X-One Biphase Playtest
Here are a few important stats when playtesting Tecnifibre’s X-One Biphase:
- String: X-One Biphase 16/1.30mm, natural white
- Racquet: Wilson nCode nSix-One 95
- Tension: 60 pounds
- Forehand: semi-western grip, heavy topspin
- Backhand: two-handed
Overall, I was impressed with the durability of X-One Biphase, which undoubtedly was helped by the fact that I went with the thicker 16-gauge string.
Generally, multifilament tennis strings designed to be soft on the arm and produce a gut-like feel tend to lack durability to a degree, which is simply a tradeoff that comes with the territory when you go with this family of tennis strings.
However, I was happy to find that compared with other multifilament strings I’ve playtested, X-One Biphase held up well, especially under the heavy topspin of my forehand, which is frequently the cause of broken strings for me.
I went with the thickest gauge because I’m a chronic string breaker, so I appreciate the extra life that this gauge provided me. It turned out that I was happy for doing so, as some slight notching in the strings was apparent even after an hour of play.
I did eventually break the strings after eight hours of play, but I felt that for the type of string, this was a great life expectancy, especially considering my style of play.
The durability of your tennis strings is dependent on a wide range of factors, including the gauge, or thickness, of the string, the type of grip you hold for your groundstrokes, how hard you hit, the tension you string at and other elements even including the weather.
As you evaluate tennis strings and the importance of durability compared with other factors like comfort, it’s important to consider your style of play. A big-hitting Division 1 college-level player may find a particular string doesn’t hold up well to their game, but that doesn’t mean the string isn’t durable, especially relative to other strings in the same family.
With tennis strings, it’s frequently about tradeoffs, so make sure you weigh durability appropriately against other factors like comfort.
What X-One Biphase lacks in durability to a small degree, it completely makes up for in comfort, thanks to Tecnifibre’s proprietary polyurethane PU 400 and the cushiony Elastyl fibers that make up 50 percent of the string’s composition.
The shock absorption of the string was apparent from my first stroke, and it was delightfully forgiving even with the higher 60-pound tension that I used to control some of the power.
I specifically recall one low forehand that I dug out and hit off-center outside of the sweet spot. I was surprised by how gentle it was on my arm compared with the shock that I might have felt with a more durable polyester string.
All in all, X-One Biphase is a super comfortable tennis string that would be a great fit for anyone suffering from tennis elbow or simply looking to reduce shock and vibration to their arm, perhaps with a stiffer racquet frame.
If there’s one thing that’s going to surprise you about X-One Biphase, it’s the string’s raw power – a feature that made it super fun to use.
Based on Tecnifibre’s specs and some initial research, I expected it to bring plenty of power, so I intentionally strung it at a higher 60 pounds to maintain a bit more control and bring the power level down a bit. However, even at the higher tension, the extra pop was still apparent.
Generating extra pace when hitting felt automatic, and I never felt like I had to force the ball over the net. Where I really enjoyed the power was on my serve, where I was able to crank it up, and the ball would jump off the strings.
Helpful Tip: If you’re at all concerned about the added power of X-One Biphase, I’d encourage you to up the tension a bit. My approach would be to use X-One Biphase as part of a hybrid setup with control-oriented mains.
Control 7.5 & Spin 6.8
As I was getting comfortable with X-One Biphase, one of the challenges that I did find with my groundstrokes was that the string didn’t have the grip that I’m used to with some of the hybrid string setups that I’ll use.
As a result, I found a few groundstrokes sailing a few feet long, so I had to adjust and focus on generating more topspin to help keep the ball in play.
After about an hour of hitting and once the strings started to settle a bit, it wasn’t an issue. However, similar to dropping the power level a bit, players who hit with a lot of topspin and expect that extra bite from their strings would likely want to string X-One Biphase as part of a hybrid string setup.
Another option would be to drop down to the 17 gauge strings, which should provide you with a bit more grip, although a heavy topspin player might avoid this due to a decrease in durability and life expectancy of the string. If price isn’t much of an issue, then this might be an excellent option for you.
Along with X-One Biphase being an incredibly comfortable string to play with, I found it to be highly responsive, which might be a little counterintuitive with the high power the string offers.
The great touch of the string was, not surprisingly, most apparent at the net hitting volleys, where I felt like I had plenty of control and could easily direct the ball wherever I wanted.
Tension Stability 8.8
Overall, I felt like X-One Biphase did a terrific job of holding its tension, which would have been aided by the pre-stretching that I did before stringing.
The settling that occurs after 30 or so minutes of play and is extremely common with many string sets was negligible, and I found the strings continued to hold their tension well throughout my roughly eight-hour playtest.
String Movement 8.7
This one was a bit of a surprise for me. I expected the strings to move much more than they did. After about 15 minutes of play, the strings had barely even budged.
The higher string tension helped limit string movement, but typically I find that my forehand is good for pushing the strings all over the place. Even after a full hour of play, there was less movement compared with other multifilaments.