Bow Tuning Benefits and How Often

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When was the last time you had your bow tuned-up? Have you ever had it tuned? If you can't answer the first question, it has been too long! If the answer to the second question is "no" then you really should and here is why!

Bows have evolved so much in the last fifteen years that they bare very little resemblance to their predecessors. Today's bows are high-tech performance machines. With hybrid cams and binary cams, drop-away rest, sights with 2nd and 3rd axis leveling….. The list goes on and on. With all of the advancements, performance levels are through the roof! Today's bows will shoot arrows faster at 50 pounds than they used to at 70 pounds. This does not come without a price though.

Because of increased performance levels, bows are more apt to change tune throughout the course of the year. Strings and cables will stretch and move. This will cause changes in timing, rotation and nock-height. All of these will change the performance and shootablity of your bow. There are several procedures that can restore your bows performance.

Tune-Ups:

Most archers should have their bows tuned once a year. A good tune-up should consist of the following:

Checking and setting cam timing and orientation.
No matter what the manufacturer would like you to believe, there is cam timing involved with every cam design on the marker! Timing is critical to accuracy and consistency. If your cams are not working in unison the nock travel will be affected. If you have a Hybrid, Binary, or two-cam system that is not hitting the draw stops at the same time, vertical accuracy will suffer greatly. Also, speed will be sacrificed if the cams are not in the proper rotation.

CAM LEAN:

This is a topic that was blown off by manufactures for years as not being important to tuning or accuracy. In actuality it is one of the most important factors in tuning today's bows. If cams lean during the draw cycle there will be an opposite reaction during the shot cycle. This lateral casting of the cams is transferred to the back of the arrow as it is still attached to the string. This will cause fishtailing of the arrow. This has been worsened by the roller cable-guards used by most of today's bow companies.

Most of today's bows will utilize some type of yoke system. With a yoke we can set or correct the lean or attitude of a cam to optimize the tune and minimize torque.

TILLER:

Tiller is the measurement between the insertion point of the limbs to the riser and the string. What this shows is that the limbs are tensioned the same top to bottom.

CENTER-SHOT:

Center-shot is setting the lateral position of the arrow directly in front of the strings power-path. Correct center-shot will give the arrow the best chance of leaving straight and true.

NOCK HEIGHT:

Nock height is similar to center-shot but on the vertical plane. With the correct nock height the bow will optimize the nock travel of the string and allow the arrow to leave straight without porposing.

During the tuning process the bow should be given a good thorough cleaning and lubricating.

Super Tune or Performance Tuning:

A Super Tune consist of all of the above but then adds the shooting of your bow with your arrows out of our shooting machine. This allows us to address the little idiosyncrasies of each individual bow. This is the ultimate in tuning. No two bows are exactly the same even if they are the same model at the same specs, they can exhibit completely different tendencies! With this we can optimize arrow flight by paper tuning and creep tuning.

During this process we also shoot and tune each individual arrow. Some times an arrow will not shoot where the others do. We often can correct for this with subtle adjustments to the rotation of the nock. Most shooters that use this service will have it done once a year. Most have told us that their bows shoot better than they ever had after having this done.

Custom String and Cables:

Premium string and cables is the key to it all! Your bow is only as good as the weakest link. Most times the string and cables are just that. You can tune your bow to perfection but if a cable stretches all of that is lost! Most of the bow manufactures strings and cables have improved over the years. However, they are still a mass produced product. Throughout a year of shooting they will continually stretch and creep. This will cause changes in timing, rotation and nock height.

We custom build our harnesses by hand. They are built under 500 pounds of tension and stretched for 24 hours! We use only the best materials available today. This means that all of the potential stretching has taken place before the harness is ever placed on the bow. Once the bow is set and tuned it will stay there.

Strings need to be replaced frequently! They take more pounding and wear and tear than any other part of the bow. If you shoot a lot you should replace the complete harness every 12-18 months. If you are a seasonal shooter it should be replaced every 18-24 months. Even if you are not shooting much the bow is under constant tension.

Having these services performed on a regular basis will help keep you on top of your game and your bow shooting at it's optimum. Lets face it, we spend way to much and work far too hard for those few shot opportunities to let a poorly tuned or out of tune bow stand in the way!

Good luck and good shooting!

Seth

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