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Leki: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

The Good:

 

The Composite Carbon 12 S I used for two seasons was very light and had a nice ergonomic grip. The Trigger S system works as stated--most of the time. The poles are easy to engage and disengage from the strap with the push of a button. This is very handy on the lifts.

 

The Bad:

 

I noticed that when it is really cold or if snow gets clogged in the grips, the release button can be very hard to engage. Snow can easily get trapped inside the and clog it up. Clearing it out is a pain.

 

The Ugly:

 

I lost a ski glove last year with the Leki strap still attached. Bad move. Such a relatively simple and common event as losing a glove can create an excuse for Leki to roll the customer.  I used my older Scott poles because I didn't want to spend the money for a replacement and I had already shelled out $120 for the poles. I figured I would be able to find something on E-Bay but I have had no luck. Whenever I find a cheap pair they go fast--probably because people like me who lose a strap don't want to be raped by Leki at the register.

.

I went into my local shop today thinking I could get some special deal. No dice. The manager even agreed the replacement cost is insane. If you lose them, the trigger S replacement straps will cost you $50. Yes, that $50 for a strap that is nothing more than a few pieces of nylon sewed together, with a string attached to the thumb --something that likely cost $1 for the material and assembly. Do they sprinkle the nylon with gold? The words that come to mind are: unbelievable ridiculous, absurd, insane.

 

I was thinking, I might as well just buy the Leki free-style poles the shop had on sale for $60 with the trigger S strap system. At least I will get an extra pair of poles. But I was ticked off enough that I won't ever by a Leki product again.

 

I decided instead to buy a pair of last year's Goode composite poles at a $40 closeout price. They have a nice swing weight, very nice rubber grips, and they have straps that won't get misplaced.

 

Lessons learned: never spend a lot of money on poles, especially if they have detachable straps that can be lost. Buyer beware.

post #2 of 24

I wonder if you contacted Leki directly about this -- I broke 2 carbon poles in the past year, and Leki was great about replacing them.  My experience with their customer service has been great.  I know that loss is different from breakage, but it is worth contacting them.

post #3 of 24

Well, seriously bad luck, but I'll have to disagree about lesson learned. I started using Leki's after spraining both my thumbs (not in same yard sale, but same season). Since then, no issues. Yep, the triggers can be hard to detach manually if they're full of snow, and yep, the cost of replacements sounds nuts. But try getting through the week with your thumb taped to your finger, just as a demonstration project for why our species' opposable thumbs are worth more than $50. Or 1000 times that...

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

Well, I understand where you are coming from bbinder. I did not contact Leki directly. Even though I did not, I seriously doubt I would get a free replacement on the straps--after all, I did lose them and they did not break. I figure if someone has the chops to charge $50 for a piece of nylon , they are not exactly going to be giving the piece away to people who lose them--that's why they sell them.

 

I am not alone in my surprise, apparently. The shop owner said lost gloves with the strap attached is not uncommon and others are outraged by the price of the replacement as well. Most just pony up for the replacement. Not me. No way, no how. It won't break my bank. It's more a matter of principle. I liked the poles but not that much I will spend $50 for a nylon wrist strap and risk losing them again and having to shell out more. The poles are going to the swap this month for whatever I get. The Goode's feel fine.  

 

IMO, this is symbolic, in a way, of what's wrong with the industry and why many people are not taking it up or sticking with it. It's not just the poor rental gear or boots -- it's people getting knickled and dimed to death for everything and anything. Most of the folks at the office think I am nuts for all the money I shell out for skiing. Despite all the enjoyment I get from the sports, sometimes I agree with them. And I am talking about upper middle class professionals.  I would be embarrassed to show them the nylon strap and tell them I paid $50. They would laugh their a$$es off and make a reference to PT Barnum..lol.

 

As far as the safety feature beyond mentions, I never looked at it in terms of safety. I don't think it is marketed as such, anyways. It is a quick release system, not a safety feature like bindings. It is not constructed with the primary aim of releasing in a fall. If you put enough force on it, the straps will break free but it takes quite a bit of force. It also takes an upward pull.  I am not knocking the product. I enjoyed the convenience and the composites are nice poles. I just refuse to spend any more money on a system with such outrageously priced replacement parts. Game over for me. Goodbye Leki. Hello Goode.

 

 

 

post #5 of 24

MojoMan, I have an extra pair of Leki straps that I will ship to you FREE. PM me if you want them.

post #6 of 24

I had a racer this past season who had a particularly violent starting kick out of the gate.  Somehow, she managed to plant her Leki pole through the hole in her holeski during a start at practice.  She flipped forward and ended up busting the strap at the pole grip (amazingly).  Her dad dumped $60 at the local shop to replace the piece.  I thought he had gotten rolled, but it looks like that's just the price.  Unbelievable!  I'll stick with my crappy Scott's.

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrski00 View Post

MojoMan, I have an extra pair of Leki straps that I will ship to you FREE. PM me if you want them.



 

Hi MrSki. Thank you very much for your kind and generous offer. Nice community here.

 

I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I am just spooked about giving my address out on-line. That's just me. I am generally just pretty conservative when it comes to sharing information on-line. I don't even use PayPal..lol

 

I have just made up my mind to opt out of the trigger system. Now that I have had the experience, the hassle of packing the wrong glove, losing a strap or glove, or leaving one at the hotel has made me reconsider the benefit of a detachable pole system with separate parts. It's just one more thing that can get lost. Again, that's just my take and not a knock on leki's product itself. The convenience was nice and the the poles were OK but certainly nothing that great that I must stick with them.

 

I also already purchased the Goode's and am going to pass the Lerki's off at my local ski swap. . 

 

Thanks again for your kind offer.

post #8 of 24

I don't use pole straps, unless I"m cross-country skiing.

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post

As far as the safety feature beyond mentions, I never looked at it in terms of safety. I don't think it is marketed as such, anyways. It is a quick release system, not a safety feature like bindings. It is not constructed with the primary aim of releasing in a fall. 

FWIW, you're wrong. It IS marketed as a safety device. Here, for instance, is Ski.com: "including the Trigger S safety binding that allows for easy and reliable strap release..." Here's Backcountry: "Trigger S system uses a dynamic release system to allow the strap to break away from the grip in the event of a fall or a twisting pull from your pole." (My underlines) Lots of other sites have similar language. 

 

Whether it's construction has a primary aim of release in a fall, cannot say. IMO, it's analogous to early "safety" bindings that were erratic at best. They were marketed as "step-ins" because they were way more convenient than the cables of the day. And that's why they were purchased, far more than for safety. Apparently the new Triggers have a metal spring that makes release more uniform and also allows for locking. So the product evolves. You can bet it'll get even more expensive as the plastic bits get replaced with metal, too. Sigh. 

 

 

post #10 of 24

I hear you. Spending $$$ on poles is a waste of money unless you're getting some adjustables for BC use. Even then, that is more reason to get some reliable but cheaper adjustables because they can take a beating.

 

All that being said, I have dropped $140 on a pair of poles before. But let me explain so I don't sound like a complete wanker. For Xmas one year someone in my family gave me a pair of Indigo (since defunct) adjustable poles. They had sort of an usual design. Anyhow, I whipped them out and ya, they felt like nice poles. Used them for three years and then some douche swiped them at the base area. Annoying yes but I just went back to my old poles. However, I felt myself missing the grip and the flex of the Indigos. Not that I missed the "goodness" of the expensive poles but I missed the familiarity. So much that I actually plunked down $140 for a new pair. They don't make them anymore so I am pretty much screwed if they break or are stolen again. Moral of the story: don't get used to something that is expensive and/or impossible to replace.

 

Tangential Funny Story: So the Indigo design was rather unusually and easy to spot. I've never seen anyone else have a pair of them - until one day on the way to the bus. This was about a year after someone ganked my first set of poles and I had a few beer muscles on.  I spotted a guy about 30 feet in front of me with Indigo poles. I hustled up to him and proceeded to give him the third degree. Turns out he was a part time sales rep for Indigo and still had a bunch of them. Bummed that I wasn't finally able to confront that lowest form of life - the resort gear thief. Really bummed I didn't get his contact info since they don't make them anymore.

 

 

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post



FWIW, you're wrong. It IS marketed as a safety device. Here, for instance, is Ski.com: "including the Trigger S safety binding that allows for easy and reliable strap release..." Here's Backcountry: "Trigger S system uses a dynamic release system to allow the strap to break away from the grip in the event of a fall or a twisting pull from your pole." (My underlines) Lots of other sites have similar language. 

 

Whether it's construction has a primary aim of release in a fall, cannot say. IMO, it's analogous to early "safety" bindings that were erratic at best. They were marketed as "step-ins" because they were way more convenient than the cables of the day. And that's why they were purchased, far more than for safety. Apparently the new Triggers have a metal spring that makes release more uniform and also allows for locking. So the product evolves. You can bet it'll get even more expensive as the plastic bits get replaced with metal, too. Sigh. 

 

 


Well, I never purchased the poles with considerations of safety. It was the convenience I was after and most of the time, it was indeed convenient.  Leki doesn't market the trigger system as a safety device.  In fact, they are very careful in the choice of words used to describe the system -  "The "Trigger S" grip/strap system provides unmatched convenience, performance and security. ". They obviously never mention the word safety and never mentioned about the poles releasing in falls because they don't want to be exposed to liability claims and lawsuits. The system was never designed as a safety device and was made for convenience. When I purchased the poles from Dedekberns in Ellicottville, I specifically asked about the safety aspect and release.  They told me the strap may or may not disengage in a fall if sufficient force is applied in the right direction but they also were careful and stopped short of telling me it was a safety device. The only advice I was given was to press the tabs down in a fall--if you have the wherewithal to do so. 

 

I just don't see how the straps are going to disengage in a fall without the tabs pressed or if the poles are snagged on something and there is an upward pull towards the top of the grip. When I did get the poles, the only thing I did try to do was pull as hard as I could to see if I could get the strap to pop out. I was only able to do so in an upward direction and only with a very significant amount of force--enough that I was worried I might tear the stitching on the straps.  In the downward direction, there is nothing to disengage and it isn't going to come off unless the nylon tears apart at the seams. 

 

I have no idea if If the poles disengage in crashes with the tabs pressed. I was never in any serious crashes with them and my instinct is to always ball my hands up anyways. I have heard people on here report their poles came off when snagged on trees and their was upward force on the release system. Anyways, if Leki did market the product as a safety device and someone purchases it assuming it will always pop off when needed, attorneys would be jumping up and down all over them the first time a skier reported a broken thumb while using the system.

 

 I am not on an anti-Leki tirade nor am I suggesting that they do not make a decent product--that would be ignorant. I also am not saying that the the strap is not convenient most of the time. It is(unless snow gets trapped inside the spring). I just have no opinion on the safety aspect. I will leave that to others to report their experiences. If it offers protection to skiers, that's great. I was just ranting on Leki for their insanely ridiculous replacement parts cost. Like Nike, they obviously feel they can take stamp a logo on some materials and charge absurd prices.

 

That's just another aspect to weigh before a potential purchase. It is a nice system, works most of the time, and is convenient. But it is a system with detachable parts--parts that,  if you are sometimes absent-minded like me, can get lost now and then. When and if that happens on a trip, are you prepared to be rolled by Leki ? Or is it better to get some decent $40 composite poles on closeout and not have to worry about such things in the future? I gave my opinion. I can''t speak for anyone else. Everyone has their own preferences and desires.

 

post #12 of 24

You made a big mistake not just calling Leki directly.  I have (multiple times).  They have replaced poles, grips, and baskets for me free of charge.  I have 3 sets of Leki poles and I will be a Leki supporter for life. 

 

They probably charge an arm and a leg for the replacements because most people won't just pick up the phone. 

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 

Well, back in March when I first went to check the warranty page to see about replacements, I got this:

             

  • It does not cover lost or stolen pole parts
  • Missing Baskets, Tips, Straps or Grips due to wear and tear

 

OK. Out of curiosity, I will E-Mail them and ask for a replacement of the straps. Again, I have no desire to continue using Leki but I am curious as to the response. On the contact page, all I get is a fax number for the office in Buffalo. If you have a number, let me know. I will let the board know, with honesty, of the response(s) I get. I could be wrong. Maybe they will send me the straps for free if I said I lost them. I am willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt.

 

The E-Mail I just sent off on their contact page:

 

"Hello,

 

I recently misplaced a glove with the Leki S trigger strap attached. I had initially spent $120 for the Trigger S Carbon 12 composite poles at Dekdebruns Sports in Ellicottville, NY in December, 2008. I do enjoy the convenience of the trigger system and Leki does make a nice product. However, I was taken aback when I discovered that it will cost me $50 to replace the nylon strap. This is simply over-the-top and seems outrageous. This is an unrealistic price to expect from your customer base.

 

Is there a more equitable option available? After already spending $120 on the trigger system, it seems unrealistic to expect a customer to spend another $50 to replace a relatively small component. The cost of Leki products can themselves be a bit steep. Charging exorbitant amounts for what amounts to a basic material replacement is only going to lead to customers becoming discontent and finding other options in the future. 

 

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can offer on this matter,

 

Regards"

post #14 of 24

Hmmm, your situation may be different since you are asking for a replacement due to your lost glove.  In my situations the replacements were all due to the product having some kind of a failure or shortcoming.  I'm surprised they list baskets since they replaced one for me (although it was part of another replacement due to some other issues I was having with the shock absorbers built into the poles).

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 

Well, I don't expect to get a freebie but at least writing them is more productive than me just ranting here, I guess.  For what it's worth, my voice was heard..lol.

 

As I mentioned earlier, this kind of thing is symptomatic of the industry in general and is the biggest thing stifling growth, IMO. How do you convince people to take up the sport when everything is so expensive? Most people who do not ski--middle and upper middle class--always replay, "It's way too expensive" when I ask them to try it.

 

Skiing is expensive but stuff like this is just too much. I remember last year's swap. I was talking with the guys at the Swix table and they had the Velcro ski straps with the Swix logo hanging from the walls. I asked if they were free. The guy said.."No they are $5.99." I asked, "For a bag?"  He said, "..no, for one."  I was drinking a beverage from the concession stand and almost spit coke through my nose..lol.

 

For some unknown reason, ski manufactures and vendors seem to treat Nylon or Velcro like it is gold..lol. You can buy a square yard at a craft outlet for $1.99.

 

 

 

 

  

post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 

As far as the correspondence, I did get a timely response in less than 24 hours. I received a reply about an hour ago.

 

Here is the entire content of the reply:

 

"Hello,

 

If you are interested in a less expensive option, you may want to purchase the trigger S Velcro strap which retails at $28 for the pair."

 

8-874-012_large.jpg

 

Actually, it's $35 when you factor in shipping. More expensive Velcro. I guess this would go around the wrist but I am not sure. Actually, it is probably easy enough just to make one on your own. I think the only tricky part would be stitching in the small rope as the link connector. At least you could make up a few spares and bring them with you on a trip in case you lose one. 

 

I just posted the reply as I said I would. I didn't expect a freebie. I did lose the glove and it was my responsibility. I can't fault Leki for that but I can fault them for the price. The Customer Service is good, as far as response time. It was quick and under 24 hours. The rep didn't comment on my opinions regarding the price being outrageous but there is nothing the reps can do. They probably agree but what can they say, really? It's not their fault. They don't price the goods.

 

Anyways, that's the end of the story. There's nothing more to say on this. The Goode poles may lack the convenience, but I am sure they will serve me well for the next 5 seasons or so. I purchased them for $40 at closeout. The strap above would have cosat me $35. The regular strap, $50. I can sell the Leki poles at a swap for at least $30.  

post #17 of 24

That's a sad story MojoMan. Somebody at Leki is missing the value of customer service by a million miles. You need their straps to make their system work , but to charge a couple thousand percent above cost for a replacement part can't be colored any different than a complete rip off IMHO.

 

I think Leki makes a terrific product that I will never "splurge" on knowing my indulgence could cost me even more money if I should be as unfortunate as you were losing the strap.

post #18 of 24

I've had much the same problem. Same poles and Trigger S system. Problem is I work as a volly patroller and don't like to use the good poles as they get trashed with sleds running over them and people skiing over them. Put the triggers loose in the back of the car while working and must have knocked them out of the car in the dark in the car park. Would be happy to pay the replacement cost even though I agree it is excessive but Leki US don't ship outside the country (I'm In Australia) and the website of the local distributor doesn't seem to have them. Still chasing up options through local ski stores but will have to wait until next season or our next trip to the US. Meantime using the poles when freeskiing without straps at all.   

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post

That's a sad story MojoMan. Somebody at Leki is missing the value of customer service by a million miles. You need their straps to make their system work , but to charge a couple thousand percent above cost for a replacement part can't be colored any different than a complete rip off IMHO.

 

I think Leki makes a terrific product that I will never "splurge" on knowing my indulgence could cost me even more money if I should be as unfortunate as you were losing the strap.



Well, I was just floored because when I want into the shop this last weekend, the lower-end closeout poles with the trigger S straps included were only $60 and the shop wanted to charge me $50 just for the straps in a bag. Researching online, I have heard peolpe being popped $60-$70 for the replacement straps at shops slopeside.  I was tempted to get the poles and get an extra set of poles out of the deal. But then I saw the Goode G-Carbon for $40 and really liked the swing weight and low profile. The Goode's just weren't selling ever since the shop started carying Leki last year and the owner has a truckload of them. The original yellow price sticker from last year read $100 so it was a nice deal.

 

At that point, I figured I would just be done with the strap system.and cut my losses before I get popped again if something else gets misplated. The Goode's were $40 and I would have spent $50 on the straps. I can sell the Leki's at the swap for $30. I know that sounds like nit-picking, but it's one less thing wife will get upset about as far as ski purchases...lol. I pledged that I wouldn't buy new skis or gear this year because last year I got the Progressors and a new Descente Jacket. She is trying to get me to cut back on this kind of stuff. I used to be a free-spender before getting married last year but marriage tends to change things. She would have been livid if she found out I spent $50 on a piece of nylon. She asked why I got new poles and I explained the replacement cost for the strap. She couldn't believe it either and thought I was lying until she checked the price online. She didn't rag on me for breaking the pledge...lol.  

 

On another note, Goode replacement straps are only $3.Goode may not have the reputation of Leki, but at least they display common sense and don't look for opportunitutues to roll their customer base.

 

wriststraps.gif


Edited by MojoMan - 10/12/10 at 9:02pm
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerathlete 1 View Post

I've had much the same problem. Same poles and Trigger S system. Problem is I work as a volly patroller and don't like to use the good poles as they get trashed with sleds running over them and people skiing over them. Put the triggers loose in the back of the car while working and must have knocked them out of the car in the dark in the car park. Would be happy to pay the replacement cost even though I agree it is excessive but Leki US don't ship outside the country (I'm In Australia) and the website of the local distributor doesn't seem to have them. Still chasing up options through local ski stores but will have to wait until next season or our next trip to the US. Meantime using the poles when freeskiing without straps at all.   



 Maybe MrSki can help you out. I turned down his very generous offer, above.  

post #21 of 24

Used to use the poles with the older trigger system for years - plastic tab. Really happy with them. I don't tug my poles under me on the chair. I keep them in my hands by the straps.

Had a unintended premature release on the lift #1 @ Taos. Aren't all premature release unintended?

Had to ski down Al's (steep bump run) to retrieve the pole. Retired the two sets of Trigger happy poles to the basement after that.    

Been using regular strapped poles for the last 8 years. 

 

If you are bum out by the cost of the straps - try Sierra Trading Post for Leki trigger S gloves. The Leki trigger S gloves either comes with a sets of removable trigger straps or have the trigger S ring sewn into the glove (slick set up). Just make sure it spec the new trigger S system. Bought several different models for family & I this summer. Really good gloves even if I don't use Leki poles anymore. Prices - $30 - $50 with the right coupon. Stock may be running low.   

 

post #22 of 24

This thread has been very enlightening.

post #23 of 24

The GOOD:   Leki make a Deep Powder Basket  that is better than anything supplied by Goode or Black Diamond, that folds flat for packing and that self-adapts to slope angle so that the full surface area is used every time you plant and that fits Leki & (some) Goode & (some) Scott & Kerma & (some) Swix & (some) Karbon poles.

post #24 of 24

The only safety issue I hear owners speak of relative to LEKI is in catching the pole in a bush, rocks or tree limbs and then releasing preventing shoulder injuries and spinning falls.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Leki: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.