How to Choose Your TRUBLUE Auto Belay

At Head Rush Technologies, we engineer and manufacture three different models of auto belays for climbing facilities to choose from: the TRUBLUE iQ, the TRUBLUE iQ+, and the TRUBLUE SPEED. All three TRUBLUEs come with our patented magnetic braking technology and are certified for a user weight between 22 - 309 pounds.

For everyday climbing activities, you have a choice between the TRUBLUE iQ and the iQ+. Both models are available with standard 12.5-meter webbing, which has a minimum mounting height of 4.5 meters and a max of 12.5 meters. You can also order the TRUBLUE iQ Series in the XL size, which comes with a 20-meter webbing and can be mounted between 12 and 20 meters.

While the TRUBLUE iQ and iQ+ are excellent options for most climbing applications, if you are looking to host a speed climbing competition, TRUBLUE SPEED is the right tool for the job.

Climb comparison chart

Why Buy a TRUBLUE iQ Auto Belay?

The TRUBLUE iQ is our go-to auto belay for standard climbing activities. It was designed to replace the much-loved first generation TRUBLUE Auto Belay and has several major upgrades over the original model. Most notably, the TRUBLUE iQ is lighter and more durable than the original TRUBLUE. It also comes equipped with an improved, wider webbing, as well as four options of webbing connectors that can further customize the device to the needs of your facility.

A built-in back bumper protects the device from being damaged by repeated collisions with the climbing wall during use. The back bumper also helps to protect the wall from being scratched or dented by the auto belay.

A replaceable mount guard has also been added. Rather than replacing the entire device when the metal around the mounting point becomes worn, simply install a new mount guard (link). It’s an extremely easy and affordable way to extend the lifespan of your TRUBLUE iQ device.

TRUBLUE iQ is also future-proof and ready to receive additional technological advancements as they are released. Advancements include:

  1. Upgrade any TRUBLUE iQ to an iQ+ with Catch-and-Hold Technology
  2. Smart Climb Technology provides access to device usage data and analytics

Who Should Consider Upgrading to the TRUBLUE iQ+ Auto Belay?

The TRUBLUE iQ+ is our premium model of auto belay. It’s built on the same base as the iQ, with some awesome new features built in. Most notably, the TRUBLUE iQ+ is the first and only auto belay with Catch-and-Hold Technology.

Instead of immediately lowering a climber after a fall, when Catch-and-Hold Mode is activated a climber can stay on the wall for up to 30 seconds. This gives them the opportunity to take a brief rest before trying the move again, without having to start over from the bottom.

“With the iQ+, you're just able to stop there, rest, shake out, try to figure out the moves. Yeah, I’m really excited to have this new device in our gym. It's going to just really help us to continue growing the sport.” -- Chris Sharma, Climbing Legend, Founder of Sharma Climbing

With TRUBLUE iQ+, climbers can project their favorite routes on their own schedules, without having to rely on a belay partner. Catch-and-Hold Mode also encourages less experienced climbers to continue progressing higher on the wall, without repeatedly getting stuck in the same place. In this way, climbers can learn to overcome challenges, while also building confidence in their abilities.

What’s Different About the TRUBLUE SPEED?

John Brosler Speed Climbing

John Brosler climbing with TRUBLUE SPEED

The TRUBLUE SPEED is a specialty device, designed specifically for the sport of speed climbing. The custom-made retraction spring takes in slack at an accelerated pace that is fast enough to stay ahead of even the fastest climbers in the world. For any climbing activities other than speed climbing, we recommend choosing either the TRUBLUE iQ or iQ+ Auto Belay.

TRUBLUE SPEED has been engineered to meet all IFSC standards for official international competitions, including retraction speed requirements and applying minimal upward force on the climber, ensuring legitimacy in all competition results.

There are two webbing options available: 12.5 meters and 16 meters. You will need the larger 16m webbing if you are planning on hosting speed climbing competitions on the standard 15-meter speed route that’s used in World Cup competitions and the Olympics.

Like all TRUBLUE models, the TRUBLUE SPEED is equipped with our patented magnetic braking system. Particularly for the sport of speed climbing -- where powerful, dynamics movements are the norm -- having an auto belay that will reliably provide a soft catch and consistent lower makes a tremendous difference on the user experience of the athletes.

“Nobody can keep up with the speeds that climbers are going these days. So I think that TRUBLUE is really pretty essential to being able to train effectively and be able to only think about speed climbing, instead of what the auto belay is doing or what your belayers would be doing if you didn’t have the auto belay.” -- John Brosler, Team USA, US men’s speed climbing national record holder

TRUBLUE is the Official Auto Belay of Team USA Climbing (link) and is used in all US National competitions and training sessions. It is also the preferred auto belay of US national speed climbing record holders (and Team TRUBLUE athletes) Emma Hunt and John Brosler.

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