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scott Nelson
(nlsscott) - MLife

Locale: So. Calif.
REI Carbon fiber poles problem on 03/10/2005 00:38:11 MST Print View

I ran out and bought the new REI carbon fiber poles after learning about them here. On my first hike,( a cold long day in the rain) the bottom pole section seperated from the expansion ferrule that holds it inside the next larger pole. I jammed it back together and trudged on. In a day or so, when I was going to return it, everything was back as it should be and I couldn't get it to fail. This past weekend another guy on our hike in the snow had the same thing happen on his brand new pair. I checked mine at home and discovered I could pull the ferrule out of the pole. SO-what kind of glue or epoxy should I use to fix these lovely poles? Scott

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
Pole update on 03/10/2005 08:22:58 MST Print View

Please keep us posted on your solution/results. I was going to use my REI dividend check to buy those poles until I read your post.

Justin Gunn
(biggunn) - F
I had some issues as well... on 03/10/2005 13:50:11 MST Print View

I ran right out and bought a pair a couple weeks ago and experienced a few problems. The first thing I noticed was that the lower section would give way and collapse if not tightened to the point that the carbon makes a creeking, almost cracking noise. Also, one of the little compasses they mount into the top of the grip failed and froze in place (presumably from some sort of impact?). To REI's credit, they did take them back in exchange for a replacement set and I haven't had any issues with the new ones. I find that as long as you tighten them really well they'll work fine. These are the first poles I really love to use. I'm hooked.

scott Nelson
(nlsscott) - MLife

Locale: So. Calif.
REI Carbon Poles bigger issue? on 03/11/2005 16:38:38 MST Print View

I took my poles by my REI store and they had pulled all their stock off the sales floor because the lower section had failed to tighten for someone. I can see how they would not tighten if the pole is no longer holding on to the ferrule/tightener. They offered to take them back but I want to keep them. I glued them at home with some "JB Weld" (left over from an alcohol stove project). It was the only epoxy I had on hand. I hope this works.

Colin Thomas
(fullofadventure) - F
rei peak poles on 03/11/2005 17:01:40 MST Print View

I was at REI the yesterday picking up my SD Solomente tent and looked at these poles because they sounded good. I played around with them for a few mins but could not get the bottom to tighten on both of them so obviously I passed thinking they must have some type of flaw. Now after reading this I am happy I did although I hope they fix the problem and release them because they a nice and very light.

Justin Gunn
(biggunn) - F
Same problem here too. on 03/15/2005 10:33:22 MST Print View

I have encountered the same problem with mine. I was hiking in a wet canyon the other day and when I placed my pole into the stream for stability while crossing, the bottom section gave way. I had to blow down the tube (which made a loud whistling sound, by the way) to dry it out and hand tighten the tightener and push the pole section in under tension to get it to bite. I hate to take these things back, though, as II'm really happy with their weight and feel. Darn. I'd be real concerned about taking them on a long hike...

David Lisak
(davelisak)

Locale: Grand Canyon hiker
REI carbon fiber poles on 03/18/2005 12:42:09 MST Print View

I just got back from a 3 day hike in the Grand Canyon, where I used these poles under fairly tough conditions; heavy use (leaning) going down to the Colorado and likewise back up to the rim, and a fair amount of banging around on 2 billion year old rocks. No problems, at all. It sounds like they're having significant production problems, but if you luck out with a good pair, these are excellent hiking poles.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
REI Carbon Fiber Poles on 03/18/2005 15:47:14 MST Print View

had a similar problem with the lower section of one REI CF pole. the lower section would not tighten. it simply rotated with no tightening taking place. disassembling the lower section, re-threading the expansion ferrule onto the stud and then reassembling, solved the problem. both poles work fine now. they should be greatly tightened before use or they loosen up. how tight? not sure. since i'm gettin' on in years & have lost some strength, i tighten them using nearly all the force my bare hands and forearms alone can muster. i leave them extended ready for use, and will only compress them for travel by airplane.

i prefer my GossamerGear LightTrek poles to the REI CF poles. they weigh half what the REI CF poles weigh, are cheaper in price, and seem to be robust enough. since they have single piece CF shafts, they won't have the problems 2 or 3 section staffs have.

now over 100 miles on the GG LightTrek poles and they have not broken. yes..., it takes a little while to get use to the flex of the poles, but they, in my experience, flex but don't break - i'm not exactly gentle with them.. start out slow on them when traversing difficult terrain until you get used to the flex & learn to trust the poles.

if the pole tips get jammed in between some rocks. stop immediately & extricate them before putting any (more) stress on them by "levering" them against a rock. under these circumstances the lower end of the pole shaft may fracture.

hope this info helps.

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
length adjustment on poles missed? on 03/18/2005 15:58:43 MST Print View

Do you miss not being able to lengthen or shorten your poles for the trail or when packed away? I was wanting a set of poles that can be used for trail only, and was considering the REI poles or the Gossamer poles. I have gotten a lot of use out of a heavy Leki set that are very durable in off trail settings. I often lengthen them for downhill sections, and shorten one and lengthen the other for tricky traverses. I often don't use poles when going uphill, so they are packed away as short as they'll go.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
length adjustment on poles missed? on 03/19/2005 03:05:40 MST Print View

first off, i hike very uneven terrain with, for the most part, very rocky trails (70+ years old trails with a lot of erosion from rain runoff exposing rocks) - near constant gaining and losing elevation. while the overall elevation in connecticut is nothing buy a small "bump" to you who hike the rockies, the trails i typically hike have a cumulative elevation increase of ~1,200' to 2,500' per mile traveled (max elev above sea level is only ~750'. ok...ok...you can stop laughing now!!!). i really don't know how the *BEEP*. elev. change compares with the rockies, so i'm not trying to impress anyone (obviously the 750' impresses no one!!). it's just that the post i'm replying to mentioned ascents and descents, so i'm tyring to give some idea of how the GG poles are being used.
-------------------------------------------------
Tim,

now, as to your question re: length adj.

no..., i don't miss not being able to adj. the len.

why?

i do use my poles for ascents. even though the GG pole shafts have a small diameter, i just i grab them down lower and my hands, bare or gloved don't slip (prob. need some leather on the palms - haven't tried with just wool palms), . i suspect wool palms might slip on the pole shafts. i'll have to try this soon before the weather gets too warm here.

poles are used for descents, of course. then, i place my palms on the tops of the grips. yes..., this can cause me to be leaning a bit forward on very steep descents, so extra care is req'd - especially with some pole flex in the GG poles. i may purchase another pair of GG poles this year which are 5-10cm longer than the "proper" length for my height. the thought is that this would make descents easier. if it turns out i'm wrong, then i can remove the grips and cut the extra 5-10cm off of the poles & reinstall the grips. having my hands slightly above optimal/proper level when traversing flatter portions of the trails may not be much of a problem (a little extra cardio workout, i suspect, having the hands above heart level due to the longer poles), but i don't know yet. anyone else try this approach, i.e. longer poles, already?

not having to periodically check the length (by comparing the two poles side-by-side), or tightening them "just-in-case" is an advantage of single length shafts. i no longer worry about the poles collapsing from the collars loosening up. once i got used to the flex, i no longer worry about the poles breaking. however, i do take extra care not to jam the tips into small cracks and have learned to "feel" when this occurs and not "lever" the lower pole shaft against the rock, but instead pull it straight out of the crack. i said "feel" because i usually do NOT look down when trekking on rocky, uneven trails unless it is one of the very steep portions where a fall can mean more than a bad bruise.

right now, i just use an Integral Designs eVent Unishelter bivy and not a tarp for sleeping. so, not being able to adj. the length of my poles is no problem when it comes to shelter. however the GG website shows their SpinnShelter tarptent pitched with longer poles, so you may not have a problem using non-adj. poles with some types of tarps.

hope this info helps.

take care,
pj

Edited by pj on 03/19/2005 04:05:12 MST.

Ryan Hirschi
(ryanhirschi) - F
REI CF poles on 03/23/2006 18:04:38 MST Print View

I too ran out and bought some CF poles. But before I did, I told this story to random guy I was standing next to at REI : I hiked with some buds that have REI poles, but not the new CF ones. Their alum REI poles would collapse on them randomly while we were hiking west fork in Sedona, AZ.

Right after I said that he explained that many of the REI poles have been assembled wrong and manually need the ferrule to be reseated. He helped me out with the pair I bought.

I haven't had any problems but I haven't been able to really put some long trip weight on them yet.