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Trouble with my Black Diamond Z-poles - again

Felice

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
What do you do when the 'snap' joint of a Z-pole refuses to budge in the closed storage position?

Last time that happened, I took the poles back to the retailer, and got a new pair in exchange - the poles were only 6 months old, though they had done at least a couple of thousand km on training walks and the Frances.

This time, an exchange was definitely not an option for a 7 year old pair. So we set about trying to force the sections apart. Following the advice on an earlier thread, we used a hair dryer. But that had no effect at all.
Next, despite all advice to the contrary from people on this forum, we used a drop of solvent between the sections. After all, the poles were useless if we couldn't get them to budge. Again no effect.
Finally, we had another try at brute force. The big problem is trying to get a grip on the shiny metal to allow you to pull. So we wrapped some reinforced duck tape around one end and tried twisting the other section. Again, no grip. So carefully, we put the pole in a vice and gently tightened it until it gripped sufficiently to allow us to pull and twist the other section. And suddenly, the two sections gently slid apart!

My poles have now been cleaned, and I have wiped some bees wax on the sliding joints. I just hope I don't have a repeat performance in a couple of weeks time when I go walking on the Pembrokeshire coastal path.

I am wondering why the sections stick and suspect it might be do to one of the click buttons not being in perfect condition and so sticking if not used for a while.
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
What do you do when the 'snap' joint of a Z-pole refuses to budge in the closed storage position?

Last time that happened, I took the poles back to the retailer, and got a new pair in exchange - the poles were only 6 months old, though they had done at least a couple of thousand km on training walks and the Frances.

This time, an exchange was definitely not an option for a 7 year old pair. So we set about trying to force the sections apart. Following the advice on an earlier thread, we used a hair dryer. But that had no effect at all.
Next, despite all advice to the contrary from people on this forum, we used a drop of solvent between the sections. After all, the poles were useless if we couldn't get them to budge. Again no effect.
Finally, we had another try at brute force. The big problem is trying to get a grip on the shiny metal to allow you to pull. So we wrapped some reinforced duck tape around one end and tried twisting the other section. Again, no grip. So carefully, we put the pole in a vice and gently tightened it until it gripped sufficiently to allow us to pull and twist the other section. And suddenly, the two sections gently slid apart!

My poles have now been cleaned, and I have wiped some bees wax on the sliding joints. I just hope I don't have a repeat performance in a couple of weeks time when I go walking on the Pembrokeshire coastal path.

I am wondering why the sections stick and suspect it might be do to one of the click buttons not being in perfect condition and so sticking if not used for a while.
Wow I’ve not had that problem (finding wood to knock). Have you contacted the company to see what they think?

 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
What do you do when the 'snap' joint of a Z-pole refuses to budge in the closed storage position?

Last time that happened, I took the poles back to the retailer, and got a new pair in exchange - the poles were only 6 months old, though they had done at least a couple of thousand km on training walks and the Frances.

This time, an exchange was definitely not an option for a 7 year old pair. So we set about trying to force the sections apart. Following the advice on an earlier thread, we used a hair dryer. But that had no effect at all.
Next, despite all advice to the contrary from people on this forum, we used a drop of solvent between the sections. After all, the poles were useless if we couldn't get them to budge. Again no effect.
Finally, we had another try at brute force. The big problem is trying to get a grip on the shiny metal to allow you to pull. So we wrapped some reinforced duck tape around one end and tried twisting the other section. Again, no grip. So carefully, we put the pole in a vice and gently tightened it until it gripped sufficiently to allow us to pull and twist the other section. And suddenly, the two sections gently slid apart!

My poles have now been cleaned, and I have wiped some bees wax on the sliding joints. I just hope I don't have a repeat performance in a couple of weeks time when I go walking on the Pembrokeshire coastal path.

I am wondering why the sections stick and suspect it might be do to one of the click buttons not being in perfect condition and so sticking if not used for a while.
Also I’ve found with stuck slippery things using a silicone square (sold to grip hot pans or open jars) usually gives me enough grip bc I can never recall where I left my pliers
 

Ronald Boivin

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
What do you do when the 'snap' joint of a Z-pole refuses to budge in the closed storage position?

Last time that happened, I took the poles back to the retailer, and got a new pair in exchange - the poles were only 6 months old, though they had done at least a couple of thousand km on training walks and the Frances.

This time, an exchange was definitely not an option for a 7 year old pair. So we set about trying to force the sections apart. Following the advice on an earlier thread, we used a hair dryer. But that had no effect at all.
Next, despite all advice to the contrary from people on this forum, we used a drop of solvent between the sections. After all, the poles were useless if we couldn't get them to budge. Again no effect.
Finally, we had another try at brute force. The big problem is trying to get a grip on the shiny metal to allow you to pull. So we wrapped some reinforced duck tape around one end and tried twisting the other section. Again, no grip. So carefully, we put the pole in a vice and gently tightened it until it gripped sufficiently to allow us to pull and twist the other section. And suddenly, the two sections gently slid apart!

My poles have now been cleaned, and I have wiped some bees wax on the sliding joints. I just hope I don't have a repeat performance in a couple of weeks time when I go walking on the Pembrokeshire coastal path.

I am wondering why the sections stick and suspect it might be do to one of the click buttons not being in perfect condition and so sticking if not used for a while.
Consider boiling water on the top section amd ice on bottom section to release.
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
Dry lubrication is a good idea . Bee's wax does tend to be sticky though , it will allow the joints to slip but will eventually attract sand and grit and the trouble will return , a styrene wax candle is a lot drier , cheap birthday candles are best .
A dry powder lubricant is a lot more effective , try graphite , it will mark things black though . Otherwise plain old talcum powder is a marvellous anti seize solution .
 
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Felice

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Dry lubrication is a good idea . Bee's wax does tend to be sticky though , it will allow the joints to slip but will eventually attract sand and grit and the trouble will return , a styrene wax candle is a lot drier , cheap birthday candles are best .
A dry powder lubricant is a lot more effective , try graphite , it will mark things black though . Otherwise plain old talcum powder is a marvellous anti seize solution .
I do hope I have not done the wrong thing, using beeswax. I'll find out soon enough, I suspect.
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
I do hope I have not done the wrong thing, using beeswax. I'll find out soon enough, I suspect.
Nothing to worry about , wipe off as much as you can , use a drop or two of baby oil on a rag to help remove it . Dry and then apply the dry lubricant . My personal preference is talc however you must wipe it off and reapply if the poles get really wet .
 

annandkerith

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2006), St Olaf (2008), Vde La P (2010), Portuguese (2014), VdLP (2019)
What do you do when the 'snap' joint of a Z-pole refuses to budge in the closed storage position?

Last time that happened, I took the poles back to the retailer, and got a new pair in exchange - the poles were only 6 months old, though they had done at least a couple of thousand km on training walks and the Frances.

This time, an exchange was definitely not an option for a 7 year old pair. So we set about trying to force the sections apart. Following the advice on an earlier thread, we used a hair dryer. But that had no effect at all.
Next, despite all advice to the contrary from people on this forum, we used a drop of solvent between the sections. After all, the poles were useless if we couldn't get them to budge. Again no effect.
Finally, we had another try at brute force. The big problem is trying to get a grip on the shiny metal to allow you to pull. So we wrapped some reinforced duck tape around one end and tried twisting the other section. Again, no grip. So carefully, we put the pole in a vice and gently tightened it until it gripped sufficiently to allow us to pull and twist the other section. And suddenly, the two sections gently slid apart!

My poles have now been cleaned, and I have wiped some bees wax on the sliding joints. I just hope I don't have a repeat performance in a couple of weeks time when I go walking on the Pembrokeshire coastal path.

I am wondering why the sections stick and suspect it might be do to one of the click buttons not being in perfect condition and so sticking if not used for a while.
I too have had the problem. It took about a month of daily applications of WD40 (a lubricat spray) into the joint before it finally let go. Now when I walk I flick my poles up and down every day so they don't have time to get stuck.
 

Felice

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
I too have had the problem. It took about a month of daily applications of WD40 (a lubricat spray) into the joint before it finally let go. Now when I walk I flick my poles up and down every day so they don't have time to get stuck.
I gather from another thread about these poles, that WD40 is not very good for the flexible connectors. That said, I used it several years ago and they have survived intact!
Nothing to worry about , wipe off as much as you can , use a drop or two of baby oil on a rag to help remove it . Dry and then apply the dry lubricant . My personal preference is talc however you must wipe it off and reapply if the poles get really wet .
Thanks for that. I have done as you suggested. Fingers crossed!
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
This discussion prompted me to inspect my own Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ poles .
Purchased in 2019 for the Via Francigena at almost $300. Australian .
To my horror I found this damage to the silicon connectors at the joints . Despite being stored in a dry moderate climate atmosphere they have deteriorated to the point of being difficult to trust .
$300. Over three years , during two of which I have been virtually inactive apart from an ascent of Mt Bogong during one short suspension of Covid restrictions on travel .
At times my physical security depends on poles , despite the fact that they are very nice to use I would deem these unfit for purpose. 20210919_095509.jpg 20210919_095529.jpg 20210919_095556.jpg
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
This discussion prompted me to inspect my own Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ poles .
Purchased in 2019 for the Via Francigena at almost $300. Australian .
To my horror I found this damage to the silicon connectors at the joints . Despite being stored in a dry moderate climate atmosphere they have deteriorated to the point of being difficult to trust .
$300. Over three years , during two of which I have been virtually inactive apart from an ascent of Mt Bogong during one short suspension of Covid restrictions on travel .
At times my physical security depends on poles , despite the fact that they are very nice to use I would deem these unfit for purpose. View attachment 109419 View attachment 109420 View attachment 109421
Charles, I don't think that I would be as quick to write these off as you seem to be. I say this for two reasons:
  1. the silicon sheath is a cover for an underlying cord that provides the tension to keep the pole together when in use. Provided the underlying core hasn't been damaged, the 'damage' you are seeing isn't likely to stop the underlying cord doing its job.
  2. When the poles are in use, there doesn't need to be a lot of tension on the cord, provided the poles have been adjusted properly. On my wife's FLZ poles, I have adjusted the cord length so that it locks with no tension on the cord once the segments have pulled together, and then very little tension to unlock. Remember, there are very few circumstances when walking with the poles where you would be pulling on the pole in a way that would put much tension on the cord.
Together, these two considerations indicate to me that you should get a lot more use from your poles.
 
Last edited:

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
Charles, I don't think that I would be as quick to write these off as you seem to be. I say this for two reasons:
  1. the silicon sheath is a cover for an underlying cord that provides the tension to keep the pole together when in use. Provided the underlying core hasn't been damaged, the 'damage' you are seeing isn't likely to stop the underlying cord doing its job.
  2. When the poles are in use, there doesn't need to be a lot of tension on the cord, provided the poles have been adjusted properly. On my wife's FLZ poles, I have adjusted the cord length so that it locks with no tension on the cord once the segments have pulled together, and then very little tension to unlock. Remember, there are very few circumstances when walking with the poles where you would be pulling on the pole in a way that would put much tension on the cord.
Together, these two considerations indicate to me that you should get a lot more use from your poles.
Thank you Doug , I did suspect as much after further thought . As long as the cords don't fray on the ferrule edges they may last longer than I first feared .
 

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