Brace Height vs Draw Weight

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Oct 29, 2023
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So I'm in the market for a new bow this year and time to move on from my PSE Evo Dream season. I just started bow hunting 3 years ago and I'm wanting to not spare any expense on my next bow since Ive been hooked from day 1. My question is mainly about brace height vs draw weight and what the trade off's are. For example with Hoyt's Z1S and Alpha 33, the Z1S with a 70# w/ 5-7/8" brace and the Alpha with a 80# w/ 6-3/8 brace, how is the Z1S a faster bow than the Alpha? Or what is the trade off for having that higher brace height but more draw weight? Thanks for the help, hope everyone is having a great day! Cheers
 

MattB

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Lower brace height gives a longer power stroke at the potential expense of forgivingness. The cam on the Z1S is more aggressive so it will likely feel stiffer at a given draw weight than the cam on the Alpha 33.
 
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An Alpha 33 at 80# will be faster than a Z1S at 70# (at the same draw length and arrow weight).

Advertised bow speeds are measured at 70# DW and 30" DL with a 350 gr arrow. A Z1S is faster than an Alpha 33 at those conditions (350 vs 334 fps). But if you crank an Alpha 33 up to 80#, it will shoot faster than a Z1s (at the same draw length and arrow weight).
 

realunlucky

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Everyone shoots a longer brace height bow better. Trade offs are they typically slower and longer over all which some people feel is cumbersome.

As a newer shooter don't fall into the speed trap for hunting.

Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
 
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To give a more general/complete answer regarding draw weight and brace height vs. arrow speed: speed is directly proportional to the amount of energy put into the bow during the draw cycle. A bow's energy can be determined by plotting a draw-force curve and calculating the area under the curve. Below is an example of what this looks like for a compound bow. Increasing draw weight would shift the curve upward. Decreasing brace height would shift the starting point of the curve to the left (thereby lengthening the curve). Both of those changes would result in greater area under the draw-force curve, which indicates more energy put into the bow and thus more arrow speed. The tradeoff with increasing draw weight and decreasing brace height is that they both make the bow more difficult to shoot well.
ATA-force-draw-compound.jpg
 
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I've never made the comparison before but it would be interesting to have an 80# Alpha X and a 70# Z1S side by side and see how they both feel to shoot. On one hand, the Z1S being a faster bow leads you to think you could get a faster arrow speed for less draw weight, but on the other hand, because of the aggressive cams and shorter brace height, an 80# Alpha X (or similar) may be a nicer bow to shoot than a 70# Z1S.

I'm currently shooting a Z1S with 80# Ventum Pro limbs on it so it's pulling 77#. The performance is incredible and the draw cycle is definitely a little stiff but it's much smoother than the PSE Omen I owned before.
I'll be publishing a review video of my Z1S in the coming days, in case anyone is interesting. I've owned it for about seven months now and killed plenty of critters with it, as well as experiemented with a few different arrow recipes.
 
OP
S
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Would love to see that review! The Z1S is definitely on my radar along with the Omen from PSE and a few others.
 

Bergy-Bowsmith

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in the simpilest explination the lower the brace height the less forgiving , but more fast that bow will be. the longer the brace height the more forgiving and the slower it will be . however i have found most 7" brace height systems are a touch more efficient then their 6 inch predicesors and with real world numbers i tend to get the same speeds out of both.

for example my pse evo xf 33 ec cam is a 334 ibo bow, with a 7-1/8 brace height , 33 ata

set at 28" 490gr arrow im getting 273 fps out of my bow consistently.

theoretically i should be in the 265 range with those specs.
 

TheTone

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As a newer shooter don't fall into the speed trap for hunting.

Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
plus they’re all fast anymore really. Amazing how much faster so called smooth comfortable bows are bs things considered similar 15-20 years ago
 
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plus they’re all fast anymore really. Amazing how much faster so called smooth comfortable bows are bs things considered similar 15-20 years ago
I never understood why everyone wanted a fast bow. Yes, I get the premise of a flatter trajectory out to 60-80 yards but most shots are shorter than that. And bows set up with lower ibo speeds kill just the same with proper shot placement, bow tune and the correct spined arrow.
 
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If you haven’t shot the Z I would definitely do so. Those cams are not for everybody. Hard to tell you what you will like especially with a niche bow like that.
 
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