December 06, 2022
Three years ago, the Elite team took on an all-new challenge and venture when they began to design and develop a carbon riser bow. Using hand lay-up techniques to build the carbon fiber frame, the team took advantage of the capabilities of this manufacturing method to create complex shapes, angles, bridges and even cages as they formed the riser that would serve as a core component of their 2023 carbon flagship — the Era.
Elite’s Era not only features an advanced carbon riser, but many other features and technologies as well. The Era is home to the SP Cam, micro-adjust letoff, a 3-mod shooting experience, SET Technology, LTR Roller Guard, wide-stance split limbs, tapered grip, and a generous selection of vibration dampening accessories and technologies on the riser and between the limbs.
Complex Carbon Cornerstone
Elite’s new carbon riser is the heart of the Era. The company’s first foray into the carbon arena is not a clunky, awkward unit they threw together just to get in the game — not at all. It's a great looking rig with multi-faceted transitions, positional shifts, functional accessory receivers and complex bridging. This is the real deal right out of the gate. Each riser is made with a carbon molding process, enhanced with hand lay-up techniques to achieve the perfect end product every time. The molding process employed also allows for intricate physical shaping, which flows with the overall reflex configuration of the bow. Dual riser cages — one above and one below the grip — are molded directly into the riser providing strategically placed support that builds stiffness and strength into the platform, thereby enhancing stability and reducing flex, twist and vibration. Further benefits of these qualities are found in consistency and down-range accuracy.
Elite took its popular grip and built it into the Era’s riser by coupling a pair of wood side plates with just the right combination of angle, shape, and size integrated into the molded handle. A flat back and tapered throat work together to consistently place the hand, while the carbon and wood materials provide comfort and warmth. A neutral wrist position is created by the era’s grip. The company’s Linear Tunable Roller (LTR) cable management system offers tension adjustment allowing the archer to correct for small left/right paper tears or vane clearance issues. The aluminum fixture is black anodized and engraved with tuning marks.
Front and rear metal stabilizer-mounting inserts, multiple sight mounting positions, a rubber shelf pad, quiver-mounting receivers, a String Suppressor with SIMS Ros Saver, and the company’s VRT Riser Dampeners near the bottom limb pocket rounds out the riser package.
Make it Your Own
The Era’s new SP Cam has built-in adjustability and customization through a series of modules and module features. First, you select the shooting experience you desire through one of three base mods — performance, smooth or 75 percent. That is followed by selecting your draw length through the rotating function of the mod, which moves the rig through its 25.5 to 31-inch draw length range in quarter-inch increments. Yes, you read that correctly — .25-inch increments! Further, the V2 Micro Mod offers the ability to fine-tune holding weight in one-percent increments within the overall 70- to 90-percent letoff range. Next, customize the feel of the backwall by using only the integrated cable stops, or by adding the included limb stops, which produce a rock-solid wall.
The SP cam shape was designed to be somewhat more aggressive than previous models, store more energy and produce more speed while the overall rig maintains all the qualities of shootability. Speeds are advertised to reach up to 336 fps IBO on a 7.25-inch brace height with the performance mod, 328 fps with the smooth mod and 326 fps with the 75-percent mod. Cams are machined from aluminum billets and ride on ¼-inch axles and ball bearings. No bow press is needed to make SP Cam adjustments.
In this tri-track cam system, the string is positioned in the center track while cables are equally anchored on either side of the string track to produce a laterally balanced load and stable draw. Anchoring the cables directly to both cams rather than have a split yoke and attaching to the limb tips forces the cams to work together, which in turn auto-compensates for small changes and imbalances in the system.
Elite puts its StabiLock Limb Pockets to work maintaining perfect alignment at the critical interface between limbs and riser of the Era. The 2-piece pockets use one component to house the limb bolt and fully capture the limb tips while the second piece cradles a portion of the limb further along its length and also has Simplified Exact Tuning (S.E.T.) Technology 2.0 built into its mounting post. S.E.T. 2.0 is a micro-adjustable tuning system based at the limb pocket that ultimately impacts the attitude/angle of the cam to match the shooter’s form. It starts by adjusting the lateral pocket position, which impacts limb alignment and finally the cam position. Elite designed this system to replace, simplify and improve upon other methods such as shimming and yoke tuning. Simply loosen the lock screws and turn the drive screw to counteract an incorrect paper tear (there is a decal right on the riser that tells you which way to turn the drive screw) — clockwise for a tail right tear and counter clockwise for a tail left tear.
Era’s limbs are split, measure 11 inches long, and are machined from a billet of Gordon Composites materials. Limbs are matched into sets based on deflection values and set at an angle that has them reach a past-parallel position at full draw, which of course, reduces overall shock, vibration and noise. Elite outfits their split limbs with their vibration dampening VibeX Blocks, which also reduces shot noise.
- Feel of draw: Smooth/Consistent
- Shock: Small/medium
- Vibration: Very low level, fades quickly
- Balance: Better than average
- Grip: Elite knows how to make a grip!
- Maneuverability: Excellent
Test Bow Specifications
- Manufacturer: Elite Archery, 877-503-5483, www.elitearchery.com
- Model: Era
- Riser: Carbon Fiber, Dual Cage, Reflex
- Grip: Wood side plates, tapered, neutral wrist
- Limbs: Split, wide-stance, machined Limbs
- Draw Weights: 40, 50, 60, 65 and 70 pounds peak
- Cam System: Dual SP Cam
- Letoff: 75-90 percent (advertised); 87.54 percent (as tested)
- Draw Lengths: 25.5-31 inches in ¼-inch increments, rotating mod
- String: Winner’s Choice, BCY 452X, 61.25-inches
- Cables (X2): Winner’s Choice, BCY 452X, 35.5-inches
- Brace Height: 7.25 inches
- Axle-to-Axle Length: 31.25 inches
- Weight: 3.95 lbs (advertised), 4 lbs. (as tested)
- Finish: Mountain Tan, Black, OD Green, Sienna Brown
- Advertised IBO/ATA Speed: 336 fps
- Suggested Retail Price: $1,699
- Comment: Elite jumped the line from beginner to experienced level right out of the gate.
Speed & Energy
- Arrow Speed: 296 fps (375-grain arrow), 279 fps (425-grain arrow)
- Kinetic Energy: 72.98 foot-pounds (375-grain arrow), 73.47 foot-pounds (425-grain arrow)
- Dynamic Efficiency: 85.36% (375-grain arrow), 85.95% (425-grain arrow)