Bear LS2 Review
Bear has designed a bow for just about anyone, and the introduction of the Legend Series gives shooters the undeniable confidence of owning a bow in the heritage line of Fred Bear himself. The LS 2 joins three other bows in the Legend Series of models, and is the only single cam model to break into the Legend Series. Single cam bows have notoriously been smooth drawing bows with easy tuning and great shootability characteristics. The S7 system does not disappoint with 80% let off and draw length adjustments between 23-30-inches. The 320 feet per second speed does not jump off the page for being blazing fast, but it is acceptable given the easy drawing cycle. The LS 2 has a 6.75-inch brace height, and gets a fairly compact design with a 31.125-inch axel-to-axel measurement. The LS 2 also comes equipped with a Trophy Ridge accessory package, which will give shooters everything except arrows and a release to start stacking arrows right out of the box. All this for only $550! Bear has really upped the game in combining performance and affordability all in one amazing package deal.
Ready to Hunt PackageAn MSRP of $550 is a fairly budget friendly bow all by itself. When you consider the accessories included with the LS 2, that price becomes even more impressive. It is slightly unfortunate the LS 2 cannot be sold as a bare bow. However, the Trophy Ridge accessories are made of great quality and cut out the decision-making involved in choosing accessories along with a huge cost savings if everything was purchased separately. Included in the package is a loop, a wrist sling, a self-aligning peep and tube, a whisker biscuit arrow rest, a micro cypher 5 pin sight, a one-piece five arrow quiver, and a 6-inch stabilizer.
FinishBear has been a Realtree company for several years. The patterns used are popular, look great, and provide shooters a pattern backed by a giant in the camo industry. The downside for the LS 2 is that Bear only finishes the bow in Realtree Xtra Green. Although none of their bows have a large variety of finishes to choose from, only have one pattern is not ideal. Again, the pattern looks great, blends in well in every hunting situation, and is applied flawlessly. However, it would be nice to see another option, even if that option is a solid color and not another camo choice.
RiserThe LS 2 riser is an aluminum riser with a bare bow weight of 4-pounds. The axel-to-axel measurement is 31.125-inches, and the shape of the riser and location of the grip gives the bow a 6.75-inch brace height. For all intents and purposes, the riser design on the LS 2 is appropriate for a hunting bow for any archer. For several years, Bear high-end bows have featured a dual string stop system. Bear has also produced several models with the more traditional one string stop system off the bottom of the riser. The LS 2 price point gives it a smaller price tag, but it also has the dual RockStop offset string suppressors making it look more like the flagship models. These string stop systems have some adjustment built in to fully customize how the string contacts them after the arrow is released. The front mounting stabilizer hole is another staple of 2017 bow models, and comes standard on the Bear LS 2. Bear has a nice hinge cable containment system, which is featured on their upper end models. The LS 2 does not get this upgrade to the containment system, but instead gets the tried and true cable slide system. Although this system is lacking a bit in advancement for 2017, the system does work well, and the simplistic design is almost bulletproof. To sum up the LS 2 riser, there is nothing worth noting in terms of brand new technology or the integration of the latest and greatest innovations. With that being said, everything on the riser is going to work just as it is designed without issue. The LS 2 riser does function well, is sturdy and durable, helps stabilize the shorter axel-to-axel measurement, and keeps it right at the 4-pound weight mark.
GripThe Bear LS 2 grip is similar to other models offered in the Bear lineup. The grip is designed directly into the riser, and made from the same aluminum. The grip does feature one rubber insert on each side of the grip, but they do not serve any real purpose. They will not keep the shooters hand warm in cold weather and really does not add anything in terms of comfort either. The black rubber does have the Bear name shown through the middle of the grip area, but aside from that does not have much of a function. The grip is pretty slim overall, which is nice but could take some getting used to if shooters are more used to a larger grip. The grip also has rounded edges, which can be more comfortable than defined edges, but some shooters have noted some trouble getting a consistent hand placement shot after shot.
Eccentric SystemThe S7 single cam is the chosen cam for the budget friendly LS 2 bow. Single cams have lost some popularity in the last few years as dual cams and hybrid systems have been engineered to create some added speed while still being forgiving and easy to draw. The single cam bows have typically been categorized with silky smooth draw cycles, and the S7 matches that description. Single cams have the bottom cam doing all the work, and the top cam is a simple wheel for the string to roll on. The cam timing and synchronization is not as big of a deal when the cams are not dependent on each other. Single cam bows can have tuning issues, but they are much easier to correct overall. The LS 2 has an 80% let off, and a draw length adjustment range from 23-30-inches. The DrawDial rotating module is well designed, and does not even require a bow press to change the lengths throughout the entire range. A down side of single cam bows has always been the speed, and the S7 is no different with speeds only up to 320 feet per second. Shooters do get a smooth draw, and 80% let off with the S7 cam, so the trade off in speed is a really easy draw cycle to manage from start to finish.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilitySingle cam bows have not been as popular in recent years with cam technology advancing so much they have almost been eliminated all together. This single cam rig has a favorable draw cycle, and setting the cams up for the first time are about as easy as it gets. The draw cycle is never hard to do, and the 80% let off is amazing. The valley is easy to manage, and the back wall is firm and easy to pull into. After the arrow is released, the bow makes almost no noise at all, and the hand shock is next to nothing. 320 feet per second is not fast, and it is noticeable as the arrows start to be sent farther downrange and the pin gaps start to widen. The trade off for some slower arrow speeds is a more manageable draw cycle, but some shooters may be disappointed in the slower arrow speeds, especially real world speeds without an IBO set up. However, aside from the slower speed rating, the LS 2 is a great shooting bow. It is very difficult to find anything wrong with the LS 2, or the S7 cam system, even if single cam bows are a bit old fashioned.
Usage ScenariosThe LS 2 is a hunter's bow. It will be seen on some 3D ranges from time to time getting a few extra practice arrows in preparing for hunting season. The design and specifications are built for a hunting bow, and will be the primary function of this particular model.
Bear LS 2 vs. Bear LS 4
These two bows are both great options for 2017 archers looking at a compact hunting bow. The performance and specifications are similar to each other with the LS 2 being a bit shorter axel to axel with a longer brace height. The main decision will come down to the draw cycle between these two models. The LS 2 has a single cam, with a silky smooth draw cycle, while the hybrid system of the Bear LS4 is a bit more demanding. The single cam is not quite as fast, but the brace height is generally considered more forgiving because it is a little closer to the 7-inch mark. The final choice will come down to what shooters want the most, a smooth draw or a bit of a sacrifice in smoothness for some added performance. Both models are rigged pretty well from the factory and should shoot as well as the shooters ability allows.