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Bowregard
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PostWed Aug 04, 2021 10:55 am 
I bought my wife some Fizan trekking poles that have black foam grips. They are light and small and she loves them - at least she did until we hiked on a very hot day and her hands turned black and then she wiped the sweat from her face and took pictures and ... (you get the idea).

I searched for solutions but came up empty so I searched for the type of foam (somebody said they were EVA) and searched that and found fishing rods use that foam and some people clean them with dish detergent. I am tempted to try it but I know with some foam types detergents make them worse.

Does anybody have experience with this type of thing enough to provide a solution?

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Randito
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PostWed Aug 04, 2021 1:29 pm 
I would try bicycle handlebar tape

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Bowregard
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PostWed Aug 04, 2021 2:48 pm 
Good suggestion - I will make that my backup plan but I am really hoping it can be cleaned off with something because she likes the grips themselves - just not the black marks they leave behind.

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Randito
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PostWed Aug 04, 2021 5:17 pm 
The other solution would be to return the poles as unsatisfactory and get some poles with cork grips.   The price point will likely be higher.

Properly formulated EVA foam shouldn't be dissolving from sweat.   Sounds like this pair used a bad batch of foam or some sort of knock off foam.

A simple solution also would be 3M brand electrical tape wrapped around the existing grips.  It's thin enough to not change the grip shape.   It would be a bit less grippy.

Bike gloves are another idea.  They would also protect against chaffing and blister development.  Many also have a sweat wipe built into the back.

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Navy salad
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PostThu Aug 05, 2021 11:30 am 
If you're hoping to get the black stuff off, I'd start with the mildest solvent (like undiluted hand-washing liquid soap with a brush), and then if that doesn't work, then maybe alcohol.

I once had the bright idea of using friction tape on some old hiking poles. Big mistake! During the first half dozen uses, every trace of the black friction coating came off -- onto my hands!

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BigBrunyon
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PostThu Aug 05, 2021 8:18 pm 
You need the handles to have a high gription rating. Something that really sticks to the grip

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Bowregard
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PostThu Aug 05, 2021 9:07 pm 
All good ideas. Here are my thoughts so far:

I cannot return the poles at this point because they were purchased too long ago.
I did find people who purchased and installed alternate grips on these poles but I am reluctant to spend much more on them.
She wears bicycle gloves most of the time already - but hands or gloves it ends up on her forehead.
The bicycle tape makes sense to me - riders would have sweaty hands just like hikers right?

So far my plan is as follows:
1. Wash the grips with a mild detergent and see if that is enough.
2. Try something stronger (research EVA bicycle/fishing rod grips to see what others what them with).
3. Wrap the grips with a bicycle grip tape (I had bad experiences with electrical tape on golf clubs).  frown.gif
4. Research replacement grips further (links I found from others who did this were dead).
5. Give them to one of my daughters.

Thanks for the suggestions and please add any new thoughts you have.

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moonspots
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PostFri Aug 20, 2021 9:23 pm 
Bowregard wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions and please add any new thoughts you have

I use electrical "splicing tape", found at Home Depot (and likely many other home stores) for my hiking poles and climbing ax handles. It's black rubber, sticks to itself as you wrap it, and has a plastic liner on one side that keeps the tape from sticking to itself while on the roll. You peel off the liner, wrap the tape onto whatever, and it becomes one piece of rubber. I've not had any of the black of the rubber tape come off. It doesn't use adhesive, it just sticks to itself (only), so doesn't have anything to "ooze" out and get all over your hands. This may be a useful way for you to treat the problem. Oh, and it's only about $8/roll, so not much more investment involved.

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Bowregard
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Cyclopath
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PostSun Aug 22, 2021 1:53 pm 
Bowregard wrote:
The bicycle tape makes sense to me - riders would have sweaty hands just like hikers right?

For what it's worth.  There are several kinds of handlebar tape, all very similar overall.  Some had a layer of cork to be squishy and cushioned, some is narrow synthetic to not be very tall (for people with small hands) and if sweat is an issue in terms of grip there's knurled or textured silicone tape that feels tacky and doesn't side under your hands when you're sweating up a hill.  None of them have ever come off on my hands no matter how much I've sweat.   smile.gif

Bowregard
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Bowregard
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PostSun Aug 22, 2021 3:17 pm 
Thanks for the education about tapes. My wife really likes the small diameter of the grips so I tried cleaning it with a mild detergent and will test that out first. But she's a school teacher so it may be awhile before I get any feedback with school starting this week.

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RumiDude
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PostWed Aug 25, 2021 9:38 am 
This is just one of the reasons I only use poles with cork handles. But I have found that finding cork handle poles in the style I want is not as easy as it was even just 10 years ago. And the cork handles are made much more cheaply now, even from major manufacturers. The cork is relatively thin and can be chunked out if you aren't careful.

Just be aware that using tape of any sort will make the handles thicker in hand and thus change the handling characteristics. Good luck with your modifications.

Rumi

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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Aug 25, 2021 9:56 am 
The cheapie Costco ones $30 come with cork grips and hold up pretty well if you do not fall on them (my bad) and replace the tips with Black Diamond ones.

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Bowregard
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PostMon Sep 06, 2021 4:04 pm 
We finally got out again to try out the washed trekking pole grips today.
My wife wears fingerless gloves and the first half of the hike they were fine (no black). Then she used some hand sanitizer and after that she saw a little bit of black.

So I think alcohol is the source of the issue and if she takes her gloves off before using any she will be fine.

Thanks everybody for the input.

Oh - and the hike was Dirty Harry's Balcony/Peak but it was overcast and not worth taking photos. We got to the first switchback after the museum turnoff and decided it wasn't worth going any further.

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