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Mathews Creed XS Review

Mathews Creed XS Review

mathews_creed_xs_1Mathews Archery brings an incredible array of technologies, materials, processes and manufacturing capabilities to bear on every product it makes. From robotics to Coordinate Measuring Machines to advanced computer-modeling programs to its own finishing operation, Mathews is an advanced company.

One of the 2014 rigs born from those abilities is the new Creed XS. A shorter, lighter version of last year's Creed, this bow is home to a GeoGrid Lock riser, SimPlex Cam system, split limbs, Reverse Assist Roller Guard and much more.

What's Different?

It seems everyone's first question about the new Creed XS is about the differences between this rig and the original Creed. The 2013 model was slightly faster at 328 fps IBO as compared to 321 fps for the XS. And the XS' 28-inch axle-to-axle length is shorter by a full two inches, making it more maneuverable in tight quarters. The mass weight of the XS is also slightly less, tipping the scales at a mere 3.8 pounds.

Further distinguishing itself from the Creed, the XS has a longer, 7€‰1„2-inch brace height as compared to the 7-inch brace height of the original. Although longer brace heights are thought to be more forgiving, I didn't expect a dramatic change with only a half-inch difference.

Effortless Energy

Mathews uses the term Advanced Simplicity to describe its cam systems. Basically, this is a reference to the single-cam configuration, which the company calls the most efficient and simplest cam system in the world. The XS SimPlex cam and idler wheel ride on stainless steel axles and sealed bearings for decreased friction and increased efficiency. Its shape and mechanics are designed to produce an 80-percent letoff and a smooth draw while the cutouts and 7075 aluminum material keep the weight to a minimum.

Draw lengths from 26-30 inches, in half-inch increments, are offered through separate cams. The new, proprietary Trophy Process is a pre-conditioning process used on the Creed XS string and cable that guarantees no serving separation and the shortest shoot-in time of any premium bowstring.

Bringing It All Together

Mathews' GeoGrid Lock riser is the command station for many of the bow's features and technologies, including the grip, cable guard, vibration dampeners and string stop.

mathews_creed_xs_2GeoGrid Lock technology is an advanced version of the original Grid Lock riser design. The GeoGrid pattern of interlocking bridges flows with the contour of the riser, which improves the strength and stiffness while eliminating even more material than the original. Obviously, less material equals less weight.

The unique Reverse Assist Roller Guard flips the tension on the rollers, which actually creates decreasing tension when the bow is drawn, resulting in less torque and a smoother draw. Two grip styles are used on the XS, depending on the finish chosen — a polished, one-piece, walnut grip or a softer, one-piece Focus grip. Both have clearly marked lines that indicate the centerline of the bow to help with initial setup.


Enhancing the Experience

In addition to the benefits attributed to the cam system, there are several other features that focus on shock, vibration and shot noise.

As with the Creed, the Creed XS uses a set of pre-loaded split limbs aligned to the riser with precision machined, pivoting limb pockets. The past-parallel position of the limbs at full draw is a key component in the battle against shock and vibration. Joining that battle are Mathews' Harmonic Stabilizer Lite, which reduces 75 percent of residual vibration, the Harmonic Damper, an energy-absorbing weight suspended in an elastomer wheel, the Dead End String Stop Lite and string-mounted Monkey Tails.


mathews_creed_xs_sidebar_chartMathews makes a big deal out of the smoothness of the draw cycle, and it did indeed prove to be smooth. There was very limited shock and vibration noted at the shot. In fact, even with ear plugs to focus my senses, it was difficult to detect any of either. As you might expect, the shot noise followed suit, with little to report. I could go either way on the grips — I like both for different reasons.

The main concern for many in a shorter bow is stability and long-range accuracy. It will take a better archer than me to determine the long-range accuracy of the XS, but I can say with complete confidence that the balance and stability were rock solid on the target.


Manufacturer: Mathews Inc., 608-269-2728

Model: Creed XS

Cam System: SimPlex Single Cam

Weight: 3.8 pounds (advertised and as tested)

Brace Height: 7€‰1„2 inches

Axle-To-Axle length: 28 inches

Letoff: 80 percent

Draw Weights: 50, 60 and 70 pounds peak

Draw Lengths: 26-30 inches, in half-inch increments

Riser: Reflex, GeoGrid Lock

Limbs: Split, Parallel

String: Zebra Trophy, 88.5 inches

Cables: Zebra Trophy, 30.875 inches

Grip: Gunstock Walnut or Focus Grip

Finish: Lost AT Camo, Black, Desert Tactical, Black Crimson, Black Tactical

Advertised IBO Speed: Up to 321 fps

Suggested Retail Price: $999 in Lost AT — other colors additional

Comments: Compact, lightweight, fun and surprisingly stable.

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Hoyt is well-known for producing some of the world's top bows year after year. Recent hits include the innovative Carbon line, Spyder Series, Vector, CRX, Maxxis and the one you still hear bowhunters talk about today, the AlphaMax.

What you may not know is that the same company with this impressive string of top-end stars also offers one of the best 'bang for your buck ' bows on the market — the Charger. Check out the full review.

Elite Hunter

On the equipment side, Elite introduces the 2013 Hunter bow. The Hunter Cam is the centerpiece in Elite's drive for shootability, while the modules guarantee optimal performance at every draw length. Other highlights include Barnsdale limbs, Limbsaver damping accessories, Winner's Choice strings/cables, Kolorfusion camo finishes, Cerakote performance coating and one of the best grips in the industry. Check out the full review.


PSE's 2013 X-Force Dream Season DNA is loaded with features, including the all-new Flex Cable Slide, Core Hybrid Cam, 4th Generation X-Technology limbs, Centerlock 2 limb pockets, forged reflex riser, B.E.S.T. Raptor grip, new BackStop string silencer, America's Best string/cables and Detachable Limb Bands. Check out the full review.

Bear Motive 6

Bear Archery enters 2013 with a laser-like focus on the success of your hunt. A statement on the Bear says it best: 'We have a saying at Bear Archery: It's not about the hype or high cost — it's about the hunt. This defines the essence of our company, which grew out of the life and work of legendary sportsman Fred Bear. '

The company's new Motive 6 bow is all about the hunt. The Motive 6 is loaded with many features, including the powerful H13 Synchronized Hybrid cams, Max Pre-Load Quad limbs, Dual Offset String Suppressors, 4×4 Roller Guard and Bear Logo Overmold grip. Check out the full review.

Mathews Chill

The Mathews McPherson Series line of bows is Matt McPherson's playground in the two-cam market. He loves to create and improve current designs and brings his considerable engineering expertise to the table as his company pulls it all together for an impressive package in the Monster Chill. Check out the full review.

Hoyt Spyder

Hoyt Archery, one of the industry's finest bow manufacturers, continues to push forward with new technologies and higher levels of performance. The new Spyder line was created by diehard bowhunters and designed with a clear purpose — getting the job done in the field. There are three bows in the line — Spyder 30, Spyder 34 and Spyder Turbo. Check out the full review.

Hoyt Vector

Hoyt has been in the bow making game for a very long time, and the company remains focused on its customers, technology and integrity. Hoyt makes top-notch bows that meet advertised performance specifications, and the company's people are some of the best in the industry. Hoyt came on strong again in 2012 with an impressive lineup, and the all-new Vector 32 is one of the shining stars.

The Hoyt Vector 32 features the popular TEC LITE riser design with the new Perfect Balance Stabilization System, RKT Cam & 1„2, XTS PRO ARC limbs, Pro-Lock X-Lite limb pockets, 180 Pro Fit grip, In-Line Roller Guard and more. Check out the full review.

Mathews Creed

If you have never had the privilege of touring the Mathews manufacturing facility in Sparta, Wisc., you can catch a glimpse of their world-class machinery and capabilities by watching the 'Introducing the Mathews Creed ' video found on the company website. Among other things, you will witness state-of-the-art CNC machining and futuristic robotics.

Mathews is focused on the enjoyment and overall experience an archer is afforded when shooting one of its bows. The flagship Creed was created with a synergistic approach, meaning they brought together all of the top technologies from previous models into mechanical and aesthetic harmony. The Creed is outfitted with the SimPlex Solocam, split parallel limbs, super lightweight GeoGrid Lock riser, and much more. Check out the full review.

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For 2013, BowTech introduces the aptly named Experience, a bow designed to maximize the archer's overall shooting experience, with a strong focus on accuracy. This rig features the new CarbonCore Limbs and Extinguish Dampening System, along with a host of proven technologies such as the OverDrive Binary Cam System, Center Pivot Extreme Riser, Two-Piece Wood Grip, FLX Guard Cable-Containment System and Octane factory string and cables. Check out the full review.

Mathews Heli-M

For 20 years, Mathews Inc. has been wowing the archery community with fantastic technologies, features and performance. The company has long been considered one of the world's top bow makers and has served the entire bowhunting community by pushing the envelope. There is no denying that founder Matt McPherson and his hard-working team are a special bunch. The proof can be found at the end of the manufacturing line year after year.

The 2012 Heli-m, like all Mathews bows, is home to an array of technologies and features. It all starts with a super lightweight GeoGrid Lock riser, which is home to the Reverse Assist Roller Guard, Harmonic Stabilizer Lite, Dead End String Stop Lite and the Rich Walnut SlimFit Inline grip. Also featured on the new rig are the company's SphereLock Pivoting Limb Cup System with Limb Turret, SE5 Composite Limb System and the Heli-m Cam. Check out the full review.

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