Bear Sole Intent Review

Bear Sole Intent

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Pros

  • Single cam bow for draw lengths of 22-27-inches
  • Lightweight 3.65-pound bare bow weight
  • Suggested retail price of $699

Cons

  • Only offered in one finish option
  • Only one limb configuration of 45-60-poundsĀ 

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Editors' review

Single cams are not very popular for 2018, in part due to the advancements of hybrid cam systems and in part due to the slower speeds produced out of single cam designs. The single cam powered Sole Intent allows adjustments from 22-27-inches, and shoots up to 295 feet per second. The Sole Intent only comes in Badlands Approach camo and 45-60-pound limbs. Obviously it would be nice to have a 70-pound limb offering and more finish options, but for those shooters the Sole Intent fits, this solo cam hunting bow has limited competition. The Sole Intent sells for only $699, as part of the Legend Series lineup.

Finish

The Sole Intent is offered in Badlands Approach camo, which looks really nice. As with all Bear finishes, the Badlands Approach is well applied and lives up to the durability standards customers would expect from a legendary company sporting the Fred Bear name. Some of the other Legend Series bows feature more finish options, and it would be nice to see the Sole Intent with some of the other options offered in the lineup. With that being said, the Badlands Approach camo does look great, and gives the bow a premium look considering the Badlands pattern is not a very popular on compound bows.

Riser

Bear claims the Sole Intent riser is forged for strength and machined for accuracy. The axel-to-axel measurement is a fairly compact 29-inches, but considering the draw length range of 22-27-inches, this bow is still pretty stable with the shorter design. The brace height is 6-inches, and the overall bare bow weight is 3.65-pounds.This Legend Series bow features the hinge guard cable guard system. As the bow is drawn, the hinge guard moves a bit to allow the string to go to a more natural location. This forces less stress on the riser and eliminates some of the torque caused by a cable guard system, which does not flex as the bow is drawn. The SonicStops are also incorporated into the riser design giving the string two stops to work against to help eliminate the noise and vibration caused by the string vibrating after the shot is made.

Grip

Manufacturers are now producing grips, which are more functional than comfortable. Not too long ago, companies were designing bow grips to fit comfortably in shooters hands. The issue with this is that each shooter has a different hand, and those not placing the grip in the proper position get some system torque through the grip hand, which impacts accuracy especially at long distances. The Sole Intent features the Nanogrip, which is the slim design for Bear. The grip is designed to properly fit in every shooter's hand where it is more difficult to get poor hand placement. The flat, narrow back of the grip makes it more difficult to torque, and should help shooters improve their long range accuracy.

Limbs

Bear decided to offer the Sole Intent with one limb configuration of 45-60-pounds. Although this draw weight will more than likely be enough for shorter draw shooters, it would be nice to see the 70-pound max weight offering in addition to the 60-pound one. The Max Preload Quad Limbs are the same design as the rest of the Legend Series in regards to how Bear designed the limbs to distribute the weight more evenly throughout the limbs instead of concentrated in a specific area. The limbs also feature a split limb dampener, known as the ShockWaves limb dampeners, which do a nice job keeping the sound and vibration down a bit on the Sole Intent.The BearTrap pocket system fixes the split limbs to the riser. This design uses a high-strength metal pocket in combination with a zero-tolerance boot to keep the limbs in the proper position during the entire draw cycle.

Eccentric System

Single cam bows have lost popularity over the most recent model years, but for many situations a single cam works exceptionally well. The Sole Intent is one of the situations where a single cam makes sense. A single cam uses the bottom to do all the work, and an idler wheel on the top cam to simply track the string over. This type of system allows for very minimal tuning and tends to stay tuned longer than hybrid systems. The trade off for an easy drawing, simple single cam design is performance, which is usually less than other styles of cams. The single cam system on the Sole Intent is rated for 295 feet per second, which is pretty slow. However, the draw length range is 22-27-inches, which leaves some speed out considering the speed ratings are typically for 30-inch draw lengths. The cam system also has a set 75% let-off, which is not adjustable. Overall, the single cam system on the Sole Intent will give a smooth draw cycle and easy tuning for those interested.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The Sole Intent draw cycle is as smooth as it looks, which is characteristic of a single cam bow. The bottom wheel is basically circular, and this exactly how it feels. The weight gradually increases as the bow makes its way to peak draw weight. As the 75% let-off comes, the bow seems to get easier to draw, but does not have a noticeable hump or dump into the transition. The back wall is as solid as it can get with only one draw stop, but helps shooters hold well on target without creating a difficult to manage valley. After the arrow is released, the Sole Intent is quite and vibration free as well. The speed out of the bow is pretty slow on paper, but when compared to other models with a draw length of 27-inches, the Sole Intent is pretty competitive. For shooters wanting a smooth draw cycle above all else, the Sole Intent does not disappoint.

Usage Scenarios

When looking at a bow with shorter draw lengths like the Sole Intent, it is tough to limit its usage to younger archers or female shooters. However, the Sole Intent appears to be designed for younger shooters, or perhaps female archers in the market for a new hunting bow. That is not to say the Sole Intent will not meet the needs of other shooters, but the design appears to be for those with a little growing left to do. The Sole Intent focuses on hunting technology, but could also be used for fun 3D shoots as well.

Summary

The Sole Intent is geared towards shooters with a shorter draw length in the 22-27-inch range. The silky smooth draw cycle of the single cam system on the Sole Intent is outstandingly smooth and easy to manage from the start of the draw cycle to the arrow release. Along with the limited draw length comes only one finish option and only one limb configuration of 45-60-pounds. However, the Badlands Approach camo looks amazing and the draw weight should meet the needs of most shooters interested in the Sole Intent. For a suggested retail price of only $699, this Legend Series bow represents the Bear Archery line up very well.




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