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Old 11-28-2012, 10:51 PM   #29
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,878

I was intrigued when I first saw this string in one of the vlogs, so I bought a set each of the 17g and 18g from TW. Here are my findings as a 4.0-4.5 all-court player.

Let me preface this short review by saying that the Cyclone Tour I used was 1.25mm where I normally use Tour Bite 1.20mm. A more fair comparison playtest would be the Cyclone Tour 18 and Tour Bite 17, as both are 1.20mm.

Gauge of playtest string: 17g (1.25mm)

Tension used for playtest: 45 lb, generally I string around 45-52 lb, depending on the weather. Strung on a drop-weight machine.

Regular string set up: Solinco Tour Bite 17g at 45 lb strung on a drop-weight machine.

Racquet brand and model used for test: Babolat APD GT Roland Garros 2011

Power of test string: 8.5/10, definitely felt springier than Tour Bite at the same tension. Looking back, maybe I should have strung the Cyclone Tour a few pounds tighter as I did have some control issues and had to dial back my groundstrokes and brush up with more topspin to keep the ball in play. The benefit was on the flat serve and volleys, where I didn't need to add a great deal of spin to these shots.

Feel: 8/10, softer than Tour Bite and I liked the Cyclone Tour at the net; it basically made my volleys more point-and-shoot and I could punch the ball or hit soft drop shots with no problem.

Spin: 7.5/10, didn't have quite the spin (topspin or slice) as Tour Bite, but I attribute some of that to the low tension and the ball would tend to shoot off the strings a bit more than usual. Groundstrokes would sometimes sail and slices would tend to float unless a bit more focus was used on those strokes.

Comfort: 8.5/10, felt slightly softer than Tour Bite (could be attributed to tension, but I experienced no arm pain during my time with this string).

Durability: 7.5/10, I can't comment on any notching because I had the strings for no more than 10 hours but I did notice that tension maintenance wasn't a great strong suit of this string for me. I had to cut out the strings because I just couldn't dial back my strokes to conform to the string.

Playability Duration (share thoughts on if/how the playability changed over time): There was a sharp drop in playability towards the end of the 10 hours I had the string in the frame. When I first had my frame strung with Cyclone Tour, the string was quite playable and didn't need any break-in period; I think had I strung up this string a few pounds tighter to begin with, the Cyclone Tour would have fared much better for me.

Control (predictable trajectory? performance on different strokes and swing speeds?): At first, the trajectory was fairly consistent and I didn't have to adjust my groundstrokes, even though the tension was a bit loose. There definitely is a predictability of Cyclone Tour where there was no sudden launching of the ball; Tour Bite for me has a tendency to come off the string bed higher than normal on some shots and has a 'wild card' effect on my game. It was when the tension started to loosen was when I had the most problems.

Tension recommendations (after hitting it, would you recommend a different tension? Why?): I'd definitely go up a few pounds to begin with since the strings were softer and had a bit more inherent power than I was used to. I've been stringing lower lately due to the colder weather but I felt that with Cyclone Tour, I should have kept my warmer weather tension.

Compare to the string you use most often: Compared to Tour Bite 17, Cyclone Tour was softer and had more power, didn't have as much spin or tension maintenance. If I didn't rely on heavy spinning groundstrokes and in general hit flatter, I could switch to this string. Next to control and tension maintenance, the surprise for me was comfort and I'm always on the lookout for a comfortable poly.

If you have played with the original Cyclone, please compare.: I used the original Cyclone 18 when I used the Powerbridge 10 mid. To me, the original Cyclone 18 played just like MSV Hex in black (I used 1.10mm); it had great control, spin, and tension maintenance. The Cyclone Tour in many ways reminded me of MSV Hex in red; it was a slightly softer, less control and spin version of MSV Hex in black. The one thing Cyclone Tour has going for it over the original Cyclone is comfort.
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