View Full Version : handles

02-23-2015, 15:13
Cork handles sound like they would be really nice to me. Wondering about pros and cons of different types of handles/your experiences... or does it really matter/make a huge difference at all?

02-23-2015, 15:30
I was wondering the same thing. I've got some cheap ones from Walmart that have rubber handles. They feel real good to me but these things are heavy.

02-23-2015, 17:05
My first poles had rubber handles. Now I use Leki poles with cork handles. My hands are sometimes wet, either with sweat or sometimes with rain. I find that the cork feels drier and more comfortable in those situations.

Sarcasm the elf
02-23-2015, 17:51
I actually really like the dense foam (not the rubber ones) handles that Black Diamond uses on a lot of their poles, I actually find it more comfortable than cork...but then again that's just me.

02-24-2015, 11:07
My first poles had rubber handles. Now I use Leki poles with cork handles. My hands are sometimes wet, either with sweat or sometimes with rain. I find that the cork feels drier and more comfortable in those situations.

Same here. Definitely cork handles from now on for me.

bamboo bob
02-24-2015, 16:41
I like cork handles. In 2002 I guys handles were totally eaten by mice.

02-24-2015, 17:35
I'm seriously considering a pair of bicycle gloves for warm weather. wt 2 oz. also good for wiping sweat off your forehead and eyes.

02-25-2015, 01:18
My friend has Leki poles with cork handles. She has completed 400 plus mile of the AT with them...
I have only used Walmart poles with plastic handles... I am on my 3rd set in 500 plus miles on the AT.

NOTE: I REALLY needed my poles in PA last year when they broke....Luckily, my friend was willing to give me one of hers. It really sucked that I had to carry mine out. I am buying QUALITY poles this year!!!

Moral of the story: Walmart poles work for first time hikes. Walmart poles work until you get serious. Beyond that, pay the extra money!
Disclaimer: I am overweight...but then again, so is my friend! Perhaps, skinny people can use cheap poles without any issues.

Tipi Walter
02-25-2015, 10:00
I'm an expert on cork handles as I use Black Diamond alpine carbon cork poles and I'm on my third pole (only use one while hiking) in about 5 years. The cork disintegrates over time and enough miles and cannot be replaced as far as I know, although I did get some foam bicycle grips and hack sawed the top knob off and slid one down the handle shaft etc. Boring subject.

I emailed Black Diamond about the problem of the sorry cork and of course never got a reply. A giant uncaring company? You decide.

BUT---cork is nice at 0F and doesn't freeze off the hands.
BUT---I would never get cork again and instead go with something like hard rubber.

This is not my picture as I pulled off the interweb but this is what happens with cork---it slowly starts breaking off, then it splits, and then big chunks fall off.

Some guy on the website says "APPLY CORK SEALER" and I agree. Here's what I bought online---

http://stegmannbeach.com/Library//images/Birkenstock_Cork_Life_Save_Stegmann_Care_Product_0 1.jpg
So before every trip I apply a new coat. It's sort of like Elmer's glue and dries to a hard shiny surface, but flakes off after about 3 weeks of hiking. It keeps the cork from breaking off as in the top picture.

02-25-2015, 11:56
I like cork handles but my current set of poles is a pair of BD Trail that have the dense foam described by Sarcasm. I've found that this is more comfy than the cork I used to love so much and am likely to consider myself a convert to the dense foam unless something really bad happens to change my mind. So far a few hundred miles in no issues at all with the Trail poles.

Maui Rhino
02-25-2015, 16:08
I really like the Aeron foam rubber grips on my Leki poles. I've had them for about a year now, and they've helg up great so far. DEET will disolve foam and cork grips, so be careful if you use repellant. I also pair my poles with bicycle gloves... Both for the hand protection and terry cloth patch to wipe my face. I found that on gloves with the Velcro at the wrist, the pole strap would catch on the Velcro. Now I use a pair of Troy Lee Designs gloves that use elastic instead of Velcro to secure the wrist.