In praise of Kevlar/ZX hybrid!!!

Finally has something real to share..

Just strung a modded, Prince Triple Threat Bandit OS with Ashaway Crossfire ZX. Main 60 lbs, cross 45 lbs. (Right off the pack w/o pre-stretching)
String meter data:

Main: 30-53-60-60-53-50-45-44|45-50-55-56-65-58-50-30
Cross: 32-35-33-32-32-32-31-31-30-32-31-32-32-32-32-33-32-30-20

Hoop: LxW, (in cm) was 34.6 x 25.9, now off stringer 34.35x26.2

Stringing note:
  1. Kevlar + feels like a thin rope. End already pre-cut to a decent about 30 degree point. On the Bandit threading through last tie-up hole not a problem. The softness makes knot tying nice without the bent section outside the frame while tying poly.
  2. ZX very stiff, probably among the stiffest to weave, but able to slip through grommet holes very nicely, easy to grip/weave with fingers.
  3. Decided to use Alvin's starting knot. Only pulling by hand one side at a time, the knot looks big, loose and untidy. Not wanting to put starting clamp on it, I pulled the first cross and let it be.
  4. Pulling ZX, after initial stretch it seemed to "let go" then tighten up. Once after straightening the string, threading the next cross, the drop weight stays level. It did not seem to creep further. I wonder if I am going to have another big tension lost. I shall find out.
  5. I left the ZX tail unclipped, thinking perhaps I might have to retension it again.
  6. Total mass: 364 gram
  7. Just bouncing a ball, the string bed felt pretty good, whatever that means. Whereas the gut/poly I strung felt a little mushy, this one feels more lively.
For comparison: Prince NXG OS, 60 lbs Ashaway Liberty
Main: 30-41-55-50-53-52-52-47|49-55-55-54-53-55-53-45
Cross: 35-32-34-33-30-32-31-30-32-34-35-35-36-37-35-36-34-34-24

At 15lb reference tension differential, the actual tension differential at the center is actually no greater than 60/60 SG. Now I am curious how 20 or 30 lbs tension different will look.

All the speculation.. I shall have a chance to hit a little today and report back.
These string meter numbers are all over. Is that normal?

And fwiw i would never use a starting knot or starting clamp with zx myself!
 
These string meter numbers are all over. Is that normal?

And fwiw i would never use a starting knot or starting clamp with zx myself!
SM reading on main spread from 45 -65 lb, that is in fact the worst I had ever strung. I normally string with mini-JET and achieved fairly even numbers. The string bed ended up looking like reverse proportional strung. I wonder if anyone string Kevlar proportionally.

The starting knot turned out big n ugly, but holds tension ok.
If you did neither starting knot not clamp, then you probably weave first 2 crosses, clamp 2nd, pull first cross, clamp, then tie off. I

Zero words of encouragement? Unlike many who make negative comments from speculations. I am disappointed. ;-)

Right.. No pre-stretch. I need to have a baseline to start my jouney. Gotta have my own data. No one else seems to have any SM data for Kevlar/ZX, or shared any other setup.

I cut the end of Kevlar but kept the end of AD so that I can retension. Maybe I can "walk" the tension toward the center mains when the cross was removed.
 
I tried to string 62/52 kevlar/monofilament in a k7. It become about 2mm shorter and a bit sider. Is this type of setup best in stiff frames or is it ok in flexible frames aswell.
 
Help

My strings feel dead after about 7 hours of play, and now I have elbow pain.

I'm using the the Crossfire ZX set from Ashaway. Kevlar+ and monogut ZX both 17 guage at 65/45. Today was my third session. About halfway through the match, the strings felt lifeless. Absolutely no power whatsoever. When I noticed that they felt dead, I had to swing super hard just to get the ball to clear the net and my racket felt like a board. I felt pain in the elbow at the time, and now tonight, I'm getting some throbbing in my elbow.

When they were freshly strung a week ago, they felt good, good spin and control, and the ball properly popped off the stringbed. I had pre-stretched the ZX about an extra 2 feet. Didn't pre-stretch the Kevlar.

I normally have played with multi strings up until now. Prince Premier and Head Velocity. My racket is a Prince Textreme Tour 100p, 18x20. I'm probably a good 3.5 player, using moderate topspin on both groundstrokes. Probably bad technique on serves and volleys.

The kevlar mains are notched. The ZX crosses not really. Is this normal? See the video:


Is this amount of snapback normal? Would any of that be producing the dead feeling? Could it be my racket? My technique? The balls? We didn't use new balls, so they were starting to get flat. But using flatter balls in the past never caused me to have to swing harder or give me any elbow pain. I want to try playing again with fresh balls just to see, but I don't want to cause more damage to my elbow. I never had any elbow pain prior

Either way, this feels like the beginnings of tennis elbow. Which sucks because I did like the feel of the strings the first two sessions. I was hoping that this kev/zx hybrid had the longevity that people claimed. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 
Help



I normally have played with multi strings up until now.
Ashaway Kevlar is a multifiliment design, which helps it play more comfortable than a poly string, but it's still going to be firmer than a nylon multi due to the inherent stiffness difference.

BTW, good snapback makes the Kev play more comfortable, not less. It might just not be the right string for you.
 
Jumper67:

My 60lb/45lb Crossfire ZX, no pre-stretch, continued to drop tension unplayed, judging from the SM reading. The feel of the racket just bouncing the ball felt very .. soft. The center tension is about 40/30 per SM.

My speculation about your situation is that you are hitting harder and out of your zone to compensate for the lack of power. That, hitting out of your mechanically correct zone or fatigue causes the tenderness in the elbow. 330g is not exactly lightweight, but many use much higher mass rackets. I hope that with some rest and adjustment to your gear or movement your elbow will feel better.

For a Kevlar/ZX newbie, my current feeling about this string set is that to get the playability to last, some or a lot of "homework" ahead is necessary. Prestreching or re-tension, finding the correct tension/combination, and racket tweak.
 
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My speculation about your situation is that you are hitting harder and out of your zone to compensate for the lack of power. That, hitting out of your mechanically correct zone or fatigue causes the tenderness in the elbow. 330g is not exactly lightweight, but many use much higher mass rackets. I hope that with some rest and adjustment to your gear or movement your elbow will feel better.
Well the first few sessions of play, the normal power was there. I had to tweak my stroke a bit for the change in trajectory but that was it. It was only mid-way through this third session where it felt like the racket was dead.
 
Has anyone tried kevlar fishing/camping string? It is uncoated and cheap at $6-10 for 100 feet. I have a very thin reel of it, don't know the strength rating. It is thinner than 18g and won't clamp on my machine unless it twirl it around a piece of regular string. I applied some super glue on the ends so I can thread through grommets. Looking forward to testing it out. It soaks in lubricant like a sponge.
 
Has anyone tried kevlar fishing/camping string? It is uncoated and cheap at $6-10 for 100 feet. I have a very thin reel of it, don't know the strength rating. It is thinner than 18g and won't clamp on my machine unless it twirl it around a piece of regular string. I applied some super glue on the ends so I can thread through grommets. Looking forward to testing it out. It soaks in lubricant like a sponge.
I think traveler tried that once and said it was a waste of time.

Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
 
Well the first few sessions of play, the normal power was there. I had to tweak my stroke a bit for the change in trajectory but that was it. It was only mid-way through this third session where it felt like the racket was dead.
Given the tension differential, I bet your racket is about a 1/4 inch shorter than normal, which does noticeably reduce SW, plus these strings are several grams lighter as well.

So I'm thinking there is significantly less power and plow coming from your frame than you're used to having. I'm also thinking your excitement and adrenaline helped mask that power loss in the first times out.

This may be a good opportunity to polarize the weighting of your frame and maximize the sweetspot.
 
So I finally used the pack of crossfire zx that has been laying around for 1 1/2 years. The kevlar name always made me feel like i’d be crazy to try. I have finally tried it and bought a few more packs. I listened to having a differential tension but couldn’t do some of the crazy differentials of 85/45 and such. I persuaded myself to try 55/45lbs on a K7 and a Beast 98. I normally would string full poly @48-50lbs on those frames. Pretty nice setup actually with comfort and crisp feel. I didn’t think power was that bad but heavy spin was addictive and so much control over launch angle. Just hit a couple of hours so far but looking forward to playing a match today if the freaking rain stops.
For the k7, how does it compare to halo2 and poly strings you have tried? I'm particularly concerned about the power on serves. Thanks in advance!
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
For the k7, how does it compare to halo2 and poly strings you have tried? I'm particularly concerned about the power on serves. Thanks in advance!
It is working out really nice! So far i have this crossfire ZX hybrid on K7, P17, Beast 98 and soon on Pure Storm Tour GT. All with tension 55/45lbs. Comfort is truly not an issue and i do like the feel which is a bit crisp and feedback is not bad as I had thought it would be. Heavy top spin is excellent, control on par with a good control poly, it doesn’t seem to have any negative impact on the sweet spot or launch angle. After adjusting to the feel, I don’t think it has taken any power off my serve.
 
It is working out really nice! So far i have this crossfire ZX hybrid on K7, P17, Beast 98 and soon on Pure Storm Tour GT. All with tension 55/45lbs. Comfort is truly not an issue and i do like the feel which is a bit crisp and feedback is not bad as I had thought it would be. Heavy top spin is excellent, control on par with a good control poly, it doesn’t seem to have any negative impact on the sweet spot or launch angle. After adjusting to the feel, I don’t think it has taken any power off my serve.
Thank you for the speedy reply! I have a reel of Halo 2, so I'm thinking of trying ash kev main and halo 2 cross on my coming k7 slazenger!
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
I believe it won’t be the same as having the ZX pro crosses. I believe they do an excellent job of keeping the string comfy as they are as comfy as gut. They are still a mono with a slick surface that’s perfect for the kevlar to slide on. However, experiment away by all means
 
I believe it won’t be the same as having the ZX pro crosses. I believe they do an excellent job of keeping the string comfy as they are as comfy as gut. They are still a mono with a slick surface that’s perfect for the kevlar to slide on. However, experiment away by all means
Do you think you will be giving kevlar/poly hybrid a try sometimes?
A long time ago I hit briefly with kevlar/tourna big hitter black 7 and recall the feel and spin was amazing. I know some people who swear by that combo as well. Wish someone else can chime in on how kevlar/poly play.
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
Do you think you will be giving kevlar/poly hybrid a try sometimes?
A long time ago I hit briefly with kevlar/tourna big hitter black 7 and recall the feel and spin was amazing. I know some people who swear by that combo as well. Wish someone else can chime in on how kevlar/poly play.
There might be some people but i won’t be. The mono zx pro is hands down more comfortable then any poly. It’s probably the best slick cross for mains to slide on. If you want your string bed with a more stiff feel then by all means poly cross will give you that. Another important point i believe is longevity of string bed. Any poly dies in a few hours but mono zx doesn’t and lasts till kevlar snaps as reported by others. So far i have about 13hrs on my P17 and it plays the same
 
I also tried same setup 55/45 crossfire zx on a beast 98 yesterday. Similar to K7, played crisp but comfortable. The amount of touch is actually decent and after a bit of playing, handled touch shots well. Some people mentioned that power level goes down with this hybrid but i didn’t necessarily find that to be true. Compared to a decent poly of course, i didn’t sense the drop off and was able to hit big and serve big. And yeah, really enjoyed the kick i got off this string. If it lasts with same playability for 40hrs or so that’s a huge plus.
Did you string the Crossfire Zx yourself? Did you pre-stretch ZX? and Kevlar? How many hours have you log on the Crossfire ZX 55/45?
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
topspn

What did you use and what tension when in full poly? if ever? Trying to figure out where I should start
Oh wow, I have been using poly strings for many many years. Way to many polys to think of all, however lately I’ve been using hyper-g 16g quite a bit and YTEX quadro twist and square-x. Also really like RS Lyon, revolve, tour bite and others. I generally string full poly between 48-52lbs depending on string and frame
 
Has anyone tried kevlar fishing/camping string? It is uncoated and cheap at $6-10 for 100 feet. I have a very thin reel of it, don't know the strength rating. It is thinner than 18g and won't clamp on my machine unless it twirl it around a piece of regular string. I applied some super glue on the ends so I can thread through grommets. Looking forward to testing it out. It soaks in lubricant like a sponge.
I made my shroudbite with 2 strands of the kevlar with metal wire and a teflon coating. It was much softer than normal kevlar tennis string. But that could have been the twist formulation more than anything. But aome kevlar like Forten is super soft
 
SM reading on main spread from 45 -65 lb, that is in fact the worst I had ever strung. I normally string with mini-JET and achieved fairly even numbers. The string bed ended up looking like reverse proportional strung. I wonder if anyone string Kevlar proportionally.

The starting knot turned out big n ugly, but holds tension ok.
If you did neither starting knot not clamp, then you probably weave first 2 crosses, clamp 2nd, pull first cross, clamp, then tie off. I

Zero words of encouragement? Unlike many who make negative comments from speculations. I am disappointed. ;-)

Right.. No pre-stretch. I need to have a baseline to start my jouney. Gotta have my own data. No one else seems to have any SM data for Kevlar/ZX, or shared any other setup.

I cut the end of Kevlar but kept the end of AD so that I can retension. Maybe I can "walk" the tension toward the center mains when the cross was removed.
Hey its your time to waste. Pages of threads about how prestretching is a must.

Anyhow I have a sm and find it useless. First off it tops out at 70lbs. 2ndly its hardly a precision instrument. So another waste of time imho.

You are very close on the stringing method, though I pull both crosses then set the 2nd clamp. Then pull the 1st clamp. In the past I strung the crosses at 86 lbs so setting the clamp on a tensioned string was necessary.

Edit. I pull the 1st cross not clamp

Good luck on your experiments
 
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Hey its your time to waste. Pages of threads about how prestretching is a must.

Anyhow I have a sm and find it useless. First off it tops out at 70lbs. 2ndly its hardly a precision instrument. So another waste of time imho.

You are very close on the stringing method, though I pull both crosses then set the 2nd clamp. Then pull the 1st clamp. In the past I strung the crosses at 86 lbs so setting the clamp on a tensioned string was necessary.

Edit. I pull the 1st cross not clamp

Good luck on your experiments
Time is wasted when one does not start the experiment. No time invested, nothing learned. Or when one randomly try something without documentation and learned nothing. When one start experimenting and it does not work, one gains experience. That is learning, that is progress. Learning is not wasted. And then more people experiments systematically, more the knowledge base may be built. And more things are learned when unexpected things happened. I wonder how the center main in my kevlar are so low. I remember I did not pull both mains to start, only pulling with my hand to put a starting clamp on the first main.Perhaps that clamp was just slightly lower when the other 1st main was pulled. Then after the first 3 on first side, starting the 2nd side, the slight "slack" migrated to 1st and 2nd .. 1st side center mains. I only wish that I kept the ends for the kevlar main so that I have the option of restringing it.

Next I will play with it for another 2 sessions, then retension the cross, probably back to 45 lbs again to see how the string bed feels.

At this point, I am really curious how Travelerajm strings his mains in steps. I would love to see a video of him 1) walking the tensions from side to center main and 2) the steps right - left alternating.

I agree that SM is not a precise instrument, +/- 2.5 lbs. But it is relatively consistent, which means it is useful for comparison. I do not have a better, less inexpensive and systematic way to measure/record/document stringbed. We have to agree that human perception specially different human is far less consistent and reliable. Some people describe their strungbed stiff at 48lbs and you describe your 86/86 soft. Topspin's 55/45 played well after 13 hrs, and mine Crossfire ZX @ 60/45 seems to soften tremendously after hitting about an hour and resting 5 days neither pre-stretched. There is no consistency unless both rackets are in the same space played by the same hand.

Yes, once more, to advance our understanding of the string bed, particularly Ashaway Kevlar/ZXP, I would really appreciate if anyone who can take a few minutes of time to share their SM data of their string bed along with racket, string main/cross and stringing information, + hitting hour, strung hour...
.
 
So what tension advice is there for the Crossfire II hybrid of Kevlar and syn gut 16g? For a 98 head size!
I string a 30 yr old's former college player, probably now a 5.0, at 62/62 plain Ash Kev/Zyex Pro in a Head Radicals 18x20 98. I hate it when he says to me, "Wanna seem some spin?" Or "I'm going to hit my kick serve now." There is no call for that sort of crap when hitting with an old guy:) If he gets an outside court that kick serve will hit high on the side fence before you can get to it. Or he hits the serve a deliberate 100mph down the T or hits it into the body, admonishing me, "Happy Feet" when he knows I move like an Ent.
 
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Just strung my TC95 RA63 with kevlar/cream hybrid using Sergetti method. Measured stringbed stiffness on RDC and dynamic tension with ERT-300. It’s stiffer than my usual poly hybrids. Never played with kevlar before. Will hit tomorrow and see how it goes.


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Never played with kevlar before. Will hit tomorrow and see how it goes.
First off it takes an hour or so of hitting to get Ash Kev to "settle" in, especially if you haven't adequately prestretched it. Save your judgement until you have about 2 hours of hitting with it.

I would suppose Cream would make a decent cross until it dies then I have no clue what might happen, because Ash Kev is D E A D on arrival. Ash Kev works OK with syn gut but has a tendency to lock up rather quickly. With Zyex or Origin you can "create" a stringbed that will last a good while as the crosses do not die without a fight and don't lock up so that the Ash Kev moves against the cross till it saws itself through. I bet Diadem Evolution (the blue stuff) might work well with Ash Kev.
 
I string a 30 yr old's former college player, probably now a 5.0, at 62/62 plain Ash Kev/Zyex Pro in a Head Radicals 18x20 98. I hate it when he says to me, "Wanna seem some spin?" Or "I'm going to hit my kick serve now." There is no call for that sort crap when hitting with an old guy:) If he gets an outside court that kick serve will hit high on the side fence before you can get to it. Or he hits the serve a deliberate 100mph down the T or hits it into the body, admonishing me, "Happy Feet" when he knows I move more like an Ent.
Finally got around to stringing up ZX (black) with kev and there is certainly no poly cross that will out topspin this combination.

Did a prestretch that got about 5" out of a half set and put it in at 57 on Kev mains that had about 30 hours on it. The result is fairly crispy and closer to poly than gut. The feel is firm, but the control and sweetspot is far superior to full poly. And by that I mean that the spin I was trying to impart was taking effect well before the ball was crossing the net, whereas poly can be late in its response. Also, absolute mastery of trajectory with Kev/zx, which is the reason I got into Kev to begin with!

Fwiw, head velocity black has a fairly similar performance to ZX black but with a more muted feel that some might find to be more comfortable. I'm still favoring the better feedback of ZX but need some match time with it to be sure.
 
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Finally got around to stringing up ZX (black) with kev and there is certainly no poly cross that will out topspin this combination.
The former Russian junior national champ who has borrowed 3 of my PCG 100LBs all strung with Ash Kev x Origin is out of state hitting with her former big school D1 teammates over the 4th of July. I hope to get some feed back on Ash Kev x Origin vs her normal Head 16x19 strung with RPM Blast or Tour Bite at 58 when she returns. Her first week locally with these rackets and string was described by her as "I love these rackets and I can generate so much spin with the string."
 
The former Russian junior national champ who has borrowed 3 of my PCG 100LBs all strung with Ash Kev x Origin is out of state hitting with her former big school D1 teammates over the 4th of July. I hope to get some feed back on Ash Kev x Origin vs her normal Head 16x19 strung with RPM Blast or Tour Bite at 58 when she returns. Her first week locally with these rackets and string was described by her as "I love these rackets and I can generate so much spin with the string."
I've used the natural origin a lot as a X with Ash Kev, and the feel at net is superb, but baseline spin is so/So. Never used black O, though, which I imagine is better in the spin department.

I've used both blast and tourbite at 58, think Kev and O/V/ZX @ 70/50 IS WAY better.

Your junior player is going to rave about how simple it is to put away mid court shots and volleys, I'm sure of it.

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our junior player is going to rave about how simple it is to put away mid court shots and volleys, I'm sure of it.
She is now a 20 yr old, about 5'10" and a solid 10+ UTR, academic All-American. It is one of my life's lucky moments to have met her. If you hit a shot to her backhand you deserve what you "started" and it won't be pleasant if you had some idea of winning a point. Really neat gal married to a young American soldier. My own wife married a young American soldier some 40 yrs ago.

Once upon a time I had this young lady as an interpreter in Bosnia in pre-US Bosnia in 1993 who is now a doctor of nuclear medicine. I have had the good fortune to have been connected to some really neat folk over the years in a variety of venues. I had the opportunity to work with a SA medical doctor who not only worked with Doctors Without Borders but was the team doc for the scientific mission in Antarctica.

And now I am getting to hit tennis balls with folks from all over the world. Three days ago I got to hit with Palestinian gal, OK she is a PhD in psychology now living in India, but she hit a forehand like Jack Sock. She thought my Margaret Court-like form was quite "unique." She cried when I told her about how a Norwegian doctor and I "saved" the life of a young lady pregnant with inverted "T" twins in some forgotten place.

Tennis is a kids game that makes me happy.
 
Playtest note: on Prince TT Bandit OS, Crossfire ZX, originally 60/45 w/o pre-stretched
Hit probably about 15 minutes in today's coaching with the high school kids. Managed to find my groove and hit quite well with it. Good spin, decent control, very cushioned feel.
It has been about 7 days and hitting about less than 2 hours. The main reading continued to drop, from about 42 now around 38. Hoop length, inner started 34.35cm now about 34.45cm. I suspect if I retention the cross to 45 lbs reference, the mains will get tighter and get more squashed.

Does anyone know that ZX looses tension more from hitting or from simply under strung tension? I doubt that is a good question for those without any mean to get measurement. Just trying to guess whether I ought to retention now or until it starts to hit poorly.
 
Time is wasted when one does not start the experiment. No time invested, nothing learned. Or when one randomly try something without documentation and learned nothing. When one start experimenting and it does not work, one gains experience. That is learning, that is progress. Learning is not wasted. And then more people experiments systematically, more the knowledge base may be built. And more things are learned when unexpected things happened. I wonder how the center main in my kevlar are so low. I remember I did not pull both mains to start, only pulling with my hand to put a starting clamp on the first main.Perhaps that clamp was just slightly lower when the other 1st main was pulled. Then after the first 3 on first side, starting the 2nd side, the slight "slack" migrated to 1st and 2nd .. 1st side center mains. I only wish that I kept the ends for the kevlar main so that I have the option of restringing it.

Next I will play with it for another 2 sessions, then retension the cross, probably back to 45 lbs again to see how the string bed feels.

At this point, I am really curious how Travelerajm strings his mains in steps. I would love to see a video of him 1) walking the tensions from side to center main and 2) the steps right - left alternating.

I agree that SM is not a precise instrument, +/- 2.5 lbs. But it is relatively consistent, which means it is useful for comparison. I do not have a better, less inexpensive and systematic way to measure/record/document stringbed. We have to agree that human perception specially different human is far less consistent and reliable. Some people describe their strungbed stiff at 48lbs and you describe your 86/86 soft. Topspin's 55/45 played well after 13 hrs, and mine Crossfire ZX @ 60/45 seems to soften tremendously after hitting about an hour and resting 5 days neither pre-stretched. There is no consistency unless both rackets are in the same space played by the same hand.

Yes, once more, to advance our understanding of the string bed, particularly Ashaway Kevlar/ZXP, I would really appreciate if anyone who can take a few minutes of time to share their SM data of their string bed along with racket, string main/cross and stringing information, + hitting hour, strung hour...
.
Well have fun. Might as well go ahead and test newtons laws oe e=mc2 for learning sake...

No one cares about sm measurements.

The description of the string bed as you mention does not take into account sw and head size. On an os with a 400sw 86/86 is not harsh. While 48lbs in a lower sw racquet may be harsh

Anyhow here is a post I did when I was tracking tension loss using the Ert 3000. More precise than the sm and goes over 80lbs. Measures dynamic tension or DT. 56 dt is roughly 86 lbs iirc. Anyhow I cant exactly use zx anymore but here is some data that imho is pretty useless even to me but perhaps it will help your understanding:

https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...affect-the-way-you-play.554294/#post-10013237
 
I am assuming that everyone is here to share and learn about various aspect about tennis gears or specifically about strings and stringing in addition to being sociable. I understand that not everyone is a scientist or is interested in being one, but one of the more effective way to learn something is to do it systematically. So that is what I am trying to do. I do one setup on one racket, record the data. Then I do another one, record the data. When I compare the two setup and the numbers I get plus how these numbers relate to how it feels, I should be able to decide whether I need to go further or I need to go back. That is the essence of doing things systematically.

There is always other ways of getting to one's dream setup, that is to copy. But then even if one nails the string and the reference tension, there might be other variables that were not accounted for, such as different playing stay or pre-stretched or how pre-stretched.

Good you do use ERT 300, or did. I do not have one. As far as I can tell, it give us a macro view of the string bed stiffness, i.e. DT, which is the same idea for RT. SM on the other hand is more a micro view of each string. Yes, I know SM reading does not equal to the actual tension on each strung string, but there is a correlation. To tune with string tension on main and cross, or some version of proportional stringing, I need to use SM and length the width measurement of the hoop.

Too bad, no body care about SM data because it tells us something. As the kevlar/ZX string bed became softer, I do not say decrease DT since I do not have data, I observed drops in main tension and not so much cross tension per SM, as the hoop lengthen about 1 mm.

I have not started measuring SW, so my bad. But you are correct string bed stiffness depends on many things including SW and racket. I suspect the stiffness of the hoop would be a factor as well. In any case, for any given racket, string type, make model gauge, tension, and TIME.. all are factors.

Your 86/86 special are not harsh when? 1st hour or after 10 hrs. I just wonder when people say the string bed play great still after 3 months or a year, what kind of string bed is that. I know mine now is about 38/30lb in the center after a week and 2 hrs of play.

I know you are trying to help, but because many of us are not able to duplicate your process, we only attempt to use part of your setup.

If there are other newbies like me who are thinking about kevlar/ZX, i.e Ashaway Crossfire ZX, I just want to say: In a 350 gram OS, strung 60/45lb, without pre-stretched, the string bed softens but is still playable. There is some string movement in both main and cross but as a whole the string bed feels consistent. If I were to redo it again, I probably would go up to 65 or 70 lbs on the main and 55 or even 60 on the cross. But from this point, I will try to tension the cross again to see how that changes the hoop length and main tension and the stiffness.
 
I am assuming that everyone is here to share and learn about various aspect about tennis gears or specifically about strings and stringing in addition to being sociable. I understand that not everyone is a scientist or is interested in being one, but one of the more effective way to learn something is to do it systematically. So that is what I am trying to do. I do one setup on one racket, record the data. Then I do another one, record the data. When I compare the two setup and the numbers I get plus how these numbers relate to how it feels, I should be able to decide whether I need to go further or I need to go back. That is the essence of doing things systematically.

There is always other ways of getting to one's dream setup, that is to copy. But then even if one nails the string and the reference tension, there might be other variables that were not accounted for, such as different playing stay or pre-stretched or how pre-stretched.

Good you do use ERT 300, or did. I do not have one. As far as I can tell, it give us a macro view of the string bed stiffness, i.e. DT, which is the same idea for RT. SM on the other hand is more a micro view of each string. Yes, I know SM reading does not equal to the actual tension on each strung string, but there is a correlation. To tune with string tension on main and cross, or some version of proportional stringing, I need to use SM and length the width measurement of the hoop.

Too bad, no body care about SM data because it tells us something. As the kevlar/ZX string bed became softer, I do not say decrease DT since I do not have data, I observed drops in main tension and not so much cross tension per SM, as the hoop lengthen about 1 mm.

I have not started measuring SW, so my bad. But you are correct string bed stiffness depends on many things including SW and racket. I suspect the stiffness of the hoop would be a factor as well. In any case, for any given racket, string type, make model gauge, tension, and TIME.. all are factors.

Your 86/86 special are not harsh when? 1st hour or after 10 hrs. I just wonder when people say the string bed play great still after 3 months or a year, what kind of string bed is that. I know mine now is about 38/30lb in the center after a week and 2 hrs of play.

I know you are trying to help, but because many of us are not able to duplicate your process, we only attempt to use part of your setup.

If there are other newbies like me who are thinking about kevlar/ZX, i.e Ashaway Crossfire ZX, I just want to say: In a 350 gram OS, strung 60/45lb, without pre-stretched, the string bed softens but is still playable. There is some string movement in both main and cross but as a whole the string bed feels consistent. If I were to redo it again, I probably would go up to 65 or 70 lbs on the main and 55 or even 60 on the cross. But from this point, I will try to tension the cross again to see how that changes the hoop length and main tension and the stiffness.
Should be able to use same string - just mount on stringer, clip the cross right before tie-off knot, unweave without untying original starting knot. If you increase by 10 or more lbs, you will just about be able to finish the crosses without any extra string due to the extra length.

On my open-pattern Steam 96, I've re-upped the cross tension several times this way (from 90/40, to 90/50, and now 90/60).
 
Should be able to use same string - just clip right before tie-off knot, unweave without untying original starting knot. If you increase by 10 or more lbs, you will just about be able to finish the crosses without any extra string due to the extra length.

I am not worrying though, I did not cut off the end and left enough to reach the rotary gripper on my DW. I think you meant that the ZX will stretch more.

For the future though, I do wish you can give a step by step procedure on how you string your mains to 90 lbs RT. I read that you do it in steps, and you did it pulling two strings at a time and "walk" the tension..

Oh, and let me ask again, if you have SM or SRT-300? I am just curious what the numbers are on your string beds. I mean your 90/60 reference tension for certain isn't what it was.
 
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topspn

Hall of Fame
It is a shame can’t get crossfire ZX in 16g. I guess would have to buy reels of each then cut length amounts and take to the stringer
 
It is a shame can’t get crossfire ZX in 16g. I guess would have to buy reels of each then cut length amounts and take to the stringer
So, did this hybrid live up to your expectations?
I tried kevlar/cream hybrid yesterday for the first time and the wow effect was missing. I didn’t do the prestretch, and didn’t go with big tension difference between mains and crosses as recommended. Instead I strung my racquet with Sergetti method @ tension reference 21.5kg. ERT-300 dynamic tension reading was 41, which dropped to 38 after 90min of hitting. The stringbed felt pretty stiff, still comfortable, however my forearm was sore after an hour or so. Great control obviously. Low powered, spin was average, volleys were great, serving was terrible. Kevlar must be a lightweight string, because SW dropped by 5 points. I am cutting it out now, but will give kevlar another try nevertheless @lower tension.


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topspn

Hall of Fame
So, did this hybrid live up to your expectations?
I tried kevlar/cream hybrid yesterday for the first time and the wow effect was missing. I didn’t do the prestretch, and didn’t go with big tension difference between mains and crosses as recommended. Instead I strung my racquet with Sergetti method @ tension reference 21.5kg. ERT-300 dynamic tension reading was 41, which dropped to 38 after 90min of hitting. The stringbed felt pretty stiff, still comfortable, however my forearm was sore after an hour or so. Great control obviously. Low powered, spin was average, volleys were great, serving was terrible. Kevlar must be a lightweight string, because SW dropped by 5 points. I am cutting it out now, but will give kevlar another try nevertheless @lower tension.


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I have tried crossfire ZX 17 @55/45 no prestretch but my stringer used an electronic CP. I have tried it in different frames and comfort is better then pretty much 90% of polys. It is on the crisp side, fairly connected, controlled, a bit lower powered compared to a powerful poly. And I’m getting excellent heavy spin with a neutral launch angle and pretty good sweet spot. I have a couple of packs coming of crossfire II that’s 16g but cross is syn gut so will see how different that is. It has so far exceeded my expectations but my expectations were low. I was anticipating a more boardy, dead very low powered which it is not. For context, my stiffest frame is a PS P17 and even with a comfy poly like hyper-g I felt arm discomfort and played that frame sparingly. No such discomfort with this hybrid. I’ll see how long playability lasts and would really like to try 16g in this hybrid but reluctant to commit to a whole reel at this point
 
So, did this hybrid live up to your expectations?
I tried kevlar/cream hybrid yesterday for the first time and the wow effect was missing. I didn’t do the prestretch, and didn’t go with big tension difference between mains and crosses as recommended. Instead I strung my racquet with Sergetti method @ tension reference 21.5kg. ERT-300 dynamic tension reading was 41, which dropped to 38 after 90min of hitting. The stringbed felt pretty stiff, still comfortable, however my forearm was sore after an hour or so. Great control obviously. Low powered, spin was average, volleys were great, serving was terrible. Kevlar must be a lightweight string, because SW dropped by 5 points. I am cutting it out now, but will give kevlar another try nevertheless @lower tension.


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Yep kevlar is light and stiff so its prudent to measure the sw before and after and compensate with lead. I usually do the easy method and just weight the tip. If its say 2 g lighter with kevlar I will put 2 g of lead on the tip. Usually at 10 and 2. Not exactly precise but will get the sw up so its not a double whammy of low power with stiffer strings and lower sw.

Fwiw its a good practice to adjust for weight when changing strings to different ones. Imho most of the string differences people report are probably just weight and balance differences
 
Re-tensioned cross ZX to 53-51-53 lbs, on Prince Triple Threat Bandit OS, originally strung with Ashaway Crossfire ZX at 60/45lbs without pre-stretched.

SM main: 22-45-52-57-55-60-63-58|61-63-64-60-63-49-44-32
cross: 35-38-38-35-36-37-35-35-36-35-36-36-36-35-36-38-37-36-25

Note:
  1. Removed short scrap string piece, carefully pushed end through loop then loosened ZX knot. Unweaved and pulled through about 6 cross strings. ZX felt stiff appeared kinked with a lot of coil memory, unlike the straight new string. But after stringing it was straight again. So ZX can be stretched to get rid of coil memory.
  2. Since only played about 2 hours, after tension became stable, decided not to re-weave to the other side of main.
  3. After cross strings were completely loosen, equalized the main tension by pressing down on one string at a time, from 7th main toward 2nd main, on each side. Used SM to check and seemed to be pretty equal to about 23~25.
  4. Cross reference tension? Since my highest poly cross RT is around 48, it was suggested that I add 10 to 45lbs, but not wanting to go to 55. I settled on 53. Used 53-53-53- then 51, last 3, 53-53-53, inspired from JET or JayCee method.
  5. Pulling used ZX cross still need about 90 degree on the DW. More than poly but less than SG.
  6. Racket felt loose coming off the 6-point mount, both main and cross. Hoop length 34.5 cm slightly longer from 34.45 cm last checked. There is less hoop squash from tighter cross. Actually swinging the stick it felt .. more sluggish. Can I actually tell a 0.05cm longer stick? Or am I just tired?
  7. SM reading on mains shows kind proportional stringing.
  8. Bouncing a ball, the string bed feels firm but cushioned. Await play test.
  9. Conclusion: Yes, string bed can be tuned by adjusting the cross tension only. No need to cut out the main string, just restring the cross when the string bed feels mushy or too soft.
 
Given the tension differential, I bet your racket is about a 1/4 inch shorter than normal, which does noticeably reduce SW, plus these strings are several grams lighter as well.

So I'm thinking there is significantly less power and plow coming from your frame than you're used to having. I'm also thinking your excitement and adrenaline helped mask that power loss in the first times out.

This may be a good opportunity to polarize the weighting of your frame and maximize the sweetspot.
Thanks for this response. I'm only doing 65/45 which isnt as extreme of a differential as others in here, but yeah I imagine the racket is a little shorter. I didn't measure

Just to follow up on my previous post about the racket feeling dead, I've played a few more sessions, and it seems ok now. That session where I immediately followed up with my initial post, as I mentioned, we were playing with some fairly dead balls that had 3-4 sessions on them. Playing with fresh balls again and the racket feels alright. It could also have been the excitement as mentioned in the quote above.

But for now I'm going to stick with it. There is a little bit of elbow twinges that remain, but nothing like after that original post. I may play with adding some weight to the tip of the racket to compensate
 
My second outing with kevlar hybrid was much better than first one. Hit for two hours, won a match, annoying ceramic sound was gone, stringbed felt softer, tons of directional control, huge serves. But spin was not there, again. I liked the overall performance, but where the hell is that promised spin? :)
Anyway, ordered another kevlar/zx set and will try again following your suggestions about tension difference between mains and crosses. If I can get that ball spinning, it could really be my go-to setup.


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Thanks for this response. I'm only doing 65/45 which isnt as extreme of a differential as others in here
Yes, I think you don't always need a big differential for open rackets. I've been using thoroughly pre-stretched either 60/45 or 55/45 in Tour 98 ESP rackets and with the open pattern these have been great.

I can however (no surprise here) confirm that 55/45 in a Phantom p100p with 16x18 that hasn't been pre-streched and which has had a stencil painted on really doesn't slide very well at all, especially where the paint is. That was the best I could get them to do in a demo racket and obviously wrong but, despite not being particularly spinny, it still felt very nice to play. When I actually buy the sticks I think I'll go for something like (65or70)x45 myself (and omit the stencil :) )
 
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