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Race Rods or 3 Wrap?


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#1 kairusan

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 10:16 AM

I'm looking to get a 1/4" frame for my 1.5 SLE in the coming months, and I'm trying to decide whether to go with a 3 Wrap frame or a Race frame. I've read a lot about how great the Race Rods are, how they are as strong as 3 Wrap but are extremely light, etc. (I've also seen a few posts that claim they're not really as strong as 3 Wrap.) But I haven't uncovered any real details about their relative flight characteristics, beyond some vague statements about how the Race Rods are "springier."

Perhaps because I don't know any better, I actually like the performance characteristics of the stiff SLE frame I have now; turns are crisp and snappy and the kite is generally exciting to fly. I'm looking for better performance in lower winds, but I don't want the kite to become all mushy and boring. Although I know that Race Rods will give me the lowest possible wind range, I'm somewhat worried about the "springy" factor.

I've watched some video of John Barresi flying with Race Rods in light winds, and they seemed extreeeeemely bendy, almost floppy. Is this a characteristic of the Race Rods or of 1/4" leading edges in general? Between the Race Rods and 3 Wrap, which gives the kite a crisper, snappier, more responsive feel? Which ones are better for tricks (Axels and the like)?
kairusan

#2 steveb

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 11:11 AM

I'm a huge fan of the Race Rods. Light enough to fly in a whisper, yet strong enough for medium breezes. They will take the work out of flying your kite in lighter breezes and I've found them well worth the investment. I don't find them floppy at all, but like all of the 1/4" spars, they do bend a lot more than an SLE.

#3 Sailor99

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 11:14 AM

You are right that 1/4 inch rods are springier. But I would say that gives you more power than an SLE. The leading edge bends when you give a firm input and this gives more belly to the sail = power. More than that though, you can (so I am told ;) ) control when you want that power. My honest opinion is you will not find 'thins' spongy but precise and responsive.

As to which, 3 wrap or RR, go for the RR. I have taken them above their range, slapped them on the ground, flic flaced them and got tip wraps and flown them in the water. But I haven't managed to break one.

Use the SLE for making a walking stick ;)
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#4 Simon

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 12:09 PM

I'm looking to get a 1/4" frame for my 1.5 SLE in the coming months, and I'm trying to decide whether to go with a 3 Wrap frame or a Race frame. I've read a lot about how great the Race Rods are, how they are as strong as 3 Wrap but are extremely light, etc. (I've also seen a few posts that claim they're not really as strong as 3 Wrap.) But I haven't uncovered any real details about their relative flight characteristics, beyond some vague statements about how the Race Rods are "springier."

Perhaps because I don't know any better, I actually like the performance characteristics of the stiff SLE frame I have now; turns are crisp and snappy and the kite is generally exciting to fly. I'm looking for better performance in lower winds, but I don't want the kite to become all mushy and boring. Although I know that Race Rods will give me the lowest possible wind range, I'm somewhat worried about the "springy" factor.

I've watched some video of John Barresi flying with Race Rods in light winds, and they seemed extreeeeemely bendy, almost floppy. Is this a characteristic of the Race Rods or of 1/4" leading edges in general? Between the Race Rods and 3 Wrap, which gives the kite a crisper, snappier, more responsive feel? Which ones are better for tricks (Axels and the like)?

Hi,
I've never been a fan of the SLE. So biased.

Ok 1/4 rods are thinner and the way they fly is different to an SLE.

in people posts if they say springier for Race rods replace with Snappier. They do bend in flight but not so much as 3 wraps. The big bit is that they snap back to there original place faster.

This makes for a better response. I like the spring of a 3 wrap as I fly in-land in places with rubbish wind so it help smooth it out.

At Portsmouth we used a vented with Race rods, it was really cool. I'm looking forward to getting a mid vent with race rods, this could be the holy grail for me right now.

I would recommend the Race frame for a cross-over kite, light wind to mid. Really high 30mph +or- a few mph, go for a 4 wrap.

As for the tricks, not had enough time to tell. Thing to remember is once you can do it you will with any rod.

Spoke to Ben at Portsmouth and he explained the whole concept behind the Race rods and it helped make so much more sense of where Rev are going with these. And how they are expected to perform. And from personal experience they live up to expectations so far. (and I'm still learning with them) As to there strength I've seen nothing to suggest they are "weaker" than any other rod. They are lighter than 3 wrap so there is less carbon in there, so don't fly into any sharp objects no carbon likes that. The Flying Squad fly there Rev Twisters etc hard and so far no breakages. Hope this helps.
//X

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#5 Dean750

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 05:42 PM

I've had the chance to fly with the SLE and a set of Race Rods. Why buy a three wrap set? Buy the Race Rods. You already have a 3 wrap rod in it now. With the SLE.
The Race Rods are awsome for low to medium wind. When the wind comes up enough to be too much for the Race set just put the SLE in and your good.

Dean

#6 Watty

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 07:36 PM

As for the tricks part, I think the RR would wok better doing tricks than the SLE (I don't own an SLE, but this is just my thought). My thinking behind this is that the heavy SLE will make the kite very top-heavy. This makes the kite more prone to falling nose-first into the ground in the middle of an axel.

Spence "Watty" Watson

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#7 Aerochic

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 05:01 AM

Having already been down this road, I will vote for the Race Rods every single time. I've flown them in incredibly light winds all the way through heavy winds and they always hold up. My quality of flying improved immediately after purchasing them. Plus they hold up to the squirrely inland winds I normally have to deal with.

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#8 kairusan

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 12:32 PM

in people posts if they say springier for Race rods replace with Snappier. They do bend in flight but not so much as 3 wraps. The big bit is that they snap back to there original place faster.


This is precisely the sort of information I was looking for. I'm somewhat surprised to find out that they're less bendy despite being so lightweight. I figured that the 3 Wraps would probably be stiffer, considering they weigh more than even P400. I guess the Race spars must be very well engineered for their purpose.

As for the breaking strength, I have come across a few posts claiming the 3 Wraps are stronger than Race spars, but the overwhelming majority opinion seems to be to the contrary, and certainly Rev claims they're the same strength. I don't intend to use them in high winds or anything, nor do I crash the kite overmuch any more, but I do want to be able to keep them in when the winds are moderate and not worry about them snapping like twigs if an unexpected 20mph gust comes along before I can react, or if I do an inelegant tip landing. I won't be able to get a vented for quite a while, so I'll probably be using these spars an awful lot in my full sail and they'll have to be able to take some degree of punishment.

Mainly, though, I want to make sure my kite won't become all mushy. Many people seem to prize Rev 1.5s for their ability to move really, really slowly and hover in one place for eons. While I appreciate the challenge of hovering and the like, I want to be sure my kite will also fly fast, fun, and snappy whenever I want it to.

You already have a 3 wrap rod in it now. With the SLE.
The Race Rods are awsome for low to medium wind. When the wind comes up enough to be too much for the Race set just put the SLE in and your good.


I was mainly considering a 3 Wrap set for precisely that reason. Since I already have two 3 Wrap verticals, I'd be able to use those as extra spars in case something broke. This helps a lot, since my kite budget is very limited.

But I guess nothing prevents me from using the 3 Wraps in the verticals and the Race as a leading edge in similar circumstances; as long as I don't break the center spar I'm probably okay.
kairusan

#9 Simon

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 01:11 PM

" but I do want to be able to keep them in when the winds are moderate and not worry about them snapping like twigs if an unexpected 20mph gust comes along before I can react, or if I do an inelegant tip landing. I won't be able to get a vented for quite a while, so I'll probably be using these spars an awful lot in my full sail and they'll have to be able to take some degree of punishment.


I'm currently using them mainly in a vented sail but do use in a full sail also. With the vented we have had them up to mid 30mph (33-35mph) possibly higher.

Just keep an eye on the way the kite feels, and switch to the SLE if it gets too windy. As you say you are on a budget, its not worth testing to distruction!

BTW we are expecting v light wind this weekend so may beable to feedback on that use also.
Simon //X

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