Racquet Customization 102: Leading up a Pacific X Force Lite

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by McLovin, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    The 2nd in a series (and hopefully the last) of my recent foray into racquet customization (see Racquet Customization 101 for the 1st in the series).

    So, the obvious question: What didn't I like about the Yonex? Well, it's just not clicking with me. It plays great, there's no pain, doesn't seem to be too powerful, it's just not as good as the X Force Pro was.

    So, the 2nd question: Why not go back to the X Force Pro? I probably will, but I wanted to give the X Force Lite a shot since it is the original VT98 mold. I've heard so many good things about this frame (the VT98, that is) that it just seemed too good to not at least give it a shot. Plus, I'm having fun customizing...

    So, here's my starting point:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We have a starting weight of 256g, and a balance that is pretty much even. My target weight is (eventually) 320g and balance of 310mm, or ~ 12.2", but I plan on making stops along the way.
     
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  2. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    My initial plan was to do something similar to Slitch's customization of his X Feel Tour:

    [​IMG]

    I was going to line the inside of the handle w/ lead, then fill with silicone.
    Unfortunately, as I started to unwrap the grip, I realized that was not going to be an option:

    [​IMG]

    Yes, the X Force Lite does not have the Fischer/Pacific replaceable pallet. This kinda stopped me in my tracks as I wasn't ready for this curve ball. But, there was no turning back now. I had over 60g of weight to add, and most of it had to go in the handle somewhere. I continued taking the handle apart and was pleased to see it was hollow inside:

    [​IMG]

    I filled the handle with silicone, shoved some old, crumpled up lead tape in there, and recapped & regripped the handle (sorry, I forgot to take a photo of the silicone filled handle).

    This added a little over 40g:

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    I then started to add lead. Like I said earlier, this was a journey to 320g. But I wanted to stop along the way & see how it played at different points. My current balance point was a bit too head light:

    [​IMG]

    So I started adding lead around the throat & bridge:

    [​IMG]

    My first stop: 315g, 10pts HL (sorry, I forgot to pull the balance photo from my phone)

    [​IMG]

    Strung up & ready to go:

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    I'm hitting this afternoon, so I will get back tonight as far as how it plays. My wife still uses the X Force Pro, so I'm bringing that along to do a comparison.

    Depending on how it plays, I may add more weight in the hoop, around the 3 & 9 o'clock position, or I may just move some weight around & alter the balance.
     
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  5. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Interesting pictures McLovin. I'm always intrigued about the different lead setups that people go for.

    No lead in the hoop?
     
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  6. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Not yet. I will probably add a few more grams somewhere in the hoop, or move the lead from the bridge up, but I wanted to see how it plays like this first.

    Once I find the right amount/position, I will likely put it under the grommets.
     
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  7. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    that thing must be 15 points headlite now.
     
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  8. ChicagoJack

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    Hi McLovin -

    Nice work, thanks for sharing. One note of constructive criticism if I may? :)

    I have noticed that with both of your customization projects, there is quite a bit of mass added to the throat. That seems to be the first, primary location, with alterations from there. I know that's a convenient place because it wont affect balance very much, and wont affect SW very much. One big downside is that approach, is you are getting almost no stability increase for a whole lot of mass. The other issue is there isn't much room to hide the lead to preserve the racquet's original appearance.

    I always try to squeeze as much stability out of every gram of lead added. That means pushing the mass out to the edges, with the butt and 3:00-9:00 as the holy trinity of that approach, with the tip location used cautiously and in very slight amounts, just for seasoning.

    If I've done my job precisely at every step of the way, I will never add mass near the balance point. However, if I'm working on a stack of 8 frames, the 2-3 inch underside of the 6pm location is a great place to lead if I need to fudge the overall mass of a few frames a skosh (after the grommets are back on) without affecting balance. And it's nearly invisible placed there as well.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
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  9. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, and yeah, I'm learning as I go.

    My original intention was to add enough lead & silicone in the handle to bring it to ~ 310g, then add the 1/4" strips under the grommet once I found the correct location(s) to bring it up to 320g, and hopefully a balance point of 310mm. But the non-pallet handle threw me for a loop & I kinda winged it on the measurements.

    After hitting today, I realized I don't have enough mass up top, and I'm not getting the 'plow through' I got w/ the X Force Pro, so I'm moving some of the lead to the 2-4 and 8-10 o'clock positions.

    If that proves to be the answer, I'll pull up the grommets during the next stringing & hide as much as I can. I may even unwrap the handle & wrap the lead strips in the throat around it. Not sure if that will increase the grip size at all.
     
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  10. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Mclovin, did you eventually find a setup that you liked? I just purchased an XFL myself and plan on customizing.
     
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  11. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, it's called a X Force Pro...

    I tried the X Force Lite, but it's just too low powered for my age. If I was 20 years younger, I'd probably love it, but shoulder just can't handle the amount of constant force required by the frame.
     
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  12. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Well did you find a weight combo that you liked? I'm hoping for low power.
     
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  13. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Yes. I have 4 x 5" x 1/4" strips of lead @ 3 & 9, and 2 x 4 "x 1/4" strips at 12, and 2 x 2" x 1/2" strips at the top of the throat. This is in addition to the lead/silicone I put in the handle as described in the 2nd post.

    The weight came to 320g unstrung, and balance was ~ 8pts HL, also unstrung, which are effectively the specs of the X Force Pro.
     
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  14. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    :) .........
     
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  15. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    For the record, I was thinking of creating a 'Racquet Customization 201: Customizing a Pacific X Force Pro', then showing photos putting on the overgrip & dampener.

    Seriously, I'm finished messing around w/ weight/balance/swing weight. I found my 'holy grail' racquet & string setup, so its time to work on my game & fitness. THat is the only way I'll get any better.
     
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  16. MikeHitsHard93

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    That's what I want to do. I just received my XFL in the mail, and I'm really eager to get on the court with it. Really like the paint job and quality of these rackets, and it swings heavier than it is. Probably from the balance and sw.
     
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