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OWNER REVIEW - Leki Ultralite Ti Ergometric Poles

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  • Matthew Mioduszewski
    Leki Ultralite Ti Ergometric Poles Name: Matt Mioduszewski Age: 25 Gender: Male Height: 5 8 (1.72 Meters) Weight: 145 Pounds (66 Kilograms) Email address:
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2008
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      Leki Ultralite Ti Ergometric Poles

      Name: Matt Mioduszewski
      Age: 25
      Gender: Male
      Height: 5' 8" (1.72 Meters)
      Weight: 145 Pounds (66 Kilograms)
      Email address: Mattanuska@...
      City, State, Country: Portland, OR, USA
      Date: March 4, 2008

      Backpacking Background: I have done small weekend trips in Michigan, in
      addition to a 5 month section hike on the AT. I am new to the Portland
      area and have been doing lots of day hikes in the Columbia River Gorge. I
      plan to do many more day and weekend trips around Oregon in the coming
      year.


      Product information:
      Manufacturer: Leki
      Made in: 2007
      http://www.leki.com
      Listed weight: 15.8oz
      Weight as delivered: Unavailable
      Current Weight: 14.8oz / 420grams
      Length of handle: 5inches / 12.7cm
      diameter of main handle area: 3.5in / 8.9cm
      Cost: $89.00 on Sale
      MSRP: $109.95
      Length: 62cm-130cm (Stowed / Fully Extended)




      Product description.

      Leki Ultralite Ti Ergometric Poles are intended to offer weight savings,
      strength, and comfort, at a reasonable cost. They are a great mid-level
      trekking pole, balancing the line between comfort and support, and weight
      and simplicity. Adding spring shock absorbers would add weight, and making
      them out of carbon fiber would increase the cost greatly. The handle is at
      a slight tilt, providing an Ergometric design for use. They are a 3 section
      pole, allowing it to collapse quite small when needed.

      These poles arrived with small plastic caps to protect the tips and any
      objects the tips may contact during shipping and storage. These easily
      remove. The poles also come with baskets near each tip. The baskets are
      interchangable with other baskets, as are the tips. The tip material is
      "Carbide Flex" as per the Leki website.

      The handles are "ErgoMetric Compact" as defined on Leki's website. Handles
      are made of a neoprene foam type material which appears to be robust and
      hardy. The foam does not extend down beyond the hand area, onto the upper
      shaft like some other poles. Loops are a mix of canvas and soft synthetic
      water-resistant type material that has reflective Leki logo printed on it.
      Poles lock using Leki's Super Lock System (SLS) which twists to lock at any
      level of desired extension.


      Field information

      These poles have been used for about 1600 miles. I used them first
      during small day hikes in Southeastern Michigan while preparing for a long
      Appalachian Trial section hike. They were then used for 1,550 miles of the
      Appalachian Trail from Southern Virginia to the Northern Terminus at Mt.
      Katahdin, Maine. They have additionally been used while hiking in the
      Columbia River Gorge, and in the Cascade mountains in Oregon.

      These poles have seen a great variety of terrain and weather. They have
      been used on or in sand, snow, sheet rock, streams, ice, concrete, grass,
      dirt, mud, bog, pebbles, talus, and leaf and pine-needle covered ground.
      I have used them in temperatures ranging from 35 to 95 degrees,in light,
      heavy, and intermitant rain, light snow, mist, and of course clear fine
      weather.

      These poles held up very well for the majority of my hiking on the
      Appalachian Trail. I treated these poles very harshly overall and put a
      lot of faith in their durability, which I feel they held up to. I removed
      the baskets and did not use them during my hike to save the small amount of
      weight. I often experienced the "klingon" effect of a leaf getting caught
      on the pole tip. I was ambivalent about this as it did not impact
      performance. Both poles had a minor amount of vibration when greater force
      was used to plant the tips. I did notice that my right pole seemed to have
      a bit more vibration in the middle section than the left pole. This was
      the case from the start, but only bothered me when I paid it attention,
      which was infrequent. I have tried to investigate this but am unable to
      see based upon the mechanics the cause for such. I used my poles very
      rigorously and heavily, needing to replace the tips after 1200 miles of
      hiking. At this point the tips were scuffed into dull points and the
      plastic around them was degraded greatly. Keeping in mind I frequently
      slammed my pole tips against pavement, chipped at rocks, and put lots of
      force on them while hiking uphill and often running down hills, I felt the
      tips held up great. New tips cost me $12, so $6 each.

      During the last 300 miles of my hiking on the Appalachian Trail, I caught
      myself on my left pole and subsequently bent the lowest shaft a minor
      amount. This was corrected in the field by bending it back into a straight
      position. It could use to be replaced but has not noticably impacted
      performance during hiking after this event. Again, my treatment of the
      poles overall should be kept in mind, as I had frequently slapped the sides
      of the poles against rocks and trees, while trying to remove 'klingons',
      kill invasive catapillars, and scare away a bear. None of these
      non-standard uses seemed to impact the poles at all, only putting my weight
      on it while falling and it being stuck between a rock and a downed tree was
      able to cause damage.

      The hand grips held up great, and are fine today. They have some scratches
      in the material, but again it is not even noticeable to tactile sensation,
      only visible. When it would rain I found the grips to generally be good,
      but would absorb some water, and then I would see and feel a bit of slime
      on them, the accumulation of dirt and sweat on them from day after day use.
      This 'grime' or gross feel was only a factor during consistent rain.
      Holding them on a dry day, even when my hands were sweating, was a pleasant
      experience as the foam seemed to absorb sweat and keep my hands dry. The
      handles dried quickly, once exposed to dry conditions.

      Hand loops performed as expected. They are adjustable and controls on the
      top of the pole can be used to cinch and maintain the desired handloop
      length. These felt fine on my wrists/hands from the start, causing no
      irritation after extended use. They took longer to dry, once wet, than the
      hand grips, but this was not an issue or a problem for me.

      My use of these poles in snow and on ice was limited, but with the baskets
      attatched I was able to gain additional support on the snow pack to keep me
      from sinking in (did not have snowshoes on). I would use these poles, with
      baskets, for future snowshoe endeavors. On ice they were able to grip with
      new tips, however if they were worn, I believe they would be ineffective.

      I have found a bit of trouble now after extended use, that dust and grit
      has gotten inside the pole locking mechanisms. Sometimes this requires
      removal from the upper shaft (depending on section) and being blown on a
      bit, or just a bit more effort in trying to tighten them. I rarely adjust
      my poles so this has not been an "ongoing" issue for me, but could be for
      someone who frequently changes the poles' length. A thorough cleaning with
      some cleaning products could remediate this problem.


      Summary

      I believe these poles meet the manufacture's expectation. I feel I put
      them to full use and beyond, and they were always able to meet my
      expectations and hold up to whatever I needed. I never felt any 'tennis
      elbow' or any other repetitive stress injury due to them not having a shock
      absorber. My wrists, hands, and arms always felt okay, and never fatigued
      by the holding/wrist wrap of the poles, thus I assume the Ergonomic design
      to be successful.

      Pros:
      Weight savings
      Strength, tenacity to hold up, durable
      Small handles (great for me, I have small hands)
      Leki Warranty on all pole sections

      Cons:
      Miniscule vibration in right pole (probably an anomoly)
      Not as light as Carbon Fiber
      Dust/Grit after extended use causes some minor adjustment issues.


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