I am a beginner, how do I know what holds to purchase?
When you look through the website or catalog, you will notice that the handholds are pictured with a carabiner to give you a size reference to a standard sized non-locking oval carabiner. Sizes that are described as Micros (Micros Small, Micros Medium, Micros Large) refer to holds that are micros – meaning very small and are sized generally as footholds or more advanced handholds. The holds that are described as S, M, L, X-L, XX-L, etc. refer to holds that we classify into general small, medium, large, x-large, etc. categories. Just because you are a beginner doesn’t mean that you should specifically look for XL holds because there are plenty of XL holds in our line that are super-slopey and intended for the advanced climber. Use the sizes and the carabiner reference as a guide, but also read the description, because some sets may be in that range but are designed for training specific moves and muscle groups and may not benefit a beginner. Keep in mind that larger holds will generally protrude away from the wall further, and thus may cause a problem with falling climbers on slab or vertical walls. As always use your good judgment in hold selection as well as hold placement. If you have any questions on what the best holds would be for your wall, please give us a call and we can certainly help you out.
I am a beginner, how do I know where to put the holds on the wall?
Generally, there is no specific “spot” to put the holds. The wall is your canvas, and the holds your paint. Generally speaking, on a traverse wall, it is good to put the smaller holds across the bottom of the wall and the larger jugs across the top. This enables the kids to have a good place to put their feet while still having enough hold to hang onto as they learn to traverse the wall. On a full height wall, routes can be set at different difficulty levels. One needs to think about how close the holds need to be to each other to accommodate the heights of the climbers on their particular wall. There is no “exact way” to set the holds on the wall because a good climbing wall offers challenges to the climbers in that the routes are constantly changing. When climbers start to get bored with the routes on the wall, it is good to reposition the holds to focus on different climbing techniques and to offer new challenges. If you are setting lead routes, make sure your route is well thought out and planned so you don’t “climb” your participants into hazards and make sure you give them good holds to clip from at the different anchor points.
I am a beginner, how many holds should I buy?
This depends on the size of your wall and what you are using for but it also varies with the size of the climbers. If you are building a basic wall, you can generally put a hold every 3 square feet. If you are building something for small children where height is an issue, you may want to go closer to 2 holds for every 3 square feet. If you are building a hardcore bouldering wall, it is likely that you’d fully plaster the wall with holds everywhere you can. Keep in mind that after your first order, you’ll have a better idea of what styles of holds you need and you can always place a second or third order.
How tight should I tighten the holds?
You should never hear the handhold make a popping or cracking noise as you tighten it down to the wall. At the same time, you do not want the hold to whip in a circle (aka “spinner”) when somebody stands on it because that creates an unsafe situation. There is a fine line between “too tight” and “not tight enough.” For Nicros’ resin products, it is generally best to go about one quarter turn with an Allen wrench past the point of resistance by the handhold. Extreme Hold Technology™ handholds WILL flex. You don’t want to over-tighten this hold because the hold essentially suctions to the wall. Each E.H.T.™ has a very thin and small amount of surface area that is in contact with the wall and by pressing in on the center, it causes the hold to sort of suction against the wall. For additional information on handhold tightening, click here for a PDF of the Outdoor Industry Association’s Handhold Brochure.
Can I purchase individual holds?
Nicros sells individual handholds and grab bags of multiple sizes. Also, any hold in any set may be purchased as a separate item. There is a cost savings to purchase holds as a set rather than individually. Just call and a sales representative will help you identify the hold you are looking for, as well as give you the price.
Do I need the same number of T-Nuts as holds?
In a word, NO. The general feeling with indoor climbing walls is that you want to be able to move your holds around. If you only put the same number of T-nuts as you have holds and you want to later be able to move them, you have a major project in the works to take down the plywood and add more t-nuts. It is easier, and better for your sanity to add them early in the project. We recommend 50-60 t-nuts per sheet of plywood or 32 square feet.
There may be projects that you don’t want the ability to move holds around (i.e. playground entrance walls). In which case the answer is yes, unless, the holds are not mounted in a typical manner.
How much is shipping?
Shipping costs are figured directly from the weight of the order and the location of the “ship to” address. For an accurate shipping quote, please contact a sales representative with the order you want to purchase. All orders are figured using FedEx shipping (standard ground). If you choose to use an expedited service (FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx First Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx Express Saver) additional charges will apply. Large orders (usually over 300lbs) can ship using common carriers (Bax Global, FedEx Freight, YRC, etc.) on a pallet, which offers a savings in shipping. Please check with a sales representative for shipping quotes.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes. Please contact a sales representative for shipping quotes. All orders are shipped F.O.B. Saint Paul, MN, and may not include duties and taxes.
Can I return my purchase?
Climbing gear of a protective nature is not returnable for obvious safety reasons. Please call Nicros and discuss a return of this nature prior to returning any climbing hardware. There is a re-stocking fee on returned handhold items.
What should i do if a hold breaks?
While Nicros takes great care in assuring the quality of our holds and training products, occasionally holds do break. If this should happen, immediately remove the remaining portion of the hold from the wall. Call a Nicros customer service representative for details on the return procedure. Please note, any holds purchased as seconds or as part of close-out deals may not be covered under the breakage warranty.
How do I clean my holds?
Cleaning holds can be simply done with water and a brush. Fill a painters bucket with warm water and let the handholds soak to loosen the chalk from the surface. Once the chalk is loosened, you can use a simple soft-bristled plastic cleaning brush to scrub over the surface of the handhold. If the holds have been used for a long time in the same position, they can also be put in a dishwasher (not one that is being used for dishes) or a detergent such as Simple Green can be added to the bucket to help with getting the grease, chalk, and gunk off of the holds. Rinse them in water, let them dry, and you’re all up and running again with fresh, clean holds for your wall.
Why would I need to use stainless steel bolts?
All of Nicros’ standard sets come with zinc plated bolts*. If you are installing your handholds into ACQ treated plywood, you will need to use stainless steel bolts. The treatment will actually break down metal that is not stainless steel so all fasteners that are used in the construction of the wall, the t-nuts that are installed, and the bolts for the handholds themselves should be stainless steel. If you are using ACQ treated wood, please call a Nicros customer service representative for a quote on stainless steel fasteners and for more information on ACQ treated wood. See ACQ Treated Lumber and Fasteners Advisory.
*Bolts are not included with Urethane holds or discounted Gym/Ed orders.