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I have a pair of quite old Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Flicklock trekking poles. After much use and abuse the tip on one of them has finally gotten bashed in (the carbide tip has either broken or been pushed back completely inside the plastic mount and although still usable the pole is now nowhere near as secure when in contact with rock).

I managed to remove the busted tip by following the instructions here which suggest dipping it in boiling water then wrenching it off with pliers. It did actually come off surprisingly easily once heated (but before that I couldn't budge it at all).

I have also secured a Black Diamond "Flextip Replacement - Long" (well actually a pair, and small "trekking" baskets). Black Diamond don't provide any useful instructions, and the site linked above just says:

To secure the new tips, tap them on a hard surface like concrete a half-dozen times. Do not use glue.

but I'm dubious about this: I can easily imagine the new tip disappearing into the next sucking Scottish quagmire it encounters if not firmly fixed to the pole. I'm guessing the original tip was glued on by some sort of thermal-sensitive glue; hence the boiling to release it. The site linked above also mentions "old glue residue".

What sort of glue should I use to fix these? Obviously something which will let me repeat the boiling trick if/when the next time the tip wears out would be ideal, but my Google-fu isn't having much luck identifying such a thing. Or does the just "tap them on" approach actually work in practice?

The photo here - from left to right - shows the old broken tip, the tipless pole and the new "Flextip replacement - Long" I want to fix on the pole.

tipless trekking pole with old worn out tip and new replacement tip

  • Since the instructions say not to use glue why do you feel it is necessary? – Loren Pechtel Oct 1 '18 at 1:41
  • The site that says don't use glue isn't official, just someone's opinion. However it also notes the presence of glue residue so presumably they were glued originally. Maybe it depends on your typical use case but I know here in Scotland it's not uncommon to have the pole disappear into a bog and have to exert quite a bit of force to pull it out again. I can easily imagine that simply pulling off a tip which isn't firmly fixed. But if I was only going to use them on hard stony surfaces (with no tip-snagging cracks) I'd probably be quite happy to not glue them. – timday Oct 1 '18 at 13:47
  • Actually, having inspected the packaging the replacement tip came in more closely, there are some diagrammatic instructions on the "inside" that show the boiling to remove then tapping the new parts on. – timday Mar 3 at 12:08
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Outcome: In the end I followed the instructions and simply tapped the new pole tip on with a sharp strike of the pole onto hard flagstone pavement. With hindsight, I wonder if it would have been best to do this immediately after the old tip was removed and while any glue reside was still in its warm and sticky state. However despite doing it later the new tip does indeed seem to be remarkably well stuck on as a result and completely resistant to any efforts to pull it off by hand. I will mark this answer as the accepted one if its still there after a year of usage!

  • The heat may or may not have been to release the glue. Are you sure there was any glue? I can see how there might not have been. Those poles and the inside of the replacement tip have a very shallow taper. When pressed together that creates a surprisingly strong connection. If there was no glue then boiling them would have been either to cause differential heating between the old tip and the pole itself to expand the tip and make the joint separate more easily, or just to soften the tip material. Machinists use shallow tapers like this all the time to connect two pieces of metal together. – T. M. Mar 13 at 23:19
  • @T.M. In the photo in the question, that shiny more textured looking section for an inch an inch or so back from the tip is what I'm pretty sure was the dried glue residue. Another data point... I've just replaced the tips on some ski poles... boiling wasn't sufficient to get those off, they needed to be held over a gas flame... removal revealed quite a bit of glue with those which was initially soft and then hardened as it cooled. I have actually now obtained a hot glue gun to fit the replacement tips on those. – timday Mar 14 at 11:22
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There's a website that give advice on gluing different materials.

For gluing plastic to metal, it states,

LePage's Metal Epoxy
J-B Weld
Faststeel Epoxy Putty if you have gaps to fill

Clamping can make the difference between success and failure here.

Whenever you are gluing metal it's a good idea to clean it first with steel wool or sandpaper. (Rust never sleeps.)

There are so many kinds of plastic its hard to give advice here that applies to them all. If possible try a small test in an area that doesn't show.

Some plastics have a smooth surface finish that can be sanded off with a 120 grit sand paper, for better adhering properties.

This is assuming that your poles are metal and not carbon fiber.

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I have Komperdell all-carbon trekking/skiing poles on which one of the points got loose. Since I preferred Black Diamond baskets, I punched the second tip off the other pole and replaced both.

I used good old regular two-part epoxy that can be bought in those dual syringes, like this. Just pour some epoxy in the tip and jam the pole in. It will lubricate the pole and it might want to pop out of the tip, so I had fixed the tip in a vise and spent about 5 minutes pressing the pole downward in the tip to make sure it was set at the bottom.

I can happily say that the tip repair/change is still holding over 8 years later. Epoxy is probably a totally permanent solution although if those poles ever break, I will try to punch the tips off, just to see if it's possible.

  • I'm leaning towards this; I probably got a decade's use out of the last tip and if I get another decade out of them with a replacement tip, I suspect the cork handgrips will have crumbled away by then then. Looking into releasing epoxy joints, apparently it needs 200-400C to melt but I also found some info claiming immersion in boiling water could help attempts based on mechanical force. – timday Oct 1 '18 at 13:53
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Here are a few interesting data points from the cross-country skiing world which shows a heat gun (or boiling) and hot glue/a hot glue gun being used to replace the tip on a ski pole: https://youtu.be/3NpCYOW7s-k and https://youtu.be/SBNVS29cdUs . Looks like the ideal solution, albeit requiring specialized equipment. However there's a simpler version at https://youtu.be/WhGXoKWeYTQ which just uses boiling and a lighter instead of a glue gun to melt a "glue stick".

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