two cents from a user:
it's a gamechanger, that is to say from a business perspective. Customers prefer plug and play, hence buy kite and bar from the same brand. North put a foot through that door not only with a foolproof backline adjuster but with a bunch of other non-innovative features combined in a "one for all" well-engineered product. I bought this although I don't have a North kite in my quiver. Love it.
Its main feature of backline adjustment will push a new standard for comfort trimming, you can't ignore. Alike mechanisms will pop up within the next years. For us customers this is gonna be exiting. One may say it's expensive but the prizing yet is clever as NKB probably chips in for now to make any other bar available today from 500-650 $/€ look silly overprized. Well played NKB.
greetings from northern europe
@Dan at north:
On the package it says "Kitesurf/Snowkite"
Then again, extremely cold conditions (no matter if water or snow) is where primary and secondary safetysystems on any bar tend to freeze out of of order.
Both the twist mechanism and the button were easily manipulated in thick mittens. Again, as far as the mechanism binding with snow, I tend to doubt it would be an issue, but as with all kite and other gear, if you're out in those kinds of conditions you should inspect your gear carefully and be familiar with how it works before heading out.
The throw is approx 25" (63.5cm). There are 8 clicks, each supposed to give you an inch of trim, however in total it looks to be about 7.5" (19-20cm) of backline trim. Remember that this backline trim is 1:1, instead of the normal 1:2 of frontline trim, so this is the equivalent of pulling 15" (39-40cm) of depower on a front-line adjustment bar.
The bar width is a little tough to eyeball, as bar width does not necessarily equate to distance between outside lines. When I spooled the bar out and measured from where the lines enter the bar, it looks to be pretty identical to the width of the outer setting of our 22/19m (S/M) bar, which is 49cm.
Note that this is all done measuring a production bar by hand, so I could be off by a cm.
Thanks for the feedback and the observations. We definitely aimed at making our bar compatible with as many kites as possible, and I know it took a lot of work to do so. I'm glad that people understand that they don't always need to be locked into matching the brand of the bar to the brand of the kite. I'm also glad that the bar is working out for you. If you have any questions or issues with it feel free to pm me.
If anyone else has questions or experiences on the bar feel free to jump in.
I had a chance to test the click bar with a 10m Evo 2016 for 2-3 hrs and here are my thoughts:
The bar is really well made. Nice construction and materials
(like all recent North bars I’ve checked)
Although I appreciate the functional simplicity of the conventional clam cleat a lot and I’m very used to it, I found the operational simplicity of the click bar very convenient.
The best analogy I can give is the experience of driving a modern and well made automatic gearbox after years of driving a manual one. It makes the whole trimming more comfortable and convenient. Sometimes I (micro-)trimmed where in the past I would have been lazy to do it .
Yes, at the end of the day it does the same thing (adjusting the length delta of the front vs back lines) and in that sense it’s not a game changer but the way we have been trimming and the comfort level of trimming has been challenged.
This is not the primary concern for most (me included) but if you guys try to find points against every marking slogan you must have very busy lives…
For those fearing that you may end looping the kite if you try to trim in overpowered situation I have the feeling that they try hard to find a flaw where it does not exist. (try demoing one!)
Trim-Depowering is easier with this bar and you don’t have to reach higher that the cleat to do it , you do not need any strength at all.
As for keeping the bar straight with one hand, that’s what you do with the rope as well…
I can’t say about its longevity but as I said the construction looks very good. It has a rubber sealed hole near each end so that you can flush the internals with fresh water.
The North youtube channel has videos showing that every single part is removable and (user) replaceable.
As the load on the back lines is much smaller than the front ones and the “conventional” clamcleat wears the trim rope a lot, my feeling is that it will need maintenance (internal line or part replacement) 3-4 times less frequently that the “conventional” trip rope replacement.
On the other hand such replacement will be more tricky than replacing the trim rope.
The throw is really huge. I’m tall but still had to use the stopper in order to always have it in reach (I had a waist harness but even with a seat I believe I wouldn’t use all of the throw)
The auto un-spinning works and is a nice feature.
The visual indication of the trim is also nice and convenient
I really wanted to check how the Evo flies with different V height settings.
I found Dans answer here very generic (sorry) and Dave from wetestkites says that in the non standard North setting the 4 line kites backstall more easily and generally fly worst.
I personally believe that 5th line safety does not bring any advantage against single front line flagging.
A couple of years ago North was raving about it. Now we see at the new bar that the flagging is not at the 5th line but a side front.
Dan, do you have any comment on this please? Did North sacrifice safety for better compatibility with non North Kites?
All in all I liked the product and I was happy to see new ideas being launched in the market.
The trimming convenience provided, the versatility (4 or 5 lines, Y split height) and cool features like auto unspinning give an extra value.
The longevity and maintainability remain to be tested in time.
Personally I wouldn’t pay the premium but I believe that it is an interesting value proposition to many people. (something like the iPhone or an automatic gearbox for europeans)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts in such detail. A couple points...
1. You're 100% right about my generic answers re: changes to flying characteristics based on "V" height, no need to apologize... I didn't give a specific answer because I personally never noticed a huge change in kites when changing that setting and I've heard very conflicting reports from riders who say they do notice... so I rely on the designers for their thoughts. Ken gave me his thoughts on the Neo, Dice, Mono, and Juice (pretty sure I posted them somewhere in this thread), but I have not received a reply from the Evo designer. He's still working on the 2017 Evo and he may be taking the "V" changes into account in his designs because of the options offered by the Click bar, so if I get any more info I'll be sure to share.
2. North marketing may rave less about the 5th line safety, but I still love it.
You are correct about the 5th line setup on the Click bar: if you connect red to red, blue to blue, and grey to grey on your front pigtails, the safety will drop the kite to a front line, not the 5th line. I've gone into a bit of detail in an earlier post about how this works... in short it works perfectly in sub-30kts, and it still depowers/drops safely to the water in higher winds, but over 30 knots reriding can be difficult. However, if you switch the red line and the blue line; attach the red front line to the blue 5th line pigtail on the kite, and the blue 5th line accessory line to the red front pigtail on the kite, you will have a fully functioning 5th line safety/relaunch with no sacrifice to performance or safety (thanks to the original inventor of the bar, Jerome, for pointing that out. As soon as he mentioned it I wanted to smack myself in the forehead for not having realized it earlier).
Make sense? Especially for those of us committed to 5th line for safety (and I don't blame you if you aren't one of them... you're right that the front line safety on our (and many other) 4-line kites is great) and relaunch, this system is as good as our 5th Element. The only downside is that the color coding on two of the front lines doesn't match.
Kiterocky- I don't believe we have plans to retail the bar plain, but I'm sure if there is enough interest we will look into it.
If anyone else has any thoughts or questions, please keep them coming.
It depends on how you have the front line "V" set up. If you are running a higher "V" as per our normal 22 or 24m 5th element, use the "5th element" knot, which is higher on the pigtail (closer to the kite). If you remove the plastic ring on the front lines and run a "V" just above the depower, similar to the wakestyle bar, I believe you will want to attach the 5th line at the lower knot (further from the kite, at the end of the pigtail). Because of the changed geometry if you use the low "V" you should also tune it similar to the method described in the wakestyle manual (see here: http://www.northkiteboarding.com/upload ... L_E_02.pdf), basically you'll want the outside lines to be a few cm longer than the inside lines.
Hope this helps. If you have any questions I'd recommend taking the bar to your retailer or feel free to PM me and I can explain further.
Just got off the water after my first two sessions with the new click bar. Very pleased so far but one question for you guys:
It seems to me that the bar is set up with to much depower, ie the backlines are to long. When I power up the bar totally (the power wheel cranked all the way up and the bar all the way to the chicken loop) I still cannot stall out the kite. Similarly I reach max slack lines way before the wheel is cranked to min power and the bar is out as far as my arms will go.
When I checked the bar on land tying all lines to a fixed point I found that in order to obtain tension in the back lines the power wheel had to be cranked to full power and even so I only managed to get tension on the back lines the last 5cm or so before the bar was pulled to the chicken loop.
I seem to remember that all my regular bars are set up much tighter and that I normally have tension in the back lines when all lines tied to a fixed point much earlier.
To me this suggests that I need to extend my front lines a little (or alternatively shorten the back lines). I found some extra pigtails in the bar bag so should be easy. It just puzzles me that a new bar is not set up correctly from the start. Is this just to make it very very 'safe', i.e. ensure that there is always always (more than) enough depower ?
Any other thoughts on this ?
PS: So far tried the bar out on 7 and 9 Neo 2016's
Last edited by silversurfer_no on Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
While I'm not sure how you shorten the back lines on the new click bar (others may help out here) I've always had to shorten my back lines on a new north bar until the first stretch occurs. I do believe they set them up for the average novice so they don't strangle the hell out of a kite. But yeh agreed not enough to adjust near the stall point.