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Rhughesnc
04-23-2017, 21:53
It seems there are more options without shocks. Any thoughts on how much the shocks help?

Thanks

Traillium
04-23-2017, 23:06
My BD Shock poles click annoyingly. I'll do without the shock option next time

Wise Old Owl
04-24-2017, 00:46
no shock go UL

MuddyWaters
04-24-2017, 02:36
It seems there are more options without shocks. Any thoughts on how much the shocks help?

Thanks

Help?

Exactly zero.

Ercoupe
04-24-2017, 05:17
I prefer a shock absorbing feature, because of the artritis in my right hand. But would stay away from twist lock in my next set, that is where I have had all the slippage and breaks.

Rhughesnc
04-24-2017, 09:06
Unfortunately, the twist lock is the only way to get the shock absorber. I have seen then with one flip and one twist from LEKI. Thanks for the help

nsherry61
04-24-2017, 09:43
Unfortunately, the twist lock is the only way to get the shock absorber. I have seen then with one flip and one twist from LEKI. Thanks for the help
Black Diamond's current shock poles (https://www.rei.com/product/863069/black-diamond-trail-pro-shock-trekking-poles-pair) use only flicklocks and the shock system is much more elegant than any of the other options I've seen on the market. I have no idea what Trailliam is talking about regarding BD shock poles clicking unless it is an older model. There is nothing in their current design to click (that I can tell) except the carbide tips on the end of the poles that all decent poles have and that all click when you hit rocks with them.

The Kisco Kid
04-24-2017, 10:00
Leki Super Makalus have really good shock springs. Highly recommended. I switched a while back to an ultralight pair of Black Diamonds. I still use my Leki's for snowshoeing. My sense is that if you're an ultralighter forgo shocks, otherwise they're a great option to absorb a lot of stress on your joints

Lyle
04-24-2017, 10:17
Shock absorbers decrease the efficiency. Just as a very stiff bicycle frame transfers more of your muscle power to the ground, a rigid trekking pole transfers more of your arm power to the ground. Shock absorbers waste your arm power to compress the spring.

bigcranky
04-24-2017, 10:18
I owned a pair of top of the line Lekis with shock absorbers. Total fail. On hard surfaces (rocks, for example), planting the pole tip hard made it bounce rather than stick to the surface. I had numerous falls due to this "feature".

dmax
04-24-2017, 10:18
A few times I've turned my shock off. I ended up each time with more pain in my wrist and arms. I'll always use the anti shock feature from here on out.

cmoulder
04-24-2017, 11:30
The shock feature adds weight and on rocks it makes it hard to tell whether you've got a good, solid 'stick' with the tip or if it's going to skitter out from under you the moment you put some weight on it. Try some very light poles such as GG LTs (http://gossamergear.com/trekking.html) — only if you're not "hard on gear," however! — and they will spoil you for these heavy poles with all the bells and whistles.

Rain Man
04-24-2017, 11:36
Shock absorbers are gimmicky, heavy, noisy, expensive, feel weird, and are something else to break. Just my two cents.

peakbagger
04-24-2017, 11:56
I have been using Lekis with shocks for close to 25 years. I also take my pole sections apart in between hikes to let them dry which cuts way down on issue with the twist locks loosening up. If left for an extended period with the sections collapsed, aluminum corrosion can start and that forms a somewhat slippery surface inside the tube.

After a couple of years of use the Lekis do start clicking as the threaded stud on the bottom pole is a compression fit that eventually loosens up inside the pole. I tired lots of fixes but the only one that works for me is to put a few drops of epoxy in the loose joint, it tightens them right up. If you wait too long the friction between the insert and the pole thins the pole and make a possible weak point.

Note I hike most weekends year round in the Whites so my poles get a lot more use than most casual hikers. The rocks really ding up the poles but in my opinion there is no substitute for an extra 2 points of contact.

HooKooDooKu
04-24-2017, 12:58
When I'm walking the neighborhood (i.e. walking on pavement), I've found that I like the hiking pole with a shock.

But when I'm out on the trail, I've found that I like the hiking poles without the shock (plus I would tend to think poles with shocks will be heavier that equivalent poles without them).

kestral
04-24-2017, 15:13
I have used poles with shocks and twist adjusters - didn't like them. Now use cork handled leki poles, no shock, lever adjusters which I like very much.

I find I am more likely to use poles with my palm over the top, rather than using grips like a ski pole. I find poles help my knees and have saved me from a few nasty falls, so I always hike with poles now.

Poles can be pricey. If you're not sure what you want, buy cheap Wally World poles for about $30 a pair and when you have more experience / preference upgrade to what is best for you. Your old poles are great to lend out to newbie friends who want to try out hiking, and it's no big deal if they get lost or stolen.

BuckeyeBill
04-24-2017, 15:30
I also use Leki Corklite Trekking Poles with flip locks and no shocks.

devoidapop
04-24-2017, 16:33
I like the shocks in my hammers, but they are not a necessity. On LD hikes I would agree with others above, they are heavier and are one more thing to potentially malfunction. Not a good option, if you're looking for speed.

*knock on wood, I've never had the twist lock or shock fail on my hammers in 4 years of heavy use.

lonehiker
04-24-2017, 16:59
Shock absorbers are gimmicky, heavy, noisy, expensive, feel weird, and are something else to break. Just my two cents.

What he said.

Skyline
04-24-2017, 17:10
The evolution of my using no poles, to wooden "sticks," to used $5 ski poles (no shocks), to some cheap WalMart trekking poles (no shocks), to decent but not top-of-line Lekis (with shocks) has taken almost 25 years. Once I went to Lekis with shocks, my wrists felt better and after 10 or 15 miles of hiking by hands didn't shake. Never going back to non-shocks.

Kaptainkriz
04-24-2017, 17:29
flip lock no shock

MtDoraDave
04-24-2017, 20:56
I haven't used the shock absorbing poles, and probably won't. I have to be aware not to stomp my feet as I hike, but put my feet down smoothly - reducing shock on my body. Similarly, I try to place the poles rather than to jam them.
It takes a conscious effort at first, but becomes routine.

cmoulder
04-24-2017, 21:11
I have to be aware not to stomp my feet as I hike, but put my feet down smoothly - reducing shock on my body. Similarly, I try to place the poles rather than to jam them.
It takes a conscious effort at first, but becomes routine.

Dave, that is a very good observation.

Perhaps the distinction between people who are "hard on gear" and those who get maximum service from far lighter tack.

DownEaster
04-24-2017, 22:15
I have to be aware not to stomp my feet as I hike, but put my feet down smoothly - reducing shock on my body.
You can go one step (pun!) further in that respect. I've been making an effort on my training hikes to set my feet down fairly flat, instead of the heel-to-toe roll I'm used to. The idea is to reduce ankle strain when hiking under load.

AfterParty
04-24-2017, 22:22
I got some leki carbon varios and they don't have shocks and I like them

Starchild
04-25-2017, 06:40
My first pair of sticks were shock absorbing and I wore the tips down to nubs just an inch below the basket. I liked them, and still do appreciate that feature when I have to use that set. It helps in that it smoothes out the contact with the ground, and I really power into the sticks at times, and use it to 'polevault' my way down which is really helpful to have some give.

But I have since switched to carbon fiber sticks which don't have a/s and while I do miss the anti shock, I also don't miss the extra weight of the a/s and the heavier material of the a/s set. While I did see the benefit of A/S sticks, I would not go back to them as the other drawbacks to them is too high.

Rhughesnc
04-25-2017, 07:15
Happy to take the Lekis off your hands. Since your local and all.

Rhughesnc
04-25-2017, 07:19
I am 6'5" 250, I have dented a posturepedic mattress. Don't think there is a NOT "hard on gear" option. I am pretty light on my feet for a big man, but when I push off, there is a lot of force transferred to a UL pole.

Rain Man
04-25-2017, 09:15
I also take my pole sections apart in between hikes to let them dry which cuts way down on issue with the twist locks loosening up. If left for an extended period with the sections collapsed, aluminum corrosion can start and that forms a somewhat slippery surface inside the tube.

Indeed, taking poles apart and cleaning the aluminum corrosion powder out is part of good maintenance. That stuff gets to be almost like baby powder in there.

Easily my BIGGEST problem and pet peeve with all twist-tighten hiking poles is the cheap plastic "screws" and expansion "nuts" inside, which are easily broken. Then you're screwed (pun intended) unless your manufacturer sells pole sections. It's really an irresponsible substitution of weak plastic for metal parts. IMHO.

Traillium
04-26-2017, 08:58
Black Diamond's current shock poles (https://www.rei.com/product/863069/black-diamond-trail-pro-shock-trekking-poles-pair) use only flicklocks and the shock system is much more elegant than any of the other options I've seen on the market. I have no idea what Trailliam is talking about regarding BD shock poles clicking unless it is an older model. There is nothing in their current design to click (that I can tell) except the carbide tips on the end of the poles that all decent poles have and that all click when you hit rocks with them.

My BD shock poles (flicklock) are only a year and a half old. Very annoying clicking, especially on one pole. I'll take them back to the excellent store where I bought them the next time I'm in that town, and see if they can figure out what's wrong with them or what I'm doing wrong

QiWiz
04-26-2017, 11:32
I prefer poles without shocks.

FlyPaper
04-26-2017, 12:20
It seems there are more options without shocks. Any thoughts on how much the shocks help?

Thanks

I can't even think of how shocks would benefit.

cmoulder
04-26-2017, 13:30
I can't even think of how shocks would benefit.

Some folks up-thread claim discernible benefits, but unless you're just jamming the pole tips into rock there isn't (or shouldn't be) any significant shock to start with. :o

Another Kevin
04-26-2017, 14:01
For me: aluminium, lever locks, cork grips, no shock absorbers.

TexasBob
04-26-2017, 15:36
I have some older Leki anti-shock poles. The feature can be turned off and I have hiked with the anti-shock both on and off. My wrists feel better at the end of the day when I use the anti-shock feature. My guess is that us older hikers with more of life's wear and tear on our joints will notice the difference with the anti-shocks to a greater extend than younger folks. Think about modern hiking boots and trail runners - they are all made with shock absorbing materials in the soles and nobody thinks of that as a gimmick.

cmoulder
04-27-2017, 09:15
We need a physicist-physiologist to weigh in about whether that is a fair analogy.

My guess is that it isn't, but I am neither a physicist nor a physiologist. It seems that full body weight+pack being placed on shoes is not the same as much less force being used for propulsion/balance assistance from a device that is not being worn.

Probably would be difficult to do some sort of double-blind study to determine if the placebo effect is a factor.

MtDoraDave
04-27-2017, 11:19
You can go one step (pun!) further in that respect. I've been making an effort on my training hikes to set my feet down fairly flat, instead of the heel-to-toe roll I'm used to. The idea is to reduce ankle strain when hiking under load.

Before I ever stepped foot on the trail, one of the books I read about hiking suggested this way of foot placement, both for LNT, and for traction ... And I'm sure as you suggest, muscle and joint fatigue come into play, too.

AllDownhillFromHere
04-27-2017, 17:05
Super Makalu for the win. Aluminum, 3 section, angled cork grips, shocks.

or whatever you can get for cheap.

Traveler
04-29-2017, 06:15
I have some older Leki anti-shock poles. The feature can be turned off and I have hiked with the anti-shock both on and off. My wrists feel better at the end of the day when I use the anti-shock feature. My guess is that us older hikers with more of life's wear and tear on our joints will notice the difference with the anti-shocks to a greater extend than younger folks. Think about modern hiking boots and trail runners - they are all made with shock absorbing materials in the soles and nobody thinks of that as a gimmick.

I've had both types of poles and found the anti-shock feature to be noisy, but does provide some benefit in wrist pain. To solve the wrist/hand pain issue, I have a pair of NCR Paddle gloves with a padded palm, nylon back and half fingers with padding that helps reduce the initial shock of the pole strike to the hand. They also help prevent blisters from poles in wet conditions and some hand cushioning when scrambling on rocks.

Bansko
05-02-2017, 20:04
Shock absorbers decrease the efficiency. Just as a very stiff bicycle frame transfers more of your muscle power to the ground, a rigid trekking pole transfers more of your arm power to the ground. Shock absorbers waste your arm power to compress the spring.

Yeah, what Lyle said. I've extensively used both shock absorbing and non shock absorbing poles and came to the conclusion that shock absorbing poles are a waste of money, and energy.

The_John_Muir_Way
05-04-2017, 18:12
Great info in this thread, I like going as light as possible.

AllDownhillFromHere
05-05-2017, 08:53
Absent a little heat loss, the spring in the pole is going to return the energy to you when it decompresses. To me what's important is not the spring compression and change in length (position/velocity) but the impact (acceleration/jerk/jounce) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerk_(physics)). It's all about smoothing out the response to the step input. There's a lot of dynamics that go into higher order position derivatives, I find it more comfortable using shocks.

poolskaterx
05-05-2017, 12:49
I have used both and I think when you have shock style poles you tend to use them a little differently than if you have non-shock poles. Without shocks I am more aware of placement and use them for "light secondary stability" and to assist my legs, where with the shock tips I used them much more forcefully and sometimes relied on them for forward for propulsion. I use non-shock poles now as there is less things to go wrong out on the trail (one pole shock system froze up which was warranted) and I do believe that being more cognoscente of pole placement with less force actually saves energy in the long run (or hike) lol.

Carl7
05-05-2017, 22:30
I used trekking poles with shocks for 20+ years until last summer. I gave them up to save weight and don't regret it. The extra weight of the shocks really adds up after a long day. Think of lighter shoes. Also, the shocks always made noise for me. They are nice, but heavy. However, if you have some type of medical condition with your joints or do shorter hikes, they are great.

Colter
05-06-2017, 09:45
No shocks for me.

TrappedInsideACube
05-07-2017, 19:57
Definitely rigid IMO.

BuckeyeBill
05-08-2017, 11:20
Rigid with flick locks for me.