By Steve Bullman

4stars

New England Tachyon

single_review

First the technical stuff:-

Product Description:
Revolutionary Flexifirm™ Core Technology results in a lightweight 11.5mm climbing line that stays firm and round while permitting spliced eyes in one or both ends of the line using a double braid splice. Tachyon™ performs well in popular hardware designed for use with 11mm ropes. The product’s firm yet flexible design and superior strand definition significantly improve friction hitch performance without the “bagginess” that occurs with other 11mm ropes. The firm, round cross section also improves grip for less hand fatigue without the added bulk and weight of half inch ropes.

Features:
Improved grip and reduced hand fatigue
Works in popular hardware designed for use with 11mm ropes
Easily spliced on one or both ends using conventional double braid splice
Applications:
Arborist Climbing Rope
Rope Access
Colors Available:
Orange/Blue
Green/Blue
Orange/Yellow

Sunlight/UV:
Very little degradation from sunlight. Can be used outside over long term if inspected regularly.
Chemicals:
Nylon will degrade with strong oxidizing agents, mineral acids, and 90% formic acid. May discolor when exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide. Polyester has good resistance to most chemicals, except 95% sulfuric acid and strong alkalines at boil.
Heat:
Nylon melts at 460°F with progressive strength loss above 300°F. Polyester melts at 480°F with progressive strength loss above 300°F.
Dielectrics:
Good resistance to the passage of electrical current. However, dirt, surface contaminants, water entrapment, and the like can significantly affect dielectric properties. Extreme caution should be exercised any time a rope is in the proximity of live circuits.
Working Loads:
No blanket safe working load (SWL) recommendations can be made for any line because SWL’s must be calculated based on application, conditions of use, and potential danger to personnel among other considerations. It is recommended that the end user establish working loads and safety factors based on best practices established by the end user’s industry; by professional judgment and personal experience; and after thorough assessment of all risks. The SWL is a guideline for the use of a rope in good condition for non-critical applications and should be reduced where life, limb, or valuable property is involved, or in cases of exceptional service such as shock loading, sustained loading, severe vibration, etc. The Cordage Institute specifies that the SWL of a rope shall be determined by dividing the Minimum Tensile Strength of the rope by a safety factor. The safety factor ranges from 5 to 12 for non-critical uses and is typically set at 15 for life lines.

Now that’s out of the way…..

As a huge fan of New England’s previous 11mm rope, The Fly, I was very keen to get my hands on their latest offering in this size range. Although on paper the Tachyon comes in at 11.5mm, it actually feels a narrower rope than The Fly, possible due to the difference in structure but I’ll leave that to someone with more technical insight into rope manufacturing to comment on.

I’ve been climbing on the Tachyon for a little over a month now and have been reluctant to review it up until now as I wanted to test the rope in as many different configurations as possible. Having run a variety of 8mm cords with the Tachyon I have been on the whole very impressed with how the rope acts. I have experienced particularly heavy wear on Roblon cord, possibly due to an incompatibility between the rope fibres. This doesn’t seem to have happened with any of the others cords however. When used with a slack tender the rope is firm enough that it will self tend reasonably well despite its low weight, something which is a big plus when climbing using advanced friction hitches. Another common problem found, particularly when climbing with a knot such as the French prussic is the hockling or twisting of the rope beneath the hitch caused by the wraps/braids. So far despite altering my rope configuration nearly every climb, this has been minimal with the Tachyon. I have heard reports of small amounts of milking but my rope doesn’t appear to have milked at all.
To the touch, the Tachyon has a very nice quality feel to it. The flexible yet firm construction lends itself nicely to various knots, giving a nice compact finish.
The Splice is also very neat compared to the Fly, something which was generally felt to have been the Fly’s biggest let down.

The Tachyon is available in 3 colours, currently only being supplied in orange/yellow in the UK, however I do have a 4m lanyard in the green/blue which in fairness is pretty visible from new but probably isn’t the best colour after being dragged round a tree for a few days.

To summarize, so far the Tachyon ticks all the boxes for me. I generally take a couple of ropes out with me most days, the Tachyon being one of the first thrown on the truck at the moment. I look forward to experimenting with it further over the coming weeks, and in particular am keen to monitor its durability, which will be reported on here.
So do we need yet another rope in an already saturated market? In my opinion yes….The Tachyon most certainly has some nice qualities which make it a worthwhile addition to any arborist’s rope collection.

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