Trekking Pole Troubles: How to fix poles that don’t tighten
The 2 most common problems people have with their poles are:
- “I’m unable (or afraid) to take my poles apart.”
- “My poles won’t tighten.”
This post deals with #2.
There are different kinds of mechanisms that hold the poles together and tight. ALL are a SIMPLE FIX if you know how. Many poles come with instructions. Please learn how BEFORE you head out on your hike 🙂
LEKI SpeedLock: Turn the round, clear dial with your finger or a dime to tighten.
LEKI Twist Style Poles: 2 types – single expander and double expander. Both can fail if you over-loosen the poles. If that happens, the section will twist and not tighten. Easy (but different) fixes:
- Single (Standard) expander (usually orange): push the section that won’t tighten all the way in. Push and twist at the same time – many times – until the expander “catches.” Then adjust as usual.
- Double expander (Super Lock system): A little trickier, but also easy when you know how. This fix can be done with the poles apart or even where the expander meets the sleeve. Here’s a fix it from LEKI that shows how to do this fix.
Black Diamond FlickLock: Use a Phillips screwdriver to tighten just enough to hold, but not so tight it’s difficult to use. Since all our adjusting on the trail is in the middle section, tighten the bottom tighter for your BASELINE length. Finesse so that the middle (adjusting) section is tight enough to hold on steep downhill, but loose enough to easily adjust. Note: when closing the FlickLock, make sure it’s completely closed. People often leave it just a little open. This mechanism is either open or closed. Not completely closed is OPEN.
Bottom Line: Before you leave the store with your new poles, learn TWO things:
- How to take apart and put your poles together.
- How to troubleshoot your poles (how to fix them if they fail to tighten).
Everything else you need to know is on the video. We also show good technique and etiquette for taking poles apart and putting them together on the video.
Addendum: Here’s a YouTube post that shows fixing the LEKI expander.
My comment on this post: Nicely done! Failure to tighten is a problem!
It’s the Orange “rocket” that’s the culprit. When people over-LOOSEN the poles, the rocket gets STUCK on the bottom of the screw. What you’re doing by capturing the blue expander at the sleeve is affixing the blue so you can move the orange piece up the screw just a bit to release it. Knowing this is ESSENTIAL.
Please PRACTICE this! When it’s EASY, it’s right. Don’t force it.