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Lightweight poles: sweet deals / best bang 4 buck ?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've read enough old threads to be wary of inciting a sectarian war here between different philosophical camps (e.g. composite vs. alum.; swap-meet vs. $$$-is-no-object), but since my question is "current best price" related, I'm afraid it's just a risk I have to take:

Anyone know of any sweet deals on a quality set of lightweight ski poles in the 48-50" range?
Carbon fiber or aluminum is fine, but I tend to distrust non-carbon fiberglass "composites" due cut & scoring issues.
Target weight would be anything less than the 1.5lbs-per-pair that typically marks the transition to cheapie entry-level poles.

I'm currently using a set of 50" Scott Pro Taper graphite poles that I picked up for around $50, and I've been happy with their light swing weight (245g / 0.54lbs per pole), resilience, and the fact that they're not noticeably flexier under my 170lbs than the Easton aluminum pole shafts I've used in years past.

I am looking for something similar in a 48" pole for my wife (127lbs).  50" will work as well, as long as the shaft lends itself to being cut down two inches.
Tips on great bang-for-your-buck models or closeout deals on poles in the sub $75-range would be appreciated.
post #2 of 19
Kerma Exclusive  (Scorpions are decent too).
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post

Kerma Exclusive  (Scorpions are decent too).

You mean the Exclusive Carbon (there's also an Exclusive Aluminum)?
peterglenn.com only has the Carbon in 50".   If you have this pole, is there 2" of un-tapered shaft below the grip?
post #4 of 19
I can't comment on your question, but I can attest that both Kerma Exclusive poles (carbon/alu.) are well made- feel pretty sturdy.

I'd shy away from k2 lower end poles as they're pretty flimsy, and I would try to go with Leki, Goode, or Kerma.

Not sure what lightweight poles Leki has in your price range, though.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
All right, let's approach this differently: the only thing I'd change about my Scott Pro Tapers is the fixed 2.5" basket: ideallly, I'd like the option of swapping out to larger powder baskets.

Is there anything on the market currently going for under $100 that would meet my above criteria and also offer interchangeable baskets?
post #6 of 19
^Easy, now that you've opened it up.  Fixed-length carbon poles by Black Diamond with interchangeable powder baskets, 1 lb 1 oz, $99.95:
http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/ski/ski-poles/fixed-length-carbon
http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/ski/ski-poles/powder-baskets

Yeah, but how about a little bonus steeze you say?  Check it out, Bob Peters uses 'em.  Doesn't get much steezier than that here on Epic:
http://www.epicski.com/wiki/self-arrest-techniques
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Those BDs are sweet-looking poles: I like the cut-zone reinforcement idea, and they fit the bill right down to swappable baskets & "smart straps."
At this point, I think I may spring for them and cut down my Scotts for the wife.

Does anyone out there have any tips on cutting carbon poles in general, or Black Diamond poles in particular? (I've got a carbide rod-saw.)
Do the BD Fixed Carbon poles have 1-2" of untapered shaft below the grip?

At 128 cm, my ideal pole length falls right between BD's 125 and 130cm sizes, so in all likelihood I'll wind up cutting down a pair of their 130s.
Are the grips on most carbon poles press-fit just like grips on traditional aluminum poles?  Back in the day, I used to have the luxury of a pole-grip puller in my place of employment, but I'm assuming I can just notch a 2x4 and pull these bad boys off.
post #8 of 19
^ I have some older ones but the grips are press-on and the shaft is straight enough to hold the grip after cutting off a couple of cms .  If no one else reports on the new ones I can get back to you on Thursday or Friday after I go into the shop.  BTW, you probably already know this but heating the handles in hot water will help you pop those suckers off.  

I've used a Dremel cutting wheel to cut down carbon poles very successfully, but I've never used a carbide rod saw.  
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bob, now that you mention it, I do remember judiciously using the heat gun on particularly stubborn grips, but hot water would definitely be the more "safe & sane" approach (that was with aluminum shafts, I don't want to even use the word "heat gun" and "carbon laminate" in the same sentence)!

The carbide rod saw is the ticket: I use it with a Park-Tool steerer-tube cutting guide (a sort of mini miter-box for tubes) to cut down everything from carbon seatposts to steerers and handlebars on my bikes.  Unless you're preternaturally skilled with the Dremel tool, the carbide rod will leave a much cleaner and squarer cut, since it is basically just an abrasive rod that sands its way through the workpiece.

The carbide rod cost me about $10 at the Home Despot (or was it Lowes?). Fits in a standard hacksaw frame.  Works on ceramic tile or anything else too brittle for a metal blade, FWIW.
post #10 of 19
My poles were  freebies.  I think they are aluminum.  I have no idea how much they weigh.  Did I  mention they were free?  They are poles fer chrissakes. 

Thanks, I feel better now.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
My poles were  freebies.  I think they are aluminum.  I have no idea how much they weigh.  Did I  mention they were free?  They are poles fer chrissakes.

Sweet.  Hats off to the guy who shot them for your avatar!  From the looks of them I'd say they're most likely Roosevelt-administration-era, Austrian-army surplus and made of Congolese bamboo. In all likelihood, the steel tips on those bad boys probably weigh about as much as a Subaru.  But that's just my best educated guess, mind you.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post

Quote:


Sweet.  Hats off to the guy who shot them for your avatar!  From the looks of them I'd say they're most likely Roosevelt-administration-era, Austrian-army surplus and made of Congolese bamboo. In all likelihood, the steel tips on those bad boys probably weigh about as much as a Subaru.  But that's just my best educated guess, mind you.

Actually, the poles pictured are not my poles.  I do have some just like those up in the rafters.  No I'm pretty sure, positive even, that mine are all aluminum.  No bamboo. No steel.  One of them has a strap but I don't use it so maybe I should  cut it off to save weight.  To which Roosevelt administration do you refer?
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
Actually, the poles pictured are not my poles.  ... To which Roosevelt administration do you refer?
Franklin. I believe Teddy was more of a hickory-pole guy.

Just turnin' your crank a little for s*** & giggles: I recognize a stock photo when I see one.

While we're on the topic of old-skool tech & ski-swap leftovers though, these may be harder to track down at Austrian Army Surplus stores than Franklin's bamboo love-shafts of yore, but I've heard tell that after just one run, these sticks will have retro-grouches & dumpster-divers alike singin' kumbaya with F1 composites engineers:
http://www.komperdell.com/en/poles/freeride_alpin/exclusive/148_2214_10.php
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
For the record: I had a chance to talk with Black Diamond today: they indicated that the grips on their carbon poles are press-fit *with glue*.  The tech said that he'd heard of people getting the grips off, but that it "wasn't easy." 
Other than that, cutting them down would just be the standard drill: the poles have "at least" 5cm of non-tapered shaft to cut down, and a carbon-friendly blade is all that's required.

Tech also confirmed that BD 130cm would be the true end-to-end length of the pole w/ grips, so this leaves me on the fence: I'm not sure I want to deal with all this when I know the poles will be 2cm too long right from the bat.
post #15 of 19
Why are you cutting them down?  To reduce weight for yourself?
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post
At 128 cm, my ideal pole length falls right between BD's 125 and 130cm sizes, so in all likelihood I'll wind up cutting down a pair of their 130s.
post #17 of 19
Ah.   

I so love my Lifelink AEs - that much adjustability with merely a flip of a cam on the grip.

FWIW, the Kermas -do- have a section of straight shaft, and the 48" come in at 22 oz with -these- baskets on them:

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
I so love my Lifelink AEs - that much adjustability with merely a flip of a cam on the grip.

Interesting, that sounds like a *lot* less hassle than de-bonding the B.Diamonds to cut them down.
Nice to have some extendability for sidecountry too.
Did you go for the Flex Tip or the Ice Tip option?

Do you know of a website that has some good close-up views of the grip?
Image on the Lifelink website wasn't that great - I'm interested to see how the cam works, and if the straps are convenience straps.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post

Did you go for the Flex Tip or the Ice Tip option?
 

Ice tip.

Will see what I can do.
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