskly in very light winds without the amount of body movement required by tubes with slower response times.

I don't spank the kite as much as a Barresi or a LeMasters, but I don't baby it either, and I have still not broken any. Like any other equipment, if you push it beyond its limitations it will break. Of course, every contact with objects including the ground, whether intentional or not, does some damage which accumulates over time. Eventually the tube WILL fail. They ALL will. Its called wearing out; for instance, a paper washer will wear out faster than a rubber one will wear out faster than a leather one will wear out faster than a steel one. If its made of steel, it won't get off the ground. If its made of paper it will self-destruct when the wind hits 2mph. Somewhere a compromise must be reached.

The process of manufacturing the tubes also plays a role in determining its final characteristics. The final product is always a compromise among several variables. You just can't have both extremes at the same time. One or the other will have to give. Many times it can be desirable to give up some strength and durability in favor of greater performance.

Sorry about the rant -- frames are interchangeable among all 1.5 format kites: EXP, SLE, SUL, Masterpiece, etc. Anything that is not a Rev1, Rev2, Zen(rev1 size), B2(rev2 size), or a Speed Series kite can use the same frame.

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Yep - any 1.5 set of rods will interchange in the EXP (also a 1.5 size). 

PS: EXP stock rods are 3 wraps, just marked as EXP rods. No difference. I would hang on to the EXP rods (3 wrap) and get some other option like the black race frame or maybe 2 wraps. I would advise against 4 wraps, as it flexes the least and puts more stress and stretch on the sail, IMO. If it blows enough to want a 4 wrap - get a vented!

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I intend to get another single EXP rod to replace the one that's broken right now, then pick up some better quality ones.  I've gone through probably 4 to 6 rods in the week I was flying about 2 hours a day, plus going to the Cleveland Kite Festival.

 

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4-6 rods in a week?? WOAH!! In almost 20 years I've only broken a few, and most of them I know why! Stepped on, not fully seated on ferrule, street contact, etc, all pretty much expected stuff. But 4-6 in a week of 2 hour stints?? Way too many - whatcha doing - chewing on them??!!??

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8 minutes ago, hapes said:

I intend to get another single EXP rod to replace the one that's broken right now, then pick up some better quality ones.  I've gone through probably 4 to 6 rods in the week I was flying about 2 hours a day, plus going to the Cleveland Kite Festival.

 

Four to six rods = OUCH! You must be spanking that puppy really hard. I've broken 2 tubes in 7 years of flying Revs. One I knelt down onto while making adjustments, and one by hitting a 55-gallon drum at full speed. Both my bad!

At this pace you will become the undisputed King of the Broken Rod by this time next year.

Which part of the rod breaks? Middle? End? Clean breaks or splintered? Have you checked for paranormal activity? Something is wrong. You should not be breaking them that frequently, unless you are doing some really radical moves, or flying in conditions that put undue stress on the frame. In either case its time to switch to a heavier frame or a vented sail. If you don't have either or both, then God bless you for getting out there anyway and flying. You will be rewarded with experience. Experience will prevail over all things.

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Is it the LE that's breaking or the uprights? if the LE, Center or one side?? Is the same part of the frame breaking every tim???

I agree with much of what has been advised above by both @Wayne Dowler and @makatakam I've only ever broken two and they were both the Green Trimmed BUT, One was definitely my fault as I was flying above reasonable conditions. the other was kind of suspicious in my opinion BUT spars do break so moving on.. .

Now  an important question is, are you losing frames while flying or impacting the ground? What exactly is the kite doing when the frames are getting damaged?

A couple of thoughts. I don't know how long you've been flying and this is in no way intended as an insult or accusation.. Just covering the bases as best I can.. Some comment may not apply to you at all.

  • -It's possible you aren't assembling the kite properly and that can place undue stress on the frame in ways it wasn't designed for. Make sure everything is fully seated to include going to the extra trouble of assembling the LE outside the kite and inserting the LE fully assembled if you can't tell..
  • -If impacts with the ground are still frequent for you, train yourself to just let go before yanking back on the handles if it's diving down.. Yanking back accelerates the kite and increases the odds of impact damage.
  • -Are you sure your kite is the genuine article?? Did you buy it new from a reputable dealer or is it an ebay special?
  • -IF it's you and you are just extra rough on a frame for whatever reason, get a Green Race frame. They are a little less responsive than some people like but generally they are considered pretty close to indestructible. Make sure you purchase from a reputable dealer (Sponsers here and also at least one mentioned above in this thread) to ensure you are getting the genuine article..
  • If you are just hard on frames and some people are, there is also the option to make your own frame from something like Skyshark P400's They are on sale right now as cheap as $4.50 a spar and while a touch heavy, have some durability you might appreciate.
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I think it's mostly flying outside recommended conditions.  I put a Midvent on my christmas list, that will allow me to fly in all conditions (I have an EXP and then a Vertigo Max which is more vented than a B full vent).

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You might measure - but those Vertigo rods might fit the EXP and/or mid too. I tried a Vertigo std this summer and put my black race frame in it with no adjusting. Really thought the sail came "alive" with Rev rods in it.

Anyway - that would give you a nice selection of sails to match conditions!

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Having a standard, mid-vent and either a full- or extra-vent will cover all wind you will encounter except very low to none. Adding an SUL to your quiver will cover everything. I must warn you, though, that learning to fly well in low wind conditions may become an addiction within your Rev addiction, and you may begin craving those 1mph breezes. Most people can't fly a kite when there is wind and are amazed by those who can get it done in low or none.

My first 4 years with Revs was all done with a standard sail SLE and a full-vent Phantom. When the wind got over 10mph I would pull out the Phantom because I don't like a lot of pull from the kite. Pretty soon I found I could fly it in 7mph wind, which is the same as a standard in 2mph. Then I made my own Super Ultra Light for wind down to 1/2-mph. It is definitely worth every opportunity you have to fly in less than recommended wind range for each kite you have. Learning to coax every last ounce of "go" from the wind available will allow you to fly effortlessly while others are grounded.

The added bonus to less pull from the kite is additional control. When you don't have to fight the wind for control of the kite and have become accustomed to flying with maximum brake doing neat stuff becomes a lot easier. There are three stages of flying any kite, but especially quad-lines.

1. The kite flies you.

2. You fly the kite.

3. You and the kite fly as one.

Unfortunately, most people never make it past the second stage. Once you are flying in stage 3 most of the time, you'll know. No one can do it all of the time, but when everything comes together properly it's heavenly.

Having a certain control feature in mind and switching frames to achieve it, is something you must try in order to understand what difference it can make. If you don't try, you'll never know, so go ahead and mix and match frame members, but don't do it randomly. Have a goal of achieving a certain result in mind before switching, and use a bit of logic in how best to accomplish the result. You can make flying a Rev as simple or as complicated as you wish, but you can't make it no fun. Don't be afraid to try something new. What's the worst that could happen? A broken rod?

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1 hour ago, Wayne Dowler said:

You might measure - but those Vertigo rods might fit the EXP and/or mid too. I tried a Vertigo std this summer and put my black race frame in it with no adjusting. Really thought the sail came "alive" with Rev rods in it.

Anyway - that would give you a nice selection of sails to match conditions!

The frames ARE interchangeable size-wise.

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This is a timely thread for me...I cracked a rod for the first time today. I was pushing the LE out of my sail to change the frame and heard a cracking sound. The ferrule must not have been properly seated. There is a 3/4 crack starting at the tip and running down the rod. It is on a 4 wrap that I was taking out of my vented to swap in a race for today's lighter wind. Couldn't believe the 20+ winds we had a couple of weeks ago that made me set up the 4 wrap, I spent most of the time flying so far out on the edge of the window that the wind was hitting me form dead left. Felt like I was hiding from the gusts that were making my 4wrap bend.

I digress, so the crack in the rod leads me to ask all those with knowledge and wisdom:
Do i keep flying this rod or retire it? Is there a repair strategy? Could I use it just marking the cracked end and making sure that that end is always in a certain position on my sail??

Strong winds forecast for tomorrow here, so I really don't want to make a bad choice.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using KiteLife mobile app

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Most would retire it.. I would personally no longer use it in my 1.5 sails but there are other sails that use a shorter rod like a Supersonic, B2 etc.. If you have one of those you can cut it down and have a "spare spar" for that kite... A small crack in the end DOES weaken the rod  and while it could still be used somewhere where the split end is covered by a cap. It will continue to split and CF does splinter so there is an inherent risk to your sail with continuing to use it unless you cut it back properly and use it as a smaller size. The smart move would be to retire it and if applicable, use it for "parts".

If you are cracking a 4 Wrap it might also be time to explore some more aggressive venting options..

OBX will be at 21MPH tomorrow and most of us I'm sure will be flying the most venting we can put our hands on..

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I didn't crack it in the sky, I cracked it while trying to push it out of the leading edge to change the frame back to a lighter one after a big wind day. I do t get much big wind, so having a 4 wrap day was exciting. Tomorrow may also be big, lower 20s with gusts in upper 30s. Not a good time to have cracked one.

Thanks for the reply.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using KiteLife mobile app

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3 hours ago, ACrop said:

Do i keep flying this rod or retire it? Is there a repair strategy? Could I use it just marking the cracked end and making sure that that end is always in a certain position on my sail??

I broke an outer rod while in Atlantic Beach on my SLE just after changing to the lighter frame. I didn't  realize that the sections weren't fully engaged and it put too much stress on the end section and it cracked, only about 3/8 of an inch however. John said just flip it around and put the cracked end on the outboard side. I did and it worked. He also suggested repairing it with a wooden dowel rod when I returned home. I have since repaired it and it's holding up fine. I cut off the damaged end and sanded it flat. Then I turned down an appropriately sized dowel rod to fit the inside diameter of the carbon rod, trimmed it in length, then epoxied it in place. Worked great! Just don't try to put the repaired end in the middle :lol:.

20161005_162608.jpg

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Well done repair. Should last quite some time.

One thing I forgot to mention in earlier posts here is that the leading edge ferrules tend to loosen as you fly the kite if the leading edge bungees are too loose. If your leading edge ferrules are not fully seated when you pack up at the end of the day (you should check each time, just feel the joints with your fingers), it is an indicator to check the bungees for proper tension. It is good to check before removing any endcaps, as the extra tension of removing the endcap may be enough to crack the tube. Takes 5 seconds to verify that all is well; worth every second.

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