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By James AitchisonAthens Exceed 300

Athens Exceed 300 Manufacturer vs. Measured Specifications

Manufacturer Specs

IBO Rating: 330+ fps
Axle-to-Axle: 37”
Brace Height: 7”
Draw Weight: 40lb to 70 lb limbs (10 lb increments)
Let-off: 65%-80%  (Adjustable)
Weight: 4.2lbs
Draw Lengths: 26”-31”, Half inch increments, (DL specific cams)

Measured Specs for Testing

Speed Rating: 290*
Axle-to-Axle: 37 1/8”
Brace Height: 6 7/8”
Draw Weight: 58lbs
Let-off: 80%
Weight: 4.2lbs
Draw Lengths: 28 1/8”
* Speed was measured using above specs, 293 Grain Arrow, Peep, and D-Loop. Using Pro Chrono by Competition electronics

First Impressions

When I first placed an order for this bow, I had sent it to my local Athens Dealer “Ten Zone” for assembly, as it was cheaper to have it sent down under unassembled. Within a few days, he had sent me a small graphic of the bow to tease me.

He had used it to promote Athens within Australia and his business, I was anxious. I was worried if the orange wouldn’t look good, or if the clear anodize for the hardware would come out the way I imagined. Harsh Draw and cams, a Short spongy valley and overall unpleasant to shoot. Heaps of thoughts clouded my mind, until one afternoon it arrived.

Like a boy on Christmas I tore into the box, it was absolutely stunning.

The Silver hardware (Cams, Limb Pockets & Screws) really looked great; it matched well with the silver Athens logo on both the limbs, and emblem bellow the grip. The limbs have a carbon fibre look and texture, they feel slightly rough like woven carbon strips.

Draw Cycle

When I saw the specs of this bow, I had a feeling it was going to have a harsh draw with cams that rip your arm out its sockets, if you ever had to let it down. I was expecting a solid dump into a jumpy valley.

The Exceed has the Athens Binary EV2S Extreme Velocity Duo Cam. As I drew it back, the cams were ever so smooth, at first I thought it was wound right out, but it was dead set at 60lbs, it felt like a 50lb bow. At the end of the draw, I was expecting this huge dump or hump into the valley. But nothing at all, I thought that I wasn’t in the valley but no more movement. When it rolls over, it rolls over dead. At full draw there is no movement at all, no form of creep. It would as if it was anchored dead solid.

Some bows would have a great wall like this, but once you wanted to let down, you just wanted to
shoot the arrow regardless of where it went, so you could save your shoulders. In this I gave a bit of
creep, it wasn’t much in it but when it did. It would slowly bring itself back, as if the Draw Weight
was halved on let down, and wouldn’t rip your arms from their sockets out in the process.

First Shots and Tuning with the Exceed

I set the exceed up with:

  • AAE Pro Blade Rest,
  • CBE Quadlite 3D & Large Scope Housing with 4x lens,
  • SOMA CEX2 27” Long Rod 3oz weight with 12” Side Rod 8oz weight

When I first put the rest on, I completely forgot about asking of a starting point for my rest. I took a stab in the dark, did my best to eye off the centershot and quick measure with a bow square for my knocking point.

I headed out with some Easton Lightspeeds, at full draw I couldn’t believe how steady my sight picture was, circling just around a small ½” dot on a target butt. I tried to keep clear from all the fan boys and haters stories of their Athens bows, and tried to keep a clear unbiased opinion. I couldn’t help myself, but as soon as I shot one arrow, it would stay dead still in the hand, and rock forward from the weight of my stabiliser. I didn’t even feel any handshock from the bow, it had no reaction at all. I couldn’t say much on noise as the Blade rest was responsible for all noticeable noise, but apart from that it was dead quiet.

I put a dozen arrows through paper, and all were bullet holes. I later found that I had eyed off the
centershot to exactly 7/8, where most people had there’s set. It tunes like a dream and Binary Cams
make the set up simple and easy.

After I had set my sights, I was more than happy with 1” groups out to 40yards. I am keen to see how
well it performs over 40 yards, especially in FITA Archery.

Athens String Stop, Cable Slide, Grip and Strings

String Stop: The Athens Alpha Line: the Anchor is really all you need when it comes to a string stop. With most bows today being shipped with a String stopper, it’s good to see a versatile and just basic string stop. Although with extremely short/long Brace Height bows, a new cable rod may be needed.

Cable Slide: The Cable Slide on the eXceed is the basic carbon cable rod, Athens bows are now shipped with a BOMAR SUPER SLIDE. No issues or complaints in regard to the slide.

Grip: Perhaps one of the icon points to this bow, the Grip on the Exceed is a bare metal grip. It is a really narrow throat with a contour machined on the side, so you can’t torque with your thumb. It is a really consistent grip, with my grip I tend to have my Index finger over the shelf, and the shelf is machined just right for this style. My only complaint is that the Exceed symbol is sandblasted onto the grip, and gathers a bit of grit, which stands out on this colored riser.

Strings: To be honest the stock strings are quite well made, they have not stretched. I do have to say that the serving on the downward cable from the top cam has had a bit of separation, but nothing that has affected performance, and I have monitored closely. I have narrowed it down to mainly poor serving on that part of the cables.

Likes about the Athens Exceed 300

  • The performance of this bow is great, for a bow shooting an IBO of 330 with its specs
  • Draw Cycle is just so smooth and has no dump or hump into the valley
  • Wall is rock solid and just holds like it was anchored
  • Looks amazing, Great machining and design

Dislikes about the Athens Exceed 300

  • Sand Blast on grip gathers dirt.
  • Cams are Draw Length Specific, although is also a good thing.
  • The Steel screws for Limb Bolt, Cam etc. gather an iron oxide (cosmetic). Would like to see
    stainless steel.

Conclusion on the Athens Exceed 300

Overall I am glad that I decided to go with the Athens Exceed, I have also joined the Athens factory Staff Shooters. I have not in any way been bias in the review, as I wanted to keep it fair. I have let some bows that I have previous experience with out of the review. I have since brought my  group size down; it will primarily serve as my 3D bow. Now having an interest into going into field and FITA archery, I am keen to see how well it will perform.

More Options

Athens also has 2 models of this bow in a 32” and 34” ATA option, using the same EV2S Extreme Velocity Duo Cam all with a 330+ IBO and 7” Brace Height named the Accomplice, and recently just released a 41” model named the Excell designed exactly with the target shooter in mind.

Athens has also produced two other models with the EV2X Extreme Velocity Duo Cam, with the Ibex
in a 30” ATA 7” Brace Height and a 335+ IBO, and the Afflixtion in a 35” ATA 6.5” Brace height and a
337+ IBO. The Afflixtion also comes with the new “Torque Reducing Cable Slide” (TCRS), which has
the same concept as many new guards today, combating Riser induced Torque.

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