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Your thoughts on hiking poles

i just bought a new pair on 2019 BD Pro shock hiking poles. 

I always thought that on telescopic poles that you expand the upper section to the maximum ( the strongest section ) then set your length with the lower half ( the thinner section ) 

Or could I be wrong

 Because these new BD poles are rigged to be setup the opposite way . Maximize the bottom and adjust the length with the upper. 

Thoughts

My BD alpine cork poles adjust equally on each section. They have cm marks and both get adjusted the same amount. 

I assume the maker marked them as they designed them to be used. My Easton's were marked for dual adjustment. My Komperdell's are marked to extend the lower section to a set point and adjustment is done with the top section only.


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The way these new ones work is that you have to pull out the lower section all the way then they lock Into place.  There is no flip locking mechanism. Then adjust the upper to length. 

From a structural POV it seems logical to lengthen the top section first.  But perhaps the designers placed priority on performance, in which case lengthening the lower to its maximum would move the balance point higher on the pole, reducing the swing weight, making for a more responsive pole flick, when advancing the tip to its next placement. 

Ed

Based on that description Paul I'd assume the shock aborber is built into the connection between bottom and middle sections. It may have made sense to make that a specific set point rather than adjustable.

I use my BD poles by setting them both to the same or similar settings.  I actually set the lower one to a setting 5cm shorter than the top setting but basically they are about the same.  I'm pretty sure that's what BD recommends.  I went through a couple pairs of them in the first year I had them, once due to a fall, the other when the pole got stuck in a steep downhill while my body kept going, but since I've set them in this way I've had no problem.

If you look at there new pro shock pole. You realize that is no longer what BD recommends. 

As a hillwalker IMO poles should "lock not shock". Non-locking poles will fail, especially if you're like me & mine and doing a lot of mountainous descents. Really stresses them. Again the stability and reliability of non-shock is something I go for, as do others I know.

Things might be different for flatter terrain or long-distance hikes.

 No shock for me but tracking poles are a necessity.

1100 Remington Man said:

 No shock for me but tracking poles are a necessity.

 What are "tracking" poles?

Most likely trekking poles.

They are good, especially with a load that makes you top heavy, rough country with a lot of big rocks and stream crossings.  For older joints they help to unweight knees, ankles and hips.   I don't use them for day hiking.   

I always bring my poles in winter for finding patches of ice that might want to otherwise help me wipe out while descending. I find them fairly necessary in winter...

..in the summer I bring one strapped to my pack in case I wrench my ankle or something....

I found these MBC carbon ones from china that are pretty darn okay....if you can wait a month to get items...you can find high quality stuff for a third of what it costs here...weeding out the crap is the only hard part........?

Yeah, I adjust my CMT carbon fiber poles so the bottom "skinny" sections the shortest to give it a bit more resistance to lateral stress. 

Also I tape that lower section with black Gorilla Tape to keep the resin from getting nicked which creates weak points. Been using these CF poles for 6 years, summer and winter ski trips and they are just fine.

Eric B.

300winmag said:

Yeah, I adjust my CMT carbon fiber poles so the bottom "skinny" sections the shortest to give it a bit more resistance to lateral stress. 

Also I tape that lower section with black Gorilla Tape to keep the resin from getting nicked which creates weak points. Been using these CF poles for 6 years, summer and winter ski trips and they are just fine.

Eric B.

I use wire shrink wrap.  Makes for a clean, light, scuff cuff, that is easy and economical to replace.

Ed

August 7, 2020
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