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Split Limb Bows


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#1 Whitetiger

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 09:14 AM

Whats the advantage of a split limb bow over a solid limb bow? Is there a difference in care between the two? My PSE " Beast" is aging. I bought it 8 yrs ago. Im pricing new ones but cant buy one yet. I got the new Cabelas' catalog and like the PSE Brute which is a solid limb bow.

SpecificationsAxle-to-Axle: 32" Brace Height: 8-1/8" IBO Speed: 308-300 Let Off : 80% or 65% Adjustable Mass Weight: 4.1 lbs

#2 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 10:17 AM

Whats the advantage of a split limb bow over a solid limb bow? Is there a difference in care between the two? My PSE " Beast" is aging. I bought it 8 yrs ago. Im pricing new ones but cant buy one yet. I got the new Cabelas' catalog and like the PSE Brute which is a solid limb bow.

SpecificationsAxle-to-Axle: 32" Brace Height: 8-1/8" IBO Speed: 308-300 Let Off : 80% or 65% Adjustable Mass Weight: 4.1 lbs


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Cabelas discussion of the same topic Interesting read and Randy Ulmer is saying some interesting things about split limbs. I hope it helps. The specs of the PSE look interesting to me with that BH yet good speed.

Up till the last year I have always shot solid limb bows (still do and like them) but that changed when I tried the Mathew/McPherson Monster bows out. Their Monster lineup are dual cam and split limb setup bows and I was a little reluctant in trying them out till I read about them and then shot them. I now like the way these are shooting for me.

Edited by Rowdy Yates, 07 May 2010 - 10:20 AM.

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#3 Spirithawk

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 10:30 AM

I was just reading something about that recently. It was saying that the split limbs were developed because of solid limbs having the tendency to crack and split with age.

#4 Jeremiah

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 02:23 PM

There is no "easy" answer as it depends largely upon the manufacturer and the cam system deployed.

Example: Most single cam bow systems do not benefit from one over the other. This is because, technically, the cam (assuming machining of the cam, axle holes, axle, bushings and/or bearings are all as they should be!) will ride straight during rest and throughout the draw cycle. (So, no uneven loading will occur to potentially stress the "crotch" of a solid limb.) At the other end, the idler wheel will generally have a slight lean at rest and come to a straight up and down orientation at full draw. This movement will both be predictable and tunable (via the split yoke of the buss cable). As such, solid limbs are fine for such a system. (If the manufacturer tolerances and specs are, well, less than great, however, then there could still be some problems that other manufacturer's simply don't see. So, there again, it depends upon manufacturer as well.)

By contrast, most two cam systems mirror each other. I'll use the early Binary Cam systems as an example for this. The cables on the early Binary Cam bows (and still some made today) ran to the same side of both cams. This was known to cause "cam lean". Additionally, the Binary Cam system has no split yoke on either cable to tune for this cam lean. With a solid limb, early Binary Cam bows were subject, frankly, to a "luck of the draw". (The cams were either going to lean or lean badly... The lean, of course, being an inevitability due to a cable guard pulling the entire system to one side or the other depending upon it being a left or right handed bow.) Within such a system, split limbs provide a distinct advantage because each limb (of the four) can have slightly different deflections to combat the cam lean. Think of one side as being a little stiffer than the other. (Obviously not something that is easily done with one solid limb that simply has a fork in the end. But, very easily done with two separate limbs next to each other by simply making one ever so slightly thicker than the other so that it is stiffer.) Of course, again, the manufacturer making and building the system is vital. Additionally, for "do it yourselfers", folks had better be mindful of the differences in deflections (which should be marked on the limbs if the manufacturer is worth their salt!) if they ever disassemble their bow to swap limbs, for example. Another potential down side to split limb designs (depending upon one's outlook) is that they generally require a high-end and often more substantial (read that as physically heavier) limb pocket system to keep tolerances tight. (Once upon a time some split limb bow makers actually claimed their systems saved on weight. But, that really isn't true in most cases.)

Maintenance from one to the other is pretty much the same. The differences will depend more upon the cam system than the limbs themselves. At the end of the day, I have a couple solid limb bows that are practically older than I am that have no sign of damage at the "crotch" (or anywhere else) on the limbs. My current back-up hunting bow is a 10 year old Mathews Q2 (solid limbs) that is as good as the day I purchased it. Would I be able to say the same of some other bows? Possibly not, as the answer really is, "It depends." ;)

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#5 Spirithawk

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 03:21 PM

I know that my old Jennings Devastator crossbow has held up great and it has solid limbs. Several people told me it was junk and wouldn't hold up but over 10 years later it's still a very accurate bow. It's just heavy as heck. lol I think that largely it's how well you take care of your bows that makes the differance in whether they hold up or not.




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