Gearbox 2012 Solid 1.0 165 Racquets

Quadraform:

$

Teardrop:

$

Upsides

  • Maneuverable Power
  • Great Feel

Downsides

  • Instability on mishits
Read about the Gearbox 2012 Solid 1.0 170 Racquet

Since its inception, Gearbox has been all about simplicity, but most importantly functionality and the highest quality. With the minimal cosmetics and sharp new decals, the 2012-13 Solid 1.0 racquets are no exception. By eliminating the weight from paint, they were able to include more graphite to further strengthen the racquet. With close specs to its green brother, the Gearbox Solid 1.0 165g Quadraform gives you more forgiveness on off-center shots with its wider head shape and sweet spot. Gearbox has also added two new technologies in conjunction with their Solid Headand Proportional Frame designs. New in the Solid 1.0 line are the Displacement Channels, for improved structural integrity and maximum power, and the new String Dimples, designed to reduce harsh string angles and improve frame durability. The new cosmetics give these improved frames an elegant, fresh, and contemporary look.

Quadraform Power: 90/100

Teardrop Power: 91/100

As the lightest racquet in the second series of the Solid 1.0 line, the team went in to the playtest with a mindset of power as a background, and not a front-running category. After a few games, they were pleasantly surprised. Croft jumped right into it with, “Being a big fan of 165 gram weight class, I had a suspicion I was going to be able to generate a lot of power with these frames, and that suspicion rang true. During the rallies I felt I could generate more power from the Teardrop because of its stability, but felt they both performed equally during setups and drive serves since I was more accurate in hitting the sweet spot. Both frames have a lot of power, but overall I felt I could just move it a little faster with the T.” Ben L., being a fan of the Q, disagreed saying, “The head-heavy balance and total frame stiffness really made power the focus of these Solid 1.0 racquets, even in the lighter 165. I was surprised how much power was available for a light frame, and how consistently I could drive through the ball on all shots. The quadraform was definitely more forgiving, and in turn, more powerful for me. I felt like the teardrop frame in this light weight was just too advanced to maximize my power.”

Quadraform Control: 87/100

Teardrop Control: 90/100

Always attempting to blend the necessary aspects of a top quality racquet, control was an obvious focus of the 2012-13 Solid 1.0’s. In this category, the Teardrop seemed to outshine its sibling. Ben L. began with, “I wanted to rate these lower in control just from knowing the balance, but the racquets outperformed my expectations. I found myself behind shots at first, hitting splats rather than down the lines, but as I fixed my timing and early racquet preparation, it quickly got better. Compared to the quad, I found the teardrop to have better control from the more dialed-in sweet spot and the confidence it gave me.” Croft concurred stating, “I definitely felt the control benefits of the narrower frame shape in the teardrop over the quad. With the T, I felt I could control every shot, whether it was during a fast rally, a lob serve, setup, or a touch shot in the frontcourt. The bigger hitting zone of the quad felt great when I hit the sweet spot, but was a little unstable when I didn’t connect with the ball perfectly. For the second category in a row I felt the teardrop was better suited for my game.”

Quadraform Feel: 86/100

Teardrop Feel: 87/100

Feel was the category where the team felt the most distance in opinion. While Croft was singing his praises of the frame, Ben L. thought there was a fair amount to be desired. Croft said, “I’ve always felt most comfortable with lighter frames, and these were no different. Other than the slight instability of the quadraform, I felt both of these frames performed equally in this category. I was excited and curious to get these sticks on the court since Gearbox decided to take away the paint and add more graphite into the frames. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel any extra stiffness, which is a good thing since the frames are already semi-stiff. I’d give a very slight edge to the T in this category, but I gave both the head shapes high marks in feel.” Ben L. was on a different page saying, “Because the lighter racquets didn’t fit my game style as well, I was less consistent and didn’t enjoy the feel as much. I liked the stiffness of the frame, but would have preferred softer strings to get some more positive string feedback. The quadraform was the easy choice for me in feel because of the larger sweet spot and the forgiveness it provides.”

Quadraform Overall: 88/100

Teardrop Overal: 89/100

Overall the team agreed on many things, one of them being that Gearbox once again did a great job designing their racquets. A light, powerful, and supremely durable frame, the 2012-13 Solid 1.0 is a universal racquet that will be a crowd pleaser. Ben L. ended the review with, “I have always enjoyed the power and stiffness that Gearbox racquets delivered, even at the lighter 165-gram weight. The teardrop was the more explosive racquet of the two when I connected right on, but I liked the quadraform better overall for its generous string bed, and ability to drive through the ball even on a mishit.” Croft wrapped it up with, “Not surprisingly, I really enjoyed this playtest. The power, control, feel, and durability were all on par with what Gearbox designs their sticks around. Although I did like the Teardrop more than Quadraform, both racquets performed well in every category. If I had to make a recommendation to someone who likes a light racquet, I would recommend the Q for a beginner to intermediate player, and the T to an advanced to professional player.”