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Better quality trekking poles = less vibration?

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Re: Better quality trekking poles = less vibration?

Postby bob863 » Mon May 20, 2013 7:00 pm

i've been hiking/adventure racing with my 20 y/o trekking poles with no problems (with only minor maintenance)....more advanced/technical/expensive poles may not buy you any more than expensive repairs...

Re: Better quality trekking poles = less vibration?

Postby forbins_mtn » Mon May 20, 2013 7:17 pm

i have a spent a small fortune on gear over the last couple years buying top of the line items.....and yet I still rock one pole that I bought at Wal Mart(for $15) when I first started hiking

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Re: Better quality trekking poles = less vibration?

Postby SikYou » Mon May 20, 2013 9:53 pm

The way that you use the pole makes all of the difference for sure. I have some expensive poles and some not so much and as long as I use them the correct way then I see very little difference in performance. There are lots of resources on the net that can give you great detail about how to use trekking poles but you basically use them the same way that you use poles when skiing; put your hand UP through the strap and then grip the strap in between your palm and the pole, this allows for maximum wrist support and weight distribution.
"Is it an up hill hike all the way to the summit?" Brian L.

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Re: Better quality trekking poles = less vibration?

Postby Indigomountain » Tue May 21, 2013 4:10 pm

Thank you everyone for all of your input. Some new information for me and some a reminder.
:-D
"Peace, Love and Fresh Mountain Air"

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Re: Better quality trekking poles = less vibration?

Postby klinger » Tue May 21, 2013 4:14 pm

Ok so assuming perfect technique which ones are the best ](*,) ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)
*especially regarding technical features available, must haves, etc....

\:D/

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Re: Better quality trekking poles = less vibration?

Postby peter303 » Tue May 21, 2013 4:19 pm

Dex wrote:I suggest the problem isn't with the poles but with your technique.
I've learned not to hold the grips - I rely on the straps. I steer the poles with my pinky or the last two fingers.

REI used to hold a lecture/workshop on pole technique. I thought it was a joke until I listened to it once. There was a a lot detail in proper technique. That should prevent fatigue and soreness. Plus there is a for-fee workship some weekend morning.

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Re: Better quality trekking poles = less vibration?

Postby Dex » Tue May 21, 2013 5:06 pm

peter303 wrote:
Dex wrote:I suggest the problem isn't with the poles but with your technique.
I've learned not to hold the grips - I rely on the straps. I steer the poles with my pinky or the last two fingers.

REI used to hold a lecture/workshop on pole technique. I thought it was a joke until I listened to it once. There was a a lot detail in proper technique. That should prevent fatigue and soreness. Plus there is a for-fee workship some weekend morning.


Yes, I cringe when I read that people cut off the straps or when I see people with large backpacks leaning over when going down a steep area instead of lengthening the poles.

I don't even hold the grips with any pressure.
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Re: Better quality trekking poles = less vibration?

Postby Indigomountain » Tue May 21, 2013 5:16 pm

I guess too, what I am hearing is that a higher quality pole isn't necessarily going to cut down on vibration, technique is. Am I hearing this right??
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Re: Better quality trekking poles = less vibration?

Postby powhound » Tue May 21, 2013 7:13 pm

Yes, you must have proper technique, however these poles may also make a difference...

I bought these a few years ago and have well over a hundred hikes/climbs on them and they are still going strong. And I have abused them. In addition to the normal uses, I find them to be indispensible going up really nasty, steep scree/hard pan dirt slopes. I shorten them as small as they get, and reach out at shoulder level and jab them in like daggers to provide a solid grip to pull up on. I liked them so much I bought my wife a pair last year. She does the Incline once a week and loves them too. Today I bought yet another pair on sale at REI just to have as a back up in case I ever wear mine out...and to have a third pair in the family for when one of my kids join my adventures.

http://www.rei.com/product/830471/black-diamond-trail-ergo-cork-trekking-poles-pair

Five reasons why they are awesome. 1) The flicklock. I've had twist lock before and once you go flicklock you'll never go back. 2) The wide, cushy strap. Very comfortable on long hikes. 3) The cork handle provides a more secure and comfortable grip as it absorbs sweat. 4) The lower "double" handle allows you to adapt to temporary terrain changes on the fly without stopping to adjust the height. 5) The tilted angle of the handle. It makes for a very comfortable stride as the pole tip just kind of rolls over. This last feature may just solve your vibration problem? I've never had one.

The only two cons I can find are 1) Although rare...the winter snow baskets can come off if you are using them in crusty snow. I lost one once. I think this problem is inherent in the whole BD line though. However, once aware of the issue, it's not really a problem as you keep an eye on them in crusty snow. I also carry an extra basket in winter now. 2) Those wonderful cork grips that absorb sweat, also attract critters looking for a salty snack. Luckily when I bought my first pair, I was warned of this by the sales person. Sure enough, she was spot on. I had my back turned and my poles on the ground, and the resident marmot on Columbia's summit almost had his jaws on it before I noticed and shooed him away.

I have found both of these inconveniences manageable, and still love the poles and highly recommend them. I would suggest taking them for a few laps cruising around REI and see if you think the angle of the handle will help your vibration issue.

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Re: Better quality trekking poles = less vibration?

Postby Indigomountain » Tue May 21, 2013 7:19 pm

powhound wrote:Yes, you must have proper technique, however these poles may also make a difference...

I bought these a few years ago and have well over a hundred hikes/climbs on them and they are still going strong. And I have abused them. In addition to the normal uses, I find them to be indispensible going up really nasty, steep scree/hard pan dirt slopes. I shorten them as small as they get, and reach out at shoulder level and jab them in like daggers to provide a solid grip to pull up on. I liked them so much I bought my wife a pair last year. She does the Incline once a week and loves them too. Today I bought yet another pair on sale at REI just to have as a back up in case I ever wear mine out...and to have a third pair in the family for when one of my kids join my adventures.

http://www.rei.com/product/830471/black-diamond-trail-ergo-cork-trekking-poles-pair

Five reasons why they are awesome. 1) The flicklock. I've had twist lock before and once you go flicklock you'll never go back. 2) The wide, cushy strap. Very comfortable on long hikes. 3) The cork handle provides a more secure and comfortable grip as it absorbs sweat. 4) The lower "double" handle allows you to adapt to temporary terrain changes on the fly without stopping to adjust the height. 5) The tilted angle of the handle. It makes for a very comfortable stride as the pole tip just kind of rolls over. This last feature may just solve your vibration problem? I've never had one.

The only two cons I can find are 1) Although rare...the winter snow baskets can come off if you are using them in crusty snow. I lost one once. I think this problem is inherent in the whole BD line though. However, once aware of the issue, it's not really a problem as you keep an eye on them in crusty snow. I also carry an extra basket in winter now. 2) Those wonderful cork grips that absorb sweat, also attract critters looking for a salty snack. Luckily when I bought my first pair, I was warned of this by the sales person. Sure enough, she was spot on. I had my back turned and my poles on the ground, and the resident marmot on Columbia's summit almost had his jaws on it before I noticed and shooed him away.

I have found both of these inconveniences manageable, and still love the poles and highly recommend them. I would suggest taking them for a few laps cruising around REI and see if you think the angle of the handle will help your vibration issue.


Super helpful information, thanks.....I just happened to order a pair of these yesterday and am looking forward to trying them out. With all of the research that I have done and with what I do know I like about trekking poles and what I think I will like about trekking poles I have found in these..... I hope.
"Peace, Love and Fresh Mountain Air"

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Re: Better quality trekking poles = less vibration?

Postby jdorje » Wed May 22, 2013 1:49 am

More-or-less off topic to the original question, but I've been thinking about my use of poles lately and this is as good a place as any for a rant:

Putting the weight on the strap means you aren't using muscles to grip the pole; you still need muscular strength to actually do any work with them though. To do this right simply put your hand up through the strap from underneath, and make sure the strap itself is tight enough that when your arm pushes down the strap catches your forearm (hopefully not so tight that you have to loosen it to get your hand out). When used at a normal speed (on-trail ascents) you don't have strain on your wrist nor do you need to use forearm muscles for grip. Use the muscles of your upper arm and shoulder to put some of your body weight on the poles while ascending, while keeping your wrist completely straight and your grip slack (the pole simply rests against the webbing between thumb and forefinger). Many sources on the internet will explain how to do this, and while it feels a bit unnatural at first it's easy to get used to.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/hiking_poles_technique.html#.UZyBZ5xaYto
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOQFPL2lpMY

I have a lot less fun with this technique on off-trail descents though, for a couple of reasons; I usually take my hands out of the strap and just grip the pole directly. One thing is it seems like the angle is just wrong: on steeper slopes I would have to bend my wrists up to get the correct angle for the strap to hold the weight, and if I do that then weight is on my wrist anyway. Also slope angles tend to vary on this type of slope, so adjusting the poles to a really long length (to fix the angle problem) doesn't help and I end up holding the pole differently maybe with each step. Every now and then I'll need to put my weight down on the pole with my palm on top of the grip, which just doesn't work with the straps on. A third problem is that on scree/talus descents (where the poles are of the most use), getting the pole trapped in a rock or slipping a bit and getting your weight caught in that strap seems like a good way to break either wrist or pole. Similar logic applies to talus ascents too, where I need flexibility in the angle I hold the pole and thus again need a real grip. On-trail descents don't suffer from these problems, but unless I'm carrying a heavy pack the pole does slow me down.

If you're looking for the poles to "save your knees", using them on descents is the important thing. Ascending is closed-chain and low-impact; descending is neither and your knee can bounce around a bit if you don't cushion your steps with your muscles (you can do this a lot better with practice, and also by having stronger legs that aren't as tired by this point in the day). This is also when you would want them to be cushioned (having cushion on the ascent is just wasting energy as some of your muscular effort goes into compressing the cushion rather than doing the work of moving your body upward). Stopping to stretch hamstring (especially) and quad briefly can reduce some causes of knee pain: stretching the hamstring (first) pulls the tibia back in place under the femur, and stretching the quad (second, after the tibia is out of the way) pulls the kneecap into place in its groove. When those muscles are tired and relax, they can stop holding those bones in place (the ACL holds the tibia in place, but if you have ACL laxity then you'll be missing that - the kneecap is held in place only by the quad muscle).
-Jason Dorje Short

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