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Ski pole question

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
OK this is a rather minor issue, but my wife is curious.

The other day(and a very cold day it was) while riding the lift she said that her aluminum poles were transmitting cold thru her gloves. That is she could feel the coldness of the poles thru her gloves. When she mentioned it I too noticed the coldness of my poles thru my gloves.

I know that aluminum is an excellent conducter of heat and cold. So her question is: would a composite pole not feel as cold? I believe that composites, as a rule, do not conduct cold as well as aluminum.

I want to say that she is not interested in warmer gloves to solve this issue. Her hands are not cold when she holds the grip of her pole. She is more than happy to purchase new poles.
post #2 of 14
Composite is "less dense" and has "less cold" to release, so it may warm more quickly. Just the act of gripping the poles compresses the insulation of the glove so the "R" value is reduced. Sounds like a matter of the "mass and density of the materials.

The plastic milk jugs or Coke always seem less cold coming out of the fridge .... so I cool the glass in the freezer .. yet the cans seem "colder" .... now I'm not going to sleep tonight.
post #3 of 14
One word - "Bamboo".
post #4 of 14
3 words. Get better gloves.

Of all the poles and gloves I have ever worn and all the sub-zero days I have skied, I have never had the poles transmit heat or cold. I think more than anything, you guys were just conscious about having cold hands and not really that the poles had any part in it.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus View Post
3 words. Get better gloves.

Of all the poles and gloves I have ever worn and all the sub-zero days I have skied, I have never had the poles transmit heat or cold. I think more than anything, you guys were just conscious about having cold hands and not really that the poles had any part in it.
Thanks, but all things considered do composite poles tranmit cold less effectively? If my wife had warmer gloves she would ruin them due to sweaty hands. Like I noted her hands are not ever cold save when she grasps the aluminum shafts of her poles on the lift. And we are not talkin' sub zero days. This problem was noted on a 20 degree day (which is cold by CA standards : )
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SNPete View Post
Thanks, but all things considered do composite poles tranmit cold less effectively?
Yes.

They conduct heat away from the hand less effectively.

This is further exaggerated when the cross section of the composite pole is smaller, so there is less contact area to the hand and less free area to radiate heat from/conduct to surrounding air.

(now off to price some vinyl sash windows to replace the aluminum ones)
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
(now off to price some vinyl sash windows to replace the aluminum ones)
Light bulb in head goes on. :

We just repalced our windows. Everyone said that aluminum windows conduct heat/cold. Vinyl doesn't. We went with vinyl. They were right.

Pete slaps forehead.

I owe you a beer or two.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
We just repalced our windows. Everyone said that aluminum windows conduct heat/cold. Vinyl doesn't. We went with vinyl. They were right.
That's not quite right. The real advantage of vinyl windows is they seal tighter, especially when cold.

As for alumnimun poles, I have Scott WC poles with good rubber handles on them & I've never noticed any problem with them making my hand cold. I would think the material the handle is made of would have more to do with conducting heat away than your poles.
post #9 of 14
Not to be a pain,
but I've heard composite can break easier and are quite expensive.
Wouldn't a pair of warm and breathable gloves be a better option?
Otherwise I'd consider just letting them hang by loops, or do what I do, and tuck them under a leg, sticking out the back of chair

*for breathable, nice gloves the Seirus Soft Shell Mid and Gordini Vertigo are both supposed to be nice.
post #10 of 14
I am just wondering why the poles werent being held by the grips :?..
post #11 of 14
Cheaper hollow composites can fracture under stress or impact quite easily. More expensive solid are quite durable ... mine have hundreds of days on them.

Good quality alu can also be durable (Scott Race upper line), but the cheaper ones (Scott) will deform and bow.

Cold hands ... never had that issue from poles though.

One question does come to mind. Does your wife tend to have a real firm grip on her poles through habit or tension. I tend to ski with a loose hand and "casual reach & touch" ... ???
post #12 of 14
Composite poles are a very poor conductor of heat. You can actually put your lounge on a composite pole and it won't stick. Prove me wrong

BTW, check with SierraJim. I bought some Goode poles from him last year at a nice discount. I'll never go back to aluminum. Lighter, less wind resistance, less shock, doesn't hold a bend, and I have not experienced breakage.
post #13 of 14
Composites will feel warmer to the touch while holding them on the lift.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Composite poles are a very poor conductor of heat. You can actually put your lounge on a composite pole and it won't stick. Prove me wrong

BTW, check with SierraJim. I bought some Goode poles from him last year at a nice discount. I'll never go back to aluminum. Lighter, less wind resistance, less shock, doesn't hold a bend, and I have not experienced breakage.
I have Goode poles too. they have about 100 days on them and are no worse from wear (and I use Look bindings which can be tough on crappy poles). I will NEVER go back to aluminium poles, they feel ponderous, heavy and huge. As soon as I started using carbon poles, I noticed marked imporvement in my pole plants, less tension and tiredness in my shoulders at the end of a long day skiing, and they are much more comfortable walking to and from the car and puttingunder my leg on the lift.

I've never noticed them making my hand cold (or anyone ever mentioning their aluminium poles making their hands cold), but I can see the connection.
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