Babolat PD Headguard Nightmare

ttbrowne

Hall of Fame
I just changed a headguard on the new Pure Drive and it is truly a nightmare. Nine pieces and they have pieces that have 9 grommets on one side while the same piece for the other side has 8 grommets?? This is crazy for Babolat to produce a racquet like this. Grab a pitcher with some extremely hot water and good luck.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
I just changed a headguard on the new Pure Drive and it is truly a nightmare. Nine pieces and they have pieces that have 9 grommets on one side while the same piece for the other side has 8 grommets?? This is crazy for Babolat to produce a racquet like this. Grab a pitcher with some extremely hot water and good luck.
They must be laughing crazy all the way to the bank because it's one of the best selling frames of all time.

Grommet design for tennis frames IMO is mostly an afterthought. To me it makes no sense that when properly used, grommets are designed to be deformed with stress to both the grommet and string. Kind of stupid
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
just completely take off the headguard and only put the grommets in like I do. you don't need the headguard, I assure you. and it is much more head light this way, and better.
 
In my mind, the 2014 Pure Drives have 7 separate pieces, which must mean that they've managed to break up the grommets into even more pieces!

I know the new PDs have a short side, but you make me want to fiddle with one just to see how much more complex they've gotten. Babolat grommets are typically tricky to install, but I assume this isn't the OP's first time with them. I'm actually the only one in our team building who doesn't mind changing them out (pre-'15 grommets), haha.

Guess it's time for me to switch from my old Pure Drives, I guess, for the sake of research!
 

1HBHfanatic

Legend
i had a similar install/replament experience a couple months ago, took me a good.while to install a babo.PD grommet kit..
i redid the same racquet this month, but this time arround I ordered the grommet kit!! (last time the client handed me something they had for pro.drive racquets, old versions), right of the bat i saw that the kit i installed last time and this time where different,
the correct grommet kit went on much, much easier this time, but it still needed the help of extra awls and pulling and pushing to get it on
sooo, let me reiderate from my experience, :)
an old babo.pro-drive grommet kit will fit a new babo.pro.drive racquet, but it wont fit as easily as a new babo.pro.drive grommet kit
 

ttbrowne

Hall of Fame
We have a coffee machine that has a hot water spout. I put some water, very very hot, in a small pitcher and put the parts in for about 10 minutes. That helped alot. I only put the piece in the water that I was installing at the time. DO NOT put all of the pieces in at one time. The headguard I put on with two small awls holding the ends. Careful not to rip the headguard because it will be very pliable after setting in the water. This worked. We have sold tons of these racquets so we are in for some heartbreak. Funny thing is...the PD Lite I was doing belonged to an 11 year old who had worn this thing almost down to the frame on one side and he has 3 of these racquets. Our head stringer is shaking his head over these headguards. Thanks for the tips.
 

Babolat Official

Hall of Fame
I just changed a headguard on the new Pure Drive and it is truly a nightmare. Nine pieces and they have pieces that have 9 grommets on one side while the same piece for the other side has 8 grommets?? This is crazy for Babolat to produce a racquet like this. Grab a pitcher with some extremely hot water and good luck.
sorry for the frustration, call our HQ and a trained professional can give some advice: +18773169435
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
ttbrowne trying starting the grommets from the bottom side of the racket working them around the frame. When installing the head guard have the side grommet strip holding the first three holes. Then when you're ready to start the top grommet use an awl (or small phillips like I did) to pry the head guard over so the grommet hold line up for the head guard and the frame before you try to install the grommet strip. The grommet stip is soft enough it does not need to be heated. Let me know how it works for you.
 
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Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I tried to get grommets for a Pure Drive from TW but they did not have any so I went to one of their competitors, they sent me Drive Z grommets. I wish I would have known before I paid twice as much plus shipping. Anyway here is a video on replacing the grommets on a Pure Drive. These grommets (except for the bumper) are very soft so I would not heat them up before trying to replace them or you may have a boat load of problems because they'll be too soft.

https://youtu.be/jFGREz6xxXg

EDIT: Also I might add that thinner portion of the side grommet is the portion of the grommet that goes into the bumper strip. If you put your side grommet string in upside down the side piece will not seat properly in the end of the grommet and may raise the string up where it will come into contact with the court and cause pre-mature breaking of the string.
 
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diredesire

Adjunct Moderator
I tried to get grommets for a Pure Drive from TW but they did not have any so I went to one of their competitors, they sent me Drive Z grommets. I wish I would have known before I paid twice as much plus shipping. Anyway here is a video on replacing the grommets on a Pure Drive. These grommets (except for the bumper) are very soft so I would not heat them up before trying to replace them or you may have a boat load of problems because they'll be too soft.

https://youtu.be/jFGREz6xxXg

EDIT: Also I might add that thinner portion of the side grommet is the portion of the grommet that goes into the bumper strip. If you put your side grommet string in upside down the side piece will not seat properly in the end of the grommet and may raise the string up where it will come into contact with the court and cause pre-mature breaking of the string.


Not to mention you'd have a fun time searching for a good tie-off hole when you got finished :)
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Not to mention you'd have a fun time searching for a good tie-off hole when you got finished :)
That would depend, the mains end at the head and tie off at 6H. If you string the racket one piece you would probably use the 6H tie off. If you string the racket as a two piece then you have a problem. But the grommets were for a Drive Z, not sure if the real PD grommets are the same but 8H is also a larger grommet. Problem is the string goes through that grommet sideways so it will be hard to get two strings in but it's possible I guess.

Just like stringing a racket except you don't get instructions. But 'Babolat Official' gave out an 800 number maybe they could help and tell you what to be looking out for. I have to admit these grommets can be a pain if you don't plan it out and as soft as they are it would not take much to mess them up.

I did call TW to let them know the Drive Z grommets fit fine. I was told you can always order a grommet set and if they don't work out you can return them. I guess you would have to look them over real good to see if they will fit. I doubt they would take them back it you messed them up and as soft as they are it shouldn't take much.
 

Micalzon

Rookie
So I've got a 2015 PD that I want to add some lead under the head guard the next time I restring. Would I be able to get the headguard back on once I take it off or will I have to replace the grommets/HG?
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
So I've got a 2015 PD that I want to add some lead under the head guard the next time I restring. Would I be able to get the headguard back on once I take it off or will I have to replace the grommets/HG?
It should not be hard. Petercoffey (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/help-for-tired-grommets.370677/#post-5459003) has a threat on how to straignten grommets but your top cross tie off grommet will be mushroomed and some of the grommets on Babolat frames are flaired out too. You would be better off buying new grommets. Start by putting the lead inside the frame until you know what you want the move it under the head bumper.

The bumper itself should be fine so I'd try to save it.
 
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Bartelby

Bionic Poster
i hate to do stringers out of some extra money, but I can't see a lot of reasons why grommets can't be designed in a more customer-friendly fashion.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
i hate to do stringers out of some extra money, but I can't see a lot of reasons why grommets can't be designed in a more customer-friendly fashion.
Wow... Here's something we agree on...

It's like grommet design is an afterthought. I just don't get a design that requires the grommet to be deformed and stressed when used properly.

There are some guys making an effort though...

Tecnifibre eyelets
Wilson parallel drilling
Volkl Super G
 

Hnefi

Semi-Pro
I've changed a few PD bumpers in the last few days, and I have noticed significant differences in ease of installation depending on the model. Installing PD grommets on a Drive Z Lite took me AGES and I did not do a great job, stressed a few of the grommets and deformed them more than necessary. But doing the same PD grommets on the PD itself was much less of an issue. Just had to stretch the top using a few awls before pushing in the grommets themselves. The large hole (I think it's 8H) for the cross tie-off is always the hardest, but I found that heating it up worked.
 
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