October 06, 2017
By Jon E. Silks
Elite has built a loyal fan base by producing bows that simply get the job done. They are all about the shooting experience and performance that serves a purpose. Add in Elite's signature Hunt Guarantee and you have a recipe for success.
Elite's 2017 Option 6 is home to the company's Dual Cage riser, which is reflex in form and machined from 7075 aluminum. The Two-Track dual-cam system, Winner's Choice string/cables and double-laminated split limbs combine to create the Option's engine. A two-piece, wood-panel grip, PALS limb pockets, LTR Roller Guard and multiple vibration- and noise-dampening accessories round out the package.
Elite looks to rattle the competition's cages with its Dual Cage Riser design that employs one cage above the sight window and one below the grip. The use of 7075-T6 aluminum is advertised to give the Option's riser a 65 percent strength-to-weight ratio increase over previous riser designs. Just like the original cage above the sight window, the second cage is designed to increase strength and rigidity. This is advertised to stiffen the platform and improve tuning, accuracy and stability at full draw.
The Option Series features Elite's new LTR (Linear Tunable Roller) cable-containment system. It is anchored to the outside of the sight window, just a couple inches above the arrow shelf. What makes it special is the ability to adjust the roller side to side. Basically, you can move it closer or farther away from the vanes on your arrow for customized clearance. Additionally, the LTR was designed to eliminate cable wear, which can prove problematic in this area. It rolls on sealed ball bearings, and the cables are served where they move through the system. In Elite's testing, they have found cables stay like new even after tens of thousands of shot cycles.
Also at home on the riser is Elite's new Pro Grip. Their popular grip has been redesigned to incorporate a measure of the original design fused with the V-Grip featured on Elite target bows. The new grip is intended to fit a wide range of shooters and offer some of the improved repeatability and performance of their target grip. Built to produce a neutral wrist position, the Pro Grip is machined into the riser handle and is complemented by two wooden side panels that fit into shallow pockets on either side of the handle.
Other riser-based features include metal front and rear stabilizer mounting inserts and Limbsaver string suppressor mounted on a carbon rod, which is outfitted with an additional Limbsaver dampener.
Elite dove into the details of its popular two-track cam system with the intent to increase efficiency while maintaining the shootability and smooth draw the original system was known for. Two tracks, as opposed to three or more, take up less space on the cams and allow for a narrower lateral profile. This design eliminates mass weight while bringing the load from the cables closer to the center of the axle, which helps balance the system, control cam lean and increase overall efficiency.
Cables, which have both ends anchored to the cams, are forced to operate in lock-step with one another, automatically compensating for small changes in the system.
System letoff, which is adjustable, is advertised at 85 percent, and draw lengths from 26-31 inches in half-inch increments are available through a series of modules. A bow press and T15 Torx wrench are required to remove and replace the modules. An adjustable draw stop on each cam provides customization. The feel of the back wall and the percentage of letoff can be adjusted within a certain range with a set of draw stops on the cams.
The split limbs on the Option Series signify a new venture for Elite, as this is the first time the company has used something other than solid limbs on its flagship bows. Limbs are designed to distribute stress evenly across the entire limb piece to enhance durability and efficiency. Three types of Gordon Composite material are double laminated to form the individual pieces, which measure 12.5 inches in length. Limb sets are available in peak draw weights of 50, 60, 65, 70 and 80 pounds.
The alignment of the limbs to the riser is a critical interface and vital to good performance. To that end, Elite employs its Perfect Alignment Limb System (PALS), which includes a set of tabs built into the rocker that translates downward limb pressure into horizontal limb alignment. PALS couples tight
tolerances and forced control to align limbs and cams to the centerline of the riser.
Elite's Option 6 was fun to shoot. The draw seemed to stack a little before the break over, but it was smooth on the way up and back down with a valley you can relax into. I was not happy to hear the grip had been redesigned, as the older grips were among my absolute favorites. While I am not ready to call it an equal to the original, the new Elite Pro grip is comfortable and functional. There was not much in the way of hand shock or vibration at the shot, and I found the Option 6 to be especially quiet!