The effect of difference in tension of main and cross on the frame

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
I've heard if there's too big a disparity between the tensions of the main and the cross, it can damage the frame. Is this true? I know we have quite a few people who are in this industry and I would like to hear real professional opinions on this subject, please!
 
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Deleted member 232704

Guest
Yes it can. It will start to warp if the mains are too much tighter than the crosses. As for the crosses being too tight, there might be a greater chance of the racquet con-caving or a chance of a crack on spots around 3' and 9'.
 

Nojoke

Rookie
Twist to the question if you don't mind.

I have a 6.1 95s. It is 18x16. What effect, if any, does that have on stringing mains tighter theory? I strung it originally with full poly, but have switched over to my customary gut/poly. I strung it tigher than normal, and I will move lower, but I wondered if on 18x16 if stringing gut mains tighter than poly crosses presents a problem? Right now at 60/55, but will go lower, but worry a bit about the difference and the "backwards" string pattern.
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
Yes it can. It will start to warp if the mains are too much tighter than the crosses. As for the crosses being too tight, there might be a greater chance of the racquet con-caving or a chance of a crack on spots around 3' and 9'.
Thank you very much. What would be a comfortable difference which won't cause damages?
 

Sander001

Hall of Fame
I strung my Tour90BLX with a 12lbs differential and noticed no warping or any loss of integrity or stiffness. But it was a low tension, 48/36 so that may have less potential for damage.
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
I strung my Tour90BLX with a 12lbs differential and noticed no warping or any loss of integrity or stiffness. But it was a low tension, 48/36 so that may have less potential for damage.
Wow. You really go low with your tension. Thanks! I've heard Wilson frames are strong compared to other brands, but I don't know if that's true.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
I am not a professional but have been playing 35+ years and stringing 7+ years. Most pro shops and online retailers (including TW as stated above) will recommend keeping the difference to 5 lbs or less when you use different tensions on M and X. I have been using 3-5 lbs difference for years without any consequence on the frame. If you look around TT, you will see some use 10 or more lbs difference. Personally, I like to stay within the 5 lbs recommended range and I think a 5 lbs difference should give you enough difference to accomplish what you want. If you want mains to slide, stringing the X 5 lbs lower than mains should give you what you want. Also, if you are using different tension in a hybrid of poly with a soft string, then 3-5 lbs should be sufficient too.
 

Devilito

Hall of Fame
3-5lbs easy no problem. No distortion. Sure you'll get distortion if you string mains then pop the racquet out of the stringer without crosses lol. But a few lbs difference? Nah. I string my racquet 4lbs loser in the crosses. Makes the string bed feel way more comfortable
 

anubis

Hall of Fame
I've heard if there's too big a disparity between the tensions of the main and the cross, it can damage the frame. Is this true? I know we have quite a few people who are in this industry and I would like to hear real professional opinions on this subject, please!
Soooo... what tensions do you have in mind?
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm not expert on frame integrity but I wold think modern composite frames would resist warping. I would think the difference in tension would be similar to have a hybrid string job. With two different string like Kevlar / poly / syn gut / gut some strings would stretch far easier than the other strings even at the same tension.

Different tensions would not cause any more stress on a frame than hybrid stings. Don't you think if there were an issue with hybrid stringing someone would have brought it up a long time ago?
 

Fintft

Legend
I've heard if there's too big a disparity between the tensions of the main and the cross, it can damage the frame. Is this true? I know we have quite a few people who are in this industry and I would like to hear real professional opinions on this subject, please!
My certified stringer suggested the 2 LBS difference (to prevent string movement) so, I don't think that's a problem for the frame.
He was also quick to point out one occasion when the frame was deformed/elongated b/c the crosses were strung much tighter by a different store(more the 2 LBs difference).
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
I am not a professional but have been playing 35+ years and stringing 7+ years. Most pro shops and online retailers (including TW as stated above) will recommend keeping the difference to 5 lbs or less when you use different tensions on M and X. I have been using 3-5 lbs difference for years without any consequence on the frame. If you look around TT, you will see some use 10 or more lbs difference. Personally, I like to stay within the 5 lbs recommended range and I think a 5 lbs difference should give you enough difference to accomplish what you want. If you want mains to slide, stringing the X 5 lbs lower than mains should give you what you want. Also, if you are using different tension in a hybrid of poly with a soft string, then 3-5 lbs should be sufficient too.
3-5lbs easy no problem. No distortion. Sure you'll get distortion if you string mains then pop the racquet out of the stringer without crosses lol. But a few lbs difference? Nah. I string my racquet 4lbs loser in the crosses. Makes the string bed feel way more comfortable
Thanks, guys. Looks like 3-5 lbs should be about right.
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
Soooo... what tensions do you have in mind?
I wanted to try Dunlop silk main - alu rough cross hybrid, but since silk is too soft I thought I might have to go much higher on the main, like 55 main(silk) - 44 cross (alu rough). I will just try 50-45 this time and see how that works.
 

dje31

Professional
I think +/- 10% differential is acceptable, especially if the head is more oblong ( think HEAD ) than round ( think Prince ). That's probably a better gauge than an actual specific tension number ( 2#, 5#).
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
I'm not expert on frame integrity but I wold think modern composite frames would resist warping. I would think the difference in tension would be similar to have a hybrid string job. With two different string like Kevlar / poly / syn gut / gut some strings would stretch far easier than the other strings even at the same tension.

Different tensions would not cause any more stress on a frame than hybrid stings. Don't you think if there were an issue with hybrid stringing someone would have brought it up a long time ago?
Possibly, but people, even when their racquets were damaged, might not have thought that's due to difference in tension, or they just couldn't care. Anyway, hybrid being so common nowadays, I too believe the frame can stand certain degree of difference in tension on main and cross, but I just want many opinions from experiences and also from experts. :)

My certified stringer suggested the 2 LBS difference (to prevent string movement) so, I don't think that's a problem for the frame.
He was also quick to point out one occasion when the frame was deformed/elongated b/c the crosses were strung much tighter by a different store(more the 2 LBs difference).
2 lbs? That's quite small compared to some of the other peope's suggestion. More reason I want to hear from more people. :)
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
I think +/- 10% differential is acceptable, especially if the head is more oblong ( think HEAD ) than round ( think Prince ). That's probably a better gauge than an actual specific tension number ( 2#, 5#).
Thanks. I use Wilson Pro staff 90 BLX. Have been using this series for a long time. By your theory, I can go for 10% differential, I guess. That means I can do 50-45 hybrid. I just don't want to damage my racquets. :)
 

merlebo02

Rookie
I string Poly in the mains at 50 lb and syn gut in the crosses at 55 lb and haven't noticed any warping or cracking….

My rational for stringing Poly lighter is to make it softer and easier on my arm so y'all are saying I should be stringing it the opposite with poly in the mains at 55lb and syn gut in crosses at 50lb to get more movement of the strings to impart more spin??
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
I guess whether it's main or cross, you should use higher tension for softer string and lower tension poly. But I see why you are asking that question.
 

dje31

Professional
Right now, I've got Cyclone 17 mains and OGSM 16 crosses, one at 53M / 47C, the other at 47M / 43C. Really happy with both, but may reverse the poly and syn gut, just out of curiosity, with same tensions, mains vs crosses, irrespective of type.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
I just restrung 2 of my racquets with new crosses only...I have kevlar in the mains which are really loose....like no tension left at all, you could probably catch a ball with the mains. I think I initially strung them at 55 lbs, but stringing kevlar with a drop weight is kind of like an on/off situation...there's nothing to stretch so the weight just stops, and when you tie off it gets weird.

I put new gosen polylon crosses in at 55 lbs, talking out the worthless klipper spin max that was a complete disaster and I wouldn't even use if it was free again.

Lets see what happens. A lot of guys here will tell you that the frame is destined to be destroyed. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
 

AlpineCadet

Hall of Fame
Each player is different, with a different stroke mechanic and setup, and your timing will tell the best stories on your current string job, no matter what your preferences are. I used to think I needed a full bed of poly at the same tension up and down, then I realized how bad my footwork was and started dropping my crosses a few lbs a few hamburgers later and dinosaurs roamed again while the dirty city air somehow smelled of forests and American pie wth am I talking about I'm just a 3.5 with youtube.. burp.
 
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