Bowtech Fanatic 2.0 Review

Bowtech Fanatic 2.0

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Pros

  • A refinement of the original 2015 Fanatic
  • Great feel for a target bow
  • Lots of color choices
  • Includes Bowtech's most recent technology - rotating module and Powershift technology

Cons

  • May not be enough of a difference between the Fanatic to justify a 2.0
  • $1499 price tag is a lot to stomach for some shooters

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Editors' review

The Fanatic 2.0 is a refined, slightly upgraded Fanatic from the 2015 lineup. As with the Fanatic, the 2.0 is a great shooting bow, and has the ability to be used across different styles of target archery and have an entirely different feel just by adjusting the Powershift disc in the cam system. Realistically speaking, this technology has more of a chance of being used in target archery than in a hunting bow. At the end of the day, shooters able to spend an MSRP of $1499 can afford any target bow they want to shoot, so the competition for the Fanatic 2.0 is legit. With that being said, the features offered for adjustability in the cam system alone should turn some heads in the target world.

Finish

With target bows, the finish needs to be durable because it will be in the woods and out of the shooters hand while retrieving arrows and scoring on the 3D range, and perhaps in and out of the case for indoor spot leagues during the winter. Shooters are also not too concerned about the bow and its ability to blend in with its surroundings, as hunters would be concerned about. Bowtech has decided to dip the Fanatic 2.0 in a durable and nice looking Ano Rock finish, which also has plenty of color options to choose from. Shooters can get the Fanatic 2.0 decked out in black, blue, green, orange, pink, purple, and red. Each of these colors have a glossy look to them to help them pop and stand out a bit on the line of the scoring rounds. With each of the color choices, the cage portion of the shoot through riser is black instead of the Ano-color on the rest of the bow. The limbs are also finished in black as well. Bowtech's choice of base colors allows shooters to add a little personal flavor too in regards to accessories and string colors to help bring the entire bow look together as well.

Riser

The Fanatic 2.0 riser is long, and it has to be to make up the majority of the 37.5-inch axel-to-axel measurement. Those that have been around Bowtech for some time will notice the 2.0 riser as a characteristic Bowtech riser it how it looks based on its design. The Fanatic 2.0 also gets a shoot through riser, which allows for the arrow to travel straight on plane towards the target without the riser needing to bend accommodating the vertical plane like on hunting bows for example. As mentioned, there is a great deal of riser on the Fanatic 2.o as well, and the cage will help with the strength at this point of the bow design as well. The FLX-Guard is a nice piece of compound bow engineering as well. As the bow is drawn, the cables are forced out of their natural vertical state to allow for the arrow to line up properly downrange. The cables being moved out of the way causes tension and a lot of force on the riser, which could hurt accuracy, especially at long distances, or on a bow that has a lot of riser like the 2.0 does. The FLX-Guard actually allows the guard to flex inward towards the arrow, and the naturally plane where the cables want to be anyways. This movement does reduce riser torque, and theoretically helps with accuracy downrange as well. After the arrow is released, the guard pulls the cables away from the arrow, allowing for full vane clearance, before returning back to their resting position. The FLX-Guard is also a roller system and not a sliding system. This is not new technology in the archery world, or from Bowtech, but it is utilized on the Fanatic 2.0. Other standard features worth mentioning are the standard rear mounted string stop system and the stabilizer mounting location of the front and back of the riser. Target shooters are a picky bunch of folks, and Bowtech giving shooters the ability to add weight and stabilizers where they need it the most is a wonderful thing people will appreciate. The provided locations will allow shooters the ability to move and adjust weight around using the offset brackets offered through their stabilizer company. The 4.7-pound bare bow is slightly heavy on paper, but it does balance well to start, and should add some stability while holding on target.

Grip

The Fanatic 2.0 features an upgraded ergonomically correct grip when compared to the original. The grip dimensions remain unchanged, but how the riser shelf is notched out to fit the shooter's hand is slightly different. Some shooters will be fine with this, and others will take some time to adjust since the old system is engraved in to how the bow grip should feel. Bowtech grips are a touch on the thick side, but feel great in the hand, and truly promote proper hand placement. The grip is an integrated part of the riser on the target lineup, which makes it easier for target shooters to use grip tape or athletic tape for a different feel in the hand. The grip area also has the Bowtech logo featured on the side, which adds an elegant touch to the overall look of the 2.0.

Limbs

The limbs are the standard split limb configuration, which has been the Bowtech style for a few years now. The riser is designed in such a way to allow multiple connecting points with each limb. Not only does this help with the stress applied to each limb to be more evenly dispersed, but it also helps engineers fine tune exactly where to reinforce each limb to maintain its durability over time. The limbs are offered in maximum draw weights of 40, 50, 60, and 70-pounds giving every shooter interested in a target bow an option for the properly configured draw weight. The limb system does not come equipped with any sort of installed dampening system straight out of the factory. Of course, shooters wanting to add some aftermarket dampening systems will have the ability to do so in the aftermarket world. The bow shoots well without anything, but dampeners would eliminate some vibration, and could help shooters add more color to their rig as well.

Eccentric System

The Overdrive Binary cam system crosses over from the hunting lineup to the target line-up being the cam system of choice for the Fanatic 2.0. Bowtech has gone as far as designing two specific Overdrive Cams for the Fanatic 2.0 to accommodate an entire range of shooters from 24-inches all the way out to 32.5-inches. The Fanatic 2.0 29 is adjustable from 24-29 in half-inch increments with the rotating module system. The Fanatic 2.0 32 has a draw length adjustment between 28.5-32.5-inches with the rotating module. Bowtech not only engineered draw length adjustment, but also helps keep the efficiency of the cam system optimal by offering two different systems. Shooters with a draw length in the crossover between the two cams may have a bit of a performance boost when choosing the top end of the cam system, versus the lower end, but it may not be enough to make a giant performance difference. All modular adjustments can be made without the use of a bow press as well, which makes things much easier on the everyday shooter without bow press access, but enough knowledge to make some minor tweaks.The top and bottom cam are the exact same shape and size on the Overdrive system. When drawn, the cams are in the exact same point during the draw cycle as the other. This means the nocking point never travels off the vertical plane for perfect nock travel through the entire draw cycle. When the arrow is released, it does not need to go off plane, and performs better from an efficiency standpoint as well. The cams also feature two buss cables on the top and bottom allowing shooters to perfectly set the bow with proper cam lean. This allows shooters to horizontal tune the string to the best setting as well. So vertically, and horizontally, shooters should have no issues with nock travel when the Overdrive System is properly tuned. Again, diehard Bowtech shooters will be very familiar with the tune ability and benefits of the Overdrive System and will appreciate the carryover to the target side of things. The Powershift technology allows shooters to fine tune how the bow draws at each of the draw length measurements by changing the draw cycle to deliver the feel shooters desire from their bows without messing with how in tune the bow s. Shooters can opt for a comfort setting, a performance setting, or one in the middle of the two. The Powershift technology gives shooters the ability to have three distinct feels with the same bow. Shooters can decide to shoot on setting for spots, and move the Powershift disc and shoot a different setting for 3D. This may not be a super useful technology for some shooters, but for others, it may be the reason they end up choosing a Fanatic 2.0.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

For many shooters, especially target shooters, the feel of the draw cycle is the largest selling point in purchasing a new bow that has the ability to earn a shooter a lot of money or bragging rights amongst buddies. Either way, how the bow feels from the start of the draw cycle to the arrow slapping the target is a large deciding factor on spending an MSRP of $1499 on a new bow or not. The Powersift technology makes the draw cycle very unique to what each shooter wants from their draw cycle. The customization option is ideal for some shooters, and others may set it for what they like and never move the disc again. Shooters can choose the more aggressive, and more speedy performance setting and get a draw cycle more similar to hunting bows on the market for 2016. Other shooters may prefer the comfort setting, which will feel a bit more like a target bow in regards to how aggressive the cam feels, but the performance will still be acceptable. Others will choose to have a happy medium somewhere in between both of those. Each of them will have smooth transitions from one part of the draw cycle to the next. The back walls will be pretty firm, but not as firm as a bow with two limb stops systems activated. However, there will not be much sponge at the back end either. The bow does experience a bit of hand shock and some noise after the arrowheads down range, but with added accessories, it does become less noticeable.

Usage Scenarios

The Bowtech Fanatic is a target bow. With a shoot through riser, and acceptable speeds, the bow can be used as a spot shooter or for 3D depending on the style of competitive archery a shooter is interested in. For hunting, Bowtech has some better options in their 2016 lineup, but for shooters in the draw length range of 24-29-inches, the Fanatic 2.0 is a nice choice.

Summary

The Fanatic 2.0 is a great shooting target bow with the ability to be used on the line indoors shooting paper, or outside shooting 3D targets. For a competition bow, the price is reasonable, but $1499 is still pretty steep for most people potentially interested in a new target bow. That cost may be justified a bit with the Powershift technology and shooters having the ability to choose between three distinct draw cycles to better accommodate the style of shooting they partake in. To say this bow is capable of any style of competitive shooting would be an understatement. Shooters already owning a Fanatic may not find enough of a difference between the 2.0 to justify a new purchase. The 2.0 is a more refined model, and there are some differences, but most shooters will not feel the need to drop the original Fanatic for the 2.0. Overall, if shooters are looking at new target bows, the Fanatic 2.0 is worth a look.




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