A few months ago, I made a mistake.
I compared 4 flagship bows for 2016 from 4 of the top bow manufacturers and included the PRIME Ion in that comparison. Well, the Ion was a flagship bow from PRIME… for 2015. The Rize is the new bow that is at the forefront for PRIME in 2016. Since this mistake of mine prevented everyone who read that comparison article from having the most up to date info, I want to take some time and do a full write up on the PRIME Rize.
By the Numbers
Field and Stream claimed that PRIME did not change much between the Ion and the Rize.
Ahem… I disagree.
Whereas the Ion was 31″ ATA with a generous 7.25″ brace height with an IBO of 330 fps and weighing in at 3.9 lbs, the Rize is a different bow entirely when it comes to the dimensions of the bow. The Rize comes in at 33″ ATA with a 6.75″ brace height with an IBO of 335 fps while weighing 4.3 lbs – The Rize also uses a totally different riser (more on that in a bit) and goes without the limb dampers that are present on both the Ion and the Rival.
The Rize is a heavier, longer, faster bow with a shorter brace height. This means it will feel different in your hand, balance different, feel different after the shot, etc. Definitely a different bow from the Ion.
The Rize is, however, very similar to the now discontinued Alloy which was 33.25″ ATA, had the exact same brace height and IBO, and was only .1 lbs lighter. The Rize incorporates new materials and a new roller guard, separating itself from the now laid to rest Alloy.
The Rize is also offered in a 65-pound draw weight option, bridging the gap for those who want a little more gas over a 60-pound draw but don’t want to be pulling the extra weight of the 70-pound. For this test, I shot the 65-pound model at full draw weight.
Where the two are very similar is in the use of the PCXL cam system.
A Breakthrough Cam
In the bow comparison article that I mentioned above, I said that I was skeptical of the PCXL parallel cam system and whether or not it was necessary or did what it claimed to do. Here is the exact quote from that article:
In theory this promotes accuracy and reduces torque by balancing the cams on both ends. For me, it just seems like more parts that can wear out. Also, a non-dual track cam does not necessarily equal an unbalanced cam; otherwise, other companies would have moved to a design like this sooner than now. The timing of such a design change is especially suspicious given that we are at a performance plateau in bow engineering so bow companies are looking for that “it factor” that will set them apart… Enter the PCXL cam. I could be wrong, but it is at least food for thought. Time will tell if this design truly is a game-changer or not.
After spending time with the Rize and shooting it multiple times, I can confidently say that the PCXL cams do have an affect on how the bow shoots. A parallel cam will lead to more consistent nock travel and downrange accuracy. It works theoretically from an engineering standpoint and can be replicated in the real world. However, what I will say is that it will likely not be apparent at hunting distances. I wonder if one would be hard pressed to find any negligible differences in the groups from a hybrid cam system vs. the PCXL cam system.
PRIME’s focus is accuracy and the parallel cam system certainly promotes that. The way I see it, if it can’t hurt accuracy and can only help it, why not? It might not be an absolute necessity, but it certainly can’t hurt.
82x Aluminum Riser
A brand new feature for PRIME this year is the 82x aluminum riser. PRIME claims that by using the strongest aluminum alloy available, they are able to manufacture the most rigid riser possible, thus reducing torque after the shot. Traditionally, dual cam/hybrid cam bows have been guilty of excessive torque and vibration. Anything that can cut down on this is a welcomed feature
Putting It All Together
So enough about information and theory. How does this bow actually feel and perform when shot?
Fit and Finish
The first thing I noticed when I held the Rize was how much better it felt in my hand compared to the Ion. I liked how the Ion shot, but I did not like how it felt in my hand. The Rize, on the other hand, felt good in my hand and balanced well. The grip is a little thin for my liking, but not uncomfortably so. With the added front weight of a sight and stabilizer, the bow had a gentle forward lean that helped to stabilize it well. At full draw, the bow sits comfortably in hand and is easy to keep level.
The Rize is a sharp looking bow and is well-constructed. The limb pockets are beefy and there is absolutely no play in any of the moving components. The Flexis-AR roller guard is adjustable for fine-tuning for specific fletching set-ups which is a very nice feature. Also, there are threaded holes at the top and bottom of the riser for sidebar mounts as well as use of their new Sherpa mounting system
The draw itself was not quite the same as the Ion, given the shorter brace height and longer ATA. The weight of the draw stacked early, much like the Ion, but was never noticeably harsh. While it is not quite as smooth of a draw as the Mathews Halon, it was still a more pleasant draw than a more aggressive bow like the Xpedition Xcentric or Bowtech BT-X.
One point of interest was the amount of effort it took to draw the bow. The bow is a 65-pound draw weight and was at full weight for the test. However, the draw required less effort than my Halon 6 which was set at 62-pounds. Again, it was not quite as smooth as the Halon, but it required less effort throughout to bring it to full-draw. Definitely a point worth noting.
At full draw, the roll-over is noticeable but controlled and the back wall is a rock. It was very comfortable to hold at full draw with absolutely zero play whatsoever.
The one thing I did not like about the draw cycle was the fact that if I wasn’t careful, the cams would try to jump back in. Now, this is common on many bows so it isn’t out of the ordinary, nor is it as jumpy as some bows on the market; however, it is more jumpy than the Mathews Halon or Elite Impulse. It is just one of those things that you have to get used to and then it won’t be much of an issue. However, if you are accustomed to holding at full draw for long periods of time (i.e., whitetail hunting from a tree stand or elk hunting in thick woods) then it is definitely something you will want to consider.
During/After the Shot
Upon shooting, a few things really stood out.
First, the Rize does have a noticeable feedback, but not terribly so. There is definite “shock”in your hand, but it is more of a quick snap than a bad vibration. This is one of those things that you will easily get used to, so long as vibration is not your pet peeve.
Second, there is no torque in this bow. For having such a streamlined riser and decent speed rating, one would reasonably expect to have some torque… but there was none. This is likely due in large part to three factors: the 82x riser, the Flexis-AR roller guard, and the parallel cam system. The combination of these two features equaled a pleasant, torque free experience. It was akin to the same feel as the Mathews Halon 6 with its beefy, dual-caged riser. The fact that the Rize was able to achieve the same absence of torque with a thinner riser is impressive. After shooting this bow, I will humbly admit that I was wrong for doubting the effectiveness of the parallel cam system.
The third thing of note, the bow sits comfortably after the shot. With its good balance, it is easy to allow a proper follow through without feeling the urge to grab ahold of the grip.
You will notice I didn’t mention speeds much in this article. As I have mentioned before, I think that speed should be one of the last things you consider when buying a bow. Make sure it feels right and is comfortable/enjoyable to shoot and then live with whatever speed it produces with your specific bow/arrow set-up. You will never regret buying a bow that you shoot well, even if it is slower than other bows. You will, however, regret buying a blazing bow that you hate shooting.
If you are among the PRIME faithful, you will be absolutely floored with this bow. It signifies everything that PRIME is about.
If you have never shot a PRIME bow before (or at least have not shot the Rize yet), do yourself a favor and go shoot one. It might end up not being the bow for you, but I am pretty confident that you will be as impressed as I am with its combination of comfort and ease of shooting.