What's the biggest contributor to tension loss?

#1
Hi guys.

What's the biggest contributor to tension loss?

Is it poor knots?
Tensioning with 'yawning' crosses?
Using a crank v constant pull?

I'm new to all of this.

So any help appreciated.

Cheers, Paul
 
#4
Many issues can cause tension loss.
Poor knots can lead to tie off strings tension loss, not keeping crosses straight as they are tensioned like you noted.
poor stringing techniques, also not keeping clamps clean with slipping clamps, some cheap flying clamps can twist and cause tension loss.
You can also do everything correct, and you will get tension loss in first 24 hours just sitting there. All strings stretch in time. Example prince syn. gut strung to 60 lbs, measure with RDC machine right off machine, then 24 hours later measure again with RDC there will be a 9% decrease in stringbed stiffness that correlates to tension loss. Some strings have more initial loss then others, depends on string used.Many contributors, ? is which one is worse, many can be eliminated if decent stringer with decent machine.

I have also seen some very poor stringing, like a stringer double pulling every cross string and mains, rather than tensioning each , also seen a racquet where all mains strung and tensioned on one side only before going to other side a long long time later, as racquet was left in machine with all mains on one side for the 45 min. I was in shop, so there are poor techniques that can give undesired result. Those examples were stringers just being too lazy to care.
Bottom line there are numerous issues that can cause loss tension or undesirable results.
 
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norcal

Hall of Fame
#8
Yeah string type and just time. Strings lose tension over time, not much you can do about that (I guess pre-stretch would help).

Errors in stringing don't result in tension loss, you just aren't stringing it as tight as you hoped - you aren't losing tension because you never had it to lose.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
#9
Poor technique, poor machine parts (ex. clamps) can exacerbate tension loss during the stringing process.

After the racquet is strung, you have:

-Dynamic tension loss - hitting objects (hopefully tennis balls) against the string bed

-Static tension loss (no hitting, just the passage of time).

The type of string is one of the most obvious factors (but not the only one) that will effect the speed and severity of tension loss.
 
#17
Actually the biggest contributor to tension bar none is play. The harder and or longer you hit the greater the loss.
Clearly the OP was discussing tension loss during the stringing process.

Make sure your crosses are STRAIGHT when pulling to final/reference tension.
I think poorly straightened crosses contributes HUGELY to instant tension loss
(vs, what you were trying to achieve). They need to be straight when tensioned
and clamped, NOT AFTER you strung the racquet. (yes of course you will do some
very minor straightening when finished, but you shouldn't need to do much, or you
did a ****ty job).

Sorry, pet peeve of mine and i see some volume stringers in my area send out
smiley rackets. Most people don't know or care, but it bothers me.
 
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#18
I don’t think smiling crosses makes as much difference as many think or the string would get tighter when playing and they get out of place. Sure not having a straight string does ad to lower final tensions but it is primarily because of friction. When you straighten the crosses under a constant tension you break that friction between the strings and end up with a higher cross tension, which pulls the sides of the frame in which lengthens the mains which also increases tension. You should have the crosses moving when you apply tension to break the friction whether they are smiling or not. But always best to keep them as straight as possible before moving to the next cross.

But you can loose something you never had to begin with. If the racket is strung and your final DT is 34 it is what it is whether the string are straight or not. Straightening the strings will not drop the DT that much if any. If you want a higher DT set the tension higher. I think strings not straight will give you more of an erratic string bed and lower tension. Always best though to keep them straight even if just for a better look.
 
#19
What's the biggest contributor to tension loss?
What is the real question?

Is your question not "What is the biggest contributor to tension loss while stringing"

Nr 1 by far the stringer and the way he strings.

It is easier with a good machine but even on a crappy machine a quality stringer will manage to do a decent job.

Peter
 

MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
#20
I think the biggest contributor to tension loss may depend on a particular stringer's machine or technique but all things being equal I would think (1) a failure to keeping crosses relatively straight while tensioning is a major contributor followed by (2) failure to keep the clamps properly adjusted and clean (the latter being a big culprit). In the case of lock out machines, I would also emphasize that keeping the tension head as close to the frame as possible when tensioning is also key--and that should be done consistently (i.e., one cross should not be tensioned 1/2 inch from the frame and the next cross 6 inches away. Just my two cents . . .
 
#21
In the case of lock out machines, I would also emphasize that keeping the tension head as close to the frame as possible when tensioning is also key--and that should be done consistently (i.e., one cross should not be tensioned 1/2 inch from the frame and the next cross 6 inches away..
If the string is stretchy, i think it's possible that pulling from 6" away would actually result in LESS tension loss since that 6" segment would end up being tensioned twice (once outside the frame, once inside the frame) an unintended pre-stretch but a pre-stretch nonetheless.
 
#23
What's the biggest contributor to tension loss?
Let me add one underestimated factor.

If you live in a warm climate how nice it is to string the rackets in lower temperature air conditioning. Coils are getting at that temperature. So you string at that temperature. Then the rackets is brought outside with the higher temperature and full sunlight. That is a difference not to under estimate.

Peter
 
#24
Hi guys.

What's the biggest contributor to tension loss?

Is it poor knots?
Tensioning with 'yawning' crosses?
Using a crank v constant pull?

I'm new to all of this.

So any help appreciated.

Cheers, Paul
When I switched from a drop-weight machine that used floating clamps over to an electric machine with fixed clamps, I immediately found that the fixed clamps allowed for much less "drawback" compared with the floating clamps. The machine with the fixed clamps allowed me to set tension at 4-5 lbs. less than the other having the floating clamps to produce the same firmness in my string beds.

I didn't have a meter to specifically measure the firmness of the string beds after installation, but the difference was rather easy to recognize. I also strung a few racquets too tight for my pals when I first switched to the machine with the fixed clamps, so I re-strung them at lower tensions and figured out that 4-5 lb. difference rather quickly.

I think that regardless of what sort of machine we use, it's easy enough to get consistent results using that particular machine. Lockout (crank) vs. constant pull electric vs. table top drop-weight can all work fine as long as the stringer uses a consistent technique. But because the machines can function a little differently as I pointed out in my story above, their results can vary, even if the same stringer uses the same technique and the same tension settings using those different rigs.

A poor knot will probably slip and eventually come undone - way beyond tension loss there, right? But decent technique when finishing a last main or cross is helpful with keeping that string snug. Clamping off as much of that tensioned length of string as is feasible will prevent too much slack from sneaking in, but there's bound to be just a little between the clamp and the knot. Gently "rocking" the string when setting the knot is helpful for diminishing that slack, but it's important to go easy on the string when doing that.

Over-tensioning that last main or cross helps compensate for that unavoidable slack that happens when we tie off. Some folks say 3 lbs. is right and others say 5 lbs. is right, so I over-tension at 4 lbs.

One of our pals above mentioned temperature changes. I know that for me, this is a big deal. When we get into the heat of the summer where I live, I'll switch from 17 ga. syn. gut to 16 ga. in some of my own frames just so that they're not as susceptible to softening up so drastically when it gets hot outside.

Also keep in mind that string beds can turn rock-hard when the same string setups from the warmer months are used in cold conditions. I drop tension in my own racquets (syn. gut) by about 5 lbs. to keep them from playing too harsh when temps are in the low 40's or high 30's. Poly strings seem to be at least as susceptible to firming up or softening with temperature swings.
 
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