Sunday, October 26, 2008

Black Diamond FlickLock vs Push Button Lock Review

 Black Diamond Contour Trekking Poles

I have two pair of the 2003 version Black Diamond Contour Trekking Poles with the push button locking button and FlickLock system. I love them as they are strong, light, adjustable and I have never had an issue with slipping. 

 Photo shows the FlickLock at the top of the pole and the push button lock at the bottom section.

The problem I had with the push button lock, was after a drenching rainstorm hike the poles were packed in the car for a 600 mile trip home, then stored away for several months. I forgot to pull them apart to dry out. When retrieved for the next adventure, the push button internal mechanism had corroded and was unusable.

The Fix

I had to bolt the lower unit fixed on three of my poles so I could use them. I went to the local hardware store and found some nuts and screws. My objective was to use a screw that was the same size as the locking pin with as little projection beyond the pole as possible. I found screws that had a nice rounded head with hex recess and they fit the pin hole only slightly larger. 

I had to drill  the hole out just a fraction. 

The nuts I used were nylon inserted, self locking, so there was no need to use a lock washer. I have continued to use these pole for years and have not needed to tighten the locking nuts at all. This fix has worked great, except I can't collapse the poles totally as originally designed.

The pole manual says not to put them away wet, so take their advice. 
Black Diamond may have installed non-corrosive springs now, so give them a call before buying poles with push button locks.

I would highly recommend poles with the double FlickLock style, top and bottom, by Black Diamond as I have never had any issue with this type of lock on my poles.

Here is my video explaining the problem on YouTube:

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