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William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Fizan Concept trekking pole locking system - a rival to flicklocks? on 11/25/2013 06:57:45 MST Print View

Fizan recently introduced a series of poles using a new locking system that they are calling Concept.
It works by twisting a kind of ferrule to lock the poles. Unlike a traditional twist lock, the poles themselves don't rotate and the ferrule has a distinct on/off feel. I have a pair of the Aconcagua. I've only had them out for 3 days of walking but on quite rough terrain and I am hard on poles in that I often put my whole weight on them. The first day I found that the bottom section had slipped slightly over time. After that, I made sure that I had tightened the ferrule fully on the bottom section and had no more slippage. (I think the narrow diameter of the bottom section means it is more important to tighten it correctly.)
I've never used flicklocks so I can't compare, but onfirst use, these seem a definite step up from twistlocks.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Concept poles on 11/25/2013 20:25:04 MST Print View

William,
For years, every time a new twist-lock claimed to have overcome slipping, I bit.
Not biting again. Finis.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Fizan Concept trekking pole locking system - a rival to flicklocks? on 11/25/2013 21:46:06 MST Print View

This is embarrassing...
I had a look at that mechanism and immediately it was familiar to me except I could not think why.
Then I remembered that for over 30 years I sold camera tripods and at some point many brands used the same system...
A possible problem with that could be getting dirt on that thread and damaging it over time.
This is one that works like that :
Slik mini
I had a pro version (Slik Master) with that lock about 35 years ago

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Re: Concept poles on 11/26/2013 08:21:06 MST Print View

Samuel, time will tell on slipping, but the mechanism on the Concept poles is not the same as on the twistlocks that I know. There is no internal expander. Instead, the pole is clamped from the outside, more like a flicklock from what I've seen (though I've never actually used a flicklock).
The problems with twistlocks for me were:
1) The pole sections have to be twisted to change the setting, which is very awkward if you're trying to adjust the height of your already pitched shelter;
2) If closed tight enough not to slip, they can be very difficult to unlock, especially in cold weather;
3) The length of the pole changes while screwing them closed so it's harder to get a precise length (minor problem, perhaps).
The Concept system solves all three problems.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Fizan Concept on 11/26/2013 16:48:54 MST Print View

William,
Re: "The problems with twistlocks for me were:
1) The pole sections have to be twisted to change the setting, which is very awkward if you're trying to adjust the height of your already pitched shelter;
2) If closed tight enough not to slip, they can be very difficult to unlock, especially in cold weather;
3) The length of the pole changes while screwing them closed so it's harder to get a precise length (minor problem, perhaps).
The Concept system solves all three problems."

Not so fast. Can I assume that since your OP is asking if these poles work as well as flicklocks, that you haven't actually tested them out yourself?

Also, I'm not surprised they got a patent, because the Dr. told me that a medication that has been around for at least a hundred years and is cheap, was patented and now costs ten times as much. I bought a pair of 3-section telescoping carbon X-C poles some years ago at Akers Ski in Andover Maine (familiar to AT trekkers) with couplings that operate on the same principle, as shown on the Fizan YouTube video. They slipped badly, but at least the middle carbon sections were just the right size to fit snugly and make a great reinforcement for the seat rails on a MYOG camp chair. The screw couplings are bulky, as they have to be to get enough leverage to screw them tight enough to grip the inside pole section, and to unscrew them as well.

So, again assuming that you haven't personally verified the above-quoted assertions,
it is a matter for scientists to prognosticate, and I'm not one. Have no idea whether the cam is better than the screw, and in what apps. But I think you get a lot more tightening leverage from a flick-lock, plus they are proven, and the new SS flick-lock couplings from BD are quite slim.

So, if you've got something that works, why spend money to try something new that even if all your assumptions are correct, will not be any better. Or as they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

BTW, not the least problem for me with twist-locks is also that the many, many I've purchased all slip. Some right away, some after a while or in changed weather. If you've found some that you find don't slip, good on you. But I'm not going there again.

A truly inventive approach would be something that locked the sliding sections in place without relying on friction. Trouble is, without friction, it is tough to come up with something that is infinitely adjustable. Even if the pushbutton type pole connections were reinforced somehow in a way that would not add considerable weight, you'd still not have the infinite adjustability that is helpful to those who use the poles to support tents and tarps.

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Re: Fizan Concept on 11/27/2013 08:19:57 MST Print View

Samuel, I have indeed verified the part of my post that you quote. What I have never done is use a set of flicklock poles for comparison.
As I have only used them for three days, I can't comment authoritatively on whether they'll be slip-free in all situations, but the feel when you tighten them is very different from the standard twistlock, which makes me wonder how they compare to flicklocks.
I can, though, state that they do solve the three problems (of twistlocks) that you quote.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Fizan Concept on 11/27/2013 08:41:55 MST Print View

Language and choice of words could be getting in the way here.

"Twist Lock" has Usually been applied to systems that involve an internal expander that relies on friction for engagement.

The CONCEPT replaces the word "twist" with "torsion" to help avoid that association, and uses a locking mechanism that clamps a "split tube" [my words] with a threaded collar. That action is Very similar to a cam-actuated FlintLok.

ConceptLock

"...with normal torsion force applied, it is easy to obtain a compression resistance of more than 100 kg, which is greater than all the conventional external locking systems currently available in the market."

Give the Fizan a chance to prove itself.

Edited by greg23 on 11/27/2013 11:26:04 MST.

John Coyle
(Bigsac)

Locale: NorCal
Fizan Concept trekking pole locking system - a rival to flicklocks? on 11/27/2013 09:17:16 MST Print View

I bought a pair of Fizan compact poles several years ago based on a review in BPL and was disappointed. After a while they began slipping just like all the other internal expander type mechanisms I have had from high end pole companies like Leki and Komperdell.

Two of my friends had trouble with the same type of mechanism in their expensive Gossamer Gear poles. My Black Diamond poles with flicklocks never slip no matter how much weight of my 195 lbs I put on them. Yes they are a little heavier, but I'd rather have that than pole slippage while bushwhacking down a 40 degree slope.

If Fizan has come out with a mechanism that won't slip, time will tell and more power to them. In the meantime I'll stick with my flicklocks.

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
How to keep twistlocks from slipping on 11/27/2013 13:15:56 MST Print View

I've got a pair of Fizan Compacts, which are modified with little rings of stick-on high friction tread material at the bottom of the two lower sections. This material is coarse grit sandpaper backed with an aggressive adhesive. Now the poles are easy to unlock and lock. No slipping!

I put snow baskets on the poles and am using them this season for ski mountaineering. Love 'em!

You buy the sticky sandpaper by the foot at any hardware store.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Fizan Concept trekking pole locking system - a rival to flicklocks? on 11/27/2013 15:58:02 MST Print View

I think the OP intended to inform about the new Concept poles not discuss Fizan in general...

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: Fizan Concept trekking pole locking system - a rival to flicklocks? on 11/27/2013 18:38:54 MST Print View

Beg pardon. One must not deviate, even a little bit.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Concept couplings on 11/27/2013 20:54:42 MST Print View

OK, I get it, being too negative. But sorry, cannot afford to give any more gimmicks a chance when the flick-locks, at least those from BD, have never failed. Wasn't making it up about the poles from Akers, based on the same 'concept', and which slipped badly. I'm in the 'wait and see' corner.

Jim, if you could provide more details, like product name of sandpaper and grade of grit, the width of the ring, and exactly where you put it on what brand and model of pole, that would be helpful. No reason not to retrofit the poles sitting around here doing nothing. Thanks.

Edited by scfhome on 11/27/2013 20:59:51 MST.

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: Concept couplings on 11/28/2013 13:30:38 MST Print View

I bought a foot of one inch wide grip strip for stair treads at the local hardware store. It cost a buck. I'd guess the grit is 100 or 150. This stuff is sold in bulk off a roll. Branding is not obvious and is unimportant.

Since I am upgrading a pair of Fizan Compacts (158 g w/o straps or baskets), each pole has two telescoping sections. I want the poles to be able to shorten as much after as before. For the middle section only ⅝" shows when fully telescoped. I split a portion of the grip strip in half, giving two ½" wide pieces (one for each pole) and put them around the bottom of the middle sections, trimming the length so that the ends just meet. The bottom sections are tapered enough that a full one inch wide grip ring fits easily inside the middle section, so it is not necessary to reduce the width (but you can for aesthetic reasons). I applied these two bottom rings a couple of inches above the collars that baskets go against.

With the grippers on the poles it is very easy to twist lock the sections so they won't slip. When it's time to unlock them, that's easy too. Adequate friction is what is lacking with the naked poles.

I've been using them for ski mountaineering in the Rockies this season, and I've had no problems with slipping or freezing or anything else. They are just amazingly light and agile. Some may question their strength for skiing, and that is a valid question, but I've been skiing for many decades and have yet to break a pole. It's working for me.

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: Fizan Concept trekking pole locking system - a rival to flicklocks? on 11/29/2013 10:32:06 MST Print View

Is there something wrong with flicklocks? I've been using them since 2002 and I've never had them slip.

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: Re: Fizan Concept trekking pole locking system - a rival to flicklocks? on 11/29/2013 13:35:43 MST Print View

"Is there something wrong with flicklocks?"

Of course there is. Twist locking is the one true religion. Flick locking is a damnable heresy!

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Adding friction to twist-locks on 11/29/2013 17:55:43 MST Print View

Jim,
Thanks very much for the additional info. Have definitely got to try this on my discarded twist-locks.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Adding Friction to Twist-Locks on 12/03/2013 16:31:38 MST Print View

Jim,
Dug out the old twist-locks, and they all function the same way, with an expansion joint on the end of the smaller section that is inserted in the larger. Like this:
T-pole
Unfortunately, don't see any way to add grip tape, as the expansion joint moves back and forth in the larger section in order to shorten or lengthen the entire pole.
So the expansion joint is pressing against a different surface on the inside of the larger pole every time the pole length is changed.

Since the expansion joint is sized to just fit into the large pole when loosened, don't see how grip strip would fit over it and into the large pole.

The expansion joints are all a little different depending on the brand, but all appear to function in the same way. An expansion joint with a rubbery outer surface, like many kite fittings, would probably do the trick, but would probably wear out fairly quickly. Maybe an easily replaceable sleeve over a smaller expansion joint would do it. A roughened surface over some distance on the inside of the pole would last longer, but might be difficult to manufacture.

Edited by scfhome on 12/03/2013 16:40:46 MST.

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: Adding Friction to Twist-Locks on 12/03/2013 17:28:44 MST Print View

Please review the instructions. The grip strip is applied to the bottoms of the narrower tubes.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Instructions on 12/04/2013 21:20:50 MST Print View

Jim,
Out of respect for you, before posting I printed out and read your instructions carefully several times. Guess I will have to go on without understanding them. No bigee. That frequently happens on BPL and in life in general.

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: Instructions on 12/04/2013 22:03:02 MST Print View

The important thing is to apply the gripping material at the opposite end of the inner tube from the expansion device. That way it will not interfere with the telescoping action. Sorry if that was not clear. Maybe life in general cannot be completely clear, but modifying twistlock poles can be, I hope.