June 01, 2023
Three years ago, the Elite Archery team took on a new challenge and began to design and develop the company’s first carbon-riser bow.
Using hand lay-up techniques to build the carbon-fiber frame, the team took advantage of the capabilities of this manufacturing method to create complex shapes, angles, bridges and even cages as they formed the riser that would ultimately serve as a core component of their 2023 carbon flagship, the Era.
The Era — so named because it ushers in a new era for Elite’s bow making efforts — not only features an advanced carbon riser but many other new technologies. The bow is home to the SP Cam, micro-adjust letoff, a three-mod shooting experience, S.E.T. Technology, LTR Roller Guard, wide-stance split limbs, tapered grip and an array of vibration-dampening accessories.
The carbon-fiber riser is the heart of the Era. Each riser is made with a carbon molding process, enhanced with hand lay-up techniques to achieve the perfect end product every time. The molding process employed also allows for intricate physical shaping that flows with the overall reflex configuration of the bow. Dual Riser Cages, one above and one below the grip, are molded directly into the riser, providing strategically placed support that builds stiffness and strength into the platform, thereby enhancing stability and reducing flex, twist and vibration. Further benefits of these qualities are found in consistency and downrange accuracy.
Elite took its popular grip design and built it into the Era’s riser as they coupled a pair of wood side plates with just the right combination of angle, shape and size integrated into the molded handle.
Elite’s Linear Tunable Roller (LTR) cable-management system offers tension adjustment, allowing the archer to correct for small left/right paper tears or vane clearance issues. The aluminum fixture is black anodized and engraved with tuning marks.
Front and rear metal stabilizer-mounting inserts, multiple sight-mounting positions, rubber shelf pad, quiver-mounting receivers, a String Suppressor and VRT Riser Dampeners near the bottom limb pocket round out the riser package.
Make It Yours
The Era’s new SP Cam has adjustability and customization built in through a series of modules and module features. First, you select the shooting experience you desire through one of three base mods — Performance, Smooth or 75 Percent Letoff. That is followed by selecting your draw length through the rotating function of the mod, which moves the rig through its 25.5-31-inch draw-length range in quarter-inch increments; yes, you read that right, quarter-inch increments. Further, the V2 Micro Mod offers the ability to fine-tune holding weight in one percent increments throughout the overall letoff range of 70-90 percent. Finally, you can customize the feel of the back wall by either using the integrated cable stops for a bit of give at full draw or adding the included limb stops for a rock-solid wall.
The Era’s arrow speed is advertised to reach up to 336 fps IBO on a 7.25-inch brace height with the Performance mod, 328 fps with the Smooth mod and 326 fps with the 75 Percent mod. Cams are machined from aluminum billets and ride on quarter-inch axles and ball bearings. No bow press is needed to make SP Cam adjustments.
Elite puts its StabiLock Limb Pockets to work maintaining perfect alignment at the critical interface between limbs and riser of the Era. Simplified Exact Tuning (S.E.T.) Technology 2.0 is built into the two-piece, pivoting limb pocket mounting post. S.E.T. 2.0 is a micro-adjustable tuning system that allows you to adjust the angle of the cams to match your shooting form. It starts by adjusting the lateral pocket position, which impacts limb alignment and finally the cam position. Elite designed this system to replace, simplify and improve upon other cam-tuning methods, such as shimming and yoke tuning. Simply loosen the lock screw and turn the drive screw to counteract an incorrect paper tear (there is a decal on the riser that tells you which way to turn the drive screw) — clockwise for a tail-right tear and counterclockwise for a tail-left tear.
The Era’s limbs are split, measure 11 inches long and are machined from a billet of Gordon Composites materials. Limbs are matched into sets based on deflection values and set at an angle that has them reach a past-parallel position at full draw to reduce overall shock, vibration and noise. Elite outfits the split limbs with VibeX Blocks that reduce shot noise and vibration.
First impressions are important, and the Era does a fine job at impressing right out of the box. It is a good-looking carbon bow (not all are), and its relatively low mass weight and how that weight is distributed and balanced makes this bow ultra-maneuverable. The draw is consistent and smooth, with no harsh transitions, and the grip is as Elite grips have been for years — one of my favorites!
A noticeable but small jump is felt in the handle at the shot, followed by an ever-so-slight vibration that fades quickly.
- Manufacturer: Elite Archery, 877-503-5483; elitearchery.com
- Model: Era
- Riser: Carbon fiber, dual cage, reflex
- Grip: Wood side plates, tapered, neutral wrist
- Limbs: Split, wide-stance, Gordon Composites
- Draw Weights: 40, 50, 60, 65 and 70 pounds peak
- Draw Lengths: 25.5-31 inches, in quarter-inch increments; rotating module
- Cam System: Dual SP Cam
- Letoff: 70-90 percent, adjustable; 87.5 percent as tested
- String: Winner’s Choice, BCY 452X, 61.25 inches
- Cables (x2): Winner’s Choice, BCY 452X, 35.5 inches
- Brace Height: 7.25 inches
- Axle-to-Axle Length: 31.25 inches
- Weight: 3.95 pounds (advertised); 4 pounds (as tested)
- Finish: Mountain Tan, Black, OD Green and Sienna Brown
- Advertised IBO Speed: Up to 336 fps
- MSRP: $1,699
- Comments: Elite jumped the carbon bow line from beginner to experienced right out of the gate.
Speed & Energy
- Arrow Speed: 296 fps (375-grain arrow), 279 fps (425-grain arrow)
- Kinetic Energy: 72.98 ft./lbs. (375-grain arrow), 73.47 ft./lbs. (425-grain arrow)
- Dynamic Efficiency: 85.36% (375-grain arrow), 85.95% (425-grain arrow)
- Shot Noise: 89.7 dBA (375-grain arrow), 88.4 dBA (425-grain arrow)