Gillo Gold Medal G1

Vittorio and Michelle Frangilli have developed a new riser, the Gillo Gold Medal G1.

I have been following their progress on Facebook and Archery talk where they’ve been dropping hints of what’s to come. This past week they posted pictures and information about the riser. Vittorio Frangilli wrote the following:

Michelle Frangilli G1

Michelle Frangilli will debut the G1 in competition in Antalaya, Turkey for the 3rd stage of the World Cup.

“This riser is the sum of our 20 years experience in riser design, made by archers for archers and targeted to people that know what they want from a riser: performance and reliability, with minimum frills and minimum price”.

The riser is designed so it can be used as either a barebow platform or for recurve archery. Michelle Frangilli will be debuting their riser on June 10 in Antalaya, Turkey where the 3rd stage of the World Cup is being held.

The Frangilli’s have a long history of design and testing with risers such as  the Bernadini Ghibly, Best Zenit, Spigarelli VBS 2001, and the Luxor 27″. Their objectives as put by them, are:

  • ” Make a riser based on Best Zenit super tested winning geometries, but more versatile in balancing for both recurve and Bare Bow.”
  •  “Make a riser cheaper than Best Zenit, more close in price to the Best Moon in the basic version. Target retail price in Europe for the 25″ is 399.00 Euro only”

By the way that is aprox $ 550 US. Details on the G1 below:

Gillo G1 riser info

G1 optional accessories:

Gillo G1 riser info 2

Bare bow Cover – external weights:

Barebow options Gillo G1

Internal handle disk weights:

Gillo G1 weight system

With six stabilizer holes, integral weights in the body and a combination of external barebow weights available, this riser will provide an archer many options for apportioning weight, and balance to their bows.

This is what Vittorio had to say on the subject:

“This riser is born to make all archers happy about the number of possibilities they will get to make its balance different. Combining all standard options available, you will be able to reach more than 150 balance combinations without adding any stabilizer or weight to the 6 (six) x 5/16-24 stabilizers holes. But then you wil have even more possibilities adding additional weights to the 3 front holes of the special Bare bow covers, if you use it. A real toy that will fill your time for a long future… just trying to find the right combination for you.”

The riser has plenty of nice details, like a partially recessed sight window to keep clicker fasteners out of view, and I really like the windows that allow you to see limb information and limb bolt inner works, see pics:

 

Gillo G1

Gillo G1 BB

If you are a barebow archer this riser is like hitting the jackpot, the Frangilli’s have really made great efforts in providing BB accessories. The barebow external weights in aluminum (270gr) and in steel (790 gr) can also be mounted upside down for a totally different feel. Somebody on the net calculated 320 different ways to add weight and personalize the feel of this riser by also using the holes on the barebow external weights.

So, where do you get one?  The ones I know about are (undoubtedly more to come):

Congratulations to the Frangilli’s on what appears to be a real winner.

Spigarelli Explorer II – a review

Last spring I purchased a Spigarelli Explorer II. Previously I had been shooting a Spigarelli Barebow which, by the way, is an excellent riser for those who delve into the mysteries of barebow archery, barebow risers tend to be heavy though and I wanted a
lighter riser where I could customize the balance of the bow by apportioning weight where I wanted on the riser body and still not end up with too heavy a bow.

Spig Explorer in snow

The Spigarelli Explorer II has been a good solution for me. It is thoughtfully designed and a versatile platform for shooting either FITA or barebow archery.

The 25 inch Spig Explorer II riser weighs in at 2 pounds 10 oz (1.194 kg) with the grip mounted. Making it a comfortable mid weight riser.

What makes this riser so flexible are the many options for distributing weight. There are 3 stabilizer bushings on the back of the riser (the side that faces the target), and two additional bushings to add counterweight on the belly of the riser.

Bottom and middle stabilizer bushings

Bottom and middle stabilizer bushings

P1010406

Top bushing

Spig mid counterweight

Mid counterweight

Lower belly bushing

Bottom counterweight

Lastly there are two slots for internal handle weights. These teardrop slots take 7.4 oz (210 grams) Spigarelli weights which can be inserted into either the top, bottom or both slots. Should you choose to add both weights you’re adding nearly a pound of additional weight to the bottom half of the riser body.

P1010375

Weight in top teardrop slot of handle

P1010372

Fastener holds the weight firmly, no vibrations/noise

P1010368

Weight in bottom teardrop slot.

One of the things that attracts me to this riser is the design, it is well thought out, functional and attractive. Take the teardrop slots for example, they reduce the weight of the overall riser, play a part in the appearance of the riser and double as receptacles for the internal weights.

Other interesting design niceties are the recessed sight window, which gives you a clean view eliminating or minimizing screw heads that protrude into the sight picture. Smart clicker design, which has a formed drop/indentation at the tip, allowing for a visual cue by the inward movement of the clicker as you draw the last couple millimeters of the arrow. There are also clicker reference marks machined into the riser. Spigarelli has gone a long way to account for the details enhancing an archer’s experience.

Recessed sight window

Recessed sight window also see clicker fold  which gives visual cue, when arrow is a couple of mm’s from end and machined clicker reference lines.

Included with the riser comes a clicker, an adjustable clicker plate, a stick on magnetic rest, tools and a handsome riser pouch (The arrow rest that is shown is not the provided rest it is a Spigarelli ZT rest, which I like because of it’s adjustability).

Clicker plate

Clicker plate

Adjustable clicker plate

Clicker plate can be adjusted out or in with a machine screw.

Limbs can be aligned by removing the two locking set screws on the outside of the riser and then adjusting the limb by tightening/loosening the inner set screws on either side of the riser.

LImb aligment screws

Adjusting the weight and tiller of the bow is also possible by tightening/loosening the limb bolts. The limb bolts can then be locked down by a machine screw on the belly of the riser.

Limb bolt

Limb bolt

Locking machine screws for limb bolts

Locking machine screws for limb bolts

The wooden grip that is provided with this riser, didn’t do it for me, so I purchased an aftermarket Jager grip. When I decided I wanted to try a higher wrist grip, I modified the wooden grip that came included. If you plan to purchase a Spigarelli riser be aware that you may want to modify the grip or purchase an aftermarket grip.

Modified Spig grip

Modified Spigarelli grip

The polished anodized finish on the riser is good. I did however find a couple of places (not obvious) where if I looked closely I saw  machining marks. See pic below:

Machine mark on Spig

This is not a big deal to me, as the rest of the riser outweighs the couple marks on it but it may be for you, as I mentioned they are not obvious.

The Spigarelli Explorer II is a nicely designed mid-weight riser, it has many options for stabilizers and weight that will work well with a FITA setup or barebow, it also has many design details which may enhance your archery experience, it is nicely finished, and comes with some extras like a clicker, clicker plate and magnetic rest. The grip isn’t great but there are options for after market grips and or you can modify the existing grip. I did find some machining marks on my riser, I don’t know if this is true of all Explorer II’s, the marks I found were not obvious and do not detract from the overall look and feel of this gear.  As of this writing a Spigarelli Explorer II can be had for $375.00 to $400.00 dollars.

For those that are looking for a solid mid-level riser, the Explorer II is a good choice and worthy of consideration. If barebow is your thing but you want a riser that can also be used for a FITA setup, the flexibility of this riser fits the bill perfectly.

Changes..

In my last post I reviewed my Spigarelli Barebow and then promptly sold it… Sounds bad doesn’t it?

Spigarelli Barebow riser.

Spigarelli Barebow riser, it just looks badass doesn’t it?

I sold it for a couple of reasons, the first is I’ve taken an interest in Olympic type archery and I wanted a more appropriate riser and two I’ve developed a nagging bit of tennis elbow which gets worse with a heavy setup (and a low grip).

I did want to get some information out on this riser though as there isn’t enough said about these nicely designed and well thought out  barebow risers, hence my review.

I knew that I wanted my next riser to be lighter for an Olympic setup but have many options for controlling where I could apportion weight. I also wanted enough flexibility in the riser that I could still shoot it barebow, a tall order!

I spent a fair amount of time going through specs and in the end chose another Spigarelli. I really do like the detailing and thought that the Italians bring to the table and the Spigs have captured my admiration. If all goes well my local shop “Lakeside Archery” will have a Grey Spigarelli Explorer 2 waiting for me when I show up after work on Friday.

My wife and kids will be out of town for the weekend so aside from some chores I am planning a bachelor weekend of tuning and setting this bow up.

So, please help me out and cross your fingers that the UPS driver doesn’t have a bad day and leave my package on the loading dock…

Best, C.

Spigarelli Barebow Review

Spigarelli Barebow

Spigarelli Barebow

I’ve owned a Spigarelli Barebow for some months now. I had a chance to shoot it during the indoor season and I am now in the process of setting it up for outdoors and field archery. Below is a video review of the bow as well as shooting tests. The tests show balance with different added weight combinations.

Because these bows are often shot without stabilizers, arriving at a comfortable weight and balance where the upper limb kick is reduced is important (not for everyone but for most). This is one of the criteria barebows are judged by.

Find some facts about the 25″ Spigarelli Barebow:

  • Riser weight 3.2 pounds or 1450 grams
  • Riser, long limbs, string, plunger, rest – 4 lbs 7 oz or 2 kg
  • Integral Spigarelli riser weights – 7.4 oz or 210 grams
  • Riser with all hardware and 2 Spigarelli riser weights – 5 lbs 6 oz or 2.43 kg

The Barebow

Often when the word barebow comes up we imagine a bow that is akin to the word. Meaning a bow that is bare. Many imagine a wooden bow with not a thing on it. Naked, you might say, or as the Italians say il arco nudo.

In competitive circles, particularly in Europe where shooting the barebow classes is more popular than here in the US,  a dedicated barebow is more often than not an aluminum riser complete with elevated rest and plunger that resembles a modern Olympic bow.

What makes them different? Well to answer that we must first regress and get into rules and organizations a bit. Just a bit.. As getting into this deeply can be an exercise of frustration.

There are many governing archery bodies like FITAIFAA, and NFAA, their rules for barebows differ but for the most part they revolve around some basic elements of this type of archery.

The most important, the one everyone agrees with and the distinguishing feature between this type of archery and others is that we don’t use sights. None, nada, zilch, no sights or anything that could be used as a reference to aim, no marks of any sort, or anything protruding into  the sight window to act as a reference to help you hit the target.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t aiming methods it just means that the bow is in it’s birthday suit and can’t help you in that regard.

Another element of this type of archery, which we do share with other classes,  is that this is a fingers deal. Releases of any sort are a no, no. It is fingers on the string, baby. Tabs, gloves or a chew strap if you are impaired are accepted.

That is the simple part, after that it can get confusing depending on class and organization. What the different classes tend to regulate beyond the above are the accessories we add to our bows, such as arrowrests, drawchecks, counterweights and stabilizers.

For the purposes of this blog entry what you need to know is that there are archery organizations which limit or don’t allow the use of stabilizers in the barebow classes and because of this barebow design differs from Olympic bow design.

An archer shooting a sighted Olympic bow in the appropriate class can add any number of stabilizers at various lengths, angles, directions and weight, because of this Olympic risers tend to be lighter, the expectation is that the archer will customize the bow getting to the weight and stabilizer arrangement that is optimum and usually most forgiving for them.

Olympic bows set up with stabilizers

Olympic bows set up with sights and various stabilizers

Barebow shooters (depending on class & organization) don’t have this option. they can’t take advantage of the benefits of stabilizers so rely on design and weight  to create a balanced and stable shooting platform that is more forgiving at release than a lighter Olympic bow shot bare would be.

Bernardini Nilo weight riser weights

Bernardini Nilo with integral riser weights added and a Spigarelli weight added to the lower stabilizer bushing. – Photo by Nathan W Lediard

Olympic bows shot without a stabilizer or counterbalance will typically have the upper limb tip back towards the archers head at release. Which is accepted by some but a bit annoying for most.  To compensate for this, barebow design shifts the riser weight and usually allows you to add weight to the lower part of the riser body.

Spigarelli Barebow weight mounted on the lower riser.

Spigarelli Barebow weight mounted on the lower riser, the Allen head fastener keeps it in place.

Weight module on a Spigarelli Barebow, the weight can be set flush or proud of the riser body.

Another view of the weight system of this Spigarelli Barebow.

Innovative riser design has also changed the way mass/weight is distributed in barebows as well as how those elements affect stiffness and vibration reduction, the Green Horn Sirius and the Stolid Bull Black Thunder are good examples of this.

Green Horn Sirius 25 inch riser

Green Horn Sirius riser

Stolid Bull - Black Thunder - Photo by Nathan W Leidard

Stolid Bull – Black Thunder – Photo by Nathan W Leidard

Italian archery companies have created some of the world’s best known barebows such as Bernardini, Best and Spigarelli. Below are images of some of their excellent work.

Best Moon with weights

Best Moon with integral riser weights, custom Jager grip, and a Spigarelli weight in the main stabilizer bushing.

Bernardini Nilo

Bernardini Nilo – Photo by Nathan W Lediard

Spigarelli Barebow

Spigarelli Barebow- Photo by author

As far as competitive barebows made on this side of the pond the bow that comes to mind is the recently introduced TR-7 riser made by Sky Archery. I had a brief conversation with Jim Belcher, owner of Sky Archery,  to get the skinny on it as the word on the street is that this very appealing riser could be configured as a barebow.

Sky TR-7 25 inch riser

Sky TR-7 25 inch riser

Jim confirmed that in fact it could. You  remove the Mathews harmonic damper at the bottom and insert a custom1/4 pound weight which balances the bow in hand.

If you’d like more weight he also has a 5/8ths pound weight that can be used. This coupled with Sky limbs should make for a heck of a competitive bow. Jim mentioned that many top shooters are lining up for one to include Michelle Frangilli, Italian Gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics.

I would finish by saying that if you want to shoot barebow competitively and what you already have at your disposal is an Olympic ILF riser and you’d like to balance it, you can experiment by adding weight to the stabilizer bushings or adding custom weights to the riser and be on your way. Many top barebow shooters prefer an Olympic bow and do just this.

Spigarelli weights which are popular with barebow shooters can be had from Arco Sport Spigarelli in Italy,  Lancaster Archery in the US, and Alternative Sporting Services in the UK or go to your local shop which can order them in for you if they don’t have them on the shelf.

 

C.

Spigarelli Barebow

My Christmas present this year was a Spigarelli Barebow riser. I ordered it through my local shop, Lakeside Archery and got lucky with a 3 week turnaround. (These risers have been back ordered and have been a bit difficult to get)

I will write a detailed review on the bow a little later once I’ve really gotten a chance to use it. I can however tell you that it is well balanced, steady in hand and a sweet shooter. It feels great.

See some pics below:

DSC01044

DSC01048 DSC01045 DSC01046