We are full into bike season, but some of us here at the shop are dreaming of snow, Pisten Bulley grooming, and a perfect day on the ski trails. Here’s a little teaser for this upcoming ski season…
Joel is busily testing out the new pole line-up from Swix for 2018/19, and although black asphalt is not white corduroy, he is still super-excited about these revolutionary poles.
Ski poles are often the most overlooked piece of nordic equipment. The four most important pole shaft properties are weight, swing weight, stiffness and strength. Swing weight refers to the pendulum motion of each pole stroke and how more weight near the pole tip requires more energy from the skier. The stiffer the pole, the more of your energy goes into forward movement and less into bending the pole. And strength just refers to the durability of the pole. The most important aspect to the pole is overall weight. Skiers often try to cut weight in their boots but disregard the extra grams on their ski poles. Remember, you are lifting, swinging, or carrying your poles throughout your entire race or workout, so overall pole weight can have a profound effect on your technique as well as your times.
Here is something to think about: Say you and your friend are racing a marathon for 3.5 hours. Skiers average approximately 40 pole plants per minute and move their poles 5 feet per stroke. If your poles are just 3 ozs. heavier than your friend’s, your poles will be moving 7,777 more ft-lbs than your friend—that is like curling a gallon of milk in both hands over 450 times! Who has the advantage?
So, when you select your pole, it is important to take the above into account, as well as basket type, and type and size of the grips and straps.
Swix is the leading innovator in the field of composite ski poles. Their cutting-edge poles offer maximum performance regardless of the skier’s skill level. Every single pole is tested for weight, stiffness, and swing weight before it leaves the factory, and Swix guarantees superior quality of all aspects of their products.
This year, Swix is introducing the Quantum Pole line-up. Joel has been roller skiing with the Quantum One model this summer. The new Quantum series of poles is a range of carbon pole shafts based on leading composite technology. New Moon stocks five different Quantum Pole levels from Swix to fit any budget and ability.
The Quantum One is “a nice treat,” Joel reports. “Not as stiff or as light as the Triac 3.0, but a lot more economical option for training or budget racing than Swix’s $500 flagship pole. It has a good swing weight with a stiffness on par with the popular but now discontinued Triac 2.0. And the Quantum One is reported to have greatly increased impact strength as compared to previous models, which makes use in competition or roller skiing a perfect fit.”
Another nice feature of the Quantum poles is the Swix TBS basket system. These thread on, thread off baskets and ferrules allow an easy exchange with no glue required. “It’s super-quick to install a ferrule even out on the mean streets of your weekly roller ski loop,” Joel says.
But Joel is most excited about the Quantum’s grip and strap system. It is called TCS-the Triac Connection System. The grip is 100% natural cork. The strap is hand-shaped for power transmission with no stretch, no movement, and no energy loss. “There is no excess. My hand size is a size 9/10, and I find that the large is snugly fitted (there are 4 sizes of strap available). Be sure to go up a size for cold weather handwear (heavy mittens or heavy gloves probably won’t work—try the Toko or LillSport overmitt as a cold-weather alternative) but they are supreme power levers—there is zero flopping around and no re-gripping or repositioning of the strap while racing. These absolutely represent an improvement over the long-standing Swix Pro-Fit Strap & Grip standard.” Straps install with Swix’s dual purpose strap removal tool/bottle opener.
New Moon is currently taking pre-orders for the Quantum 1, 2, 3, 4, & 6. Straps are sold ala carte, but the price for the pole and strap is $289. Be sure to check out the rest of the Quantum Series on our website.