February 10, 2015
By Jon E. Silks
Hoyt is a well-established leader in the archery industry, and the company's all-new 2015 Nitrum Series is designed to push the limits of aluminum riser design while bringing many proven technologies together with a couple new arrivals.
Four Nitrum models are available: the Nitrum 30, with a short axle-to-axle measurement; the Nitrum 34 for those who like a middle-of-the-road bow length; the Nitrum Turbo for the speedsters; and the Nitrum LD to accommodate archers with long wingspans.
The Nitrum 30 tested here features two brand new Hoyt technologies — the Offset Riser design and Zero Torque (ZT) Cable-Guard system. Additionally, there are a host of proven Hoyt technologies such as the Z5 Cam & ½ System, Tec Lite Riser, XTS Pro Arc limbs, Pro-Lock X-Lite limb pockets, Pro-Fit grip and Shock Rod and AirShox silencing systems.
So, what's new for Hoyt in 2015? Let's start with the patent-pending Offset Riser Design, which is a new version of the popular Tec Lite Riser. Looking to take advantage of the inherent benefits offered by a stiff riser — namely accuracy, tunability and stability — Hoyt engineers worked with the transition area above the sight window to broaden the side-to-side profile.
Normally, the front and back surfaces of the riser follow one another; however, those planes are offset on the Nitrum Series, overlapping the curve on one side with a straight plane on the other. If you look at the bow head on, you will notice a straight plane directly opposite (left to right) of the actual transition. That would not normally be there and is exactly why you gain strength and stiffness.
Below the grip, Hoyt incorporates a familiar feature found on their target bow risers — a widened tunnel. Like the offset riser above, the tunnel widens the base and increases stiffness and strength.
Together, these innovative features team up with the Tec Lite design to create what the company calls the most advanced, machined aluminum bow in Hoyt history.
Also new for 2015 is the ZT (Zero Torque) Cable-Guard System. Hoyt advertises that it eliminates side-loaded torque applied to the riser when the bow is drawn. Unlike any other system, a flexible arm pivots from the rear to direct the cable torque in the opposite direction as compared to a normal system, thereby canceling out and neutralizing accuracy-robbing torque.
In addition to those new technologies, the Nitrum 30 features numerous technologies that have proven themselves on previous Hoyt bows.
Hoyt's XTS Pro Arc split limbs have gained a well-earned reputation for strength and durability. Much of this success can be attributed to the uniform stress distribution (USD) technology that predicts and eliminates potential problem areas. To take it a step further, the 5-Layer laminated limb design has been extensively tested through many cycles in which the contoured and pre-loaded limbs have proven their toughness. The Pro-Lock X-Lite pivoting limb pocket provides a broad base and precise limb-to-riser interface.
Hoyt has produced cam system after cam system that combines smoothness and speed, and the Z5 Cam & ½ System on the Nitrum 30 is no exception. Arrow speeds are advertised at 332 fps on a 6€‰¾-inch inch brace height, with 75 percent system letoff. Three base cams cover the full draw-length range: Cam 1 covers from 24-25€‰1„2 inches, Cam 2 from 26-28 inches and Cam 3 from 28-30 inches. Each cam also has a series of modules that cover that cam's draw-length range in half-inch increments.
Hoyt uses its FUSE Custom String and Cables, which are made from BCY X material.
The Nitrum 30 is also loaded with accessories designed to stop vibration and noise. Shock Rods, which are small rubber modules held at their midpoint, are found on both ends of the riser and built into the ZT Cable-Guard system. Hoyt's AirShox Limb Suppression System is attached to the limb pocket, keeping weight off the limbs for increased speed and efficiency. A riser-mounted Stealth Shot quickly deadens string oscillation, while the Silent Shelf Pad prevents a falling arrow from making a racket.
At the range, the Nitrum 30 created a positive first impression with its light mass weight and rock-solid balance at full draw. It handles exceptionally well.
The Nitrum 30's draw cycle is stout and smooth at the same time, meaning you can tell you are packing the power in with your effort but never does it feel harsh or harmful to your shoulder. Shock and vibration were both present at the shot, but the shock was mild and the vibration short-lived.
Finally, the Nitrum 30 generates little shot noise for a stealthy sting when on the hunt.