Solinco Tour Bite Soft is a spin-friendly, comfortable co-poly that’s bound to be a breath of fresh air for anyone seeking comfort and spin without compromising too much on control.
Tour Bite Soft offers its users a more comfortable version of the popular Solinco Tour Bite, but with its square shape, it still offers tons of potential to rip the ball with spin.
The modern game is dominated by heavy topspin shots, but with many strings, we have to sacrifice a lot of comfort to get the kind of spin and control we look for. There are some softer options out there though that manage to offer spin with reasonable levels of comfort, and Solinco Tour Bite Soft is one of them.
Solinco is well known for great strings such as Solinco Hyper G and they enjoy a great reputation throughout the tennis world. As performance goes, we really rated the Solinco Hyper-G and we would certainly recommend it to anyone.
However, for those players who seek a little bit more comfort, Solinco Tour Bite Soft might represent a better option. Poly strings aren’t known for their comfort, and generally, players are willing to sacrifice in this area to achieve more control and spin, but there are polys out there like Luxilon 4G that seem to be able to offer a little bit of both.
In order to find out just what the Solinco Tour Bite Soft would give us we strung my Babolat Pure Strike 18 x 20’s up with a couple of different tensions. The first we strung at a relatively low 42lbs and the second at 52lbs. This gave us a chance to see how Tour Bite Soft performed across a few different tensions.
Power – 6/10
I would say the power levels of Solinco Tour Bite Soft are pretty regular for a poly string. These strings are generally designed to lean towards control, so you wouldn’t really want your poly string to be scoring an 8 or a 9 out of 10 for power.
For a player who looks for control as his primary characteristic, the power levels of the Tour Bite Soft were perfect. The strings allowed for fast, aggressive swings, but it had a little something when you needed it.
A score of 6 out of 10 is perfect for what the majority of poly players will look for.
Control – 8/10
The upside of a string giving you 6 out of 10 for power is that it’s likely to balance that out by offering lots of control. Solinco Tour Bite Soft did this nicely and allowed me to hit with great precision and confidence that I was going to get the ball in court.
If you’re an advanced player with big swings then it’s important that you have a string that can handle the racket head speed you produce and give you plenty of control. While there are strings that offer more control than the Tour Bite it still does a very good job in this area.
Whatever shot I was looking to hit, I felt like I had more than enough control to pull it off. The confidence Tour Bite Soft gave me to go for my shots earned it an 8 out of 10 for control.
Feel – 6.5/10
Solinco Tour Bite Soft offered reasonable feel without particularly wowing me. The strings have a fairly elastic feel to them, which is probably something that helps them when it comes to comfort, but I did find it difficult finding my range on touch shots.
I find feel is just one of those things you adapt to the more you play with a string, so it’s not something that would worry me, but I wouldn’t say this is Tour Bite Soft’s strongest area.
A 6.5 out of 10 for feel.
Spin – 8/10
The shape of these strings means it’s really easy to grip the ball and get lots of spin. I don’t think they are quite as spin-friendly as the original Solinco Tour Bite but they will certainly have more than enough spin-potential for the majority of players.
I normally struggle to generate as much topspin as I would like off my backhand side, but I found I was getting a really nice flightpath with the Tour Bite Soft. When I wanted to mix in the slice, I also had nice control and was able to keep the ball low and get it skidding off the court.
Once again, I would probably say the spin levels are pretty much what you would expect from a poly string. They’re not right at the top when it comes to spin-potential, but they’re not near the bottom either.
Comfort – 7.5/10
One area where Tour Bite Soft is right near the top for Poly strings is comfort. You’re never going to find a poly string that makes your arm feel like its hitting ping pong balls, but Tour Bite Soft does go along way to combining performance and comfort.
The elasticity of the strings gives you a nice cushioning effect that makes hitting the ball much less stressful for the joints than some of the stiffer polys.
7.5 out of 10 for comfort is a great score for a poly.
Durability – 6.5/10
This is probably the main area where I was a little bit disappointed with Solinco Tour Bite Soft. It didn’t take too long until the strings felt like they went a bit dead, causing it to lose some feel. It’s normal that strings lose a bit of tension as you play with them, but I just felt like the dropoff happened quite quickly with Tour Bite Soft.
This, coupled with the fact that they don’t last as long as some of the stiffer polys led to a score of 6.5 out of 10 for durability. Again, I wouldn’t say it’s a massive issue, but it is something to bear in mind.
Conclusion – 8/10
This string is going to appeal to players who are looking for comfort and spin. It’s got the kind of control you would associate with a poly string, but it’s the comfort that makes it stand out.
There are sacrifices that you make to achieve this level of comfort from a poly though, and I do think Solinco Tour Bite Soft is slightly lacking when it comes to feel and durability. The durability, in particular will be difficult to come to terms with for players who expect to get a lot of playing time out of their strings.
All in all, I’d say this string is well worth looking at if you are particularly concerned with adding a little more comfort to your string setup. Overall, it’s a solid poly, but it does have its weaknesses.
Review by: Will