G5 Prime Centroid Bow Review
At just a little over ten years in the industry, G5 has carved out a respectable corner of the archery market. From broadheads, to sights, to rests, to the Quest line of bows G5 produces a variety of products for today's archery. For 2011 G5 is introducing a premium line of bows under the Prime brand. Currently there are two bows under the Prime line: the Centroid and the Shift. For this review we will be taking a closer look at the Centroid.
Today's bow market is crowded with a variety of options at nearly every price point. If you're going to bring a new bow line to market you better offer today's archer something new that stands out from the pack. For Prime's product launch the "something new" appears to be what G5 is billing as "Parallel Cam" technology.
Overall view of the Prime Centroid
Parallel Cam along with G5's Ti-Glide cable guard attack the problem of cam lean. Basically traditional cam designs, due to the way the control cable and bow string move over the cams, create a slight uneven torque on the limbs. This puts the bow string slightly out of line with the sight and over many, many shots, the uneven torque on the limbs creates limb fatigue. You may have noticed when shooting a bow that the bow string is slightly canted when compared to the row of vertical pins on the bow sight.
The Centroid uses a solid limb and standard limb pocket.
To be sure, the idea of cam lean is nothing new and has been around since modern bow designers started moving more to cam systems and away from traditional bow designs. Decades of design work have eliminated most of the negative effects related to cam lean, but the torque differences on the limbs still exist.
Side view of the bottom cam. Top and bottom cams are symmetrical.
Parallel cam works by using two wheels forged together the bottom and top cam. The bow string is now divided into three pieces. Two pieces on each cam that is divided and rides evenly over both wheels of the cams. Then at the center of each string an aluminum ring holds the middle bow string at the dead center of the cam and limb. This assures that the draw force is placed evenly in the middle of both the lower and upper limb. G5's research claims that aligning the cams with the bow string eliminates 75% of cam lean. This keeps nock travel as close as possible to the vertical and horizontal center of the point of aim.
Top view of the bottom cam. Notice the bow string wraps around dual wheels of the cam.
An aluminum donut holds the cam string to the center bow string on both the top and bottom cams.
There is one noticeable downside to the parallel cam design, specifically string complexity. The Centroid requires no less than two control cables and the standard bow string is now divided into three pieces, one piece for each cam and then the final center string piece. One up side though is that it's conceivable that one could simply replace one of the string pieces instead of the entire string after a season of use or when wear starts to show up.
The remaining 25% of cam lean is related to the cable guard pulling the control cables away from the centerline of the bow. To address this issue G5 designed the Ti-Glide system that is basically a flexible control arm that moves the cables closer to the centerline of the bow under full draw, then pulls away again as the arrow is released. While this definitely brings the control cables closer to the vertical centerline of the bow it also makes the cables closer to the peep view of the sight pins.
The TI-Glide arm flexes inward toward the centerline of the bow during full draw.
Each control cable slides smoothly through the TI-Glide control arm.
Beyond the new technology, the Centroid offers a 332fps IBO speed. Not the most blazing out there, but definitely moving along given its forgiving 7.25" brace height. Axle-to-axle comes in at 34" which makes it larger than the average bow on the market today, but it is adjustable for draws from 27" to 31". As is to be expected of a bow with this speed, there are no modules that can be changed out on the cams to adjust draw length. A cam swap and a bow press are required to increase the bows draw length. Prime also cycles (not fires) each bow 100 times on an automated machine to assure the bow is seated before shipping.
Our review bow comes in the new Optifade Open Country camo pattern. While opinions will vary, generally the aesthetics of the Prime bow in Optifade is top notch. The unique camo pattern along with the interesting new cam and cable guard design makes for a bow that appears to be worthy of the $999 asking price.
Close up of the Optifade Open Country camouflage.
The Centroid uses a grip made of G10 material that offers good texture.
The review bow shoots well and is very quiet with little vibration most likely owing in part to the included string stop and the Bowjax limb dampeners on the top and bottom limbs. For those that have been shooting for a long time they will notice that control cable being a little closer to the sight picture, which some may find annoying but it does not occlude the sight.
The Centroid uses a string stop dampener.
Bowjax limb silencers are attached on the top and bottom limbs.
In conclusion the Prime Centroid is a great first offering from a new brand. If you're in the market for a premium bow, you should consider shooting the Centroid if for no other reason than to see the parallel cam idea in action.
For more information visit www.g5prime.com.