Solinco Tour Bite Diamond Rough String Review
Construction: Monofilament Co-Polymer
Gauge: 16G (1.30mm)
Test Racquet / Tension
Angell TC100 16x19 / 52lbs
Over the last few years, few companies have garnered a stronger reputation in the string market than Solinco. Largely on the back of their tremendously popular Tour Bite offering, Solinco has become a highly awarded manufacturer popular at the recreational and elite levels. Looking to further diversify, they recently introduced Tour Bite Diamond Rough to market. This string takes the Tour Bite formula and adds in a diamond shaped texture pattern on the surface of the string. Here’s a quick look at how this latest Solinco string performs.
The string provides a satisfying level of pop off of the ground. It offers enough power to be noticeable without making it difficult to manage. I played it at both sub 50 and above 50 tensions and while the low tension amplified the trampoline effect, it was never to the point of damaging consistency. The texture pattern is the true standout of this string for a couple of different reasons. The first is the way it makes the string flex. It offers more flex than standard Tour Bite, yielding better ball pocketing. I found a much more connected feel with this string compared to many other poly options and felt the ball really had a lot of dwell time on the string bed. This allowed me to hit with excellent precision and really pick my spots with confidence. The other benefit of the texture pattern is the grip and spin it offers. While I don’t think it quite matches the regular Tour Bite offerings in terms of generating off-the-charts topspin, this string does offer excellent access to spin that is easy to manipulate. I was able to use spin to my advantage in controlling net clearance and depth with ease. I also enjoyed the extra grip on slices. Those shots stayed very low in the court and really bit hard away from my opponents.
Feel / Comfort
For polyester, Diamond Rough has excellent feel. The added flex in the string due to the texture pattern allows for a consistent response that also provides solid levels of feedback on contact. I found no issues executing volleys and touch shots. It also alleviates the “boardy” feel often associated with full beds of polyester. While you will still know its poly in the string bed, there is enough give in the string to be confident in what the ball is doing as it comes off the string bed. I found comfort to be a bit above average for a polyester. It plays softer than original Tour Bite but has a bit firmer feel than Tour Bite Soft, which I enjoyed. It does not play harshly but the comfort does decline as the string gets closer to the end of its life span, which is nothing out of the ordinary. I had no arm issues playing Diamond Rough in either full sets or hybrid configurations.
Durability was where I found a bit of a mixed bag with Diamond Rough. I found overall tension stability to be very good. After the initial tension drop post stringing, it leveled off well and only lost minimal tension after each hit. Physical durability was a bit different story. In full set string beds I averaged about 5 hours of use before breakage. That is a bit below average compared to other polyesters I have used. It seemed like there was a fair amount of inter-string friction and they cut through each other fairly quick. It is a soft enough polyester that the mains don’t really get locked in place but they do burn through fast. Players may see longer use in tighter string patterns, smaller heads or in my personal favorite, hybrid string beds. My favorite configuration with this string was to use it as a cross with Natural Gut mains. Durability was much improved in every hybrid I tried and could be a useful option for players.
Solinco has what should be another very popular option on their hands with the introduction of Tour Bite Diamond Rough. It retains some of the best traits of the original Tour Bite design while adding in a new texture that provides tremendous grip and makes the string more flexible and responsive. Players who want a string that delivers an excellent balance of power, spin and feel would be well rewarded to string their racquets up with this latest winner from Solinco.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke currently serves as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho and is an active USTA League and Tournament player.