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Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
BD Alpine Carbon Cork 2012 vs 2013 on 05/27/2013 01:20:11 MDT Print View

Hi,

I just ordered and received a pair of BD poles from a site near me in Australia. However, despite having a picture on their site of the 2013 model, and indicating on the phone when I called that they definitely were new stock from 2013 they are in fact the 2012 model.

I can and likely will return them, and will source the 2013s from the states (along with a few other items). However, is there anyone who thinks the 2012 model is the better one? I feel I read this somewhere... however for me the 2013 locks look more robust and smaller, which seems good.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: BD Alpine Carbon Cork 2012 vs 2013 on 05/27/2013 05:13:07 MDT Print View

I haven't seen the new version, but I know Skurka uses and loves the previous model and they're a bit lighter. That's enough endorsement for me.

Edited by simplespirit on 05/27/2013 05:14:12 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
BD Alpine Carbon Cork 2012 vs 2013 on 05/27/2013 06:34:48 MDT Print View

The old style locking mechanism is what gave them the solid reputation. In use for quite a few years now. You'll be fine with what you got.

Sean Smith
(Spookykinkajou) - F
2013 on 05/27/2013 10:10:41 MDT Print View

I've the 2013 and think they are fine. I also have the carbon contour 2012 with the older style flip lock. Both work fine and I can't say I'd care which pole I have with me. The weight is also very close, I recall a 49 gram difference with the newer being lighter.

I was in Utah this past week and the lower carbon section got sand in it and really scratched up when I tried to pack them down for the trip home.

Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
negative review on 05/27/2013 18:08:41 MDT Print View

Here is a review I found from someone who does *not* like the redesign:

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/black-diamond/alpine-carbon-cork/review/26259/

His main complaint is the flick locks more easily get hooks on branches and get pulled open. I don't do a lot of off-trail walking, but I can see his reasoning... Also, he says he got grit in the bottom section (like you Sean), which he reckons wasn't an issue with his other poles.. Does the new lock maybe open up more when released allowing more grit in?

JJ W
(H2Oboy)

Locale: Midwest
Absolutely keep the 2012's... on 05/27/2013 20:29:37 MDT Print View

The flick lock system rocks. I think that they made a huge mistake changing them out for 2013. Why change something that works so well?

My brother tried mine out this spring and ordered what he thought were the 2012's. He got the new model (with the new locks). He hasn't been out with them yet, but we played with them a bit and I can see where they will potentially snag on brush, release, and collapse.

These are my favorite poles... EVER... Strong, comfortable, relatively light weight. Heck they're my tent poles too and not one complaint here. I wouldn't trade them for any other.

Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
patent on 05/27/2013 21:25:17 MDT Print View

Sounds like the change was driven by the fact that the patent lapsed in 2010, which resulted in Leki etc all doing a very similar flick lock... BD felt they had to do something different to stay relevant, and maybe screwed it up by the sounds of things..

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: patent on 05/27/2013 21:30:28 MDT Print View

I purchased the 2013s a month or so ago so not enough miles on them to do a proper review. I took them bushwacking in the Cascades last weekend for a couple miles and I didn't experience any concerns with the flip locks. They've always had a bomber reputation so I'm sure the 2012s are great as well.

Sean Smith
(Spookykinkajou) - F
lock on 05/28/2013 07:18:22 MDT Print View

I also experienced no problems over a few days through seriously dense growth perfectly sized to snag the locks, if possible.

Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
2013 on 05/28/2013 19:46:08 MDT Print View

To the guys who have and are happy with the 2013s - did you mainly just buy them cos they were there? is there anything you see as clearly superior to the older style?

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: 2013 on 05/28/2013 20:07:28 MDT Print View

I'm not familiar enough with the old style to say. All I know is that I really like mine, I've not encountered any design flaws yet, and have no desire to replace them with any other system.

As I mentioned earlier, their bomber reputation was built on the style you have so I'm sure you'll be good either way.

Edit: so yes, I just bought them because they were what was on the shelf at REI when I was ready to buy them.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 05/28/2013 20:08:48 MDT.

JJ W
(H2Oboy)

Locale: Midwest
Well it sounds like... on 05/28/2013 22:06:16 MDT Print View

we have several people now that will be able to get the skinny on them and pass it on. My brother and I are going out for 12 days in the Beartooths this fall. I'll be sure to let everyone know how they perform, as we will be off-trail, more than we will be on it.

I'd appreciate it if you others would also report your experiences. It's quite possible that when I'm ready for another set of poles (hopefully not for a long time), I might have to decide whether or not to buy a set with the new locks. It would be great to know how they perform by that time. Nothing worse than dropping $100 bucks on something and not being sure about what you're buying and nothing better than knowing you'll be happy when you write the check.

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
FYI Leki Flicklock Trekker models same weight longer length on 05/29/2013 01:32:50 MDT Print View

I haven't tried any of them yet, but Leki has adjustable carbon and aluminum flick lock poles with the same long handle padding that weigh the same 15-16 oz. The Leki poles also have a wider range with length adjustable to 135 cm instead of only 130 on the BD, which could help with pole-supported tents and mids.

Why would you want a carbon pole more susceptible to breakage from side impact than aluminum when you could have an aluminum pole for the same weight?

Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
Good question on 05/29/2013 02:36:16 MDT Print View

That's a good question - I just bought BD because they have a sterling reputation and were available... However, as a cyclist I can speak for the vibration absorbing qualities of carbon vs alloy - I've got an alloy road-bike which is plenty stiff and reasonably comfortably riding, but I wouldn't dream of putting alloy forks on it... I imagine the same holds true for trekking poles.

Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
Good question on 05/29/2013 02:36:16 MDT Print View

Edit: double post somehow :s, poor connection

Edited by lachlanfysh on 05/29/2013 02:38:07 MDT.

Michael Schwartz
(greenwalk) - MLife

Locale: PA & Ireland
BD Alpine Carbon Cork 2012 vs 2013 on 05/29/2013 03:03:50 MDT Print View

Carbon vs. aluminum. Is carbon the better choice for those who use their poles for tent/tarp supports taking into consideration the possibility of electrical storms?? Has this been discussed elsewhere? Sorry, drifting off the OP's question. Mike

JJ W
(H2Oboy)

Locale: Midwest
The knock on carbon poles: on 05/29/2013 07:36:45 MDT Print View

The knock on carbon poles is that they can break with sufficient shock from the side, rendering them useless for their intended purposes. Where aluminum is more likely to bend, allowing you to bend them back and finish your trip. The line is that carbon fiber is stronger along the grain, but brittle from the side.

Funny thing is though... I don't hear/read many comments about this actually happening and it doesn't seem to be curtailing the use of carbon fiber tent poles. My poles got wedged between rocks several times this spring while I was on the Ozark Trail and barely a scratch, let alone breakage. This was with my full weight on them down-hilling, with a 40 lb. pack. Much heavier than I normally hike with.

I can't speak as the "expert", as these are my first set of carbon fiber trekking poles. However, I'm thrilled so far. I've bent aluminum poles with less pressure/weight many times in the past. So long as I can get these in the $100 range, instead of full price, I think they are a no-brainer. My only worry is that I might eventually have to face a windy night with a duct tape splinted pole steadying my tent. Worst case scenario... there are usually some tree branches available to me, if needed.

Sean Smith
(Spookykinkajou) - F
carbon vs al on 05/29/2013 08:34:30 MDT Print View

Coming from a cycling/racing background and visiting factories in Asia and seeing the evolution of aluminum and carbon, I think carbon fiber is poorly understood and that includes even what it is and how it's produced to make these fine products we lust over.

It is so much stronger than the same weight aluminum, it's really not even comparable. I've ridden on cracked carbon fiber seatposts and frames for hundreds of miles with no issue. I would never ride an AL frame that had the same.

Once AL is bent or dented too much it's far more likely to catastrophically fail.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
BD Alpine Carbon Cork 2012 vs 2013 on 05/29/2013 08:54:16 MDT Print View

The poles that break are the SUL carbon poles.

The BD poles are stronger than AL.

Bad golfers slam clubs into the ground and the shafts don't shatter. Same thing with quality trekking poles.

--G.B.--

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Leki flick lock carbon and AL; Carbon vs. AL; Anyone try the Leki flick locks? on 05/29/2013 14:04:25 MDT Print View

I've heard quite a few reports of SUL carbon poles breaking. Perhaps the BD and Leki carbon poles are much stronger given their thickness and weight. Note that carbon tent poles are under much less repetitive stress than trekking poles which you're repeatedly planting your weight on and hitting the ground with.

I've never thought about the lightning issue when using AL poles to support your shelter. Valid concern?

The first two Leki models below have a long wrap section extending down from the handle like the BD Alpine Carbon Cork. Anyone try the Leki flick locks? Main advantage seems to be greater length to 135cm instead of the BD's 130cm.

Carbon Ti

AERGON Thermo Grip
SpeedLock
Performance Basket
Carbide Tip
Matte Varnish Finish
Weight: 15.4 oz
Length: 62-135 cm

Thermolite XL

AERGON Thermo XL Grip
SpeedLock
Performance Basket
Carbide Tip
Ultra Sonic Finish
Weight: 16.4 oz
Length: 62-135 cm

Corklite

AERGON Cor-Tec Grip
SpeedLock
Performance Basket
Carbide Tip
Ultra Sonic Finish
Weight: 16.8 oz
Length: 62-135 cm

BD Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole - 2012

Weight Per Pair :
492 g, 1 lb
Usable Length :
62.5-130cm, 25-51 in
Collapsed Length :
62.5 cm, 25 in