October 28, 2010
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Rytera has done what any young bow company would like to do -- they have created a small storm of excitement surrounding their new Alien X bow. This bow had a following before it even hit the streets. There is a good reason for this rush, starting with a fantastic, high-tech look and performance features such as past parallel limbs, a super light mass weight, roller guard and highly adjustable speed cams.
Space Age Riser
The Alien X riser sets it apart from the pack with complex and detailed structural features from top to bottom. There is a matrix of rounded bridges, sweeping radii and webbed connections all giving the bow a futuristic appearance. Looking at the black finish version of the new Rytera with its green accents puts you in mind of the Alien movies. They even cut two teardrop shapes into the riser behind the shelf area to look like alien eyes. Very unique!
Practically, the riser has a deep reflex configuration measuring 3.19 inches, which contributes to rocket-worthy speeds advertised to hit upwards of 340 fps IBO. The Alien X modular riser is also home to several other notable features including a distinctive grip, roller guard, string stopper and vibration module. Two leather wraps, front and back, insulate the shooter's hand from the aluminum riser material and are coupled with two hardwood side plates to complete the grip. Rytera machines cutouts through the grip that match the aesthetic design of the riser.
The lightweight Alien X riser features slim lines, a narrow side plated grip and leather wrap for a comfortable hold. Rytera's Alien X also includes the STS system, which eliminates vibration and helps dampen noise.
The machined aluminum roller guard is attached to the riser just above the shelf area, protrudes back toward the shooter and bends slightly in toward the centerline of the bow to eliminate torque. Cables are cradled by two rollers, which rotate on sealed ball bearings for decreased friction and increased efficiency. The STS string stopper mounts opposite the stabilizer-mounting hole and reduces string vibration and noise with its rubber tip.
As mentioned, one of the bows received for testing was the black finish version that gives the bow a one-of-a-kind look. There is also a Next G1 camo edition, which looks equally good. A series of green accents, green handle and partially green string contribute to the bow's Alien quality. Depending on how you hold the bow, the grip cutouts may take some getting used to. With a mass weight of only 3.5 pounds, coupled with a relatively short 31€‰1„2 inch axle-to-axle length, the Alien X has a good feel and displays exceptional maneuverability.
Another Alien benefit is found in the lack of shock and vibration at the shot. Alien limbs move to a beyond parallel position at full draw, causing them to move in equal and opposite directions at the shot. This cancels much of the vibration-causing energy left over after propelling the arrow. For the shooter, that translates into a bow that has minimal shock or vibration, which generally results in reduced noise. In testing, I found the bow exhibited minimal shock and vibration and only a slight noise in the string.
A couple of rubber bands tied to the string eliminated much of that noise for an overall quiet experience. Rubber bands, while they will not last for many shots, are super cheap tools for experimenting with string silencers. Alien fiberglass limbs measure 13 inches long, are heat and pressure laminated (five layers), are solid (not split) and straight (not recurve). Limb finishes match that of the riser.
One Cam or Two?
Rytera offers two cam choices for the Alien X -- Tranz Single Cam or Hybrix Duo Cam. The test bow was rigged with the Hybrix. This system offers draw length adjustments from 26-30 inches on a single rotating module and generates a letoff that is adjustable from 65-80 percent with the moveable draw stop. Both cams ride on heat treated steel axles and sealed ball bearings. The track around the cam hub has a helical cut, which forces the cam to stay straight and inline from rest to full draw. This reduces torque in the system and enhances efficiency. The two-cam version proved notably smooth throughout the draw cycle.
: Our standardized High Grade testing includes the use of the same equipment and test methods. All bows are tested with a draw length of 29 inches and a draw weight of 65 pounds. Speed tests are conducted with two different arrow weights -- 375 grains and 425 grains. For more detailed information on the testing parameters, go to www.bowhuntingmag.com and click on "Bow Testing Parameters."