Trekking pole tip replacement

7:18 p.m. on January 19, 2016 (EST)
248 reviewer rep
36 forum posts

How's everyone doing?  Hopefully you're doing great!

My question is this: how do you know when it's time to change out trekking pole tips? I have a pair of Leki poles that are going on 9 years and I haven't changed the tips at all. I'm wondering if they shouldve been changed down the line or if they're fine. They seem to work fine to me.

Whenever I Am hiking and come across very rocky terrain I end up colapsing my poles and putting them away because seeing scratches on rocks and boulders from trekking poles is a pet peeve of mine.  i assume doing this might have prolonged the life of the tips, but again, I'm not exactly sure what I should be looking for to see if they should be replaced. 

Any help and guidance would be appreciated.

9:27 p.m. on January 19, 2016 (EST)
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If your poles are working fine for you, there is no need to replace the tips. One thing you might do to prolong the life of carbide tips is to use the rubber tips or caps on rock or rocky trails. This also minimizes the wear and tear on the terrain, as you mentioned. Plus, you will have less skip and bounce that you get from carbide tips on hard surfaces.

I have yet to wear out carbide tips on any of my poles, and the rubber caps are easy and cheap to replace. I wear out other parts of the poles first - the grips mostly, and the locks on twist-lock poles (I use exclusively "flicklok" poles these days). I have worn out more than a few straps as well.

Then, too, like everything else, the manufacturers keep coming out with "gotta have" improvements, like camera mounts to make the poles into monopods.

Wear and tear is easy to spot - just inspect the poles from time to time. And pull the poles apart and clean the tubes internal and external - a dry cloth works well enough, though you can wash mud off. If you neglect to clean the insides of the adjustable poles, you will start to get binding, combined with unexpected collapse as the twistlock and flickloks lose their grip (the carbide tips will last longer than any twistlok and even most flickloks). I am sure you know not to use any oils or grease - quick way to accumulate grit and lose locking capability on adjustable poles.

7:12 p.m. on January 23, 2016 (EST)
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680 forum posts

Take a close look at the tips. If they are worn down to where there is hardly anything left, replace them. A little like replacing tires on a vehicle, when the tread is worn down you replace them. I have to admit I'm a bit puzzled by your question, no offence intended.

October 24, 2019
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