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Old 12-17-2014, 07:30 PM   #1
Mark E. Wallace
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Product Review -- Crossrope 2.0

My thanks to Dave Hunt of Crossrope for giving me the opportunity to review his excellent Crossrope Complete Set. Here is my review after many months of putting the set to pretty hard use.
Crossrope 2.0 Review

My Background
I have been doing Crossfit for just over five years. At age 48, I am an experienced but still just a “somewhat good” Crossfitter. I am good at quick singles, but I have never really made double unders a priority. Before I was contacted about doing this Crossrope review, I had been working for some time with jump ropes of various thickness, weight, and design, including a heavy manila rope. I am accustomed to and fairly skilled with integrating these different types of ropes into my Crossfit workouts. I do have a long way to go with double unders though.

Despite my involvement in Crossfit, I don’t really place a great priority on double unders. I do work on them from time to time (for example, after my annual humiliation at the hands of the Crossfit WOD “Annie”), and I am getting better at them. My greater interest is in incorporating the simple single under into my workouts. I try to be as broad-ranging in my programming as I can, mixing things up so that I am getting in “short & heavy,” “long & not-so-heavy,” etc.…. To that end, I was really excited to receive the complete Crossrope 2.0 package (http://www.Crossrope.com/Crossrope-c...-rope-set-2-0/) for review.

The Product
The Crossrope website (http://www.Crossrope.com) does a great job of informing the consumer of the basics of the product and the different options that are available for purchase. I absolutely encourage the reader to hit the website to learn more about Crossrope.

For purposes of this review, I will just mention that I am reviewing the Complete Elite Jump Rope Set (http://www.crossrope.com/crossrope-c...jump-rope-set/). Dave Hunt (President of Crossrope) was kind enough to send me the full set after some discussion of my training background and goals.

Review
The intent of this review is to provide my experience with the Crossrope set, not to prove an in-depth discussion of each of the set’s components. Again, the Crossrope website does a great job of describing not only this kit but also all of the other Crossrope kits, the cables, and the handles.

I was fortunate enough to have had around eight months to work with the Crossrope product. I loved every bit of it.

Handles
After several years of working with the typical Crossfit speed rope handle (usually a thin, conical, plastic handle), I was initially somewhat skeptical about the Crossrope handles. The Complete kit comes with two types of handles; the Quick Handles (for use with the lighter cables) and the Rugged Handles (for use with the heavier cables). Both handle types are noticeably larger than the typical speed rope handle, and so my skepticism was rooted in the notion that this additional size would lead to discomfort and/or fatigue, either during long sets with the lighter cables or shorter sets with the heavier ones. This proved to be anything but the case. I found both handles to be really perfect for their job. Though it did take me a brief moment to get used to having a larger diameter handle in my hands, I quickly came to appreciate the added size, and the tennis grip style wrap is very comfortable (and even reassuring) during long sets.

Where I found the handles to really be great is at those moments when I want to change how I am gripping the handle while I am jumping; for example, when I want to move from holding it more at the end of the handle to more towards where the cable hooks in. With a typical speed rope handle, I am always hesitant to make a mid-set grip adjustment, because those little plastic handles are easy to lose control of. With the Crossrope handles, there are two things that make a grip adjustment easier. First, the handles themselves are more substantial; physically larger. Second, their tennis grip style wrap has more texture to it and makes it feel (if not actually just be) less slippery than a speed rope handle. This makes a huge difference for me, especially on the heavier Crossrope cables.

Another important aspect of the handle is the interconnect between the handle and the cable. There is a very simple and quick clip attachment on each handle where the cable snaps on. When I first started working with the Crossrope product, I was concerned that the size of the clip would either (a) add too much weight (which now seems silly to have ever thought) or (b) somehow interfere with the continuity of the handle-to-rope connection. Neither of these was true. In fact, this added little piece between the rope and the handle actually feels to me like a benefit rather than a drawback. Whereas most speed ropes with replaceable cables have an interconnect that at first causes the cable to jut out perpendicularly from the handle, the clip on the Crossrope handle provides a straight, inline connection that really feels good. The whole assembly is very smooth and quick.

The clip system also revealed for me something that I might not have ever otherwise realized. When I first started working with the heavier cables, I noticed on one side that I felt a bit of a “hitch” at the attachment point, as if there was slack in the system that was causing a bend at this point. As it turns out, this is probably exactly what it was. What this helped me realize was that on that side (my right hand), I was being a little lazy and allowing the rope to just swing around instead of actively bringing it around. When I fixed this, the “hitch” went away immediately, and my efficiency improved. Also, I am sure that fixing this laziness has carried over to improved performance in my singles and doubles with the lighter cables, where if you get lazy with the rope it simply doesn’t come back around. I probably never would have realized this error without the heavier cables and this particular type of interconnect.

And speaking of the cables….

Cables
I flat-out LOVE the Crossrope cables. There are seven of them in the Complete kit; three speed cables and four heavy cables. In terms of design, they are all basically the same (aside from the obvious – their weight). Ranging from the green 2oz Sprint cable to the monstrous silver 3.0 lb (yes, that’s three point oh POUNDS) Titan cable, all of the cables in the kit are built of quality materials and are labeled and color-coded to help quickly distinguish one cable from another.

This labeling and color coding is very useful for me, as one of the things that I enjoy doing most with the Crossrope kit is challenging myself to adapt quickly to different cables and handles within a single workout. Being able to quickly identify the next cable for use in the workout by just looking for (say) “the green one” is very convenient. Especially in the case of the three lighter speed cables, it could be difficult under oxygen-deprived conditions (i.e. mid-workout) to identify one cable from another if they were all colored the same. I like the labeling as well, but I really rely on the color coding more than the labeling.

Easily my two favorite cables of the bunch are the 5 oz. blue Heavy Speed Rope and the 3 lb. Titan cable. Though I am still only so-so at double unders, the blue cable is – little by little – getting me to the point where I can string them together reasonably well. During the course of my review, I never really devoted serious time to working just on double unders, but my frequent use of this cable has naturally led to improved double under performance. In fact, I am considering just continuing to use the blue cable for double unders from now on. The Titan cable is perfect for me when I want to get in some “heavy cardio.” Keeping this darned thing going for 50 consecutive reps when your legs and heart are screaming at you to stop is just a special kind of fun (translation: miserable). I love it though.

Another thing to mention about the cables is that I think Dave did a great job of selecting the cable weights for the Complete kit. Every cable has a unique feel to it, and none of the cables feel extra or “out of place” in the set. It would have been easy to bump up the price point of the kit by including a cable or two that really didn’t make much of a difference, but Dave hasn’t done that. Every cable has its place in this kit, for sure.

(cont.)
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:31 PM   #2
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: Product Review -- Crossrope 2.0 (cont.)

The Overall Experience
So, what is it like to actually, you know, use the Crossrope product?

I love the Crossrope product. I really do. I find jumping with the Crossrope system to be smoother and more comfortable than with any other rope that I have ever used. It is very comfortable and just feels altogether right to me. The ease of identifying and moving from one cable to another is fantastic, which helps me keep my heart rate up as I move throughout a workout. Of course, not everyone switches mid-workout from one cable to another as I do, but still this is a very nice thing for me.

Is there anything I would change? Yep, one thing, and it could be an important one for some folks.

The cable lengths cannot be adjusted. That is, unlike most other ropes where you can customize your cable length to precisely where you want it, with the Crossrope cables you purchase a fixed length (note: there are many fixed lengths available), and that’s your length from that point on. There is no way to change it.

Where this presented a minor challenge for me at first was when I was first getting accustomed to the heavier cables. When I first started jumping with them, I kept my hands right by my side as I jumped in order to make sure that I had enough length out to keep the cable from plowing into my feet (which, with a three-pound cable, hurts). As I got better with these cables, I wanted to shorten the cable length in order to speed up the movement. Because the cable cannot be shortened, the only way to reduce the effective cable length is to bring your hands away from the side of your body. This is fine for short durations, but it is tiring on the arms and shoulders to have to keep the hands away from the body for very long at one time. It’s doable, but it is tiring and less than optimal. I would love to have a way to adjust/personalize the cable length to what is right for me. Competitive athletes or those who have found their “perfect” cable length may have to shy away from the Crossrope system if one of the several stock cable lengths that are available isn’t quite perfect for them. Thankfully, the stock cables that I have are only a tiny little bit longer than I would like, so this really isn’t a big challenge for me.

But What About The Price?
During this review period, I have told several friends about the Crossrope product. A few of them have told me that they thought the product is too expensive.

So let’s talk about that.

First, there’s no doubt that it is a little hard not to flinch a bit at seeing a $36 price tag just for one of the sets of handles (not to mention $160 for a full set). I mean, they’re handles. How much can a handle cost?

On the other hand, that’s just the thing. That’s where some perspective needs to be applied.

The Crossrope product is a premium, engineered, built-to-last product, not just one of those so-often-seen throwaway jump ropes that you can pick up at any number of places for $8 or so. In the end, a cable is just a cable, even when it is color-coded and labeled like the Crossrope cables. Cables wear out and eventually get replaced. Where you really should be putting your money – and where you do put it with the Crossrope product – is into the handle; into the part that connects to your body. It is the handle that gives you the “feel” of the rope and that ultimately defines your jump rope experience. So you want a durable, smooth, and precision product. That’s what you get with the Crossrope system, and I believe it is worth the money.

Conclusion
I really think the Crossrope product is fantastic, though for some folks it will take some doing to get past the price. Admittedly, I didn’t pay for my evaluation set, but knowing what I know now about the product, I would. Hopefully Dave will be able to come up with a way to adjust cable length, as this may be important for some high-performance athletes who are super-sensitive to cable length and how it can affect double-under timing. I’m not that guy though (and neither are most other people), so for me the product is perfect. I encourage you to check it out.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:24 PM   #3
Greg Light
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Re: Product Review -- Crossrope 2.0

I have the full setup too and I absolutely love it!

I have found that its not all that great for doing fast doubleunders, but it is the best thing by far for getting you good at doing fast doubleunders using your speedrope of choice.

I use 200 doubleunders as an ongoing test and it was stuck right around 3:00 FOREVER (at least a year or so). After using my CrossRope setup for 3 months or so I had knocked it down to below 2:00 (1:57 to be exact).

Great product and very fair price when you consider all the different things you can do with the heavy ropes.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:31 PM   #4
Tim Trujillo
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Re: Product Review -- Crossrope 2.0

Great review, I love heavy ropes and don't like double unders. I'm gonna star t saving up so I can add the complete set to our Gym.
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