Rope Runner Pro Development Video

[email protected] BigCommerce Aug 27th 2020

This eight-minute short film explores the development process of the Notch Rope Runner Pro and the people behind it. Inventor Kevin Bingham, Product Development Field Testers Arch Autenreith & Doug Tochtop, and TreeStuff General Manager Nick Bonner discuss everything from why the Rope Runner design is the best, to what it was like working on the newest Notch version.


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Transcript

Dough Tochtrop
I use the rope runner as my primary device. There's nothing else I want to climb on for the day to day.

Nick Bonner

I remember signing up to get one of the original dirty 30 rope runners from Kevin and going to the rope runner workshop in Detroit, and being there when the product was materializing from nothing when Kevin was still water jetting the pieces.

Archie Autenreith
So, I like the rope runner one because it was consistent amount of minimal friction and minimal drag.

Kevin Bingham
The rope runner works so well because, I don't know, it's just I feel like it's magic.

Nick Bonner
The reason that the Rope Runner design works so well and has become the industry's leading SRT/SRS device with a benchmark for what SRS SRT Climbing performance should be like, is because it has three different points of friction.

Kevin Bingham
A whole range of motion between wide open and stops and you have really precise adjustments.

Nick Bonner
When you go to tend slack or you collapse a Rope Runner, there's no pressure stopping it from going up the rope is completely straight, and then it expands, grabs the rope, and like I said, when you push down here, you're laying off this at one rate and you're laying off this compression point at a second rate. That's why the Rope Runner Pro works better than any other SRS device on the market.

Kevin Bingham
So the Notch Equipment Rope Runner Pro is an improved Rope Runner, for several reasons. The biggest complaints I had with the original Rope Runner and people, climbers when I would talk to them would always say, I love the rope runner, but you know, it's really sharp in my hands and it's not really midline attachment because I don't want to drop slic pins in three pieces.

Doug Tochtrop
I refer to the the Rope Runner as being semi-midline attachable. It is definitely midline attachable. But it's not something I would want to do in a tree.

Kevin Bingham
I mean, the old Rope Runner in my opinion is really really, really difficult to beat, and we've been trying for ever since the Rope Runner, the first Rope Runner came out, we've been trying to make it figure out how to get it better. And it's been a really hard thing to do. So it's been a really neat opportunity to be involved with the design and production development of the Rope Runner pro and the Rope Runner series.

Archie Autenreith

I appreciate Nick Bonner and Mike Ziecik working with me and taking my considerations into account and really taken the time to let me and the other climbers involved with projects, try it out, test it out, and it was a good opportunity to talk with Kevin Bingham and get to know him a little bit better as well. And really, it's a really nice reminder of how close this community is.

Nick Bonner
Working on the Notch Rope Runner Pro has really been awesome. Working with Kevin, going to Detroit with Neil the engineer and you know, being there Kevin's house, his kids runing around and working on a product like this and, you know, arguing, going through the give, take about the different features and what's important and where we should be sacrificing weight and where we should be adding weight and things like that is really a great, a great project to be a part of it. It's a great process. I think everyone really added to it.

Doug Tochtrop
So being involved in the development in the the rope runner pro being asked my opinions along the way has meant the world to me, like Kevin Bingham is definitely probably has the most experience but I would say I'm probably the most passionate Rope Runner climber that the notch development team asked me, you know, my opinion on this, it's, it's incredible, you know, like they're really looking out into the field and asking, you know, real world arborists, what they think.

Nick Bonner
The development process for this was long. This is the fourth or fifth iteration that we brought to a physical part that we can climb on and try. There was a lot of give and take between Kevin, through the engineering team led by Neil, myself and other people involved with a project where to give off weight, where to add weight, what level of retention is necessary to what shape should this be, you know, how big should this hole be? All of those things were discussed and planned. And when you told this in your hands, I think you can tell that it's very thoughtfully designed. And it really shows in the build quality

Doug Tochtrop
The Rope Runner Pro has a much smoother feel to it in your hand, you know, the the top of the bird is all rounded. The whole thing is milled so nicely, and so smoothly so there's no real sharp edges. The the bollards are actually concave so they almost have like a broken in feel already just right out the box. You can't drop any of the pieces.

Nick Bonner
I think the Rope Runner Pro is better than the classic and pretty much every way. But if I had to pick just one, I would say that the ability for it to stay in one piece and stay connected to your heart. Just while you're putting it on the road is the biggest improvement. I thought that was one of the biggest challenges for the classic Road Runner. And it's solved perfectly in this device.

Kevin Bingham
This one just does not fall apart in three pieces, you can keep it on your harness as you climb or as you move it around the tree, so you don't have to worry about dropping it. That was one of the huge disadvantages of the Rope Runner one.

Archie Autenreith
I really do enjoy the smooth top of the bird and doesn't have the hard edges which you would get used to after a while but even so it's nice having that more tactile friendly.

Nick Bonner
We looked at a lot of different ways of doing this, that all added material on the outside. And Kevin came up with the idea that he actually switched to the parts around and brought it to the inside. And this is by far the best approach yet and it's The most user friendly with a nice round edge here for you to bend your hand over.

Archie Autenreith
The top slick pen being able to rotate that out makes it easy. Whenever you're inserting in line, the flared ballards, reduce the braking period with this to almost none minimal if any.

Nick Bonner
The Rope Runner Pro has two concave stainless steel ballards, and they're both replaceable up here at the top of the bird, it's going to actually be coupled with these adjustment markings.

Archie Autenreith
And then as we continue to work our way down, there's this little block here that limits the movement of this arm that also stops anyone from accidentally putting their line in here.

Doug Tochtrop
The integrated tending point on the backside is absolutely fantastic is right where it should be. You know, I've been running a little piece of throw line on the back of my rope owner and I go in and out nice and easy, but that that integrated tending point is absolutely fantastic.

Nick Bonner
One thing that we know about the design is that it works better if you pull it up from your slic pin. To do that on the Rope Runner classic, there are little pieces that pull it up but only from one side or really large and bulky solutions that attempt to get a central pull. But on the Rope Runner Pro, this really nice smooth edge attachment point is pulling directly up on the slic pin and sized to only accept accessory carabiners and it won't accept any life support carabiners so you prevent people issues where people might mistake that or accidentally clip in there so it's not possible.

Doug Tochtrop
So the difference between the bearing pulley that the Rope Runner Pro now comes with and the original sheave style is just that the pin through the middle of the original Rope Runner is a much smoother feel. I replaced the the pulley on all of my Rope Runners, you know to the bearing pulley and it's just so much smoother. This coming stock with it is it's awesome. Like there's nothing to change out. Like it's, it's gonna be the best tool in your kit right out the gate right out of the box.

Kevin Bingham
We've I think we've really nailed it.