My wife and I have been using Leki Ultralite Ti Ergometric…
Price Paid: $139.95
My wife and I have been using Leki Ultralite Ti Ergometric Antishock poles for the last 4 years. They have performed very well in a variety of conditions including dirt, rock, sand, water, mud, hail, sleet and snow.
The Super Lock System (SLS) held firm during the first two years of use but slipped twice while I was hiking in the Colorado Rockies during the third year of use. Many hikers blame the SLS for the slippage but I blame myself for not properly maintaining the poles and replacing the expanders (part of the locks) periodically. Leki recommends that the poles be cleaned and dried before storage and that the expanders be replaced every year for moderate to extreme hikers. I thought I was doing a good job of cleaning and drying them but found out later that I wasn't.
The poles should be disassembled for cleaning and drying which I wasn't doing. To correct the slippage problem I disassembled and cleaned the poles using the Leki pole cleaning kit (looks like a gun barrel brush) and replaced the old expanders. I should note that when the poles did slip it wasn't a sudden drop but rather a slow slide which let me know to check the locks.
As for the complaints about not being able to lock the sections in place, I attribute them to user ignorance. They don't understand how the locks work, over-loosen them and can't figure out how to re-engage the locks (expanders). For those people I recommend external locks like the flick locks found on Black Diamond poles. But external locks are not without their own problems.
The Soft Antishock System (SAS) works well and cushions your hands, wrists and arms when the poles are planted hard; especially on rock. Vibration is minimal and an acceptable trade-off for the benefits. I have tried poles without antishock systems but found the SAS more to my liking during long hikes when the poles get planted thousands of times a day. It's easier on the wrists. The newer SAS-L or Soft Antishock System - Lite used in some of the newer Leki trekking poles is even better with little or no vibration.
The grips and wrist straps are very comfortable and hot spots and blistering have never been a problem. The wrist straps are one of the best features of Leki poles. The straps are easy to adjust and they lock your hands in place over the grips. I can put my weight on the pole without having to firmly grip it.
I recently discovered a crack in the lower section of one of the poles. The crack is about an inch long and located right below the locking expander of the lower section. Leki aluminum trekking poles have a life warranty against cracking so I submitted a request for return authorization. I'm currently waiting for their response.
The other pair of poles is beginning to show signs of corrosion on the lower sections. It's probably my fault for collapsing them for storage without thoroughly drying them out. The corrosion is cosmetic and the poles still perform well after a thorough cleaning and new expanders.
Overall I've been very pleased with the performance of these poles and wouldn't start down the trail without them.