In praise of Kevlar/ZX hybrid!!!

Now that I have my Kevlar reel here, I'm using prestretched Kevlar/poly and liking it. It is a poor-man's kevlar/zx to get me by while I'm away from home on the south american clay court circuit.
 
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TadDavis

Rookie
Hi, I’m interested in trying this setup. I’m currently using monogut zx full bed at 45 lbs. I like the feel but looking for a little more spin and control. Could someone recommend me suitable tensions for the mains and crosses? Thanks in advance.
 

TypeRx

Semi-Pro
Try 60 lbs on the Kevlar (pre-stretch it first of you can) and 40-45 on the crosses is fine. I like 62/42 in my current setup but have used up to 75/45.

The tension on the crosses appears to influence the string bed feel/behavior more than the mains with this setup.


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AceyMan

New User
FNG here.

I just clipped out the old Tecnifibre NRG from my Austrian i.Prestige MP and had it strung with Ashaway Crossfire ZX at 45/50 lbs.

That choice was based on the manufacturers recommendations for each and considering I prefer a medium-firm string bed.

I'm looking for a really low power string that lets me swing away.

In my old age (= wisdom), as a former 5.0 player, I now realize the springy multis (and, likewise, nat gut) that I loved back in the day because they made a bigger (apparent) sweet spot in a 70 in² frame (yes, real wood) just serve now to fly the ball out of the court unless my strike elevation is abso-effing-lutely spot on. Like *that* ever happens anymore :p.

I just got it back from the stringer a couple of days ago and have only hit serves and backboard with it, but, so far, I see nothing to hate.

When I do it again, I might drop it a kg or two, but I don't want to give up that firm "swing away" power level.

Also, I've read that Zyex™ is resistant to notching which—beyond being the source of "feel" in the setup—is partly what makes it a good cross in a hybrid with aramid (this may have been mentioned before, but I haven't crawled the whole thread yet!).

Cheers,
/Acey
 
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hurworld

Hall of Fame
FNG here.

I just clipped out the old Tecnifibre NRG from my Austrian i.Prestige MP and had it strung with Ashaway Crossfire ZX at 45/50 lbs.

That choice was based on the manufacturers recommendations for each and considering I prefer a medium-firm string bed.

I'm looking for a really low power string that lets me swing away.

In my old age (= wisdom), as a former 5.0 player, I now realize the springy multis (and, likewise, nat gut) that I loved back in the day because they made a bigger (apparent) sweet spot in a 70 in² frame (yes, real wood) just serve now to fly the ball out of the court unless my strike elevation is abso-effing-lutely spot on. Like *that* ever happens anymore :p.

I just got it back from the stringer a couple of days ago and have only hit serves and backboard with it, but, so far, I see nothing to hate.

When I do it again, I might drop it a kg or two, but I don't want to give up that firm "swing away" power level.

Also, I've read that Zyex™ is resistant to notching which—beyond being the source of "feel" in the setup—is partly what makes it a good cross in a hybrid with aramid (this may have been mentioned before, but I haven't crawled the whole thread yet!).

Cheers,
/Acey
Any more thoughts on the set up?
 

whorng

Rookie
I have two packets of Kevlar / ZX.
Want to try 50 Kev / 30 ZX on a Yonex VCP 310.

But knowing the ZX will loosen up too much...
Should I string the ZX much higher and/or ask for pre-stretch?
What should I tell the stringer to do for pre-stretching the ZX?
Never asked for pre-stretch before.
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
Quoting Graycrait: "... string them about 65lbs for the Ash Kev and 58lbs for the Zyex."

If I remember correctly he used to string something like 58/58lbs and just play with it. My take on Ashaway Kevlar/ZX is that if you are not fussy about strings, you will have a stringer do it for you and then you will either like it or simply hate it. If you are fussy about strings, then you should get a stringer and mess with it.

If you are not fussy about strings then ignore what I am about to say. Just know that Kevlar is a very tough material and last a long time. And ZX has very slick surface that glides but think like glass in that it is brittle. ZX's elastic curve is closest to gut.

For me, Kevlar/ZX has shown to be not a very stable string bed, meaning the tension definitely decreases and continues to decrease. That does not mean that it was not playable, just that it DOES change. Kevlar stretch little, which means very little slack would loosen Kevlar string Tremendously! This means the segment outside the frame and particular the section before the tie-up knot can lead to hug tension lose. I do measure the tension with SM without cross string while restringing cross and the Kevlar main decreases tension everytime. I would push the strings from center to side to raise the center main tension to at least 10 lbs. After I install the cross the main tension can go back to about 45 and above. Though there is a hot spot because the center 2 would be much lower than the other mains. I have no idea why this string is known to be stiff. Ashaway Kevlar is a woven string thus it is actually a multifilament string in nature. It is however relatively tension insensitive.
I do not consider ZX to be a strong string. If you have pulled ZX cross then you would have noticed it stretched, stretched and stretched some more. If you let go, the string does not go back to its original length. That simply means that ZX string has low elastic limit. (Imagine every time you hit a ball, it stretches and does not come back.) The brittle nature needs a bit care when installing. I read that many commercial stringers break this string. I personally broke this string at the third time installing. (Initial Kevlar/ZX stringing, re-pull, break during third install.)

On a different note, I might be labelled a heretic for saying so. My gut/poly, Global gut/Max power also drops tension but bottoms out at about 30/30 lbs. I guess the last thing to do is to string a fb gut string bed and measure the tension. I suspect that natural gut also drops tension but because it is so "elastic" it is not as noticeable. Gut does not go "dead"!
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
does kevlar have no snap back for you guys. I'm at 55lb kevlar mains and after the first 4 hours my mains are all over the place and not straight at all. If I hit a forehand the mains bend one way and stay like that. I'm having to adjust strings every point

Anyone tried poly mains and kevlar in the cross?
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
does kevlar have no snap back for you guys. I'm at 55lb kevlar mains and after the first 4 hours my mains are all over the place and not straight at all. If I hit a forehand the mains bend one way and stay like that. I'm having to adjust strings every point

Anyone tried poly mains and kevlar in the cross?
For spin, Kevlar sliding over poly easier than Poly sliding over Kevlar. Just an hypothesis!

You did not specify your cross string. But my gut feeling is that 55lb Kevlar is too low. Are you using Ashaway Kevlar? I assume you are. Even with 60/45 Kelvar/ZX w/o pre-stretch my mains were relatively straight. I would increase main tension and lower cross tension.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
For spin, Kevlar sliding over poly easier than Poly sliding over Kevlar. Just an hypothesis!

You did not specify your cross string. But my gut feeling is that 55lb Kevlar is too low. Are you using Ashaway Kevlar? I assume you are. Even with 60/45 Kelvar/ZX w/o pre-stretch my mains were relatively straight. I would increase main tension and lower cross tension.
I try to prestretch it on a door knob but I also pull once, let go and pull again on the mains with 30 sec pull. Ashaway 16g or 17g main. But I'm not sure my pre stretch is good because when I cut out the cross to try a different cross. The mains are super super loose, such is the nature of kevlar? Like super loose, feels like 25 lbs or less.
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
Super loose! Not surprising! I redid the cross 4 times or so, imagine how loose it was. I think it went down to about 10 lbs, free string, at the end. I retension ZX to 51 lb, then Prince Warrior Response at 52 lb. I think I play the stick for like 6 months. Finally the Kevlar was so fuzzy and worn in the middle. I cut the Kevlar into two and reused/restrung it "inside out" with SG cross. Not enough Kevlar so I had to do some clamp gymnastic to fill the last main with SG. It was a bit of a Mickey mouse job but it plays.
 

Furty

New User
Finally, I will test this hybrid. Ashaway Kevlar 16 + Monogut ZX Pro 17 black, both manual and machine prestretch. With 5kg differential (11lbs). Usually, play with Origin or multi at 26/25kg (57/55lbs). How much for equivalent gameplay sensations (same power and comfort) on a Prince Warrior 100 EXO3 frame ? 26/21kg ? 25/20kg ?
I don't want to hurt my arm with a board or the opposite of having a rocket launcher...
Thanks.
Here's my feedback after a few months (25h of play to be precise). After both manual prestretch (body weight 5-10min) + machine prestrech by my stringer (10% kev, 20% ZX), I start at 64/48.5 (29kg/22kg). My stringer said that the frame had a little "crac" sound during machine prestrech but everything OK at the end (I have taken measures before and after : only 1-2 millimeters difference even after 25h).
So, the first hour it plays harsh and very different from my usual babolat Origin : need to adjust my swing (specially on short low balls) but after that first hour : WOW ! It's true : you can hit everything and the ball stays in ! Massive topspin, lovely slice : It really built my self-confidence for my baseline game ! Cons : volleys are more difficult than with Origin (due to lack of pop i guess but it's not my speciality ^^).
After these 5-6h of fantastic play, my arm starts to hurt a little and i noticed that the side mains drop a lot of tension (very loose) but I play this first 6-7h only on clay (snapback on center mains "scratch" a little also...).
So I move back with my other frame (still in Origin/Velocity) : ok, it's more confortable but spin/slice level is completely different and i've to hold my arm on regular shots... 2 sessions later and I broke this O/V setup so : time to go back to kev/zx :happydevil:

Since that moment (7h of play) until now (25h), the playability's very stable (not fantastic as the first hours but very very good especially with my powerful frame) and since I no longer playing on clay (only the first 11h) : snapback's back and no more pain with my arm (y)

Cons : volleys still difficult and lack of power for winner shots...

Here I post 2 images to see the durability after 25h (clic to zoom) :


And 1 video to judge snapback still after 25h (not fantastic but no "scratch"/ friction noise at all) :

Next time, i will strung at 64/44 (29kg/20kg) to increase differential and a little more power. What do you think, it will increase power or just the comfort ?
 

Furty

New User
Next time, i will strung at 64/44 (29kg/20kg) to increase differential and a little more power. What do you think, it will increase power or just the comfort ?
I just broke the kevlar after 31h last WE. Good durability and playability for this setup on my frame with 16g/17g (y) (except the last 2/3 hours when kevlar starts to fray).
For more comfort the first hours and "a little" more power (but just a little) : going from 64/48.5 to 64/44 (29kg/20kg) ? Or a little less : 64/46 (29kg/21kg) ?

The tension on the crosses appears to influence the string bed feel/behavior more than the mains with this setup.
That's why I ask :laughing:

PS : Since I broke, I'm playing with my other new setup : Klip Legend 15L/Max Power 16G at 55/51 (prestretch 20% on gut). The control is.... different ^^ :oops::-D
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
I just broke the kevlar after 31h last WE. Good durability and playability for this setup on my frame with 16g/17g (y) (except the last 2/3 hours when kevlar starts to fray).
For more comfort the first hours and "a little" more power (but just a little) : going from 64/48.5 to 64/44 (29kg/20kg) ? Or a little less : 64/46 (29kg/21kg) ?



That's why I ask :laughing:

PS : Since I broke, I'm playing with my other new setup : Klip Legend 15L/Max Power 16G at 55/51 (prestretch 20% on gut). The control is.... different ^^ :oops::-D
What's hard to understand: Kev needs a greater differential and Nat Gut needs less.
 
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