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Thread: Stabilicer Quality Concerns

  1. #1
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    Stabilicer Quality Concerns

    Spoke with a guy this weekend who had newer Stabilicers and his friend had older well used ones. Same hike together in the Whites and they were of similar height/ weight.
    He lost numerous screws off the bottom, his buddy none. They noticed the fact that that the older ones had the Vibram label on the sole, new ones had a "Stabilicer" label. Upon closer inspection the newer also had "Made in China" cast in the rubber.
    I had noticed this change in the label on the underside of the soles and wondered- so I guess this is the deal. This is not the first concern I have heard about newly purchased Stabilicers, but this has caused me to look closer as to what any differences might be. I have also noticed that the fit is slightly different between the "Vibram" and "Stabilicer" labeled models, with the fit being a bit larger and more sloppy on the newer type.

    If you are seeking a new pair- take note on this difference as a few of the older ones are on shelves, especially on the extreme ends of the sizing. It might be better to look at retailers who have had them in stock for a few years and don't move a lot of stock. Like smaller sportsman shops or NorthCountry hardware/ everything stores.

    I hate to drub on the Chinese manufacturers, but they are under so much pressure to reduce their wholesale prices that quality always suffers and lax government controls allow it to happen. 32 Degree North was also obviously looking to cut the overall cost that their consumer (us) demand.
    Last edited by Andrew; 04-10-2007 at 08:08 AM.

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    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    Maybe you do this anyway, but after every hike with Stableicers, you need to take a screwdriver and gently tighten all the screws. Be careful not to strip the hole. You'll be surprised how many are loose and it will save a lot of lost screws. When the screws no longer tighten well, you will start losing them regularly. At that point I would suggest putting in new screws which you set in place with gorilla glue. That will hold them forever, but be warned, it will be the last set of screws you put in. They are no longer replaceable.
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    Mine say Stablicer (bought them in Feb. I think) and so far I haven't noticed any problems (but after reading about the screws, I'm gonna check mine to make sure they aren't loose). I've only used mine in a few shorter hikes, but nonetheless so far so god.

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    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    The mfgr recommends users tighten the screws before use.

    I used mine brand new without tightening and lost seven screws the first time out.

    Now I tighten them and have lost only a couple.

    I've read some people use silicone type glue on them and then screw a new screw in.
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  5. #5
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    Andrew, same thing happened to me this winter. I bought a pair of "Stabilicers" from Campmor. The text and picture on their website indicated that they had Vibram soles. When I received them, they didn't have vibram soles and they said "Made in China" on the sole. When I called Campmor their reply was, "Oops, we must have got a bad batch." So, I returned them for a refund (minus the S&H of course ), and I went to EMS and bought them there instead.

    Inspect EVERYTHING when you buy it...labels, seems, rivets, zippers...

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    Senior Member sapblatt's Avatar
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    I have the older Vibram ones and I lose screws all the time - I know many who do, and many who do not...I seem to be a bit rougher on gear, particularly footwear than many.
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    Senior Member John Graham's Avatar
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    I have the older stabilizer label, bought at Campmor this fall, and apart from the screws loosening up, with a couple falling out, I also had a problem with the velcro on the straps coming unstitched after a couple of uses. Rather than take them back, I stitched the ends of the velcro that were coming loose back. They had gotten iced up and began to tear loose when I pulled on the ends to get them off.

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    Senior Member marty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapblatt
    I have the older Vibram ones and I lose screws all the time - I know many who do, and many who do not...I seem to be a bit rougher on gear, particularly footwear than many.
    I can attest to what Sapblatt says. We hiked Garfield together in January, wearing Stabilicers for the entire hike. He lost three screws. I lost none. I know he tightens his after every use, just like me. Guess he got a pair of lemons
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    Senior Member Mad Townie's Avatar
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    Una_dogger's experience was mine as well. Didn't know about the Mfgr's recommendations. Since I've started checking and tightening the screws after each use they've been OK, but I haven't used them all that much, either.

    I've got the Vibram versions. Are the Chinese ones from "Stabilicer" or are they counterfeit rip-offs?
    Mad Townie

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    I have Stablicer Sport editions if that means anything...no loose screws yet. I don't have velcro on mine - mine are rubber that stretch over my shoes.

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    I've been observing hundreds of uses/ and users of Stabilicers and all aspects of retightening, overtightening, etc for many years now.
    This really seems to be worse in the newer version.
    I'm going to contact 32 degree north and see what they say.

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Townie
    I've got the Vibram versions. Are the Chinese ones from "Stabilicer" or are they counterfeit rip-offs?
    I have looked at them at REI--I think the manufacturer (32North) is just trying to reduce production costs.

    Doug

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mad Townie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul
    I have looked at them at REI
    An outfit of that size is quite unlikely to be fooled by counterfeits--they know whom they're buying from. So just chalk my suspiciousness up to an occupational hazard.
    Mad Townie

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  14. #14
    Senior Member sapblatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marty
    I can attest to what Sapblatt says. We hiked Garfield together in January, wearing Stabilicers for the entire hike. He lost three screws. I lost none. I know he tightens his after every use, just like me. Guess he got a pair of lemons
    Or he is unbelievably lazy and drags his feet through the entire 15 mile hike...
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  15. #15
    Registered User marchowes's Avatar
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    I lost a screw the first time I used mine on a 12 mile trek. Afterwards I tightened the rest up and haven't had any problems since. I have a little over 125 miles on them, so the more pressing concern it the incredible wear on the screws. Don't know how old mine are. I got them on eBay off season for like 12$

    I have hiked with others who were "breaking theirs in" for the first time and they had screws on the verge of popping out after only an hour or so. Dont know if it was a quality issue or a tightening issue.

    My advice: Tighten them up out of the box

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