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Muso440
-26th April 2003, 18:34
Does anyone have any good or bad experiences with the Duellist shop in Isleworth? I have to be in that area in a couple of weeks anyway so am thinking of going and treating myself (and hey, it's my birthday soon...) Not having bought any kit before, it would be handy to know whether they're going to be nice to me / rip me off / give me a bargain, or whatever.

(Employees of rival establishments need not reply ;-) )

Mischa
-26th April 2003, 18:44
Twickenham right?

It's a very good shop. I believe that they're expanding next door as well.

twohappyhippos
-26th April 2003, 18:49
yup Duellist is very good!

Muso440
-26th April 2003, 18:49
Originally posted by Mischa
Twickenham right?

According to my map, yes!



It's a very good shop. I believe that they're expanding next door as well. [/QUOTE]

Good-oh. Thanks!

Muso440
-26th April 2003, 18:50
Poo, that's the 2nd time tonight I've buggered up my HTML. God I'm incompetent :(

Jambo
-26th April 2003, 18:51
Duellist is very good, worth becoming a member if you're buying a lot. Just bear in mind they have no lame supplier at the mo, Ive been waiting bl**dy ages for a new sabre lame.:mad:

Muso440
-26th April 2003, 18:59
Nah, a lame is fairly low on my list at the moment, but thanks for the tip anyway!

Mischa
-26th April 2003, 19:28
Also it's vBulletin's Markup code not HTML.

Gold
-26th April 2003, 21:10
I personally dont think that duellist kit looks that good at all i have always bought leon paul kit as it has a good reputation and does the business ;)

bydande
-26th April 2003, 21:28
I rang Duellist a couple of weeks when I was doing some research before buyng a new jacket - and the person I spoke to said that their supplier had gone bust (or something) and they hadnt found a replacement yet. As a result they were running short of stock and didnt have all sizes available. In the end I bought my jacket elsewhere instead. And not from LP. I went for something a little more unusual and exotic.

Does anybody know if the situation at Duellist has changed? Is it just a lame supplier they are missing or is it a wider supply problem?

Jambo
-27th April 2003, 00:30
I had a (very) long conversation with duellist about lames. France Lame(sp?) went bust, at the time Duellist had loads of innapropriate kit that they couldn't shift (odd sizes and left handed stuff). All people at France lame were offering was more of the same. As of this week they are testing lame material from two new suppliers and are hoping to get new stuff in production soon (by themselves, I was told 2-3 months about a month ago). They have most other things in stock as normal AFAIK.

Muso440
-27th April 2003, 09:45
Originally posted by Mischa
Also it's vBulletin's Markup code not HTML.

Well, okay then, if we're being picky ;-).... Looks pretty similar though.

(No-one needs to give me a lecture at this point about how they're actually different or anything! I'm not that into computers, I don't need to know!!)

Boo Boo
-27th April 2003, 10:34
Have a look at their website and give them a ring to see if they have what you want. The guy who runs the shop, Ian, is really nice and helpful.

It is also worth looking at the Leon Paul website and comparing prices (I have no idea if one is more expensive than the other).

Haven't bought any clothing off of them since they stopped stocking Allstar kit (which they used to sell up until a couple of years ago), so have no idea what it is like.

They are currently in the process of moving next door (the new shop is bigger than the old shop).

I think it is worth going anyway, since you don't get many opportunities to go into a shop dedicated to fencing, its fun. The only problem is that you often end up buying extra gizmos and bits and pieces that you didn't actually previously think you wanted! :)

Have fun shopping.

Boo

bydande
-27th April 2003, 12:00
When I was researching buying a new jacket I decided that Duelist was probably the most expensive of those I looked at - for non-members anyway. In terms of expense Duellist was followed by Negrini then Blades, Leon Paul, AllStar and goFence. Since then AllStar have put up their prices so they are probably quite close in price to LP now. As a result I would strongly reccomend:
1. Before you do anything speak to somebody in your club about what exactly you need. I recently heard of two newbie fencers who were sold mega-expensive Olympic standard kit - because they didnt know any better. Other members of their club were pretty p*****d off with the company when they head about it and have vowed to better advise their newbie members in future.
2. Then compare prices on the internet before purchasing anything. The difference in prices for similar kit can be larger than you think.
3. Speak to the suppliers - even if they have an online shop. Some companies have poor reputations for stock control and delivery times.

At Duellist I think there is quite a big price difference between member and non-member prices so worth considering joining if you are a local and likley to buy more kit in the future. Scotland is a bit far from Isleworth so it wasnt worth it for me.

Muso440
-27th April 2003, 16:40
I'm probably going to be getting a foil, and have compared Duellist to Blades (as that's also quite easy to get to from where I live) - Duellist seem slightly more expensive but not by all that much. Don't worry, I won't let them con me into selling me an Olympic-standard one!

While we're about it, has anyone ever bought kit abroad? I'm going to be in Germany in the summer so looked at some web pages of suppliers there, and jackets in particular seem to be a bit cheaper than here (about 50-55 quid). Masks, on the other hand seem more expensive - weird. (They also come in lots of pretty colours, which I've not seen before, like blue and green and a rather hideous pink - yuk!)

bydande
-28th April 2003, 00:11
If you are only interested in a foil and a jacket then I would seriously consider looking at www.goFence.com They do a nice electric foil and a basic 350N jacket for less than anybody else in the UK.

bydande
-28th April 2003, 06:37
Forgot to mention that Germany is much cheaper for kit than the UK - for example AllStar prices in Germany are 30% cheaper than the identical stuff sold by Allstar UK over here. So if you are planning to visit Germany its well worth checking out the Uhlmann website for prices as well. There is an english version of their site at: http://www.uhlmann-fechtsport.de/inhalt_e.htm

Generally speaking I think the Uhlmann clothing is as good as LP or Duellist - my only complaint is about the markup on their kit sold in the UK. Uhlmann and Allstar keep their prices artificially high in the UK through exclusive distribution agreements.

I have heard some negative comments about the cheaper Uhlmann weapons though and a friend of mine is certainly dissapointed with the foil he bought for his son. After only three months of use it has already gone soft and swan-necked.

Muso440
-28th April 2003, 07:59
Originally posted by bydande
If you are only interested in a foil and a jacket then I would seriously consider looking at www.goFence.com They do a nice electric foil and a basic 350N jacket for less than anybody else in the UK.

I'm a bit scared about buying stuff by mail order at the moment in case I bugger it up and get the wrong thing.:confused: But I'll bear it in mind for the future when I'm feeling more confident!

kingkenny
-29th April 2003, 07:13
Is gofence CE and or 350Newton prodective? abird suggested it was not which would explaine the price.

bydande
-29th April 2003, 07:22
Mr goFence, who is a member of the same club as me, assured me that their 350N kit is CEN 1. He also told me that he suspected AllStar UK of circulating this rumour.

But if you want rumours here is a good one. Has anybody else heard that AllStar UK, AllStar (in Germany), Uhlmann and Blades are being investigated by the European Competition Commissioner for illegal non-competition agreements.

As I had it explanied to me - the goFence prices are lower because they are outside the cartel of European suppliers that are using a series of exclusive distribution agreements and non-competition agreements to keep prices in the UK artificially high. You just need to look at the AllStar prices in the UK compared to Germany (30-40% higher in the UK) to start wondering what exactly is going on.

kingkenny
-29th April 2003, 07:50
Yes I did here that Prier are taking them to court for unfair traiding practice. I think its that they want lots of agents to sell stuff at a greater mark up while keeping stuff cheep in Germany. So they stopped selling over the internet to other contries which is discrimination .( But this might all be wrong.)

kingkenny
-29th April 2003, 07:54
Also I cannot get the website to work whats the link?

gofence
-29th April 2003, 08:11
KingKenny,
All of the the gofence kit conforms to the CE regulation and has been tested under the EN13567 standard Protective clothing - hand, arm, chest, leg, genital and face protectors for fencers. Our supplier (Triplette) test all of their clothing at either the Institut Francais Textile-Habillement in France or the Institut fur Textil-und Verfahrenstechnik Denkendorf in Germany. These are the same testing places that everybody else uses because they are the only ones with the necessay tetsing equipment.

Getting CE certification is actually not that expensive. I am currently working on a new CEN level 1 jacket and the CE testing for it will ony cost approx 500. This is because I am using a fabric that has been previously tested and all that is changing is the garment design. So the real reason that clothing on gofence is cheaper is because I take less of a markup than anybody else.

This can also be demonstrated by comparing the prices of other non-CE items on gofence.com. Our whole product range is much cheaper than elswhere which therefore suggest that they are not due to CE matters. For example we sell an electric wired BF maraging foil blade for 51. The same blade on AllStar UK is priced at 66. In this case there is no CE issue to muddy the waters. These blade come fom the same factory but we sell ours for significantly less.

So to sum up. The real reason gofence.com is cheaper than anybody else is because I take less of a markup than anybody else. I am a fencer just trying to help my fellow fencers get decent kit at sensible prices. This is because I got tired of moaning about the prices that the existing suppliers charged (and the dodgy practices that they got up to) and decided to try and do something about it instead.

gofence

Muso440
-29th April 2003, 08:11
Originally posted by Kingkenny
Also I cannot get the website to work whats the link?

Do you mean Allstar? It's www.allstar.de


Can anyone explain to me properly what 350N and CEN 1, and all the rest of it, mean? I get the general idea but it would be handy to know for sure.

gofence
-29th April 2003, 08:13
The website address is www.gofence.com
but it appears to have crashed this morning. Sorry.
So I am busy haranguing the host company even as I write.

Muso440
-29th April 2003, 08:16
And while we're about it, what does 'maraging' mean?

kingkenny
-29th April 2003, 08:27
Maraging is just a name for a type of metal. The metal has to have certain properties like lower carbon percentage.

Gofence so your stuff is already Cen level 1 for all the 350 N stuff
or are you in the process of applying, there is a list of all the companies who have the relivent level approvals that I saw at the start of the year, from the two main testing bodies I dont remember seeing anyone with the name gofence just prieur, bla bla ....etc

gofence
-29th April 2003, 08:47
Kingkenny
The most recent testing was done at ITV Denkendorf in March/April 2002 under the name of Triplette, the company that makes the kit in the US. The kit was pr EN13567 tested prior to me dealing with them because they used to sell kit through Sport7 in France. That was part of the attraction of dealing with Triplette, their relationship with Sport7 meant that the 350N and 800N testing had already been done.

kingkenny
-29th April 2003, 09:00
I thought that American rules mean that the clothing does not have to be 350N only the FIE stuff. Which is why lots of American non FIE jackets are cheep because they are basicly thick long sleeve t-shirts. If anyone knows why that the rules on jackets manufactured in the US is I would love to know.

gofence
-29th April 2003, 09:14
Kingkenny,
I am not sure what the US rules are but I suspect you are right about them being significantly less stringent than the European ones. When I was searching for a supplier, Triplette was the only US company I found that made kit to the European standards.

And here is an interesting point for you - did you know that it is possible to make a CEN level 2 jacket (800N) that meets the CEN2 regulation but actually fails the FIE standard. Having read the EN13567 standard from cover to cover I was surprised to discover that the CEN standard does not include the FIE requirement for double material on the sword arm to the elbow and the flank. Has this been discussed before? Because it has the potential to be an embarrassing mis-match in the standards.

kingkenny
-29th April 2003, 10:07
Maraging has no carbon in my mistake. I knew it was something to do with carbon.

Aoife
-29th April 2003, 17:41
Whilst talking about/to gofence.com I just have to pop in my two pence and say that I adore the thrift shop there. Muso- if you want to buy second hand stuff (doesn't sound liek you do, but just in case) then keep your eye on the thrift shop at gofence.

Muso440
-29th April 2003, 18:18
Nothing against 2nd hand in theory, I just don't want to wait just on the off-chance that what I want *might* come up. But I'm keeping an eye on Gofence anyway just in case!

*Please* (pretty please) will someone explain what 350N and CEN 1 and so on and so on mean?

Aoife
-29th April 2003, 18:31
350N means 350 Newtons. I think it's the force the material can withstand (I presume before puncture). (I've seen fencing stuff at 350N, 800N, and 1600N)

I don't know about CEN... I think it's a regulatory standard of some kind.

Hudson
-29th April 2003, 19:25
CEN
E U R O P E A N C O M M I T T E E F O R
S T A N D A R D I Z A T I O N


CEN's mission is to promote voluntary technical harmonization in Europe in conjunction with worldwide bodies and its partners in Europe.

Principles
CEN works through procedures which guarantee respect for the following principles:
openness and transparency: all interested concerns take part in the work; representation is secured first through the national standards body which have the duty of sending balanced delegations to the policy-making bodies and technical committees. In 1992 a new category of 'Associate' membership was created for organizations representing broad European interests (for the current Associates see below). Industry and other social partners also have seats in the various policy-making committees. European federations can apply for liaison status with individual committees.
The complete work programme is published in CEN's Work programme;

consensus: European Standards are developed on the basis of voluntary agreement between all the interested parties;

national commitment: formal adoption of European Standards is decided by a weighted majority vote of all CEN National Members and is binding on all of them;

technical coherence at the national and European level: standards form a collection which ensures its own continuity for the benefit of users, both at European and national level levels through compulsory national implementation of European Standards and withdrawal of conflicting national standards;

correct integration with other international work: standardization is expensive and time-consuming. Wherever possible CEN works with other European bodies (aerospace, iron and steel, open systems and electronic data interchange) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

gofence
-29th April 2003, 20:48
There are number of regulations affecting the sale of fencing equipment in European and the UK. These are:
Consumer Protection Act 1987
Personal Protective Equipment (EC Directive) Regulations 1992
BS EN13567: 2002 Protective clothing - hand, arm, chest, abdomen, leg, genital and face protectors for fencers

The latter is a British Standard and represents the UK's implementation of European legilsation in respect of fencing equipment. The standard lays down the UK governments interpretation of the tests that fencing equipment sold in the Europe must meet. The standard should be the same as he standards enacted in france, Germany eytc etc.

The tests included in the standard cover things such as resistence to penetration (the Newton rating eg 350N or 800N), the burst strength of seams and how the zips do up on jackets. ie they must be on the back or the opposite side to the sword arm.

The standard also lays down different performance levels for equipment. Level 1 is the lower level and Level 2 is the higher level which is similar but not idential to the FIE standard. For Level 1 jackets (commonly refered to as CEN1 jackets) they must pass the penetration test with an average score of at least 350N. ie. it should take at least 350N of force to penetrate the jacket. Level 2 jackets (CEN2) must pass the penetration test with a score of a least 800N. There are a limited number of test stations actually able to conduct all of these tests, one in Germany and one in France.

There are level 1 and level 2 criteria for jackets, breeches, plastrons, masks, gloves, socks and chect/genital protectors on various aspects of their design. For example masks are tested on the strength of their mesh and the penetraion resitence of their bibs. A funny example is level 1 gloves and socks which have to be penetration tested but have no set pass mark. ie you have to test them but they automatically pass, dont you just love european legislation.

If you look at the British Fencing website under Technical Rules and Regulation - Safety Standards you will see which level of equipment (CEN1 or CEN2) is required for Steam fencing and electric fencing at club level, ordinary competitions and FIE A grade competitions.

To cover the subject in an online forum is an almost impossible thing to do because although BS EN13567 is not overly complicated, it is certainly long with two pages alone on what the CE label should have on it. I have now typed more than I could ever wish to on CEN so au revoir.

goFence

Muso440
-30th April 2003, 08:06
Originally posted by gofence


I have now typed more than I could ever wish to on CEN so au revoir.



Thanks! I'm feeling enlightened now so I won't ask you to type any more :)

bufc99
-30th April 2003, 08:19
Well done I'm impressed that you managed to type thhat much to start with

gofence
-30th April 2003, 08:25
Hi Muso440,
You also asked about maraging and Kingkenny gave you the physical sciences answer. The result of this difference in carbon content is that maraging steel is meant to break differently to ordinary steel. It is meant to break without leaving dangerous points and therefore be less likely to penetrate the opponents clothing.

So if you are fencing someody and their sword breaks and you see the broken point hurtling hurtling towards your chest - start praying that your opponent has (or had) a maraging blade. Alternatively you could just get out of the way.