A Guide To Gym Ropes


“I’m looking for a new rope exclusively for leading at a local indoor gym. I’ve been using a 10.5mm, but would like a 10mm. We have to use a Grigri at the gym. Any suggestions?”—Reader Submission

You are in luck, Craig! Almost every rope maker has a gym-specific cord, one with an extra-thick sheath that can take the punishment meted out by clown parties and frat boys (don’t let them steal your proj!) Note that some gym ropes are static, meant only for toproping. A lead fall on a static rope will deliver instantaneous deceleration, enough, in fact, to liquefy your heart and send it squirting out your anus. Awkward!

You did note that your rope has to work in a Grigri, which limits the selection a bit, although a rope’s stated diameter can be more marketing than actual reality because climbers equate rope diameter with weight, while ignoring the grams-per-meter bit, which is what really matters if you are looking to go fast and light. Some rope manufacturers might capitalize on this. A “10mm” rope, for example, might be 10.1mm or even larger, or it could be smaller. Who knows? Since Petzl recommends the Grigri for use with ropes from 10mm to 11mm, you do have leeway and these gym-specific lead ropes fill the bill: Mammut 10.2mm Gym Rope, BlueWater 10.1mm Dynaplus; Maxim 10.2mm Elevate and the Sterling 10.1mm Slim Gym. Depending on where you buy, you might be able to purchase the rope by the foot rather than an entire spool or a cut length, saving you coin since you need, what, 30 feet of rope to lower from the anchors of the blue route?


A Guide To Gym Ropes

For gym climbers and gym managers …


Trango: Gym Cuts

Price: $89.95 30 meters; $109.95

MM 9.9

Sheath %37

Falls held 7

Impact force 7.9kN

Static elongation n/a

Dynamic elongation n/a

Weight grams/meter 62.6

Sterling: reVo

Price: $107.95 30 meters, $144.94 40 meters, $358.95 100 meters, $708.95 200 meters

MM 10.1

Sheath % 38

Falls held static rope, 5 falls for EN static rope test

Impact force 4.7kN static test

Static elongation 4%

Dynamic elongation static rope

Weight grams/meter 65

BlueWater: DYNAGYM

Price: $331 100 meters, $663 200 meters

MM 10.6

Sheath % 41

Falls held 11

Impact force 8.3kN

Static elongation 9%

Dynamic elongation 34.1%

Weight grams/meter 77

Maxim: Chalk Line

Price: $449 200 meters

MM 10.8

Sheath % 34

Falls held 5-7

Impact force 10.6kN

Static elongation 9.9%

Dynamic elongation 28.1%

Weight grams/meter 72.9

Black Diamond: Gym Rope

Price: $99.95 35 meters; $109.95 40 meter

MM 9.9

Sheath % 36

Falls held 6
Impact force 8.4kN

Static elongation 7.6%

Dynamic elongation 32%

Weight grams/meter 64

Trango: Gym Rope

Price: $649 200 meters

MM 10.5

Sheath % 47

Falls held 8

Impact force 8.4kN

Static elongation n/a

Dynamic elongation n/a

Weight grams/meter 67

Metolius: Monster Gym Rope

Price: $135 35 meters; $350 100 meters

MM 10.2

Sheath % 37

Falls held 7

Impact force 7.8kN

Static elongation 7.3%

Dynamic elongation 36%

Weight grams/meter 68

Petzl: Mambo Wall

Price: $99.95 30 meters; $109.95 40 meters

MM 10.1

Sheath % 37

Falls held 7

Impact force 8.5kN

Static elongation 8.5%

Dynamic elongation 34%

Weight grams/meter 65

Mammut: Gym Rope Classic

Price: $129.95 40 meters (available in other lengths)

MM 9.9

Sheath % 39

Falls held 8-9

Impact force 8.5kN

Static elongation 6.5%

Dynamic elongation 31%

Weight grams/meter 65


Also Read

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  • Show Comments

  • Steve Angelini

    I have been through many lead ropes in the gyms of New England. Every one of those ropes have suffered an early retirement due to severe bunching of the sheath in the mid section of the 40 meters due to repeated lowering The bunching makes rope passage through any belay device difficult to impossible. Is there a rope that defies this trend? Are any of the rope manufacturers addressing this problem? Are they even aware of it? This doesn’t happen on my outdoor ropes of 60, 70 and 80 meters probably because the lowering stresses occur at varying points along the length of the rope. A gym rope concentrates the lowering stress to a shorter section of the rope. Something needs to be done about this problem.

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