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Removing Black Diamond Trekking Pole Grips
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Marc Kokosky
(mak52580) - F

Locale: Washington, DC Area
Removing Black Diamond Trekking Pole Grips on 03/27/2013 19:55:57 MDT Print View

Has anyone ever removed grips from the Black Diamond trekking poles? I have a pair of BD Trails and am thinking about replacing them with the GG grips to shave some ounces and because I think they're much more comfortable.

I'm just scared I'll ruin them if I try.

Edited by mak52580 on 03/27/2013 19:57:03 MDT.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Removing Black Diamond Trekking Pole Grips on 03/27/2013 21:14:14 MDT Print View


I was also thinking about this as a cheap source of good grips.
I've removed a lot of pole grips in order to get the most length for use of light weight, highly tempered thin aluminum tubes for other purposes (It turns out that ski poles on sale are the cheapest source of the tubing).

In all but one case, it was not possible to get the grip off without destroying it, due to the adhesive used to keep it firmly in place. In only one instance, did the grip pop off when subjected to hammerlike force. Even then, it was necessary to place the pole in a vise. Even with a lot of protection, the force of the vise can distort the shape of the tube and weaken it.

So I kind of doubt you'll have much luck with this. You might contact BD to inquire about adhesive used to secure the grip. Any good adhesive is going to be a problem.

Edited by scfhome on 03/27/2013 21:15:30 MDT.

Marc Kokosky
(mak52580) - F

Locale: Washington, DC Area
Destroying the Grips on 03/27/2013 21:48:10 MDT Print View

I don't mind so much if I need to destroy the current grips on them in order to remove them. I can then use GooGone,, Simple Green and WD40 and some elbow grease to get the adhesive off that would otherwise show due to the newer shortened grip.

So in short you're saying that it basically can be done, just depends on whether or not the grip is destroyed or not?

Edited by mak52580 on 03/27/2013 21:49:01 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Removing Black Diamond Trekking Pole Grips on 03/27/2013 21:49:12 MDT Print View

I did a pair of Komperdell by immersing the handles in hot water.
After a few minutes I was able to twist them off
Of course i don't have a clue if this will work for you...

Matt Weaver
(norcalweaver) - F

Locale: PacNW
Re: Removing Black Diamond Trekking Pole Grips on 03/27/2013 22:58:18 MDT Print View

I've replaced the grips on both Black Diamond carbon and aluminum poles with GG grips. No point in trying to salvage the old grips, won't happen. Just cut down the length of them with a razor and peel them off. Spray the inside of the GG grips LIBERALLY with WD40 and get to working them on. Give them a day to dry and they won't budge. I used to use hairspray for trekking pole/bike grips but have found WD40 to work much better, believe it or not.

Worth noting is that the GG grips slide on far easier on to BD carbon poles since they are a slimmer diameter then the alloys. The alloy poles really need some sweet talking and twisting, but they'll go on.

Mike R
(redpoint) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Re: Removing Black Diamond Trekking Pole Grips on 03/27/2013 23:02:21 MDT Print View


Try a vat of boiling water - often works well with ski pole components.

Marc Kokosky
(mak52580) - F

Locale: Washington, DC Area
Re: Re: Removing Black Diamond Trekking Pole Grips on 03/27/2013 23:09:35 MDT Print View


Thanks that's really helpful. I was curious about the aluminum ones which are what I currently have. I did a quick measure and they look to be a thicker diameter. But you say you've done it? Did the GG cork grips tear or break at all when you did it? I'd be scared of splitting them.

How much weigh savings did you see over the BD grips?

Edited by mak52580 on 03/27/2013 23:10:15 MDT.

Matt Weaver
(norcalweaver) - F

Locale: PacNW
no weights on 03/28/2013 07:08:29 MDT Print View

I didn't weigh before and after, wasn't my goal with them. I just found the BD grips to be anemic and subpar for my larger hands so replaced them. No worries about tearing, the grips are quite flexible. I did this both times on a set of Z-poles, which have an extra protrusion on the top (under the grip) that holds the cord that runs throughout each section of pole. This gave me added grief when installing the grips, so if yours are not one of the zpoles then it will be a much easier process for you. I took the old grip completely off of the carbon poles I had. On the alloy poles I left the bottom section on where the GG grips end, think functionally I like that option the best so far.

Modified BD Ultra Distance

BD Distance FL GG grips

Edited by norcalweaver on 03/28/2013 07:28:35 MDT.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: no weights on 03/28/2013 09:40:32 MDT Print View

Very impressed with your ingenuity, I agree about the poor grips on the BD poles for big hands, now investigating getting the GG grips. BTW I have the Zpoles, any tips on the "extra protrusion"?

Thanks for the excellent photos.

Steve B
(geokite) - F

Locale: Southern California
Strap? on 03/28/2013 09:54:58 MDT Print View

Do the GG grips come with straps? I need to replace my grips on some BD carbon poles (worn so much some metal is showing through), but I can't live without the straps.


Loki Cuthbert

Locale: Portland, OR
Living without grups on 03/28/2013 10:35:01 MDT Print View

@ Stephen Bateman, I felt the same way about the wrist straps for the longest time. I would try using my trekking poles w/o using the straps, but after 5-10 minutes I'd switch back using the straps because they were so much more comfortable. After reading that Andrew skurka doesn't like using wrist straps I decided to try going out on an over nighter with the straps removed so I wouldn't be tempted to use them. During the trip I was forced to adjust my technique to work without the straps and realized its quite comfortable. I never put the straps back on my poles after that.


Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Removing Black Diamond Trekking Pole Grips on 03/28/2013 20:19:09 MDT Print View

That is a great idea from Franco about trying boiling water. It won't harm the aluminum, and just might save the grips for something else.

I used a thin, carbide tipped, small toothed blade on a cut-off saw to remove the top portion of the plastic grips above the aluminum tube. Started well above where the tube might be, and then cut off disc-shaped pieces until I got down to just above the metal end of the tube.

Then, as Matt suggested, I used a utility knife with a fresh blade to split the remains of the grip left on the tube. The pole was placed horizontally in a bench vise, with lots of protection by wrapping it in a tough polyester mesh that was too heavy for pack backpanels. Then the utility knife was placed on the pole with the unsharpened edge of the blade parallel to and flat on the pole, then pushed along the pole and against the grip to split the grip lengthwise. The idea was to keep the sharp edge of the blade from coming into contact with the metal and scoring it.

Once the grip was split, it could be peeled off the pole, often revealing a thick dried adhesive that looks like solidified gel. Sometimes this had gotten down inside the tube end when the grip was originally installed, and was difficult to remove completely.

This worked well with a number of long ski touring poles without damaging any of the tubes. When the weather warms up, they will be bent to make small camp chairs, but that is another story.

My biggest concern was not damaging a tube, but injuring myself by letting the utility knife slip while splitting the grip, or getting hit by shards flying back from the cut-off saw. Mesh lined protective gloves and one of those full face pull down polycarbonate masks would probably make sense.

Edited by scfhome on 03/28/2013 20:20:05 MDT.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Removing Black Diamond Trekking Pole Grips on 05/17/2013 23:38:20 MDT Print View

Curious--has anyone had any long-term issues with the GG grips? Dave C. mentions on his blog that both of his eventually failed.

Also, has anyone been able to squeeze the GG grips onto a pole with an outside diameter of 18 mm? Did you use adhesive or just let friction do its thing?

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Re: Removing Black Diamond Trekking Pole Grips on 05/18/2013 09:33:27 MDT Print View

Clayton I put GG grips on BD alpine carbon corks, which are 18mm. It's pretty tough to get them all the way on, but some adhesive helps to lubricate them and eventually they'll go. I used seam grip but there's probably something more appropriate. The handles I put on were from some myog poles I've used heavily for 3 or 4 yrs and haven't had any issues other than a bit of rodent damage.

Matt Weaver
(norcalweaver) - F

Locale: PacNW
adhesive... on 05/18/2013 09:37:46 MDT Print View

Just use WD40. Lubes for sliding on and drys like an adhesive. Bike mechanics have been using it for this purpose for forever, no slippage.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: adhesive... on 05/18/2013 11:57:00 MDT Print View

Thanks. I may have to try this out soon. I'll report back if I do.