Initial Comments: BB London Tour

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
As a fan of mids, 18x20 string patterns, and flexible racquets, I just couldn't resist buying a few London Tours.

My matched sticks arrived today. Unstrung, they all weigh 11.37oz/322 grams, and are balanced 10.5 points headlight according to TW. They are, as all have said, stunningly painted.

As a sample, I had one of them strung up by TW with Prince Syn Gut Orig 16 at 55#. I went to the courts and did some casual hitting after they arrived. Initial observations:

Yes....
  • If you miss toward the tip, you will know it. There is notable flex up there.
  • Any shots from the middle of the strings down are SOLID; there is very nice plow for such a light racquet.
  • When not hitting up toward the tip, the sweet-spot is easily as wide as the 95-98" frames I've used.

I hit with fairly traditional groundstrokes. I grew up emulating Lendl, Becker, and Edberg, so when I hit with topspin I'm hitting through the ball, not brushing up on it. I noticed nice bite on the slice and levels of topspin similar to what I'm used to. There were no surprises.

Volleys are sweet, and on a good day I think I could really use that tip-deadness at the net, as well as the solid feel of the sweet-spot.

As for serves and returns, I'll know more after I get to play.

The TW review was, as far as I can tell, on target. I happen to like low power sticks on the backhand side, and my forehand is mostly used for creating angles and moving my opponent around. I can see this racquet functioning rather well in both regards.

It is very predictable.
 

mrravioli

Semi-Pro
Some question about the BB London Tour here.

A friend of mine who has played with the IG Prestige Mid for some time is currently looking for something slightly for forgiving and a little bit lighter. He tried the MP version but much prefer the Mid for its great maneuverability and plow through. Then I had him try my beloved C10. He loved it in hitting groundstrokes but told me that he didn't want to wield such a 'tank' in real matches. So I infer that the magical Volkl feel with a lighter, mid size would probably a good fit for him and the BB London Tour and PB10 Mid came into mind. I started a thread earlier for comparison between these two but eventually opt to stick with my C10 Pro. Considering he's used a 18*20 for years, maybe the BB would be better choice for him I guess. He's not a racketaholic like some members here (me included) so I need to be more cautious with the recommendation.

Revive the thread coz I don't want to start a new one and find this nice review should having ZERO comment yet.
 
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Lighter alternatives to the pretige mid ... that dont give up on mid-like precision but have a more modern spin potential and forgiveness on returns are the pacific x feel 95... and if you need a little more power X force pro. Both have more precision than a prestige MP or Pro. I do not make that claim lightly.
 

mrravioli

Semi-Pro
Lighter alternatives to the pretige mid ... that dont give up on mid-like precision but have a more modern spin potential and forgiveness on returns are the pacific x feel 95... and if you need a little more power X force pro. Both have more precision than a prestige MP or Pro. I do not make that claim lightly.
Thx for the advice, BC. My pal didn't even know Boris Becker could be a racquet brand so Pacific must be something new to him as well. He's now quite intrigued by the spec of the London Tour (it is a true 93 rather than a 89, right?). I guess the BB would be slightly more demanding than the Pacific and not as stable in stock?
 

APG

Rookie
This is a great stick. On another thread I alluded to how I keep gravitating back to this racket. IMO the sweet spot is larger than TW review suggested. Mine have a few grams 3/9, a leather and over grip & lead covering 8 mains spreading out from 12.
I think the lead at 12 alters the deadness at the tip. Stringing with gut and Cyclone tour (53/50) produces a lively stick. I would not string it up too tightly.
 

mrravioli

Semi-Pro
Volkl makes a good stick but it's just a little strange for me. The feel and the grip.
HF, I know the Volkl handle is a little bizarr to some (as my buddy came from a Head so that might not bother him too much. He actually find the handle shape of my C10 quite square), but what's wrong with the feel?
 

mrravioli

Semi-Pro
This is a great stick. On another thread I alluded to how I keep gravitating back to this racket. IMO the sweet spot is larger than TW review suggested. Mine have a few grams 3/9, a leather and over grip & lead covering 8 mains spreading out from 12.
I think the lead at 12 alters the deadness at the tip. Stringing with gut and Cyclone tour (53/50) produces a lively stick. I would not string it up too tightly.
Thx, APG. This stick really needs some weight to beef it up and some soft string in the mains. My friend has never customized his racquet before but is quite open-minded to it with my preach.
 

michael valek

Professional
agree with the x force pro - there's 16x20 versions and 18x20 versions for even more control with sacrificing the comfort.
 

mrravioli

Semi-Pro
OK, my pal found a used London Tour here. Hope that will work - if not, he would stick to the IG Mid for some time.
 
Some question about the BB London Tour here.

A friend of mine who has played with the IG Prestige Mid for some time is currently looking for something slightly for forgiving and a little bit lighter. He tried the MP version but much prefer the Mid for its great maneuverability and plow through. Then I had him try my beloved C10. He loved it in hitting groundstrokes but told me that he didn't want to wield such a 'tank' in real matches. So I infer that the magical Volkl feel with a lighter, mid size would probably a good fit for him and the BB London Tour and PB10 Mid came into mind. I started a thread earlier for comparison between these two but eventually opt to stick with my C10 Pro. Considering he's used a 18*20 for years, maybe the BB would be better choice for him I guess. He's not a racketaholic like some members here (me included) so I need to be more cautious with the recommendation.

Revive the thread coz I don't want to start a new one and find this nice review should having ZERO comment yet.
It hits with more spin than the PB 10 Mid, even the X10 Mid.
 
Thx for the advice, BC. My pal didn't even know Boris Becker could be a racquet brand so Pacific must be something new to him as well. He's now quite intrigued by the spec of the London Tour (it is a true 93 rather than a 89, right?). I guess the BB would be slightly more demanding than the Pacific and not as stable in stock?
That London Tour 93 is the best serving stick Ive ever used. In someways though the XFeel pro 95 is more demanding... for slice backhands the pacific really forces you to "J" through the stroke or it will simply go into the net. For flat or topspin backhands the X feel Pro 95 is stronger.... possibly because the Becker is such noodle. But oh what a noodle!

I can hit absolutely gorgeous slice backhands with that becker than stick with an RA over 60 lets me do... its a tradeoff Im willing to make because I just dont slice very much.
 

mrravioli

Semi-Pro
Could anyone share his lead placement on the London Tour? My pal is still tinkering with his setup (and quite happy now with sun. gut @ mid-40s)
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
No help here. I specifically had TW send me the heaviest pair they had when I ordered mine a few years ago, and haven't needed lead. I do put a strip of head tape along the grommet, which adds a little bit of weight up there.
 

undecided

Semi-Pro
Looking for grommets for these, any ideas?

TT seems to think the Tour (93) has same grommet as the 98 inch Volkl. How can that be?
 

APG

Rookie
Could anyone share his lead placement on the London Tour? My pal is still tinkering with his setup (and quite happy now with sun. gut @ mid-40s)
This is one underrated racket and my experience with this stick was quite different then the TW reviewers. I keep coming back to the tour after playing with other rackets.
Mine are leaded at 12 with 1/4 tape spreading out over 8 mains. I also have 3-4 grams of lead at 3 & 9, while I have a BB leather grip and a Yonex over grip on the handle.
One of my sticks has full gut at 53/50 and another gut mains at 53 and Cyclone Tour crosses at 50.
With this set up I can generate a lot of power and precision. The added weight seems to spread out the sweet spot.
I hope this is helpful. Just realized this response is a little redundant as I had responded earlier in this thread. My apologies.
 
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mrravioli

Semi-Pro
This is one underrated racket and my experience with this stick was quite different then the TW reviewers. I keep coming back to the tour after playing with other rackets.
Mine are leaded at 12 with 1/4 tape spreading out over 8 mains. I also have 3-4 grams of lead at 3 & 9, while I have a BB leather grip and a Yonex over grip on the handle.
One of my sticks has full gut at 53/50 and another gut mains at 53 and Cyclone Tour crosses at 50.
With this set up I can generate a lot of power and precision. The added weight seems to spread out the sweet spot.
I hope this is helpful. Just realized this response is a little redundant as I had responded earlier in this thread. My apologies.
No need for apologies, APG. I revived this old thread earlier and also just realized you've already shared your experience here. Can't wait to recommend your setup to my buddy. I played with this stick for a while (without lead) when hitting with him, it has such a unique feeling that the ball was almost sinking into the stringbed on contact. Maybe a bit too demanding for me though in competitions.
 
Could anyone share his lead placement on the London Tour? My pal is still tinkering with his setup (and quite happy now with sun. gut @ mid-40s)
Got dis 4u...

Two layers on top and side bevels of grip
One layer inside the throat, both sides
One layer split in half/cover the inside of the head everywhere but above the top cross at 12:00
One layer outside head from bottom 6th main up to bottom 6th cross
 
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