I hate to rain on the aerogel 100 parade but...

DonBot

Professional
So I have hit with aerogel 100 for the last four weeks. Here are what I see as the advantages of the frame:
I have never hit with a 90 that had so much pop and spin- it is great here.
Flat serves are really fast, I can hit harder ones with other racquets but I will give it its due it hits a hard flat bomb.

Now for the hate:
The racquet has ZIP ZERO touch, if it were a car it would have two gears 1st and 6th. It seems like you have to take massive topspin cuts everytime you swing to tame the things power. It is just a rocket launcher. I play alot of serve and volley and half volleys just sail right out of the court. Also angled shots are somewhat difficult to hit. To me it takes more effort to play well and CONSISTENTLY with the aero 100 than the k90.

Also I have yet to hit a single slice backhand with it that was not a put me away sitter. I have a great slice backhand which I like to mix in with my other shots and the aero 100 completely takes it out of my arsenal.

Topspin and Kick serves are difficult to place, and I usually hit them long, (but they do have obscene amounts of kick when they land a foot behind the service line).

I have tried lead in about every combination suggested by posters and I just can not make this thing work. If I could sum up my opinion on this stick in one sentence it would be: THIS STICK COMPLETELY LACKS TOUCH.

If you are a baseline basher I could see the attraction of this stick, but for me hitting with it as my primary stick would make my game one dimensional.

Maybe if Nadal is looking to enhance his game by switching to a mid he should try it, hahahaha
 
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fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I'm a bit mid-curious these days myself, but I'm not in a hurry to try this Dunlop just because it doesn't look like it would be in a comfortable weight range for me. I recently traded for a Yonex RQiS 1 Tour knowing that it would probably be a hair light for me in comparison with my 12.5-13.0 oz. frames and even with a good shot of lead on the hoop, I've found that there's not a whole lot behind the ball for me with this racquet. The AG 100 looks to be in that same range of heft and while it might be okay at the baseline like the Yonex, I've just got to have more mass in the hoop for touch and stability around the net. As mids go, this AG 100 looks like one of the lighter ones I've ever seen.
 

jck01

Semi-Pro
DonBot, if you're AG100 has 4-5/8" grip and you'd like to get rid of them, please let me know. You can email me at kwakjc (at) hotmail (dot) com. Thanks. :)
 

hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
So I have hit with aerogel 100 for the last four weeks. Here are what I see as the advantages of the frame:
I have never hit with a 90 that had so much pop and spin- it is great here.
Flat serves are really fast, I can hit harder ones with other racquets but I will give it its due it hits a hard flat bomb.

Now for the hate:
The racquet has ZIP ZERO touch, if it were a car it would have two gears 1st and 6th. Also angled shots are somewhat difficult to hit. To me it takes more effort to play well and CONSISTENTLY with the aero 100 than the k90.
Not my experience: I volley great with this racquet--deep, low, with sharp angles.

Maybe it's your strings. I'm using a Lux hybrid at 54/57. What's your tension?

Now for the hate:
Also I have yet to hit a single slice backhand with it that was not a put me away sitter.
Again, I have hit lots of deep, slice BHs with the AG100. All of them stay low and skid away from my opponent.
Now for the hate:
Kick serves are difficult to place, and I usually hit them long, (but they do have obscene amounts of kick when they land a foot behind the service line).
With this racquet, I just started to explore kick serves. And the best thing about my flat or kick serves is their placement. I admit that with too much lead, they landed a little bit long. But when I took off some of the lead tape, they are back to landing right on the service line.

This is the greatest serving racquet, IMO, since the PS 85.

I am not disputing your experience, but it is not mine. (I do think one has to "fine-tune" the racquet for best performance.) Try a little less lead, and a higher tension.

Want to trade your AG100? (Send me an email at hoodjem@uwec.edu)
 
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BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
DonBot, it sounds like you need to tighten up the string tension or try less powerful strings. Have you tried using a poly strung tight?
 

bossass

Rookie
Right now I'm going between the PT280/630 and the AG100. I came off a PC600 prior. So I'd like to think I can tell when a racket has good "touch", and the AG100 does. It's def. muted compared to the classic head rackets, but it's no soul-less hunk of graphite. I can hit a dime with it, and my backhand slices are deadly and so easy it feels like cheating.

I'm sorry you couldn't find your groove with it, but there's something else going on here beside the AG100 actually having poor touch.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
My experience is 180 of yours as well. I'm using natural gut in the mains and a poly cross (see sig) at 60. On my next restring, I'll probably bump that up to 62.
 

hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
I have tried lead in about every combination suggested by posters and I just can not make this thing work. If I could sum up my opinion on this stick in one sentence it would be: THIS STICK COMPLETELY LACKS TOUCH.
I really think it's your strings and not the racquet.

What strings and what tension are you?
 
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DonBot

Professional
I really think it's your strings and not the racquet.

What strings and what tension are you?
Well I started out with Unique Big Hitter Blue at 61 lbs, 16g. I have it in my PSL and simply love it. I am having one strung right now with Topspin cyberflash 16g at 63 lbs which scares me to death at how boardy that thing will probably feel. But even with the string, I can usually make some slight adjustments and I am hitting the ball fairly well. I feel like my PDR at 61 lbs with PHT even has more control, touch, and ability to hit slice than the aero 100. (and that is a very very sad statement).

Well here is what I have tried lead wise and spec wise.
All of my aerogels have leather grips.
1.-tried hitting with just the leather grip no lead- the balance was awful it felt like all of the weight of the racquet was in the throat and it was really hard to get any wrist snap going on serves or overheads. Groundstrokes were decent but volleys and half volley sailed.
2. Tried 3 grams of lead at 10+2 Improved the serve and overheads but still no touch or control. Volleys were even worse and return of serve sucked with a capital S.
3. Tried 3 grams at 12- still no touch or decent volleys.
4. Tried 3 grams of lead at 3 and 9- Not terrible but it still was not getting to job done.
5.Tried 4 grams of lead at 3 and 9- same deal
6.Tried 5 grams of lead at 3+9- Probably my favorite setup of all of them. But volleys and half volleys still sucked and I to this day have yet to hit a decent kicker or topspin serve that is on par with one I can crank out with the k90, ps 85 or psl.

before I go dumping them I am going to try a few more sting combos, any suggestions?

My five cents on the thing is if it had an 18mm beam it would have probably been perfect, but it seems more like a 20 and I am guessing that is one of the culprits in all of the pop the thing gives off. On the plus side my dad, who is a pusher loves the thing. I hit a semi western forehand and impart some topspin on the ball but for the most part am a fairly flat hitter. I can take windshield wiper cuts, but it is just not my style of play, which might be why I am not such a huge fan of this stick. Don't misunderstand me I certainly can see the attraction of this racquet, but if you are used to the control and lack of power of a tour level racquet this may not be the best choice. I really wanted to like it so bad--- I mean it is really cool looking, they are cheap, 90 square inches- Spec look a little light but decent on paper.

If I go to dump mine I will send some emails out to the people that have contacted me about it. I will give it a few more trys first.
 
Not my experience: I volley great with this racquet--deep, low, with sharp angles.

Maybe it's your strings. I'm using a Lux hybrid at 54/57. What's your tension?



Again, I have hit lots of deep, slice BHs with the AG100. All of them stay low and skid away from my opponent.


With this racquet, I just started to explore kick serves. And the best thing about my flat or kick serves is their placement. I admit that with too much lead, they landed a little bit long. But when I took off some of the lead tape, they are back to landing right on the service line.

This is the greatest serving racquet, IMO, since the PS 85.

I am not disputing your experience, but it is not mine. (I do think one has to "fine-tune" the racquet for best performance.) Try a little less lead, and a higher tension.

Want to trade your AG100? (Send me an email at hoodjem@uwec.edu)
What he said! ;) CC
 

Sicamuni

New User
Donbot, I have had similar experience with leading only the hoop of the AG100. It just becomes too powerful.
After some experiments. I ended up adding 7 grams of lead at 2 and 10 (3.5 grams each side.), balanced with 10 grams of lead to the handle (2.5 grams each on the 4 sides of the pallet, from the butt up.) I use the TW thin leather grip, finally with overgrip adding another 6 grams to the handle. I strung my racquet with synthetic gut at 57/ 55. With this setup, I get lots of stability and control. My shots were heavy with a lot of spin preventing my opponent from attacking. My slice sucked until i use this set up, now I hit either deep or short slices, both barely clearing the net and heavy!

I guess my point is, while a lot of people on this forum loves the AG100 with lead on the hoop, some people's playing style might require counter weighting the handle with more weight than added to the hoop....

I stumble upon this setup playing with the tenniswarehouse racquet customization tool. I thought what if i enter the specs of the Prostaff 85 into the "What I want" column! (357 grams weight, 12.50 balance, 329 swingweight.) you can find it here:

http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/customization.html

I highly recommend using this to customize the AG100! :)
 

DonBot

Professional
Donbot, I have had similar experience with leading only the hoop of the AG100. It just becomes too powerful.
After some experiments. I ended up adding 7 grams of lead at 2 and 10 (3.5 grams each side.), balanced with 10 grams of lead to the handle (2.5 grams each on the 4 sides of the pallet, from the butt up.) I use the TW thin leather grip, finally with overgrip adding another 6 grams to the handle. I strung my racquet with synthetic gut at 57/ 55. With this setup, I get lots of stability and control. My shots were heavy with a lot of spin preventing my opponent from attacking. My slice sucked until i use this set up, now I hit either deep or short slices, both barely clearing the net and heavy!

I guess my point is, while a lot of people on this forum loves the AG100 with lead on the hoop, some people's playing style might require counter weighting the handle with more weight than added to the hoop....

I stumble upon this setup playing with the tenniswarehouse racquet customization tool. I thought what if i enter the specs of the Prostaff 85 into the "What I want" column! (357 grams weight, 12.50 balance, 329 swingweight.) you can find it here:

http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/customization.html

I highly recommend using this to customize the AG100! :)
My most reent excursion in altering the thing was to swap out the big thick tw leathers for the thin narrow ones. That actually made quite a difference on the serves, as I can get a ton more wrist snap on them. But it really did not resolve the lack of touch issues I am having with the thing.

I had the same idea about adding 6-8 grams of lead to the handle but one of the things that gave me pause was- Why am I doing this? I used to hit the original apd when it first came out. I liked it alot but to get it into playability range I had to add like 20+ grams of lead and eventually I got to the why bother point and just went out onto the market and looked for something that was already pretty much near the specs I wanted. That is another slight problem I had with the Aerogel, which was similar to one I have with the KBT- at what point do you cross over from making slight modificiations with lead to essentially making a new racquet because you are changing the characteristics of the stick so much. For example I could buy an ntour and lead the thing up to hit the same as an n95, but why do that? Why not just buy the n95 unless that .25 inches of length is something you really want? I am kind of in that to heck with it mode I would rather hit the k90. I simply murder the ball with the thing when I want to take huge cuts, I pound serves with it and it has touch out the Wazoo for when you want to pull your opponent in to the net or go short and wide.

I think the aerogel is a fine racquet but I am really skeptical that any amount of lead will ever make it hit like a ps85 or anything out of the ps90 lineup.

BTW the aerogel 100 can not be that difficult to find when I was down at the Indianapolis racquet club last weekend they had like 50 of them sitting out on the shelf. Granted once they become discontinued they will probably be pulling in ps85 bucks which is why I may sit on mine until the supply drys up. Yes I am that evil muhahahahahahahaha
 

Sicamuni

New User
I agree, if the k90 is not too heavy for you, its a great racquet and there's really no reason to bother modding the AG100. :)
 

Zielmann

Semi-Pro
First, I'm gonna jump back to the strings. It seems to me that your main focus to change how the racquet plays is on lead tape. And lead tape is a good, useful tool to customize the racquet to get what you want. But some frames are VERY sensitive to what strings you put in. Just cause you like one string on one racquet doesn't mean it's gonna be good for another. You might try putting in some very soft strings, or maybe a hybrid that uses some very soft strings (so they don't break every other shot).

On the other hand, it sounds like the K90 is your best frame. From what you've said, it sounds like it fits you much better than the ag100. So why not just get some of those?

Also, a good point about adding the counterweight in the handle. This way, You can better fine-tune the balance this way, as well as add extra weight without making it head-heavy. But like I said, if it's going to take hundreds of iterations with lead tape and/or string jobs to get it feeling how you want, and the K90 already does what you want, why bother with the ag100?
 

DonBot

Professional
First, I'm gonna jump back to the strings. It seems to me that your main focus to change how the racquet plays is on lead tape. And lead tape is a good, useful tool to customize the racquet to get what you want. But some frames are VERY sensitive to what strings you put in. Just cause you like one string on one racquet doesn't mean it's gonna be good for another. You might try putting in some very soft strings, or maybe a hybrid that uses some very soft strings (so they don't break every other shot).

On the other hand, it sounds like the K90 is your best frame. From what you've said, it sounds like it fits you much better than the ag100. So why not just get some of those?

Also, a good point about adding the counterweight in the handle. This way, You can better fine-tune the balance this way, as well as add extra weight without making it head-heavy. But like I said, if it's going to take hundreds of iterations with lead tape and/or string jobs to get it feeling how you want, and the K90 already does what you want, why bother with the ag100?
I have pretty much given up on hitting with it as my primary stick, but part of what keeps me going back and tinkering with it is the fact that I am having such a radically different experience with it than every other poster. Usually my experiences with frames are not all that different from other posters, but with the aerogel is just seems to be night and day.
 

Zielmann

Semi-Pro
I have pretty much given up on hitting with it as my primary stick, but part of what keeps me going back and tinkering with it is the fact that I am having such a radically different experience with it than every other poster. Usually my experiences with frames are not all that different from other posters, but with the aerogel is just seems to be night and day.
Understood. And it is interesting that you get a completely different experience from it. Hope you figure it out.
 

morten

Hall of Fame
i kind of agree, dont like it..yet, but will try more tweaking. Tinny feel, not enough plow through for me... Waiting for the Sampras stick.. until then, ps85 all the way.
 

baek57

Professional
i demoed it along with other midsized frames and i felt the same way. it was pretty much at the bottom of the list as far as mids go for me.
 

samster

Legend
Did you ever mention what you strung your 100 with and at what tension?
I found this for you, Mr. Rabbit:

"Well I started out with Unique Big Hitter Blue at 61 lbs, 16g. I have it in my PSL and simply love it. I am having one strung right now with Topspin cyberflash 16g at 63 lbs which scares me to death at how boardy that thing will probably feel. But even with the string, I can usually make some slight adjustments and I am hitting the ball fairly well. I feel like my PDR at 61 lbs with PHT even has more control, touch, and ability to hit slice than the aero 100. (and that is a very very sad statement)." by Donbot

I personally would not recommend a full poly setup for the AG100 and expect to have good feel. It is stiff enough in stock form and works better with natural gut or a hybrid with natural gut.
 

Zielmann

Semi-Pro
I personally would not recommend a full poly setup for the AG100 and expect to have good feel. It is stiff enough in stock form and works better with natural gut or a hybrid with natural gut.
Doesn't almost every racquet work better with natural gut or a hybrid with natural gut?
 

hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
I think the key to strings in the AG100 is the tension.

I have always (wilson Kramer Staff woodie, PS 85 6.0, nPS 95) played with mid to slightly high tensions: around 59 to 63 lbs.

But with the AG100 I am down to 54/57 in a hybrid, and I am thinking of moving lower, probably 52/55.

The AG100 for most (but not Rabbit) seems to play best with tensions under 55.
 

DonBot

Professional
I found this for you, Mr. Rabbit:

"Well I started out with Unique Big Hitter Blue at 61 lbs, 16g. I have it in my PSL and simply love it. I am having one strung right now with Topspin cyberflash 16g at 63 lbs which scares me to death at how boardy that thing will probably feel. But even with the string, I can usually make some slight adjustments and I am hitting the ball fairly well. I feel like my PDR at 61 lbs with PHT even has more control, touch, and ability to hit slice than the aero 100. (and that is a very very sad statement)." by Donbot

I personally would not recommend a full poly setup for the AG100 and expect to have good feel. It is stiff enough in stock form and works better with natural gut or a hybrid with natural gut.
I have a full -well should say had I popped it hitting sunday- set of flouro in my ps85 it was decent and had ok touch as far as the strings went, but the racquet still played such a huge role in the amount of touch and control I played with. I know I can make it better if I string it with a multi, but most racquets will never have the ps85, feel no matter what string is in them, and even with the most craptastic string- such as flouro- it still was had tons of control.

But I tried out my cyberflash at 63 lbs this morning, I enjoyed the ground game as I was getting some great bite and pace. Serves, volleys and over heads -well they sucked- oh god did they suck. To be honest I did like the tension being higher the feel off the string bed is nice on the arm, but as far as shot placement it still left alot to be desired.

Whoever is in charge of designing tennis racquets needs to stop this sub 12 oz player stick insanity or go back to the old days of a tour version which is like 12.5+ and a regular that is 11.7.
 
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Keifers

Legend
I have a full -well should say had I popped it hitting sunday- set of flouro in my ps85 it was decent and had ok touch as far as the strings went, but the racquet still played such a huge role in the amount of touch and control I played with. I know I can make it better if I string it with a multi, but most racquets will never have the ps85, feel no matter what string is in them, and even with the most craptastic string- such as flouro- it still was had tons of control.

...
It's interesting you say this because I've thought the same thing for a long time -- that the PS85 has such a strong "personality" that the choice of string for this stick matters far less than for almost any other racquet.

Mine hasn't been strung in more than 15 years (there's is no print on the strings -- it's most likely PSG Original, before POSG was "Original"), but it still plays great and I see no reason to restring it. No doubt a more modern, more high tech string would make it play better, but I think the incremental improvement would be very small.

Not that the PS85 doesn't have its weaknesses, but its strengths are just that strong! :)
 

DonBot

Professional
^^^
I could even say the same for the k90, n95, psc 6.1 etc. String does make some difference but the racquet just plays a certain way and sure you can tinker with strings and tension to make them really sing, but at the end of the day your racquet is what it is.

Actually want to hear something funny- the ps 85 I broke sunday was last strung- about 2 years ago, with the lux being what I had TW string it with when I ordered it. The only reason I even ran the flouro is it had just come out like that week and was supposed to be the best lux ever. I never hit with it enough to break them. I guess you could call it ps 85 abuse as I am so anal about the care I use when I take them out for a hit. The two I own now are still in about mint shape with just a hint of bumper wear. I am not as gentle with the k90s I think I have broken like 5 of them now. Fortunatley Wilson replaced 3. I have been babying my aerogels since I forsee fleabay as their future.
 
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morten

Hall of Fame
tried the ag100 for the 10th time today... just ain't for me.. tinny, hollow???... ps tour90 and fxp mid are the closest to my great ps85 imo.
 
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