Need advice on increasing durability with string setup

jzn10nis

New User
Lately I've been breaking my mains faster than expected. Here's the setup:

Six one 95 16x18
Mains: BHB7 17g
Cross: OG sheep micro 17g

The catch is, it seemed like the mains lasted longer when it was paired with a 16g OG sheep as a cross instead of 17g. Is it because the thinner 17g was sawing into the mains more than the 16g? Would I get more life out of my mains if I use a thicker cross? Or should I just get thicker mains and keep the same gauge for the cross?
 

Ramon

Legend
Do you see any notching in the mains? That should answer your question. My guess is you don't see any notching because synthetic gut is too soft to notch poly.
 

fgs

Hall of Fame
syngut produces heavy notching on poly mains and only extends the lifetime of the poly main by just a little bit compared to poly crosses. the least notching and longest lifetime you would get for poly mains is multis, but then you have to find one that doesn't break long before the poly is done. so far i have found that isospeed professional classic is the multi that produces the least notching on the mains, but i still have to restring one cross until the poly breaks. if you string yourself this should not be a problem, but taking your stick to a stringer to have him redo your crosses is a little bit "peculiar".

thicker crosses generally restrict the movement of the mains and therefore reduce the amount of notching also, but if you have a topspin-centered game you will find yourself also producing somewhat less action on the ball.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
16-15 gauge poly, not the S or Lite crap, and string it softer for similar feel.
I can suggest, Solinco Tour Bite 16 at 40 lbs.
 

jzn10nis

New User
Do you see any notching in the mains? That should answer your question. My guess is you don't see any notching because synthetic gut is too soft to notch poly.
I do actually.

...thicker crosses generally restrict the movement of the mains and therefore reduce the amount of notching also, but if you have a topspin-centered game you will find yourself also producing somewhat less action on the ball.
So in this case, it would be better to get a thicker poly main and keep the same gauge for the cross?

16-15 gauge poly, not the S or Lite crap, and string it softer for similar feel.
I can suggest, Solinco Tour Bite 16 at 40 lbs.
Definitely will try. Any thoughts on how it compares to bhb7 or alu power?

Correct me if I'm wrong. Let's say I get a thicker poly main to increase durability before the string actually goes dead; getting a thicker syn cross will also increase the durability of my poly mains but by doing so i'll probably lose a lot of playability. Also, the poly will probably go dead way before I break it. Right?
 

fgs

Hall of Fame
i did quite a lot of playtests with poly mains and syngut crosses and basically found that for my topspincentered game i got about the same durability from mains as from the crosses - meaning that if the crosses broke first the mains were also quite heavily notched and would have broken most probably within the next 10-25mins of hitting, or if the mains broke first the crosses were heavily thinned out and would also have broken within a short time. i usually take 1.25mm mains, which is generally now referred to as 17gauge, previously 16L, and same gauge for the syngut crosses. some are denominated 1.24 or 1,22, but this did not seem to matter much.

i would first try to be getting a thicker mains and keep the 17gauge for the crosses. this will surely give you a longer durability. thicker mains definitely will reduce playability somewhat, but stringing 0,5-1kg lower would provide a comparable feel to the thinner one. for me going down with tension also improved on durability a little bit and i pretty much tuned in on the other parameters that changed - slightly higher power and launchangle, etc.
 

jzn10nis

New User
..i would first try to be getting a thicker mains and keep the 17gauge for the crosses. this will surely give you a longer durability. thicker mains definitely will reduce playability somewhat, but stringing 0,5-1kg lower would provide a comparable feel to the thinner one. for me going down with tension also improved on durability a little bit and i pretty much tuned in on the other parameters that changed - slightly higher power and launchangle, etc.
I know you said having a thicker cross "generally restrict the movement of the mains and therefore reduce the amount of notching also, but if you have a topspin-centered game you will find yourself also producing somewhat less action on the ball."

Would thicker mains be a better option in terms of "playability" or having "more action on the ball?"

Ever thought of changing to an 18 main frame and keeping the strings the same?
So that the cross is thicker and wouldn't cut into the mains? That's the idea I was asking but I dont think I'll be able to keep an 18g for more than a few hours.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
... So that the cross is thicker and wouldn't cut into the mains? That's the idea I was asking but I dont think I'll be able to keep an 18g for more than a few hours.
LOL - 18 main not 18 gauge. Strings in an 18 main racket will last longer because they do not slide as much as they do in a 16 main more open pattern. You don't get as much spin but if you lower the tension you can get the same feel in an 18 main.

Suggested tension ranges on an 18 main racket are usually similar to a 16 main frame. I've found lowering the tension 10% in an 18 main makes the rackets very similar. Using the same string at 10% lower tension in an 18 main will decrease spin but greatly improve the overall life of the string.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I string for a strong high school player who switched into the Six.One 95 16x18 last May/June. He used the Pure Drive for a while before that, but loved the better fit he found with the Wilson. At the end of last winter he was stringing his PD's with RPM Blast at 55 lbs., but ran into some golfer's elbow in March - time for a change.

He dropped the poly completely through his spring season (still with the PD) and cooled out his elbow rather quickly after that. Syn. guts and multis kept him comfortable through the spring and summer, but he certainly chewed up a lot of strings.

Fast fwd to the end of the summer and the young gun decided to try a poly hybrid to try for some better performance and durability. I set him up with Isospeed Baseline 1.20mm mains tensioned in the mid 40's and 15L ga. Forten Nylon crosses tensioned in the low 50's. He's been using this setup for at least a month and a half with much success. Better feel and performance than the multis or syn. guts he was using earlier in the summer (in his Wilsons) along with much better durability, too.

Just one story, but a successful one that's proven to be supremely affordable.
 

fgs

Hall of Fame
thicker mains strung some 2lbs less than the thinner gauge previously played would give about the same touch and playability but increase durability. you will get slightly less action on the ball though compared to thinner mains.
 

jzn10nis

New User
LOL - 18 main not 18 gauge. Strings in an 18 main racket will last longer because they do not slide as much as they do in a 16 main more open pattern. You don't get as much spin but if you lower the tension you can get the same feel in an 18 main.
Suggested tension ranges on an 18 main racket are usually similar to a 16 main frame. I've found lowering the tension 10% in an 18 main makes the rackets very similar. Using the same string at 10% lower tension in an 18 main will decrease spin but greatly improve the overall life of the string.
Completely misread your post haha

Fast fwd to the end of the summer and the young gun decided to try a poly hybrid to try for some better performance and durability. I set him up with Isospeed Baseline 1.20mm mains tensioned in the mid 40's and 15L ga. Forten Nylon crosses tensioned in the low 50's. He's been using this setup for at least a month and a half with much success. Better feel and performance than the multis or syn. guts he was using earlier in the summer (in his Wilsons) along with much better durability, too.
Just one story, but a successful one that's proven to be supremely affordable.
Will try! How long did this setup last for him before breaking strings on avg? Also, what's the idea behind the 15L thicker crosses?

thicker mains strung some 2lbs less than the thinner gauge previously played would give about the same touch and playability but increase durability. you will get slightly less action on the ball though compared to thinner mains.
Gotcha. Idk why I keep thinking that a thicker cross will make the mains last longer and you maintain it's playability and touch by not going thicker.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
He was ripping through full beds of multi or syn. gut with either the old Babolat or newer Wilson in about a week. Sometimes only four of five outings - either a strong workout or full speed match - would chew up a set of either type in 16 ga. He didn't even get much extra service life with thicker 15L Prince Premier Control.

As far as we can tell, this hybrid is lasting at least twice as long as those full beds of synthetics. We decided to try the 15L crosses to see what might come of it after some 16 ga. crosses broke down rather fast. The mains are pretty skinny and tensioned a bit low, so we thought this combo could give him some control and durability in a not-so-harsh setup. The thicker crosses can bring some firmness (control) without too high of a tension, but they still wear down faster than the poly mains.

We'll probably sample some other things in the spring, but my pal really took to this setup as soon as we tried it. No signs of irritation in the arm and the boost in performance has made him really happy so far.
 

jzn10nis

New User
Thanks for the input fellas. Will try a few setups, mix up gauges, and hopefully ill find the next best thing for myself.
 

donquijote

G.O.A.T.
Apply a little bit of baby oil or olive oil to multis or NG the night before the match. Not only you will get a better life span from them, they will play better too. Don't apply too much as it can ruin the balls. You can wipe with a soft towel after application.
 
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