October 28, 2015 at 9:21 am #122119
trifreddyParticipantOctober 30, 2015 at 1:54 pm #122165November 11, 2015 at 1:24 pm #122473
Kris FreemanParticipantNovember 13, 2015 at 10:54 am #122524
I’ll throw out my thoughts too as someone who worked at Gear West for 4 years.
All of the top poles are fairly similar in terms of performance – there really isn’t a “bad” option. So don’t stress too much; probably buy whatever you can get the best deal on/whatever your favorite shop carries. I would also say to make sure you buy from someone you can work with and who’s willing to stand behind their product because the newest poles are all pushing the limits of materials science and, to be honest, the industry in general has traded off durability for stiffness at the top end.
A few specific thoughts:
Triac 2.0 – Amazing pole for the pros, with some of the highest performance out there. Prohibitively fragile, however (I would NEVER use these in a mass start race).
Triac 1.0 – Getting increasingly hard to find, but if you can, it’ll be at a great price and has ALMOST as much performance as a 2.0 with a little more durability to it.
Swix Star – Still a rock solid pole. Though perhaps not quite as light as other options, it’s still plenty stiff and can take more of a beating.
Start Race 1.0 – The pole that I would probably get if I was looking this year. Great swing weight, probably slightly better than the Triac 1.0. Seems to be pretty durable. Start uses some wonky dimensions that will limit part compatibility with other brands (except Exel), if you ever need to replace the grips.
Yoko 9100 – don’t honestly have much experience with this pole. Doesn’t seem to be exactly bombproof, based on the number I’ve seen break, but looks like they came out with a “v2” of it this year. Could be worth a look.
Exel Ultra – I was actually surprised by this pole; very good swing weight and stiffness (though other poles are better). On the other hand, weird, cheap straps and grips that don’t seem to last very long. Also, Exel has struggled to reestablish itself in what’s a very competitive pole market, so I would question how long they’ll be available for (if you need replacement parts/shafts). Performance wise, right on par with…
Madshus Nano Carbon UHM 100 – I actually use these currently (got them for a steal). Competitive with other options, but not the best performing pole by any means. Fragile. Best straps on the market.
Salomon S Lab Carbon – Honestly, got to try these late last year and I think they might be the best poles out there right now, if you can find them. No idea on price point, though, and I suspect they will be pretty difficult to get ahold of (no one thinks of Salomon as a pole brand)
Hope this all helps.
.November 13, 2015 at 11:32 am #122525
trifreddyParticipantDecember 5, 2015 at 4:31 pm #123814
There’s no such thing as a “not too expensive 180cm pole thats stiff and durable.” 180cm is a really long pole and you are going to have to spend some money in order to get a pole that performs well and isn’t really heavy and flexible.
I would recommend Start poles or One Way poles as they make very good poles at a better value than Swix.
Another option would be US Pole Company, if you contact them directly they can custom make you a pole at whatever length you need.
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