Hoyt Carbon Spyder 34 Review
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Editors' reviewThe Carbon Spyder 34 is one of three carbon riser bows produced by Hoyt for the 2014 line up. Although the dimensions and specifications seem similar to the Carbon Matrix for 2013, the Spyder 34 has newly designed Z5 cams, a fresh riser design, and a few more bells and whistles that come with a top of the line Hoyt. It is very tough to find anything wrong with this bow, but the main negative is going to keep many shooters from owning this great shooter. The price is even more expensive than past carbon bows offered by Hoyt. In many cases, shooters can buy another bow (including a Hoyt Faktor 34 with the same specifications and technology minus the carbon riser) and have it completely outfitted for the same bare bow MSRP dealers are getting for the Carbon Spyder 34. Despite this rather large draw back, this bow is a flat out tack driver and is sure to last for a very long time. Perhaps the ability to use it as a multipurpose bow may help some shooters justify the cost.
FinishHoyt has a finish that feels tough and rugged, and looks really great as well. Carbon riser bows pose different problems for getting finish to stay when compared to the aluminum riser series bows. The process has been worked on over the last four years, and Hoyt carbon bows really look fantastic for 2014.The Carbon Spyder 34 is offered in camo, custom color options, and target colors to match the needs of what every shooter wants their bow to look like. For camo patterns, Hoyt offers Realtree Xtra, Realtree Max-1, Realtree AP Pink, and Realtree AP Snow. Hoyt also offers an all-black model and half and half models with a black riser and camo dipped limbs. For custom hunting colors, Hoyt has the Bone Collector Edition bow, which has a Realtree Xtra riser with Bone Collector graphics on the limbs. They also offer the Vixcen model, which has a Realtree Max-1 of black riser, with special Vixcen limb graphics. The final custom finish option is the American Heritage model. This can have a Realtree Max-1, Realtree Xtra, or black riser paired with black or camo limb graphics and red, white, and blue accents.For target colors, Hoyt finishes the Carbon Spyder 34 in pearl white, red, blue, black, or target pink. This is a huge array of colors and custom options to allow shooters a customized finished look they are sure to appreciate.
RiserThe all new helical flexed tune hollow carbon riser design serves as the shooting platform for the new Hoyt bow. This warm to the touch riser has a different look than Hoyt carbon risers in the past, and should add to the overall shootability and feel of the bow. The riser is stiffer and stronger than ever before, which leads to the quietest, smoothest carbon riser bow created by Hoyt. The increased strength should help the bow perform better, leading to improved accuracy as well.
Although the carbon itself does a fantastic job deadening vibration and noise, the all new Shock Rod technology located on the riser close to the limb pockets will help eliminate even more vibration and force it away from the shooters hand. These rubber dampeners can also be exchanged for different color options to fully customize the look of the bow with the finish options as well. The string stopping stealth shot and the rubber shelf guard also work together to make the Hoyt Carbon Spyder 34 completely silent and dead in the hand. This integrated technology really shows how focused Hoyt is not only on the big things, but on the little details as well.
Hoyt also utilizes a factory offset front mounting stabilizer bushing. This helps offset the weight added on one side of the bow with the rest and sight while allowing shooters to add weight out front. This helps keep the bow perfectly balanced and feeling great in hand and at full draw.
GripHoyt is known for a really great feeling grip. Although the final decision of comfort ultimately comes down to personal feel, the Pro Fit grip is a solid option. The Pro Fit is offered from the factory as a wooden grip option although shooters can opt for the rubber Pro Fit grip as well. Some diehard Hoyt shooters completely remove the stock grip and simply shoot off the riser. Regardless of each shooters decision, the grip is going to fit well in hand. Shooters will easily be able to repeat their form, which is going to lead to improved accuracy from less hand torque, and a more repeatable shot. Aside from the Pro Fit styles, shooters are also able to customize the color of the logo to match dampeners on the bow as well. Overall, the grip performs well and should be easy to adjust to if shooters are coming from a different style of grip.
LimbsHoyt offers the Carbon Spyder 34 with split limb technology. With a draw weight range of 50-pounds, there is something available for almost everyone interested in a Carbon Spyder 34. With adjustments in the ten-pound increment standard, the Carbon Spyder 34 is available with maximum draw weight of 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, and 80- pounds. Although some limb configurations may not be stocked at each shop, they can all be ordered by a dealer. The Air Shox limb dampening system is a unique design incorporated on Hoyt bows in 2013, which is carried over to 2014. The Air Shox system actually stays in place while the limbs are drawn. As the limbs store energy through the draw cycle flexing toward each other, the dampening system stays in place. After the shot, the limbs return to their starting position and make contact with the Air Shox system transferring energy and vibration to the dampeners. This design is unique to Hoyt, but is obviously working well for them to offer it again this year. These dampeners can be removed if desired, and are offered in a variety of colors to further customize how the bow looks.The Pro Lock pocket is the connecting piece between the limbs and the riser. They provide six locking points with near zero tolerances preventing limb shift and a more repeatable performance. Improved repeatability leads to better shooting as well. Despite the Pro Lock Pockets functional ability, they do not distract form the look of the bow. They are integrated very nicely, serve their purpose well, and do not stand in the way for the overall appearance of the bow.
Eccentric SystemThe Z5 eccentric system is a cam and a half design that takes a spin off the RKT cams. The new engine for the 2014 Hoyt lineup has a draw length adjustment from 25-31-inches on the 34 model with a long draw option that goes from 31.5-32-inches in half-inch increments. The cams come in three options with draw length modules to adjust the draw length within the ranges. The number one cam is adjustable between 25-26.5, the two cam is 27-29, and the number three cam is 29-31-inches. The long draw Carbon Spyder 34 is available in 31.5 or 32-inches. Hoyt rates their bows using the ATA specifications. This speed measurement is stricter for arrow weight and bow specifications, which means the rig is sure to hit advertised speed without the need to be super tuned.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe Z5 cam is the new offering available for 2014. For most people, this is a decent improvement on the RKT cams in terms of storing energy and being easier to draw. The Z5 cam is unbelievably smooth. Unless shooters hone in on the transitions, they are going to be virtually unnoticeable. This is great news because the Carbon Spyder 34 still produces tons of energy and has an ATA speed rating of 330 feet per second, while being easier to draw. The cams have a decent back wall, and the valley is relatively generous as well. Some did not like the lack of creep with the RKT cams. For those shooters, the Z5 cam is an improvement. The best part about the shootability of the Carbon Spyder 34 is the lack of noise and vibration after the shot. It truly has to be shot to believe. After the shot, the bow feels like nothing else. The Carbon Spyder 34 balances perfectly and with Hoyt's off set stabilizer technology allows for a great feel both at full draw and at rest. With the strength of the hollow carbon tube riser, and the forgiving brace height of 6.75-inches, accuracy should not be a problem for anyone.
Usage ScenariosThe Carbon Spyder 34 is a great bow for 3D shooting and hunting. Although the Carbon Spyder 34 is expensive, the ability to be used as a multipurpose bow may help justify the cost a bit for some. With target and camo finish options available, the bow is sure to look great in all situations, with any style of accessories. Although the general trend in the hunting world is short rigs, the 34-inch axel to axel measurement is going to be a bit more stable, and hardly noticeable in most hunting situations.
Hoyt Carbon Spyder 34 vs. Hoyt Faktor 34
|Bow||Hoyt Carbon Spyder 34||Hoyt Faktor 34|
|Brace Height||6.75 "||6.75 "|
|AtA Length||34 "||34 "|
|Draw Length||25 " - 31 "||25 " - 31 "|
|Draw Weight||30 lbs - 80 lbs||30 lbs - 80 lbs|
|IBO Speed||330 fps||330 fps|
|Weight||3.8 lbs||4.0 lbs|
| Where to buy |
Best prices online
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When looking at the specifications, the only noticeable difference is the riser material and about $400. The Hoyt Carbon Spyder 34 sports the fully redesigned hollow tube carbon riser, and the Hoyt Faktor 34 has a high grade aluminum riser. It is difficult to argue any bow is better than another because archery is based on personal preference. However, there is nothing like the carbon riser series offered by Hoyt. Despite the similar specifications and attracting the same shooters, the bows do have a different feel. Many will love the Carbon Spyder 34, but the Faktor 34 may fit better in the budget.