Why does stringing tension vary from actual?

cheecl

New User
I recently asked the stringer to string 60lbs main and 57lbs crosses. I measured the tension on a machine after he had finished and it was 56lbs. He told me that it's normal for the pulling tension to be higher than the actual tension. :confused: Is he feeding me BS?
 
no he is not jesting....what you pull is not what you get

there are several posts on this subject........marcR, Gaines.to name a few
 

jbs24

Rookie
Why? because strings lose tension over time, but less and less over time. Plus there's always some tension lost during clamping and tying knots, etc.
 

KuramaIX

Rookie
Ok i've been playing with klip hardcore at 58 lbs for 3 months and finally broke them. It got so loose but near the end that it actually felt like the right tension. Can anyone crunch some approximate lbs lost over the course of 3 months. O yea this string is a poly so they had to lose quite a bit i assume...
 
plus, string machines aren't perfect. Even though they pull the strings to the about the desired tension, the clamps will always slip a little. U'll lose a little tension there. I also imagine when u tie off u lose some tension too.
 

cheecl

New User
OK, I'll accept that there is some tension loss during stringing. But is the racquet was supposed to have been strung at 60lbs mains and 57lbs crosses. Even if you average it out it...at 58.5lbs, there would have been a 2.5lb tension loss, without even having played.

Is that normal?
 

Hill

New User
Yes that's normal too. Strings can slowly stretch on the frame (without even playing with it) which may cause a slight tension loss. Some strings will stretch more then others and having a 2.5lb tension loss after stringing is normal.
 

alan-n

Professional
That sounds about right. The strings lose about 5 lbs from the time you string to playing the next day. Most stringers take a few days to get the racquet back to the customer so the tension / string bed will settle down a bit... and you'll continue to lose tension was playing time goes on. Once its gone, its gone.
 
the difference is reference tension as opposed to actual tension.Depending on the type of string, a certain percentage of tension loss is normal. The machine also comes into the factor, constant pull as opposed to lock out. Natural gut holds its tension best, with a loss of about 5 %.
All the best,
Richard
 

christo

Hall of Fame
If players like Sampras had their racquets strung the morning of a match, the actual tension loss would would be less than if strung the night before? What about restringing during an actual match. Higher actual tension?
 

@ce

Rookie
christo said:
If players like Sampras had their racquets strung the morning of a match, the actual tension loss would would be less than if strung the night before? What about restringing during an actual match. Higher actual tension?
Exactly. And because of this, many of the players want their racquets strung as close as possible to their match time. Which is good for them but a pain for the stringers if you have several players wanting to wait.
 
Some of the strings on the Tennis Warehouse site have Reviews. If you read a couple you'll see that it's common for the strings to have a 6% - 9% tension loss after 24 hours without playing with them when strung on a constant pull machine.

I'm not sure but I think they calculate this using the actual tension after stringing and not the reference tension. So if you ask for 60 lbs. and lose 8%, your tension is 55 lbs. to start with and you'll probably lose more after you hit with racquet.
This is the nature of strings and stringing.
 

KuramaIX

Rookie
how much tension loss would it lose over 3 months. I used this poly called Klip Hardcore and towards the end I felt it was the perfect tension. I played just about every other day with these strings and I'm a pretty big hitter who used to break synthetics just about every practice. I strung it at 58 lbs. so anybody can give me a rough estimate on how much it lost...so it can help me decide to string it at whichever tension.
 

tedmeister

Rookie
CheapStrings said:
Some of the strings on the Tennis Warehouse site have Reviews. If you read a couple you'll see that it's common for the strings to have a 6% - 9% tension loss after 24 hours without playing with them when strung on a constant pull machine.

I'm not sure but I think they calculate this using the actual tension after stringing and not the reference tension. So if you ask for 60 lbs. and lose 8%, your tension is 55 lbs. to start with and you'll probably lose more after you hit with racquet.
.
These values are RDC values measuring differences in stringbed stiffness. It is measured in RDC units, not even in lbs or kgs. I am not sure why tennis literature quote this as if 10% stiffness loss in a frame originally strung at 60 would be like 6 lbs loss of tension. If you string one racquet at 60 and then wait 24 hours and string a fresh one at 54, the second one would not play at all like the one left to stand for a day. They would have the same stiffness(assuming the 10% lab data holds up) but the freshly strung one would be more crisp.

To KuramaIX, dropping the tension a few pounds would seem like quick fix, which is also what I would do if I was in your shoes. The alternative of course is to get some big hitting flat hitter to condition your strings for you for a few days, not acceptable of course :mrgreen: Take into account that another reason why you probably liked the string more towards the end is that you've gotten used to the string's response.
 

KuramaIX

Rookie
I'm pretty sure my strings lost quite a few lbs. cuz they felt springy and I could really employ more topspin and power in my shots. O boy my inner ego is telling me to suck it up and be manly to go with the higher tension 60 lbs., but the other part of me is telling me to go with 55 lbs to get tension I got towards the end of my previous string's life. I hope I make the right choice, more sugggestions would be nice lol cause this is one tough decision!
 

ambro

Professional
The tension by the end you had with your poly is probably around 45-50. Poly's lose a LOT of tension over time (except Signum Poly Plasma and Megaforce). I'd say they could possibly even be down to 40, but that is doubtful. With Prince Let 'r Rip it lost about 12 lbs. in 3 months for me, I'd suggest you go down to at least 55 lbs.
 

Gaines Hillix

Hall of Fame
cheecl said:
I recently asked the stringer to string 60lbs main and 57lbs crosses. I measured the tension on a machine after he had finished and it was 56lbs. He told me that it's normal for the pulling tension to be higher than the actual tension. :confused: Is he feeding me BS?
As the other posters said, tension loss after stringing is normal. The string begins to "creep" immediately after it is clamped off. Within the first 24 hrs, it can loose 5-15% of its tension. Poly strings are the worst at this. Natural gut is best for tension holding. BTW, what kind of machine did you use to measure the tension after your frame was strung? The Stringmeter tool is not reliable for checking actual vs reference tension and an RDC machine or ERT or mini STT machine don't measure actual tension, but string bed stiffness. Some of them try to convert this to lbs. but again, they are most useful for measuring tension loss over time, not for checking the accuracy of the machine's tensioning.
 

KuramaIX

Rookie
Does it hold true that all polys should be strung 10% lower? In my case should i string higher to compensate for the tension loss over time or string 10% lower?
 

Gaines Hillix

Hall of Fame
KuramaIX said:
Does it hold true that all polys should be strung 10% lower? In my case should i string higher to compensate for the tension loss over time or string 10% lower?
This is really a Catch 22. If you string it at normal tension the initial feel of the stringbed will be much stiffer than nat or syn gut at the same tension. It could feel very boardy and unplayable. However, polys loose tension fairly quickly, so that aren't playable as long as other strings. Prestretching doesn't seem to be as effective on polys as other strings either. I drop tension on my ALU power setups by 7% when I string them. If you already like the feel of a very firm stringbed and have no arm issues you might try your normal tension first and adjust from there, but most drop it by 5-10%.
 

Kevo

Legend
I recently tried a set of Gosen Polylon Comfort. The suggested tension range on the package was 45-55lbs. I strung it a 56/54 in my RDX 500 MP, and it felt pretty good. Like slightly lower powered synthetic gut. It was almost crisp on hard hit shots and had more feel than any other poly I've tried so far. I've only tried one Luxilon poly, BB Ace, so I can't compare to ALU. But I think the Polylon Comfort easily beats Pro Hurricane for comfort and control. Hurricane is more powerful, but I really am not in need of power. If the Polylon doesn't lose too much tension and doesn't break prematurely, I may stick with this one. I would have stuck with Ace, but it breaks fairly quick. It has wicked spin though, so it's a tradeoff. Ace is not as comfortable as the Polylon Comfort.
 
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