2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW

These poles use a mix of aluminum and carbon shafts with unique FlickLock adjustments and are solid performers for four season use.

Overall Rating: Above Average

These are solid adjustable trekking poles with the simple and effective Flicklock system. They aren't the lightest or the stiffest poles on the market but provide great ease of use and are a good value.

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by Matt Eckhart |

2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW

Introduction

The Black Diamond Enduro CF poles are three section adjustable poles with FlickLocks that allow users to adjust poles quickly and provide slip-free stability.

What’s Good

  • FlickLocks are reliable, quick, and easy to use
  • Carbon lower section reduces swing weight and reduces vibration
  • Non-slip grips with lower extension are comfortable and offer multiple hand positions
  • Adjustable for different size users

What’s Not So Good

  • Upper two shafts are aluminum adding weight and some vibration
  • FlickLocks add more bulk than internal locking mechanisms
  • Not the lightest adjustable poles at 8.75 oz per pole

Specifications

  Year/Model

2006 Black Diamond Enduro CF poles

  Style

3 section adjustable

  Shaft Material

Carbon fiber lower sections, aluminum upper two sections

  Tips

Carbide long flex tips

  Grips

Non-slip foam grip with lower foam extension

  Grip Size

Medium-large

  Weight (per pole, without baskets)

Manufacturer’s specification: 8.75 oz (250 g); Measured: 8.75 oz (248 g)

  Pole Length

Adjustable 25-55 in (63.5-140 cm)

  Baskets Included? - Yes

Basket diameter: 1.5 in (3.81 cm); measured weight: 0.3 oz (8 g)

  Basket Type

Screw-on/Black Diamond

  MSRP

$119.95

Performance

The Black Diamond Enduro CF poles are three-section adjustable poles made up of carbon fiber and aluminum shafts. The lower section is carbon fiber and the upper two sections are aluminum. The carbon fiber section is stiff and reduces both vibration and swing weight. However, the two upper shafts are aluminum which increases weight and results in poorer vibration damping overall. The carbon sections are also stiffer than the aluminum sections, which results in more flex in the upper sections than the bottom. Both the aluminum shaft and carbon shafts proved very durable despite abuse from obstacles such as rocks, holes, and slats. I noticed a few scratches on the carbon fiber section while the aluminum didn’t have any but this did not affect the performance of the poles.

2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW  - 1
Poles fit easily on a pack or extend to users preference.

The grips are molded EVA foam with lower extensions on the shafts for additional options when climbing. The comfortable grips are medium to large and were easy to grip even while wearing winter gloves. The top of the grip has a dual density top knob that is contoured to fit the palm which is sturdier than a foam top and allows for better control if being used to descend. I used the top grip for stability when stepping down from large rocks or on steep terrain.

2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW  - 2
Comfortable grips with lower extensions and low profile baskets attached to carbide tips.

The poles come with small baskets that are screwed onto carbide long flex tips. The baskets and tips are both low profile preventing the poles from getting snagged between rocks or logs. I removed and reinstalled the baskets a few times and noticed the threading on the inside of the baskets was getting stripped away, leaving plastic shreds of the threading behind. The baskets are replaceable but not as durable as the threading on the poles themselves. The threading on the poles themselves showed no signs of wear. Larger baskets are available for winter use however I found the small baskets to be adequate in compact snow and ice.

The wrist straps are narrow at only an inch wide and have a thin piece of padding sewn onto one side of the strap to prevent chafing on bare skin wrists. The straps are easy to adjust and were very useful when I accidentally let go of a pole on a steep snowy hill which prevented the pole from sliding down the hill.

The poles are collapsible which can be adjusted to different height users. The FlickLocks adjustments were very easy to use and can be operated by one hand with the “flick” of the thumb. A single pole can be gripped with one hand and the users thumb can quickly release the lock, adjusted, and then closed with the thumb. There is no twisting or screwing and no worrying about whether the lock is tightening enough. This process is very fast and simple and I experienced no slipping of the sections even when heavy loads were placed on the poles. The tension in the FlickLocks can be fine-tuned with a Philips screwdriver if they loosen over time but the locks worked well for me right out of the box and didn’t need adjustment over the course of my testing.

The only problem with the FlickLocks is that they are external locking devices instead of an internal locking device. This adds weight and bulk to the pole and the locks could get snagged on a branch. Also the locking device is more prone to debris and dirt if dropped on the ground. Still, these are among the easiest to adjust poles we’ve ever used.

2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW  - 3
FlickLocks are simple to use and can be opened and closed with the flick of a thumb.

Compatibility With Trekking Pole Shelters

Shelter type and pole length requiredUsable with this shelter?
Gossamer Gear/Tarptent Squall Classic (42 in/107 cm)Yes
Tarptent Virga 2 / Squall 2 and Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo / Europa (45 in/114 cm)Yes
Golite Trig 2 (48 in/123 cm)Yes
MSR Missing Link (54 in/137 cm) Yes

At 8.75 ounces per pole the poles aren’t the lightest in the market but are very simple to use. These are great for beginners or anybody who wants some extra features in a trekking pole. The poles transfer body and pack weight off user’s legs allowing backpackers to hike further and more efficiently while being more sure-footed on the trail.

2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW  - 4
To measure the deflection in the poles, both of the poles placed horizontally supported by a roller support at each end. A 25 lb weight was hung from the center of one of the poles and the deflection from measured from bottom to bottom of the poles. The measured deflection was 2.2 inches which is similar to the 2 inches of measured flex for the Life-Link Superlight, but more than the 1 inch measured by Carol Crooker for the Komperdell Featherlight Carbon, and 1.5 inches for many aluminum alloy poles.

For $119.95, the Black Diamond Enduro CF poles are a solid value. They are user friendly, very comfortable to use, adjustable and provide users the option to use them all year long.

What’s Unique

The Enduro CF poles offer FlickLocks which let users adjust the length of the poles on the fly. The carbon fiber lower shaft adds strength and saves weight over aluminum trekking poles.

Recommendations for Improvement

While the Black Diamond Enduro CF poles worked great in the field a few details would increase the quality of the poles. I would like to see the following improvements:

  • Reduce the size or profile of the FlickLocks to not be so bulky
  • Improve the durability of the threading on the baskets
  • Offer the poles in an all-carbon version to reduce weight and increase vibration damping

Citation

"2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW," by Matt Eckhart. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/2007_black_diamond_enduro_cf_trekking_pole_review.html, 2007-07-25 03:00:00-06.

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2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW
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Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW on 07/24/2007 20:20:11 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: 2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW on 07/24/2007 21:41:11 MDT Print View

I'm curious about 100% locking reliability. I used to use Trek Poles which lock 100% solid but they no longer make the ultralight version that locks 100% solid (the new one uses rubber cords and can be stretched outwards, which I hate). My old Trek Pole broke so I went with the Black Diamond as they seem to be 100% locking reliable whereas my experience with the other two big brands I felt they could slip under heavy weight (I know they do, I bought a Komperdel (sp?) and it slipped). I got the Leki to slip at REI. I'm willing to sacrifice 1-2 ounces extra weight for the 100% locking reliability feature. I go out for 17 days next week and will be using the Black Diamond poles for the first time.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: 2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW on 07/25/2007 06:45:19 MDT Print View

I have an old pair of BD Expedition poles that only have flicklocks. If you adjust the flicklocks properly with the screws then you need quite a lot of force to get the flicklocks open, so you definitely won't be able to do it with just a simple flick of your thumb - unless you have very strong thumbs. Perhaps the newer models are different? The flipside is that the poles never slip, unlike any other pole I've used. Likewise, I don't think a branch could shift a flicklock if it was properly adjusted - I've thrown my poles down short cliffs when I've been scrambling and that hasn't affected their adjustment. Also, I've never had any problems with getting dirt etc in the flicklocks themselves, but if any did get in it would be easily fixed.

Edited by Arapiles on 07/25/2007 07:15:38 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Flicklocks on 07/25/2007 10:38:46 MDT Print View

Nothing, but nothing, beats the reliability of Flicklocks----I've tried every conceivable alternative over many seasons. experiencing jamming or slippage and sometimes both on the same pole. At least in the realm of adjustable poles, for me, reliability trumps weight. This may be more true for some of us taller types of say 170 Lbs. or more. I suspect we exert a lot more force on the locking mechanisms. But with Flicklocks, never a field failure, Summer or Winter----easily cleaned---and no lost screws, a complaint I heard applying to an earlier generation of Flicklocks. Their only downside is weight---however, this may be changing. In Britain, Brasher is going to introduce an all carbon pole w/ a Flicklock style adjustment mechanism at a weigh of about 5 1/2 oz. a pole. See the Outdoors Magic site or my earlier post on this subject.

On backpacks of a more trail oriented nature where I like a trekking pole (or poles) in hand and adjustability is not a concern, I definitely go for the weight savings and use fixed GG Light Trek poles.

For me, the verdict is still out on the Ti Goat Poles--the current weight champion among adjustable trekking poles. I'd love to hear field reports of it's reliability. Not only as an adjustable pole but if it is stiff enough to serve as reliable poles for Tarp pitching.

A.---you might be pleasently surprised to find the latest Flicklocks easier to open w/ thumb only

Edited by kdesign on 07/25/2007 10:40:52 MDT.

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: 2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW on 07/25/2007 11:22:52 MDT Print View

I have used BD poles exclusively for the last couple of years, mostly due to the reliability of the flicklock mechanism. I moved from the Contour (19 oz for the pair) to the ellipse-shaped Spire (20 oz a pair) this summer, and was even more pleased. The binary lock for the bottom section is easier to use since the lower section cannot twist and throw the spurs out of alignment (which I believe to be the biggest reason some hikers have trouble closing them).

I am encouraged to see the lighter weight option now available in the Enduro.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Flicklocks on 07/25/2007 14:11:52 MDT Print View

"A.---you might be pleasently surprised to find the latest Flicklocks easier to open w/ thumb only"

Ummm ... it's possible that I may have been over-tightening them ... but they are very secure ...

Robert Mohid
(mohid) - F
If it's not flicklock, it's crap ! on 07/25/2007 14:59:41 MDT Print View

I second that. I've had numerous pole systems break/slip/snap but NEVER with a flicklock. The old bd expeditiond I use aren't very light, but they can be counted on to HOLD and take abuse.

I'm 220 and have never found a pole I could put all my weight on until I tried a flicklock If it's not a flicklock, it's not for me.

chris Mcfarland
(pecos)

Locale: baba yaga's porch
pole baskets??? don't you want those to break first on 07/25/2007 17:18:46 MDT Print View

The softer plastic on the baskets seems like a good thing to me. The threads on them shouldn’t be “improved” by hardening them. They break down before the threads on your pole so as to improve the life of your pole. I think that’s a bonus. The baskets for my cheapie poles destroyed the threads on it, now I get no baskets :(

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
HUH? on 08/01/2007 09:41:38 MDT Print View

WHY would BD put the carbon fiber in the BOTTOM section?? Carbon fiber shafts are most vulnerable to lateral blows. Their strength is in vertical compression. (As a former XC racer who's used CF poles regularly I sadly know this weak point.)

To have REAL weight savings the top TWO sections should be CF. FlickLoc mechanisms really aren't that heavy when compared to the external collars & internal ferrules/collets of conventional twist lock poles. Maybe they could be a bit slimmer.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: HUH? on 08/01/2007 10:04:41 MDT Print View

Eric,

It does sound counterintuitive but there is a reason.

If you put CF in the top and leave the bottom Al, then because CF has a lower density than Al, you will have a higher moment arm acting around the pivot point (your hand) because the center of mass of the pole will be at a location farther away from your hand than if there was a CF bottom section and Al top section.

Or, in other words, a CF bottom section makes for an easier swing.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: HUH? on 08/01/2007 11:11:47 MDT Print View

And the top or middle sections would take the most bending moment under most uses. I presume the aluminum is stronger in bending as it is in shear.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: 2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW on 08/03/2007 06:50:05 MDT Print View

The byline for the article referenced in this thread has been changed. It was incorrectly attributed to Doug Johnson - the correct author is Matt Eckhart.

Jim Cowdery
(james.cowdery) - MLife

Locale: Central Florida
Structural Characteristics on 08/08/2007 08:11:19 MDT Print View

A tube is one of the strongest structural shapes that can be made. Failures seldom come from compressive or tensile forces but usually occur when the tube is forced to bend and the shape becomes deformed. I’ve broken several poles and they have always broken at the base as a result of tube deformations and bending (getting stuck between two rocks.)

Does anyone know if there are any lightweight foam systems that could be injected into the bottom 6” of a pole to help prevent these deformations?

I also have shifted to flick-locks. I am partially blind and need poles to help find my next step when going downhill. It is not fun to have a pole collapse as you place weight on it when you are going downhill. The obvious consequence is a misstep or fall. My flick-locks have never slipped!! Nice to see some light weight alternatives becoming available.

rick sarabin
(sarabin)
Enduro's will be returned!! on 10/04/2007 14:29:16 MDT Print View

I purchase the Enduro for a trip to the Rockies while returning Komperdell duo C3 CF, ( locks failed and sections pulled apart ). Alas, the Enduro's vibrate with a guitar style "twang" that is beyond anything I've ever seen. I had sore wrists and forearms in a matter of hours. My old much cheaper BD's are far better. That said. Flick-lock's are the best- bar none!

Edited by sarabin on 10/04/2007 14:34:05 MDT.