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Go Back   Stringforum.net Board > Strings/Racquets/Stringing > Racquet Stringing

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Old 2013-10-18, 18:30   #21
B.K.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweet impact View Post
So I strung my Head TiRadical OS with Polylon 17 at 30lbs on the mains, and 50lbs on the crosses. I was going for a target of 45lbs for both mains and crosses. I ended up with 45/43. No stressing of the frame or damage was observed and the tension is stable after playing with it for 2 hours.

So I really don't see any issue with going much higher on the cross tension as long as you keep your main tension lower to anticipate the increase.
No stressing of the frame or damage observed? Good luck! Check out your bridge, it might show fine cracks on the handle side even before you play the first ball. Especially if you also strung the crosses starting from the bridge and finishing to the head!

Besides all that, why would somebody in this world wish to have an even tensioned string bed? Do the mains and the crosses have the same role when hitting the ball? Do they do the same work?

In my previous post on stringing tensions, I've based my calculations on the idea of getting an even stress all-around the frame. You based your calculations on the idea of getting, after stringing, an even tension between mains and crosses. Totally different approaches! I don't argue which of them makes more sense (even if for me only one does). Instead, I will come with a third approach: mains and crosses do different works, thus should they show different tensions measured on the finished string bed. As a complement, the frame will also work with the strings, but there's a good and a bad work, one putting force in the ball, another cracking the bridge. All these in the next posts.

Regards,
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Last edited by B.K.; 2013-10-27 at 19:34.
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Old 2013-10-18, 22:23   #22
B.K.
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The role played by main and cross strings when hitting a ball, are totally different:
- mains negotiate with the ball,
- while crosses negotiate with the racquet's frame.

All happens in a cycle of 4 strokes (stroke here is used like for engines, working in a 4 strokes cycle):

1) When the ball hits the racquet (or vice-versa), the mains, who are tighten at a higher tension, will recuperate the ball's energy by stretching. Crosses, tighten at a lower tension, will also stretch, but without getting much tension, so unable to recuperate much of the ball's energy. So, in the first stroke only the mains are playing the main role.

2) When the mains are stretching, they also compress the racquet frame, precisely the head and the bridge, pushing the sides of the frame aside from each other. The frame tends to get more circular compared to its normal aspect. Doing so, the frame stretches the crosses, and puts tension on them, actually the same tension mains recuperate from the ball, just not directly, but by the bias of the frame.

3) Now, once the ball transmitted all its energy to the racquet, the stretched crosses will try to bring the frame back to its initial form, and will compress the sides of the frame.

4) By doing so, the crosses actually will push the head and the bridge aside from each other, bringing the frame at its initial form. This will put higher tension on the mains, tension they will transmit as energy back to the ball.

What's important to observe, is that in the 2nd and 3rd stroke, the mains are losing their high tension because of racquet's frame deformation (getting more circular). This high tension is recuperate by crosses, which, without the frame's deformation, wouldn't have been stretched too much. They are normally less stretched compared to the mains, and they should be so to allow the frame to deform elastically.

This is the mechanism putting at work as much parts of the string bed and frame as possible (actually all), in order to preserve as much energy as possible and to transmit it back to the ball. But all these works are different, and occur at different moments (strokes), meanwhile in a precise sequencing. If one of this parts is not doing its job, the racquet playability suffers. This is why higher tension in crosses (some, not too much, let say 10-15%), will lower the string bed's elasticity, putting the frame at rest. Stretching the crosses even more, will reverse the string bed: mains will play crosses' role, and crosses will play mains' role - it's like having the handle on the side of the racquet (either at 3:00 or 9:00, instead of 6:00). I mean functionally, although the form factor won't change visibly (you won't play a Stewie's head). And this isn't all: significantly increased tension in the crosses, and the racquet will suffer serious damage to the bridge. But will write another post on this subject.

Conclusion is that classical tensioning of crosses is the way to go: equal tension is good, but 1-2lb less in crosses is better. In both cases mains will have higher tension than crosses due to waving (which adds about 10lb&+ to their initial stretching).

Will be back soon,
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Last edited by B.K.; 2013-10-27 at 19:43.
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Old 2013-10-19, 02:01   #23
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There's one movement in the racquet's frame that cracks the bridge: when the two arms of the throat (of the handle at the throat) are pushed away from each other. Cracks occur at the joint between these arms and the bridge, on the outside of the string bed, on the inside of the throat. These cracks are not so important unless they migrate on the string bed side. And unfortunately they do this fast if the problem causing them is not solved.

As for the problems causing the throat's arms to be pushed away from each other, mainly there are two:

1) Too high tension in crosses, causing the string bed to reverse (see my post above). This means, when hitting the ball the frame will become more oval than at rest (exactly the opposite of the normal behavior). Which means the lateral parts of the frame will get closer to each other. Which means the two arms of the throat are pushed away. Which will crack the bridge.

2) When stringing, if the crosses are started from the bridge (stringing from the throat to the head). This will laterally compress the frame at the bottom side of the string bed (where started the crosses), which will cause the two arms of the throat to be pushed away from each other. And this will crack the bridge. And as if it wasn't enough, during the crosses stringing process, the tension in the first mounted crosses (those closer to the bridge) will increase, putting a permanent dilating tension on the throat's arms, tension that will increase even more when hitting the ball. All conditions are in place to first crack the bridge, and than expand the cracks around the bridge, to the string bed side.

On the contrary, starting crosses from head to throat, will push away the sides of the frame at the bottom of the string bed, which will cause the two arms of the throat to get closer to each other, which is the normal behavior a racquet is made for. And the lower tension in the last mounted crosses (closer to the bridge), will also ensure the two arms of the throat won't dilate excessively, even when hitting the ball, to crack the bridge. All conditions are in place to insure and preserve a safe racquet frame.

I already discovered such cracks in the bridges of some of my racquets, all with the crosses strung from the throat to the head, work done either by professional stringers (official tournaments accredited), or directly by manufacturers. My two racquets with crosses strung from the head to the throat are just fine, despite they were far more and harder played than the others.

OK, think I'll take a long brake now.
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Last edited by B.K.; 2013-10-29 at 03:14.
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Old 2013-10-21, 19:18   #24
sweet impact
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I was focusing on tension only and not the roles of the mains and crosses. Thanks for your information, it was very informative.

Now that I think about it, the crosses are much shorter than the mains since the racket is an oval shape and not a circle. So having the same tensions in the crosses doesn't make sense. The shorter string at the same tension will play much stiffer when reacting with the ball.
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Old 2013-10-22, 03:30   #25
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I would go even farther on this issue of mains and crosses having different functions. Here is how their stiffness and/or softness play a role within the 4 strokes (described in a previous post):

1) At the 1st stroke, the mains have to be stiff enough to compress the head and the bridge, in order to create a cup. Not to create the cup as much by their own stretching (elasticity). In this time, the lower tension in crosses will make them just follow the cup made by the mains, without saving much of the ball's energy (like the mains and the frame do).

2) At the 2rd stroke, when the sides of the frame dilate, crosses have to be soft enough (I mean elastic, stretchable, not plastic softness, not dead) in order to dilate with the frame without flattening the cup and hurl the ball, because not all energy is accumulated yet to be transfered to the ball. Lot of energy is still located within the frame deformation.

3) The reversed should happen at the 3rd stroke, when the elasticity (so called softness) of the crosses should help re-compress the sides of the frame, while still maintaining the cup (or most of it). Actually, ball's propulsion starts at this 3rd stroke, but completes only at the 4th.

4) Compressed frame sides will bring at the 4th stroke the head and the bridge back in their initial position, which will put back high tension in mains, and finally hurl the ball with all the energy recuperate from the frame. Again, the stiffer the mains, the higher the energy transferred back to the ball.

Conclusion is that mains should be not only more tensioned, but also stiffer than crosses (or crosses not only less tensioned, but also softer/elastic than mains), otherwise the ball risks to be hurled before all the energy is in place to be transfered back to it. Kind of same lost of energy happening with the ball deforming when hit: ball recuperates the original form only after leaving the string bed, so all the energy she absorbed by deforming is now returned to the... air.

Now, when using the same type of string, the softness/elasticity of the crosses is only controlled by tension (because mains and crosses are made of the same materials). In this case, compensation for lower stretching in crosses (because shorter than the mains) should be applied. For example: 16x19 pattern strung at 55lb (mains). In order to distribute an even stress around the frame (see my post #13), crosses should be tensioned 1lb lower than mains. But with a stretching compensation of (-)0.5~1lb, crosses should be tensioned even lower: about 1.5~2lb less than the mains. The (-)0.5~1lb stretching compensation has been applied alongside with the (-)1lb compensation for an even stress around the frame.

But stretching compensation alters a little bit the even stress around the frame, so it lowers the frame's efficiency and, even if the string bed's efficiency increases, in the end nothing is won, nothing is lost. The question is: couldn't it be obtained an increased string bed efficiency (kind of stretching compensation brings in), but without compensating for stretching (without losing the frame's efficiency by altering the all around even stress)? The answer is yes: by going hybrid.

Because in hybrid, softness/elasticity of crosses is no longer controlled by tension (so by stretching compensation), but by the string's material (and the gouge, for fine tuning). This will allow to replace the stretching compensation by using softer (increased elasticity) strings in crosses, and stiffer strings in mains, and go only with the tension calculated for an even stress around the frame. Example: 16x19 pattern strung at 55lb (mains). In order to distribute an even stress around the frame (see my post #13), crosses should be tensioned 1lb lower than mains. And this is it, no stretching compensation is necessary if crosses made of a softer material and mains of a stiffer. String bed will see an increased efficiency with no lost in the frame's one.

And this is one of the three huge advantages in hybrids: increased efficiency. The second is arm-friendly, because crosses always negotiate with the frame (not so much with the ball), so do they with the arm, and softness (increased elasticity) means less tennis elbow. Finally, the third advantage is durability, if combination of strings well chosen (which is not necessary what string manufacturers/marketers advise us: they only look at the material, but not at the abrasiveness, which is far more critical with crosses cutting/sawing the mains).

And hybrid also allow us to use different gauges in mains and crosses, and this is an important lever to balance all three advantages (especially if durability conflicts with the other two): stiffer mains by thicker gauge, and/or softer crosses by thiner gauge. And there are also several other variables influencing this equation: heaviness of the racquet or force of the hit, form of the string bed or style of playing, surface of the string bed, wideness of the racquet or catapult effect, balls played, court surface, etc. Objectivity and subjectivity blend here to create what each would call "the best match" for himself. Example: for durability, I'd go with the smoothest (co)poly mono for crosses, and abrasive/pro-spin syn gut or a multi (kevlar) for mains (not natural gut, thanks, I'm a vegetarian). Than, if necessary, balance the mains' stiffness and crosses' softness by playing trial and error with the gauges, one racquet at the time.

Bests,

PS: Actually, this post is the only one I wrote here, where the information is speculative (logic, but without empirical proof). If somebody could confirm or infirm it according to his/her experience, would be very helpful. I won't be able to do it myself until the nest spring (or summer, because I live in Canada). As for the previous other posts I wrote here, they are explanations of what other people (and in the first place Jens) already experienced and resumed in good advices (so, the empirical proof for my other posts, except for this one, does exist already). Thanks.
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Last edited by B.K.; 2013-11-04 at 04:40.
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Old 2014-07-20, 00:22   #26
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Default Mains and Crossing - tension

My tennis style:
I hit hard, play 8 times a week, 3.5+, one-handed bh, Prince Exo3 Warrior 100.

My objective:
is to have control with durability.

Stringing:
High tension, near the racket recommended max for the mains with poly, and the crosses with a multi-filament at 2-3 lbs less.

For my objective, do you agree?
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Old 2014-07-29, 18:32   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeagtennis View Post
My tennis style:
I hit hard, play 8 times a week, 3.5+, one-handed bh, Prince Exo3 Warrior 100.

My objective:
is to have control with durability.

Stringing:
High tension, near the racket recommended max for the mains with poly, and the crosses with a multi-filament at 2-3 lbs less.

For my objective, do you agree?
For your objective of control and durability: 1) playing 8 times per week, 2) hard hitting, and 3) high tension poly mains are all starting to work against you. The high tension poly mains, played that often will loose tension quickly. Rapid loss of tension in your case, could equate to rapid loss of bed stiffness, making the bed feel different to you day-to-day, causing you to adjust your swing - thereby affecting consistency and control.

If you're going to play that often and string tightly with poly, plan to string frequently as a result of consistant stringbed feel - durability is secondary.

You must be fairly young and not having any elbow issues. All of your listed playing/stringing charactersitics could lead to elbow concens.

Last edited by PerroToro; 2014-07-29 at 18:44.
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Old 2014-07-29, 21:23   #28
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I think with todays racket frames you can't go wrong with stringing main and crosses on the same tension. String it low to prevent arm problems.
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Old 2014-08-11, 04:26   #29
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Frank, I would get away from poly as it does stretch quickly. I have found that syn.gut works fantastic for hybrids or just plain syn.gut . I started with my tension at 55# , for me I lost a little control. I restrung my racket at 57# this seems to have given me both power and control. I have a babolat aero pro, and a babolat pure drive. Not sure what racket you have but maybe consider these settings..
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Old 2015-03-22, 15:53   #30
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I used to use full 17g Co-poly at low tensions, anywhere between 30 and 40 lbs for both the mains and crosses. I loved the way it played and the controlled power and spin it gave, but after several years I started to get golfers elbow.

At first it started as just a mild pain after playing but it gradually got worse until it suddenly flared up badly and it was to painful to even serve. I'm sure not restringing the poly often enough was the cause, as it started to go dead I could still hit hard and get enough spin so I just played on. Now I can see that although I could play well, there's no doubt in my mind that it killed my arm.

I rested and changed to a more flexible frame down from 69 RA to 58 RA and strung with poly mains and syn gut crosses at 4lbs higher tension. The string bed was far to lively and I could not get on with it at all. So I went back to full poly strung low. However after about a 2 months it came back worse than ever, so I rested and used a flex bar to rehabilitate the elbow.

When I came back again I tried natural gut mains at 55 lbs with poly crosses at 50 + string savers, it felt good on the arm but lacked the control and spin I got from full poly. So I decided to try poly mains with synthetic gut crosses again, I didn't want the softer crosses to make it so lively as before so I strung the 17g Poly plasma pure at 40 lbs and used half a set of Volkl 16g Classic synthetic gut in the crosses at 60 lbs.

It plays great, loads of power control and spin and very easy on the arm and this is in my previous stiffer frames Head Extreme Pro 2.0, no sign of any problems with the frame whatsoever so far. Hoping I've found my new setup that will be kind on my arm and play more like full Poly.

Be interested to hear from anyone else who's using a similar sort of setup. And as a final word of warning don't play with dead poly if you hit hard eventually it will kill your arm. It starts off with minor discomfort and suddenly gets much worse, if your young it might not be now but be sure you will pay for it at some stage if you keep playing dead Poly
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