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One of my poles broke

peregrina2000

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Staff member
All rules are broken at sometime or another. And I’ve just broken my rule of not getting on the Internet while I’m walking. But I’m not sure exactly what to do.

I have a pair of Black Diamond Distance FLZ poles. Yesterday one just kind of collapsed. I thought it was because the locking mechanism had come undone and so I was able to put it back together. But today, after a few kilometers, it’s very clear that the problem is more serious than that. Essentially the top joint piece slides all around and doesn’t seem to be anchored in any way. I am going to attach a couple of pictures, because my words are very inadequate to describe this. The pictures are intended to show the movement of this piece and how it isn’t secure anymore, if in fact it ever was. I am loathe to take apart my other pole to compare, because I’m afraid that will leave me with none instead of one.

But if anyone has any ideas, they would be very much appreciated.

In the last picture I have pushed the joint mechanism as as far as I can into the pole shaft on the left. And what you can see is a plastic or rubber sheet over the cord that seems to extend up and down the pole.
 

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Time of past OR future Camino
2023
All rules are broken at sometime or another. And I’ve just broken my rule of not getting on the Internet while I’m walking. But I’m not sure exactly what to do.

I have a pair of Black Diamond Distance FLZ poles. Yesterday one just kind of collapsed. I thought it was because the locking mechanism had come undone and so I was able to put it back together. But today, after a few kilometers, it’s very clear that the problem is more serious than that. Essentially the top joint piece slides all around and doesn’t seem to be anchored in any way. I am going to attach a couple of pictures, because my words are very inadequate to describe this. The pictures are intended to show the movement of this piece and how it isn’t secure anymore, if in fact it ever was. I am loathe to take apart my other pole to compare, because I’m afraid that will leave me with none instead of one.

But if anyone has any ideas, they would be very much appreciated.

In the last picture I have pushed the joint mechanism as as far as I can into the pole shaft on the left. And what you can see is a plastic or rubber sheet over the cord that seems to extend up and down the pole.
It would be helpful to have a photo of your good pole.

The second picture shows a glimpse of your good pole and what looks like a screw or something similar that matches the dark circular part on the first photo.

Could a screw have come loose and fallen out?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
All rules are broken at sometime or another. And I’ve just broken my rule of not getting on the Internet while I’m walking. But I’m not sure exactly what to do.

I have a pair of Black Diamond Distance FLZ poles. Yesterday one just kind of collapsed. I thought it was because the locking mechanism had come undone and so I was able to put it back together. But today, after a few kilometers, it’s very clear that the problem is more serious than that. Essentially the top joint piece slides all around and doesn’t seem to be anchored in any way. I am going to attach a couple of pictures, because my words are very inadequate to describe this. The pictures are intended to show the movement of this piece and how it isn’t secure anymore, if in fact it ever was. I am loathe to take apart my other pole to compare, because I’m afraid that will leave me with none instead of one.

But if anyone has any ideas, they would be very much appreciated.

In the last picture I have pushed the joint mechanism as as far as I can into the pole shaft on the left. And what you can see is a plastic or rubber sheet over the cord that seems to extend up and down the pole.
Try this
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
All rules are broken at sometime or another. And I’ve just broken my rule of not getting on the Internet while I’m walking. But I’m not sure exactly what to do.

I have a pair of Black Diamond Distance FLZ poles. Yesterday one just kind of collapsed. I thought it was because the locking mechanism had come undone and so I was able to put it back together. But today, after a few kilometers, it’s very clear that the problem is more serious than that. Essentially the top joint piece slides all around and doesn’t seem to be anchored in any way. I am going to attach a couple of pictures, because my words are very inadequate to describe this. The pictures are intended to show the movement of this piece and how it isn’t secure anymore, if in fact it ever was. I am loathe to take apart my other pole to compare, because I’m afraid that will leave me with none instead of one.

But if anyone has any ideas, they would be very much appreciated.

In the last picture I have pushed the joint mechanism as as far as I can into the pole shaft on the left. And what you can see is a plastic or rubber sheet over the cord that seems to extend up and down the pole.
There seems to be a common problem with those poles and the video suggests how to correct this.

The video explains that one part is sliding too far down inside the pole and this causes it to wobble around. The person in the video suggests epoxy glue for a permanent fix and some sort of tape as a temporary fix.
 
Last edited:

Kanga

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Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I think Doug is right. I had a similar problem once and in my case I did not have to use epoxy, I only had to slide the metal bit that had come out, back down into its socket, and it seemed to go back into place. If that makes sense.
 
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BROWNCOUNTYBOB

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021
During our Camino Frances last fall, I also experienced a trekking pole malfunction. My wife was walking behind me and accidently stepped on the tip of the pole causing it to crash to the ground. It also separated at the joint. I was able to insert the two parts together, but could no longer tighten the joint. I then recalled I had good old masking tape in my kit. I simply rolled a long piece over the joint several times. It became secure. I was not able to collapse that pole, but that was not important to me since I used the poles most days. Good luck ! Bob
 
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Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
If the epoxy fix in the video isn't something you want to try or can't do try tape. Wrap tape around the part that slides into the tube, enough so that it cannot fit into the tube. Heat the end of the tube over a flame or in boiling water. Then insert the taped metal piece into the tube and let the pole cool. I have no idea if this would work in practice though.

More drastic is inserting the piece (without tape) into the tube and drilling a hole all the way through and secure with a small bolt and nut.

The tape trick of @BROWNCOUNTYBOB should do the trick too.

If an albergue doesn't have a leftover set of poles it might have one. Monserrat had two mismatched poles from which I picked up one.

And the obvious solution, buy a new cheap pair of poles.

Good luck.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
How to fix anything
classic-how-to-fix-anything
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Rick - above - has the right idea about a field expedient repair to the inner shaft. He also has several reasonably sound ideas for alternatives.

However, I have fixed hiking pole segments in place merely by using duck tape to securely fasten two adjacent segments in place. I have done this for numerous fellow pilgrims over the years. Duck tape can do just about anything.

You can use it internally to make two pieces fit more snugly by adding a single thickness to help the segments "grip" when tightened. My suggestion applies to external use. The external use works for any hiking pole design.

My only admonition is to NOT do anything that is not-reversible, or which permanently affects the poles. Hence, I recommend avoiding the use of glue, epoxy, nuts or bolts, etc.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thank you so much everyone. The YouTube provides a fix to what is exactly my problem. Now I just need to find someone with Epoxy glue. I will be in Ribadavia tomorrow, which is a larger town, I believe, so I think I will start with Amancio’s suggestion of going to a car repair shop. I had planned to take a short day anyway, to explore this town with its judería and Romanesque churches, so now I’ll have one more thing to do.

I tried to use duct tape to solve the problem (and in fact had a bunch of it wrapped around my broken pole!). But if I am understanding how you are suggesting I use it, it is too thick to go between the shaft that’s loose and the outer shaft of the pole itself.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
The perfect excuse to spend more hours in Ribadavia! In the tourist office, main square, they are extremely helpful, they should give you good directions. Ribadavia is AMAZING!!!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
But if I am understanding how you are suggesting I use it, it is too thick to go between the shaft that’s loose and the outer shaft of the pole itself.
Thats why you heat the tube. The hole will get larger and then as it cools it will get small again and tightly grip the taped piece. If it still can't fit you can try thinner tape wrapped around as much as needed to get it to just fit. This works in theory but I leave it to you to experiment in case the auto shop is closed.

"If it really won't budge try a Birmingham spanner."
Usually I want to loosen things up. Would I use the right or left handed spanner.
 
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Jeff Crawley

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Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Thats why you heat the tube. The hole will get larger and then as it cools it will get small again and tightly grip the taped piece. If it still can't fit you can try thinner tape wrapped around as much as needed to get it to just fit. This works in theory but I leave it to you to experiment in case the auto shop is closed.
I suppose you could shim the gap with a strip of aluminum foil which is thinner than duct tape? Wrap it around the plug part and gently wiggle it into place, a firm wrench should be good enough to take it apart again for a more permanent repair later on.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I suppose you could shim the gap with a strip of aluminum foil which is thinner than duct tape? Wrap it around the plug part and gently wiggle it into place, a firm wrench should be good enough to take it apart again for a more permanent repair later on.
I tried this on my wife's FLZ pole, and the foil was too thick, and tore. I had better success with a wrap of thin plastic from a supermarket vegetable bag. Cling wrap might also work. You can experiment with how many layers you might need to get a good interference fit. I would also be trying to heat the outer tube only by slowly pouring some boiling water over just the section you want to expand a little. You will have to work fairly quickly, or perhaps enlist someone's help while you are doing this.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Well believe it or not, I thought I had fixed it myself with some cling wrap. But no. I could not do the boiling water part of the fix but it seemed to me that it had made a secure connection.

I made it with one stick on a really hard stage today. So I don’t think it will be a crisis if I can’t find a garage or car repair shop to take a look. I am very hopeful I do see one though, because I would love to see how they could use their ingenuity to fix it.

I am four days out of Santiago, and plan to get a pair of sticks at Pilgrim House for my walk out to Muxia and Finisterre. So I should be OK.

Thanks everyone. I’ve written to black diamond and wonder what they will suggest.
 
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Bummer Laurie. Been there. Curious about this Pilgrim House... is this a place I should drop off my 1 trip use cheap aluminum poles that I usually toss before my return home trip? I would love to know they may come in handy for a perigrino(a) like yourself, instead of filling up some landfill.
 
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mattythedog

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Well believe it or not, I thought I had fixed it myself with some cling wrap. But no. I could not do the boiling water part of the fix but it seemed to me that it had made a secure connection.

I made it with one stick on a really hard stage today. So I don’t think it will be a crisis if I can’t find a garage or car repair shop to take a look. I am very hopeful I do see one though, because I would love to see how they could use their ingenuity to fix it.

I am four days out of Santiago, and plan to get a pair of sticks at Pilgrim House for my walk out to Muxia and Finisterre. So I should be OK.

Thanks everyone. I’ve written to black diamond and wonder what they will suggest.

All rules are broken at sometime or another. And I’ve just broken my rule of not getting on the Internet while I’m walking. But I’m not sure exactly what to do.

I have a pair of Black Diamond Distance FLZ poles. Yesterday one just kind of collapsed. I thought it was because the locking mechanism had come undone and so I was able to put it back together. But today, after a few kilometers, it’s very clear that the problem is more serious than that. Essentially the top joint piece slides all around and doesn’t seem to be anchored in any way. I am going to attach a couple of pictures, because my words are very inadequate to describe this. The pictures are intended to show the movement of this piece and how it isn’t secure anymore, if in fact it ever was. I am loathe to take apart my other pole to compare, because I’m afraid that will leave me with none instead of one.

But if anyone has any ideas, they would be very much appreciated.

In the last picture I have pushed the joint mechanism as as far as I can into the pole shaft on the left. And what you can see is a plastic or rubber sheet over the cord that seems to extend up and down the pole.
I had same problem with my Distance Carbon Zs. Ferrule comes unglued from lower pole segment and slides all the way up into upper segment. I extract using approx 8mm screw to grab and pull it out. My field repairs included shimming with clear packing tape I keep on one of the poles, but after several hours, ferrule would work its way back up. Tried various other kinds of shims and super glue. Made it to end of Camino by checking every few hours and pushing ferrule back down. Black Diamond will tell you to cement ferrule back using marine grade epoxy. I used JB Weld as they recommended, but problem reoccured. Field repair was to use safety pin heated with bic lighter to drill small hole in UPPER pole segment; then leave pin in place to keep ferrule from sliding up. This made it all the way to end of second camino. Final solution was to epoxy all ferrules back in place, and then drill and pin all ferrules to poles with stainless wire.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Friends, I am sorry for saying this, but maybe, just maybe, we should reconsider purchasing those BD folding composite poles. I've purchased them twice, both broke while on trail. Once on the Camino and once on the jmt. I was proud to have "the best" only up until the point they broke.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I have used my Black Diamond folding poles for 8 Caminos over 10 years, and they are still going strong.

The frequency of problems may be higher than for more solid poles, but the convenience and lightweight are worth it to me.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
I have used my Black Diamond folding poles for 8 Caminos over 10 years, and they are still going strong.

The frequency of problems may be higher than for more solid poles, but the convenience and lightweight are worth it to me.
Here's the thing I don't get... lightweight. They aren't on your back. And how much really are they lighter? C, I am glad u have had success with them. I haven't.
 
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C clearly

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Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Here's the thing I don't get... lightweight.
Yes, I understand, but they are generally convenient and light for packing in my backpack to and from the Camino, or even on other occasions at home when I'm not sure if I will be using them. I'm not saying this is a deal-breaker, but they have served me very well.
 

mattythedog

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Here's the thing I don't get... lightweight. They aren't on your back. And how much really are they lighter? C, I am glad u have had success with them. I haven't.
Lightweight- Yay!! Lets me walk All Day. I walked my first Camino with generic telescoping aluminum poles. They helped a lot, and I learned that for my style of walking, one particular length was ideal for up/down/level walking. I used the poles very hard and wore out 3 pairs of tips in 3 days, even the "special" foot shaped tips they sold me in Pamplona. Finally, in Granon, Jesus gave me his personal tips, the large bulbous kind, and they made it all the way to Santiago, Muxia, Finisterre and the Camino Ingles. I think the total weight was about 1/2 kg. I learned of the Carbon Zs on that trek, so bought a pair upon return to USA. They weighed about 1/2 that of the telescoping poles, they were extremely maneuverable, especially on downhill rocky paths, and they take up much less length and bulk in my carry-on luggage. Fixed length means less time fiddling during collapse and assembly. Less weight means less wrist fatigue and less total weight on the feet. Black Diamond has replaced the wrist straps 2x, given me new pole ends, new carbide and new rubber tips when they wore out---Gratis.
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Rather a lot, and hopefully more to come
Lightweight- Yay!! Lets me walk All Day. I walked my first Camino with generic telescoping aluminum poles. They helped a lot, and I learned that for my style of walking, one particular length was ideal for up/down/level walking. I used the poles very hard and wore out 3 pairs of tips in 3 days, even the "special" foot shaped tips they sold me in Pamplona. Finally, in Granon, Jesus gave me his personal tips, the large bulbous kind, and they made it all the way to Santiago, Muxia, Finisterre and the Camino Ingles. I think the total weight was about 1/2 kg. I learned of the Carbon Zs on that trek, so bought a pair upon return to USA. They weighed about 1/2 that of the telescoping poles, they were extremely maneuverable, especially on downhill rocky paths, and they take up much less length and bulk in my carry-on luggage. Fixed length means less time fiddling during collapse and assembly. Less weight means less wrist fatigue and less total weight on the feet. Black Diamond has replaced the wrist straps 2x, given me new pole ends, new carbide and new rubber tips when they wore out---Gratis.
I wouldn’t die in a ditch to defend my view but I’m with Damien on this; I’m also a sucker for ‘stuff’ and an ex-army economist and generalist manager : so categorically not an engineer.

At any point when I’m walking, one of my poles is in contact with the floor. I know there’s going to be some fancy-pants engineering explanation which refutes my view, but in my simple mind, if it’s on the floor I’m not carrying it.

Then we can look at thin things vs thick things (thick = stronger is as far as my logic goes - yes, I know it depends on the material, but if you shock it at 90 degrees the difference seems to diminish) and number of components (more = greater likelihood of failure) and degree of sophistication (simple = better; may overlap with previous criteria) and finally cost.

I’ve got the lot: BD carbon fibre z-poles; similar knock-offs; a selection of Leki’s and some no-name 3-section aluminums. It is the latter which have seen me through numerous caminos.
 
Last edited:

mattythedog

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I wouldn’t die in a ditch to defend my view but I’m with Damien on this; I’m also a sucker for ‘stuff’ and an ex-army economist and generalist manager : so categorically not an engineer.

At any point when I’m walking, one of my poles is in contact with the floor. I know there’s going to be some fancy-pants engineering explanation which refutes my view, but in my simple mind, if it’s on the floor I’m not carrying it.

Then we can look at thin things vs thick things (thick = stronger is as far as my logic goes - yes, I know it depends on the material, but if you shock it at 90 degrees the difference seems to diminish) and number of components (more = greater likelihood of failure) and degree of sophistication (simple = better; may overlap with previous criteria) and finally cost.

I’ve got the lot: BD carbon fibre z-poles; similar knock-offs; a selection of Leki’s and some no-name 3-section aluminums. It is the latter which have seen me through numerous caminos.
Hey, just answering the question on how to repair BD's and the question, "Here's the thing I don't get... lightweight." Everyone is entitled to use what works best for them.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have tried again, one last time before Santiago. There was a roll of scotch tape at the reception desk in my Hostal last night, so I gave it a try. It actually seemed to work, in that it could anchor the inside piece, and the top piece could be pushed over it. But then, no matter how I position the inside shaft, I am incapable of pulling it so that the lock triggers. What I mean by that is that I can’t extend the pole enough so that the locking mechanism pops out.

What I can’t figure out is whether I should push the inside shaft down further or move it up more in order to facilitate the locking mechanism. If all of this sounds like gobbledygook just ignore. I think I’ll make it to Santiago today.
 

mattythedog

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I have tried again, one last time before Santiago. There was a roll of scotch tape at the reception desk in my Hostal last night, so I gave it a try. It actually seemed to work, in that it could anchor the inside piece, and the top piece could be pushed over it. But then, no matter how I position the inside shaft, I am incapable of pulling it so that the lock triggers. What I mean by that is that I can’t extend the pole enough so that the locking mechanism pops out.

What I can’t figure out is whether I should push the inside shaft down further or move it up more in order to facilitate the locking mechanism. If all of this sounds like gobbledygook just ignore. I think I’ll make it to Santiago today.
On my 5 year old ZZs, leave top handle loose (unclicked); leave bottom piece apart from middle, and connect the top to middle. Then pull bottom until the shock cord comes out of the middle and exposes a slotted adjustment screw. Unscrew it a few turns to lengthen the shock cord and see if that gives you enough slack to lock the handle.
 

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