Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by 10shoe, Jan 3, 2017.
A picture instead of 1000 words..
Ouch? That's not good
There's your problem. It's supposed to go through the big hole before you start weaving the other way.
Being serious, do you have any more photos of the failure? I'd like to see how much carbon is missing from that bridge piece.
I'll try to post another picture later but there really isn't anything missing. The crack in the bridge is barely visible. Looks normal. But it's toast.
No wonder Prince is/has been in financial trouble.
Just another stupid marketing gimmick.
Like Rollers. Or computer chips in the frame. or "Hyper" carbon.
Here's a closeup of the bridge.
My feeling exactly.
But looks like the racket has been smashed on the ground on that part.
Does the picture in the original post look smashed to you too? In my experience closeup photography makes any racquet look abused.
The player is often on clay. The scratch marks on the frame sides look to me like he is hitting the sides of his shoes with the racquet to clear clay out of the soles. This is pretty common practice on soft courts. According to him the string pulled through when he mishit an overhead.
Although the scratch doesn't look like by hitting shoes, I'm OK if you don't see any previous damage in person. It's just very rare.
I have sold Prince rackets for 8 years and have never seen this happen. Ported frames hold up incredibly well. That is abuse. BTW, replacing the insert should solve the problem.
^^^Agree,it looks like abuse to me too. I cannot imagine hitting one's shoes would cause that sort of frame damage unless the player wears cleats.
I've had it happen on a traditional ProKennex frame.
The string broke through the grommet and through the graphite underneath. It was under warranty and was promptly replaced by manufacturer.
No abuse at all.
I've never seen that type of break, either.
Nonetheless, the OP should reach out to Prince customer service if they feel it is a design or manufacturing defect.
Makes you wonder about stringing 1 piece. When you have a smaller section of the frame supporting a string what may happen. For some manufacturers you can void your warranty.
BTW OP did you buy the frame used from one of the 90+ lbs. stringers on the forum? LOL
Seriously I'd be interested in knowing how the frame was strung. Something like this could be the result of the string movement on ported rackets. I've seen the string cause bad wear on the center mains at the top but not crosses. Isner tubes all his ports to cut down on string breakage and that same wear that causes the strings to break, could wear out the frame. Fist the edges wear then the string breaks through. Bad design? Probably, but it sure sold a lot of rackets.
EDIT: Are other ports on the racket showing badly worn ports? You be able to see the paint worn off on the edges where the string rides. Your picture is not good enough to see.
I'd bet my house stringing it one-piece had nothing to do with the breakage.
Man, you guys are tough.
Here's the way I look at this. First off, the racquet is a Premier 115L ESP, an oversize racquet with a (this is important) 14 x 16 pattern and a tension range of (this is also important) 59 to 69 lbs. The racquet has EXO3 inserts which are plastic. They contain no fiber. So you have plastic supporting strings up to 69 lbs. Smart design???
I think you will agree with me that a racquet with a 14 x 16 pattern is asking for polyester string. The racquet was strung constant pull at 60 lbs with MSV Heptatwist. The racquet was strung 2 piece. The racquet was strung once.
There is no evidence of impact on the EXO3 piece itself. Please note that it failed at the deepest part of its indentation. Yes, as pointed out above, the EXO3 inserts are replaceable just not readily available. I have a set ordered. I am waiting.
One more thing, on supporting loops of string with molded plastic. I have a large collection of failed throat pieces (pic below) from various Prince O3 and EXO3 racquets. Typically they fail between the third and fourth mains. Why do they fail? Because the plastic splits. No fiber. It has nothing to do with abuse. These pieces are also replaceable but not readily available, sometimes completely unavailable.
I am with am1899 on this. You want to know why Prince is in financial trouble? Design.
In spite of what lefty10spro may think, Prince's big hole design is hurting them. I know a bunch of racquetball and squash players who will never buy Ektelon or Prince again. The bumperguards on a Prince squash racquet or Ektelon racquetball racquet are almost entirely air. A sport played in a room with walls and the bumper lasts about 5 minutes (slight exaggeration).
Very same reason why this racket failed
I had a different impression at first but now I know what happened. I'll check some of those rackets next time I visit a shop.
That racquet is made for developing or aging players who can't take a full swing at the ball. It's the antithesis of a poly-friendly frame. It's meant to be strung with a soft multifilament to provide tons of comfortable power for players who bump lobs back and forth.
The racquet shouldn't have failed, and you didn't do anything wrong, but it's really pushing it to say that it's asking for polyester string.
Quoted for truth. 115 sq in frames don't beg for poly!
Well, I just strung a 105 inch Prince for a lady with poly that was only thing I had at the moment. The spec tension was 58 +-5, so I did it at 58. That stick only had O ports around center main that are made of solid frame. I've no worry in this case but will be aware of this issue.
Famous last words. That racket I posted a picture of (post #20) was a Prince O3 Hybrid Cloud strung at 60 lbs with a syn gut string. Look real close at the bottom of the first full O Port and in the bottom you will see a "U" that was cut into the frame by the string. Her other O3 Hybrid Cloud failed the same way but before it failed she was breaking string every week. Someone gave her my name and number and when I pulled the string out of the racket the string caught in the grove at the top of the racket. I tubed the top grommet and 4T on both sides as they were failing the same way.
She later replaced both of her frames when they went on sale at TW and I have been tubing them ever since stringing with RIP Control at 65#. They have lasted her for over 4 years now and show no signs of wear at all. As the OP implies some of the Prince frames have a very poor design. Watch for wear in the ports.
Here is a picture of John Isner's frame (thanks to @drakulie) that shows how tubing is used to protect the string as he had a lot of problems with his strings breaking.
Thanks for the pic. Will start tubing the mains of my Tour 98 ESP after breaking the strings the next day. Only happens with poly.
Tubing looks bad IMO. On Prince ported frame the string tends to pivot near the edge of the frame when it vibrates. Prince's marketing of playing to the edge was real. On some of their frame the string would tend to wear out the paint on the frame first then dig into the frame itself. Make sure that the top edge where the string pivots is covered I like to not have the tubing extend down on the string past the frame. On strings where there is a grommet protruding through the frame I have not found it necessary to tube.
Recall Prince' More racquets and odd string breakage near the frame. Don't need no stinkin' grommets
I see. I'll be much more aware of it.
As far as I know, those Energy Bridge pieces are made of carbon fiber (at least they were originally: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20090105005528/en/Prince-Launches-EXO3---Tennis-Racquet-Line).
I agree that Prince should make their grommets readily available. I have been blessed not to have any of my ported frames fail I also am usually in the 55 lbs and below range in tension, so that may be in my favor.
Wouldn't tubing take away from Prince claim that the O-port system creates more spin?
Since the OP was talking of Prince design:
Here is approx. 2 year old picture of a Prince Speedport Red I got a couple years back to string.
. Fortunately I was able to get grommets when this happened, and from that point on I used power pads on throat piece since it has reputation for the pull through, and it is still is okay today.
BTW, this racquet belongs to a 70 year old female player. No abuse here, just a poor design, and if it happens again, no grommets avail.
So, the grommet kit for the Premier 115 arrived and what a kit it is. Another 9 pc kit that is totally asymmetrical. At first I thought I would just replace the broken piece on the right side. I thought I would save the rest of the kit for when the bumper needed replacement. But the pieces interlock in odd ways and I was unable to get the side piece out without damaging adjacent pieces. So, change of plans.
After struggling about 45 minutes trying to get the bumper on I stopped to string some racquets. I will go back to it later. The hang up right now is the bumper design (see pic). After getting the grommet barrel (red arrow) into its hole, the ledge on the interior of the bumper (yellow arrow) will not clear the ledge molded into the frame (sorry, no pic, I'm not pulling that grommet barrel out a 3rd time).
OMG, have a Prince Premier 115 and only strung it once. Thanks for the good news. Those ESP racquets were nearly as cheap used as the Radicals, $10-$20.
Why should it? It is only necessary to have the tubing around the string where the string pivots on the frame.
Wilson has something similar where the drilling in the frame is much larger than that required for the grommet and the grommet floats inside the drilled hole.
Anything like Wilson Powerholes or Rollers? Volkl Big Grommets?
Great pic Jim.
Built-in obsolescence in design
I took the broken piece of EXO3 material and put a match to it thinking I might be able to recognize the material by smell. (I worked in plastics for several yrs). I wasn't able to though. But I will tell you this (and I will try to post a video as well) that when you bend this material it snaps easily and breaks clean. Reminds me of a pretzel (except pretzels are stronger).
Note the the white line at the left. A mis-weave looped over the edge of the channel into the narrow space next to the port, will hold until you hit a couple of balls.
I had this also happen.
Yes the ported frames have issues, but I tube & pad as needed, just like I did in the wood days.
I also played with the MORE frames, and keyholing was a problem.
Still have a pr. of MORE Control 800 racquets. Had MORE problems with the bumper than anything else.
More Power 1500 with a layer of protection tape over the bumper from day 1.
I accept that the frames we buy may need work to last more than 2 seasons.
I know what you are referring to but in the case of this Premier 115 there was no mis-weave and the strings lasted since June, about 6 months.
Sorry, I did not realize you did the original work as I get referrals all to often when somebody else has done something the player doesn't like.
The EXO insert needs to handle both the stress of the string & the compression force of frame to court impacts during normal agressive. Prince needs to support the system with a broader run of replacement grommet kits.
Thanks for the thread, I plan to try power pads on the side ports to cushion the support structure.
Here's a link to a video of me demonstrating just how brittle this EXO3 material is. I don't know for certain what the material is, but it doesn't appear to me to be of fibrous origin. It kind of reminds me (and I'm really dating myself here) of the material leftover from the model airplane kits we used to put together as kids. Those runners used to snap like this. If I had to guess what this material is I would say butylated styrene. Here's the video link. The audio will probably tell you more than the video.
View My Video
It took 3 separate sessions for me to finally get the grommet set on this Premier 115 completely and correctly installed. After failing in the second session to get the last piece to actually sit down in the holes I was thinking that for subsequent grommet replacements on this model I would charge $75. Just to drive people away. However, after a nights sleep, clarity descended on me and I realized that the order of installation is critical. The key to the installation is that the 2 short pieces (one has 2 barrels, the other has 3) must be the last pieces to be installed. So, install the bumper first and even though you will be tempted to secure the ends (which are trying to pop out) with the short pieces, don't do it. I think it may also be necessary to begin the bumper installation from the side that is closed, which is on the right side of the racquet (use the butt cap to orient yourself right and left). If you remember those 2 things, installation shouldn't take more than half a day.
I encourntered one of these yesterday on a Prince 03 105. The frame is in terrible shape and the bottom threat piece like the one in the above photo was falling apart.
I found the owner some grommets on the bay in Atlanta for $20 a pair, but now wonder if I should tell the owner to take his frames to another shop to get strung? He can simply purchase the grommets from me. I am fearful the throat grommets have decayed due to age. These things are air filled and soft. ☹️ What a pathetic design by Prince. The EXO models updated these air filled throat grommets.
Since you have a new set of grommets for this, you should be fine to string it, I would use the leather power pads on the throat piece when you string it to give a little more protection.
Thanks, I have leather power pads and will certainly use them. I was wondering if there is anything I could do to make these grommets more "robust" ?
Anyway to dip them in something to make them more like Wolverine's adamantium claws?
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