The Pro Shop

String Review: Solinco Tour Bite Soft

Monday, October 14, 2013 /by

Several months ago we invited TENNIS.com readers to playtest Solinco’s Tour Bite Soft strings. Each of the participants received a set of 17 gauge strings and a review form to fill out with their feedback. They were asked to rate the strings in several performance categories (from 1 to 10) as well as offer their general impressions of the string. Here are the average scores from the 20 testers:

Power: 7.4
Spin: 8
Feel: 7.1
Control: 7.4
Comfort: 8.3
Durability: 7.6
Tension Maintenance: 6.1
Overall Playability: 7.6

The majority of the comments were overwhelmingly positive. As the scores bear out, players were impressed with the string's spin potential and especially its comfort. Several non-poly multifilament users were surprised that a poly could have such a lively, soft string bed. They felt anyone with arm trouble looking for a spin string should give this one a try. Some offered that the Tour Bite Soft so forgiving it would be best to pair with a stiffer frame; otherwise it could feel too mushy at impact.

There were also a handful of standard Tour Bite users who all confirmed that this version is indeed softer. They felt spin production was largely the same, with the Soft being a little more comfortable and powerful. A few even said they were switching, although others preferred the crisper response and the slightly higher level of control of the original.

For the testers accustomed to a firmer poly, control with Tour Bite Soft was seen as a limitation. Some equated it to having the strings at their usual tension and perhaps needing to raise it a few pounds to compensate for the extra spring. The only other quibble was with tension maintenance; not an uncommon complaint of polys, and even more so with the softer varieties. Some felt the playability dropped more quickly than expected. Again, stringing at initially higher tensions was seen as a way to minimize the issue, as was partnering Tour Bite Soft in a hybrid with a better tension-retaining string.

But neither of these complaints overshadowed the favorable feelings of most testers. Overall, the consensus was there are three types of players who would like these strings:

1) Soft poly users.
2) Those who want to discover the spin potential of polyester strings, but find the stiffness typically associated with them to be too steep a price.
3) Firm poly users who now need something more arm-friendly.

If you fit into any of these three categories, Solinco’s Tour Bite Soft lands right in your sweet spot.

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