Thanks a million, t2. You are right that there was a slight clicking sound in this pole that sort of sounded like the rubber tip was off, but then it magically stopped. I also found that when the clicking noise was happening, I could rotate the separate sections of the clicking pole, but not the other. My guess is that this all goes back to the original problem I had when some of the inner mechanism popped out of place and I was told to use superglue to reconnect it. When I did that, I must have been a millimeter or two off in my measuring, because from that point on, it was extremely difficult for me to extend the pole, in fact I needed two people pulling. That seems to be a bit better now.The clean up is the easy part. As mentioned above, moist paper towel or an old rag will do it. I have the identical poles in carbon fiber. Yours appear to be the aluminum alloy variety. My previous pair were aluminum. In my experience, and having read the Black Diamond instructions, there are two likely causes and one farther-fetched possibility for things that can cause this condition:
1. Your shaft tension was not as tight as it could be, and your poles made a VERY slight "clicking" noise as you walked. The "slack" in the tension could cause oxidation and deposition of the "dust" on the shaft. There is no long-term harm. If you heard this sound, or wondered if your poles might be loosening up as you walked this could be the culprit. It happened to me two years ago on my first outing with the aluminum BD LTZ poles...the same as your's I believe.
If you lock your poles into place and you can pull the lower sections part of the way out, even just a few centimeters, this is likely the problem. BD designed this mechanism to be TIGHT. Any slack in the tension causes rubbing on the shaft sections.
If you tighten the wheeled / pin adjuster inside the second section, the noise goes away as proper tension is placed on all the silicone sections. Note, the black dust deposits are not caused by deteriorating silicone. This is medical grade silicone that does not dry out or go to dust.
FYI, The tension is proper when you have to give a good tug on both top sections to "pop" the release pin, just before the foam handle, into locking position. I have to give a good, extra pull with two hands to accomplish this.
You might have to make this adjustment every couple of days. It makes pushing the pin in to release tension so the piles can be collapsed a tad harder, but that is good. I do not know if it is possible to over-tension the silicone, I doubt it. But, experiment until you get it right.
2. Leaving your poles together for so long, like a month or more, causes moisture to be retained inside the shaft sections. This, in contact with the aluminum may have caused surface corrosion. Aluminum and alu-alloy does not rust, but it does corrode. Surface "dust," sort of like brake dust on a car's brakes, is the result.
For reference, although my carbon fiber version of the same pole does not have the corrosion issue, I DO have to examine and adjust the wheeled / pin adjuster every 2 to 3 days. I am in the habit of checking every day, just to make certain. I am also sensitized to any slack that might creep into the mechanism and start a extremely tiny clicking sound...NO WHERE near the sound of bare tips on paved surfaces. This is very feint and can be immediately traced to loose tension.
Just pick up the pole and try to pull two sections apart with the tension pin "locked." If there is any "give" it is time to pause and adjust the tension wheel / pin.
3. The odd-ball possibility is that after walking in the rain and temperate climes for more than a month, your poles have sprouted mold inside the tubes. It is possible, but in my estimation not likely. I advise releasing the tension and loosening the poles every couple of days while on Camino. This gives you the ability to test the tension, clean the connections and spot issues before they become problems.
I hope this helps, and that you had a marvelous Camino.
I’m a wooden stick man too. I bought one last year in Spain (7 euro) and when I went home I left it behind with a bleeding heart thinking it would be too cumbersome and expensive to bring it back home.Just saying -- my big wooden stick doesn't need customer service.
Thank you - I will check it with the airline company (when I decide which, I still have a couple of months before I go).@stgcph Typically you will need to put walking sticks into the checked luggage. How much that costs depends on the airline/your ticket/destination. Also, if the stick is non-collapsible, you will need to check it in at the "over-sized" items counter. Hope that helps, Buen Camino, SY
I am reasonably certain that tightening the tension adjuster nut / wheel will solve the clicking / rubbing "brake dust" thing. Wanna bet Black Diamond says the same thing, in different language?Thanks a million, t2. You are right that there was a slight clicking sound in this pole that sort of sounded like the rubber tip was off, but then it magically stopped. I also found that when the clicking noise was happening, I could rotate the separate sections of the clicking pole, but not the other. My guess is that this all goes back to the original problem I had when some of the inner mechanism popped out of place and I was told to use superglue to reconnect it. When I did that, I must have been a millimeter or two off in my measuring, because from that point on, it was extremely difficult for me to extend the pole, in fact I needed two people pulling. That seems to be a bit better now.
I did write to customer service and will see what they tell me, so I will wait before I start experimenting with your suggestions, but I think you are spot on in your remote diagnosis. Mil gracias.
And yes, I absolutely loved the Mozárabe (I didn't make it to Santiago, just Almería to Salamanca), for three main reasons. First, the route is dotted with castles that are the leftovers from the many centuries' border war between Moors and Christians, and I just love climbing all over old castles. And second because I think it was probably the most physically challenging I have ever walked, though the Olvidado might be a close contender. And third, it is virtually asphalt-free, though there were some days walking on stony empty riverbeds when asphalt would have been a welcome substitute!
Fitting my legs in would be far more difficult than trivial matters of sticks.Too bad. You should try flying sometime. Two lads by the name of Wright came up with the concept some 100+ years ago, I think. It's great and cuts down on time.
Have you tried having someone else pull the top part away from you while you pull towards you with one hand and push in the button with the other? Not sure if that makes sense, but at the beginning of my walk I couldn't get the poles to extend far enough so the button could come out and it seems like you have the problem in reverse.I’m having problems with my carbon fibre Black Diamond - on one The little “push button” is refusing to push in so I cannot fold that pole. I’ve looked on YouTube and the internet but none of the fixes seem directly relevant to this particular problem. Any ideas?
I had a similar issue with my Black Diamond ZPoles. We contacted them by email when we were in Ponferrada, and remarkably they replied within a few hours with photos and details of exactly how to fix it! I was so impressed with that customer service!I’m having problems with my carbon fibre Black Diamond - on one The little “push button” is refusing to push in so I cannot fold that pole. I’ve looked on YouTube and the internet but none of the fixes seem directly relevant to this particular problem. Any ideas?
Just an update. I wrote to Black Diamond again, and I sent the picture again, which showed that the rubber was disintegrating. Surprise surprise, they are sending me a new set, I cannot believe it!I would take photos, write to BD sending the photos as evidence of what you are trying to explain. Then rely on their reply.
If we are talking about carbon fiber poles, it is likely worth the effort time and expense to return them for repair. In any event, I would rely on what BD advises. They are a very good company that stands behind their product.
As regular Camino veterans, we are actually a very good source of field experience input for them. While I am sure they test their product, I doubt they usually plan on their poles being used as we use them on month long, or longer, Caminos on varied surfaces and in most any weather.
You never know. If I were them, I might even want to 'salt' the veteran Camino community with poles being developed or under consideration for proper field testing by 'experts." It is a distinct possibility.
Hope this helps.
T2, or any other hiking pole expert, do you have any suggestions for how I can avoid this happening on my new pair? (My problem was that the rubber tubing between the pieces of the shaft had corroded and broken). Thanks, L.Believe it! Black Diamond stand behind their products. I am glad it is working out.
Sorry, I wasn’t clear. They are sending me a new pair. I am just wondering what I can do to minimize the likelihood that it will happen again. Thanks, t2, l.Only Black Diamond can repair the silicone connectors that attach the Z-pole segments. You will need to contact them by e-mail. I recommend including a photo of the break.
Good luck. Hope this helps.
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