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Initial Impressions/Sample Variation REI Peak UL CF Trekking Poles
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Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Initial Impressions/Sample Variation REI Peak UL CF Trekking Poles on 03/26/2005 12:25:19 MST Print View

I decided to "invest" my REI dividend on a pair of their house-branded Komperdell C3 poles. The light weight sold me immediately--they're 6.6 oz lighter than my Leki Ti PA/AS/Coretek poles, which I've used the last four seasons. That difference has a huge impact on "swing weight" in my hands. (I *almost* bought the even lighter compact models, as they were long enough for me when fully extended, but I decided I wanted the greater utility of these longer poles.)

By my scale, the REIs are 12.0oz/340g w/ baskets, 11.6/329 w/o. Cutting off the padded straps would shed at least another ounce, perhaps more. I can't figure out a non-surgical way to find out.

I don't miss fussy shock absorbers; I do miss angled grips. I'll be curious to see whether the foam grips are as nice as the Leki Coreteks (best grips in the business, IMHO). The little compass atop each grips might be handy, or simply breakable novelties.

My caution to anyone considering these is the sample variation I found in the store. I had to go through half a dozen pairs before I found mine. Some had joints that refused to lock tightly. Others had shaft segments with a noticeably rough finish (maybe just an aesthetic issue, but who knows?).

If you're in the market for multi-section trekking poles, these deserve consideration (noting that custom one-piece poles such as those by GG and BMW are half the weight). But I strongly suggest trying them in person, in case my shopping experience proves common. Hopefully Komperdell/REI will quickly iron out the bugs, because they are very nice poles.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
sections won't tighten on 03/26/2005 14:17:13 MST Print View

while you will want to follow Rick's advice if you can get into a REI store to personally inspect the poles, for those who cannot do so, perhaps my personal first-hand experience may prove helpful.

i've run into this problem many times with my first trekking poles (Komperdell Titanal "something-or-other" - my "old-timers" is acting up & i can't remember the particular model). these poles are now broken & long since discarded. i also ran into this problem with one "joint" of my new REI CF poles.

i've found that, in all cases, this problem can be rectified. how?

1) disassemble the "joint" by loosening as much as possible and pulling the sections apart
2) tighten, or screw down the expander farther onto the threaded stud. this is the direction that i have needed to screw the expander in all cases. however, the number of times i've done this is not sufficient from which to draw any statistical conclusions. you might find that you may need to screw the expander in the other direction. i don't know for sure.
3) reassemble the sections
4) tighten the "joint" normally
5) if the joint doesn't tighten, repeat steps 1-4

i use my poles 4-6 times per week, every week. i've done this "repair" perhaps 8-10 times (a reasonably approx. number - i wasn't keeping score), over the first six months of last year. probably would have been more, but i finally decided to keep the poles extended. then in the summer one of the Komperdell Titanal poles broke. i replaced them with Leki Ti poles which never had this "tightening" problem. only once on the Komperdell poles did i have to repeat the procedure a second time immediately following my first attempt to correct the problem, i.e my first attempt that day failed to correct the problem & i had to repeat the procedure.

with the new CF poles, i had to perform this procedure only once on one of the four joints. i intend to keep these poles extended unless traveling by plane. of course, i still check them for tightness every time before use and periodically while on the trail. however, i haven't been using the REI CF poles as much as i anticipated because i still like my GossamerGear LightTrek poles better.

Edited by pj on 03/26/2005 18:08:24 MST.

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
thanks Paul on 04/08/2005 18:47:00 MDT Print View

I spent my dividend on the REI poles and one pole would not tighten. Facing the cost of mailing them back, I remembered your post. I disassembled the pole and saw the white plastic conically shaped collar (closest to the basket) screwed so tight against the pole that it was "frozen" and would not move with the expander as the pole was twisted. I used a pair of pliers to hold the collar with one hand, and a rubber grip (like the kind used to open a stuck Mason jar lid) on the pole with the other hand, and twisted in opposite directions until it released. Once released it was easy to reassemble and tighten it as designed. It is intuitive once the pole is taken apart.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
you're welcome on 04/08/2005 19:00:09 MDT Print View

Tim,

glad to have been of some assistance.

take care,
pj

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Initial Impressions/Sample Variation REI Peak UL CF Trekking Poles on 07/19/2005 11:44:44 MDT Print View

"Cutting off the padded straps would shed at least another ounce, perhaps more. I can't figure out a non-surgical way to find out."

Actually Rick... if you just unstitch the folded over end of the webbing strap... you can pull the whole thing out pretty easily. Pull from the plastic end cap and just pull the whole thing... neoprene palm support and all... right though. I even managed to thread the strap back in pretty easily.

My C3's also had thick black rubber branding labels on the palm supports of the straps... I took those off. They seemed pretty heavy!!

Edited by davidlewis on 07/19/2005 11:46:36 MDT.