Menu

Bow Report: Elite Answer

Still a relative newcomer at seven years or so in the business, Elite Archery has established a reputation for fast, smooth-drawing twin-track binary cam bows. Of the five bows in Elite’s 2012 line-up, the fastest bow generates impressive speeds while stopping short of a speed-at-any-cost design (i.e., it’s still smooth and reasonably forgiving); the slowest achieves respectable speeds and is super-smooth and forgiving. The Answer is Elite’s attempt to produce “the perfect blend of smoothness, speed, and stability in an all-around hunting and 3-D bow.” Since “the perfect blend” may differ from one shooter to another, the Answer is available with one of two cam modules, one designated the “smooth mod,” the other the “speed mod.” Both generate very respectable speeds, as indicated below, with the speed mod generating an additional 10 fps. The Answer is shipped standard with the smooth mods; the speed mods can be purchased separately.

The Answer Cams, like other Elite Cams, are noteworthy for a long valley and firm back wall. The back wall is assured by an adjustable draw stop. Draw length is module-specific; each half-inch change in draw length requires a specific module. Elite cautions that changing the draw stop will result in changing the letoff and the valley, and suggests trial-and-error or use of a draw board to arrive at the precise desired settings. The owner’s manual includes a chart indicating how twisting or untwisting the cable or strings, and moving the draw stops, will affect the valley, the letoff, and the brace height, the draw length, the draw weight, and the cam rotation. Which leads to two possibly nit-picky things I’d like to see on this bow:

Elite Answer1. A longer, more detailed owner’s manual.

2. Hash marks on the cams indicating proper cam orientation when the bow is at rest. (In fairness, I find most bow owner’s manuals to be lacking in detail or clarity. Elite does offer a link to an informative tuning video on its website.)

Cams are calibrated with indicators that show timing as the bow is drawn and the cams turn over, and these are helpful. Again, Elite recommends using a draw board to achieve precise timing. Draw boards are not particularly sophisticated or difficult to make, and plans are widely available on the Internet, but I suspect most bowhunters will seek help from a pro shop if timing becomes an issue. Given the design of Elite’s binary cams and the quality of strings and cables, I would not expect timing issues to be a problem.

Finally, Elite bows are widely acknowledged to have excellent fit and finish, and the Answer reflects this. I tested a Realtree AP camo bow, and the riser, Barnsdale laminated limbs, cams, bolts, and cable guard rod were all flawless, with no visible seams or imperfections. The skinny and slick wood side-panel grip not only functions well, but adds a nice contrast to the riser, and the brass logos make for a custom look. Overall this is a sharp-looking, compact bow with a well-proportioned riser and limbs and an aggressive parallel limb design.

Shooting The Bow

Since the Answer ships standard with the smooth module, this is how the bow was tested. As Elite’s reputation, the “smooth mod” label, and the draw force curve all suggest, this is indeed a very smooth-drawing bow. The cam is aggressive, but the pull is smooth and it rolls over gently into letoff. The back wall is rock-solid, but the valley is wide enough that hitting the draw stop is not jarring. At the same time, the relatively wide valley prevents the bow from “grabbing” if the shooter happens to let the string creep forward a tiny bit. (In fact, you almost feel as if you have to “push” the string forward if you want to let down without shooting.) At full draw I’ve not experienced a more rock-steady sensation, and the wide valley and high letoff make it easy to hold this bow steady at full draw for extended periods. The compact design of the Answer contributes to a very nice balance; without a stabilizer it tends to tip back slightly, which I much prefer to a bow that tips forward, but it can be easily brought to perfect balance with a stabilizer. At the shot, the bow pops straight forward slightly (assuming a proper loose grip) without discernible torque. Slight vibration is detectable but is minimal, with no real hand shock. Many bows produced in the last few years are quiet; this bow is quieter than most.

The Answer is an excellent bow by any standard and a good value at well under the $1,000 mark. It should enhance Elite’s status as a manufacturer of high-quality bows and expand its growing number of loyal customers.

Elite Answer

Elite answer Specs

Letoff.................................... 80%

Brace Height..................... 7 inches

Weight.................................. 4.1 pounds

Axle-To-Axle Length...... 33.5 inches

Draw Length...................... 27 to 30 inches

Draw Weight..................... 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 pounds

IBO Speed............................. 330 fps (Smooth Mod).................................................. 340 fps (Speed Mod)

Options................................. Speed modules. Colors/Camo in Realtree AP, Realtree Max 1, Realtree AP Snow, Ninja Black, Matte Black Cosmic Orange, Slime, Elite Blue

Suggested Retail Price. $870

Our Objective Tests

Peak Draw Weight:............................... 70*

Full-Draw Hold Weight:.................... 15*

Performance, 30-Inch Draw:

Arrow Weight:........................................ 385 grains...... 500 grains

Arrow Speed @70 Pounds:................. 311 fps............ 274 fps

Arrow Speed @60 Pounds:................. 293 fps............ 255 fps

K.E. @70 Pounds (Foot-Pounds):....... 83................... 83.37

K.E. @60 Pounds (Foot-Pounds):....... 73................... 72

Sound Level @60 Pounds (dBA):........ 64.5................ 57.5

 

*Rounded to nearest half-pound.


The Outdoor Shopper LogoThe Outdoor Shopper Special

LEGEND STEEL CERIUM FIRE STARTER SET FOR TWO: BUY NOW

Standard for viral promotion through share features.

Comments powered by Disqus