Mathews 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.
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.
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.
GeoGrid 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 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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