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Discussion: Best Method for Breaking in a new composite Senior Bat ??

Posted Discussion
May 21, 2012
ChiPrimeMarty
Men's 55
70 posts
Best Method for Breaking in a new composite Senior Bat ??
Just ordered a Reebok Melee EL 28oz, and I want it to last longer
than the 4 Miken U2's I broke in the last 2 years.
I also want this bat ready to perform up to its potential
at my next Senior tourney in 5 weeks.

I'm looking for the best method to break in this bat
... without having it break on me after a couple hundred hits.

The last time I bought a Miken off the truck at a tourney,
the Miken guy advised rotating the bat while hitting it
at the top & bottom of the sweet spot with another bat or a rubber mallet.
Also stepping in the handle to increase the flex

In batting practice I don't hit wet or cold balls, or in cold weather
and I rotate the bat with each swing (1/8 turn)

Once the bat loosens up and gets that broken-in pop, it's used only during games.

What other and/or better methods are there for breaking in a Senior bat,
and getting the most durability out of it ??

Does the type of ball used for batting practice (aside from not being cold/wet)
make much difference in terms of risking breakage ??

I broke my last Miken during BP before the first game in Milwaukee this weekend.
It was warm, dry, and the bat had maybe 100 hits on it.
May 22, 2012
Tri18
645 posts
Do not use a mallet on the bat. Shoot me an email or call me at 561-718-7504 and i will go over it with you.
Alan tricoach18@att.net Reebok Sales
May 22, 2012
MurrayW
Men's 50
92 posts
ChiPrimeMarty, everything you do sounds good to me (I wouldn't step on handle or beat it with a mallet).

Tri18, why so secretive? If you have good methods of breaking in a bat why not post it here so that everyone gets the benefit rather than one person emailing you?
May 22, 2012
Tri18
645 posts
No secrets! Lots of typing and I am keyboard challenged.anyone that knows me knows I have been designing,testing, and playing top level ball for over twenty years and am happy to share my knowledge with anyone. Regards,
Alan Team 1 Sports
May 22, 2012
MurrayW
Men's 50
92 posts
You have to type it to either email or post it here. Might save you a few keystrokes typing it here once rather than emailing several different people who contact you about it.
May 22, 2012
hitt2
354 posts
With most senior bats it doesn't require a lot of swings to get a bat game ready. I swing Combat the grey was go to go from day one for game. The MM required about 100 swings. I used my Glove break-in tool to break-in my blue MM gear2. Took about 75-100 strikes up and down the sweet spot & rotating the barrell. It was game ready after 5 bp swings
I made a variation on my Glove break-in tool so it could hold up to the pounding on my composite bats. There are several models and manufactures of these tool. You can veiw them on you-tube. price ranges from $16.99 to $60.

Here's a link to the item & others

http://forums.softballfans.com/showthread.php?t=1055729
May 22, 2012
hitt2
354 posts
Here is another link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Dtsr5la_WM&feature=relmfu
May 22, 2012
Pricer
Men's 50
622 posts
Anything other than hitting the bat with a softball is voiding warranty and illegal in the softball world. You could have the bat broke in in the time you spend talking about how to get this done just by going to the cages or taking some swings.
May 22, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Pricer, that might require some actual effort. Typically not the senior way of doing things.
May 22, 2012
crusher
Men's 70
403 posts
My new Combat Centenarian seemed to be broken in on the 19th swing (only tournament play, no BP).
And of those 19 swings only 7 or 8 were on the sweet spot.
I wrote numbers 1-6 on my bat handle to rotate bat for each swing.
These composits seem to be ready out of wrapper or just a handfull of swings.
May 22, 2012
Olden Slow
Men's 65
182 posts
I don't think my Miken Senior is broken in yet. But that is probably because I rarely if ever hit the sweet spot..
May 22, 2012
hitt2
354 posts
Pricer & Gary A question was asked and info was provided to answer it.

This is why I don't come on here that much.
guys always belieiving they know it all, but don't.

Warranty...First off senior bats don't have warranties.
So if I go out in the garage because it snowing, raining or too cold to take bp and throw ball at a bat on a mattress it's illegal? Come on get real.
Secondly these tools simulate the ball striking the bat which isn't illegal.
For you clonheads it not hitting the bat against a tree or pole, rolling or shaving which is illegal. Its a softball hitting a bat. Oh You forgot it was softball we were playing.
Most senior take a lot of bp depending on the weather & time of year. So it not about putting in effort to be a better hitter. Its' just about getting equipment ready so it last a little longer.
My Gamers aren't used for bp and my bp bats aren't used for tourneys. I buy a new senior bat once a year. Because I use my equipment wisely and my bat are only used by me.
So lets not take the thread down a road that doesn't need potholes.
May 22, 2012
surf88
Men's 60
901 posts
With our Reeboks and I think for most composite bats, while hitting off a tee or in bp, take some time to back off your power swing and be relaxed, also twisting the bat a little with each swing. Hit in 65 degree or warmer temps while breaking it in.
Ed Andrews 970-729-3145
May 22, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
443 posts
For the novice, in distance how much better is a
"broken in" senior bat as opposed to not breaking it in and just using it for games. I know my bp
virus is getting hotter and hotter but it did take a long time. If a non-broken in senior is as good as a good Utrip, then economically it might make sense to just use the senior for games. A thought.
May 22, 2012
Pricer
Men's 50
622 posts
Hitt2, what is your problem with my response? My response is and should not be anymore scrutinized as the next. Also, if you take out the warranty part of my statement, I believe all of it is true. I also don't think for a second that the question had anything to do with the normal breaking in of a bat. My interpretation was he was looking for anyway except the normal way. Did you read it differently?
May 22, 2012
stick8
1318 posts
Hitt2 with all due respect Pricer did post that anything other than hitting a softball with a bat is voiding warranty and illegal in the softball world. I believe your scenario of throwing a ball on a bat laying on a mattress would be fine.
May 22, 2012
ChiPrimeMarty
Men's 55
70 posts
Let me clarify:

I was looking for input on 2 things:
(1) Best method to "break in" a Senior bat to get it game ready
(2) Best method to ensure durability of a Senior bat

I mentioned some advice I received from the Miken guy at a tourney,
but I was by no means stating that his advice was the best method.

I also mentioned some things everyone probably agrees on,
like rotating the bat during the initial hitting sessions
and not hitting cold/wet balls or using the bat a lot for BP.

This is something pertaining to everyone who uses a Senior bat,
so I thought it would be a worthwhile topic.

I talked to Alan (who may be a bit keyboard challenged)
but seems to know his stuff about composite bat technology.

His advice was to hit 25 balls (44 core, 375-400)
with about 50% - 55% effort, rotating the bat 1/5 - 1/4 turn with each swing;
hit the next 25 balls with 60% - 70% effort, rotating the bat with each swing;
hit the last 25 balls with normal game swing, rotating the bat ...
... and it should be game ready.

This method achieves both objectives:
Getting the bat game-ready and helping to enhance durability.

When a new composite bat strikes a ball, small spider-web cracks develop under the paint in the composite material. Distributing these small spiderweb cracks around the barrel up & down the sweet spot produces some "give" which opens it up for top performance. What you want to avoid is taking full hard cuts with a new bat, which produces larger localized cracks rather than the evenly distributed smaller spiderweb cracks. The bigger cracks can turn into weak spots and breaking points.

Anyway, that's how I understood it. Alan, please clarify if I didn't translate this correctly.
May 23, 2012
Tri18
645 posts
Chi! Thanks for saving me the keyboard work! Lol you broke it down just fine. Obviously there are a lot of reasons why this seems to provide the best results which we discussed in depth. ( and why I didn't type it all out!) but,,,your description of our conversation is good. Thanks ! If anyone needs anymore clarification or needs to get any of the senior bats please contact me at 561-718-7504 or tricoach18@att.net Alan
May 23, 2012
SLOBALL1
Men's 50
173 posts
A team mate of mine bought the Reebok melee.We played a tourney this weekend temps in the mid 80's. He took it out of the wrapper at the tourney used it. Bat lasted 6 game swings. My point is no matter how you break a bat in or what the temp you should expect any bat to at least last an entire tournament.
May 23, 2012
Pricer
Men's 50
622 posts
I agree that anytime you spend 200.00 you should expect it to last a day or two regardless of the number of swings you take. But the manufactures are telling you something by not offering a warranty. If our team did not supply a team bat, I would not be swinging a senior bat.
May 23, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Yep, the lack of warranty is a dead giveaway as to what the manufacturers think of the durability of their own products. Why should the consumers expect differently?
May 23, 2012
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
ChiPrimeMarty, it sounds like you are trying to do it the right way. As to some of the other suggestions, I was at an umpire clinic a few months ago where we were told that breaking in a bat with anything other than softballs made it an altered bat. I did check their rulebook (this was NOT SSUSA), and there were no details like that on what was an altered bat. I try to follow the rulebooks whether I agree with a rule or not, but I guess that I just want to make sure that anyone who suggests a method other than the ones you are going to use may be subjected to an umpire deciding that they have an altered bat, right or wrong. I recently heard of a bat being taken as an altered bat because the umpire saw (actually heard first) a player beating their bat on a telephone pole. So just beware, guys.
May 23, 2012
BATMAN~!
2 posts
The Miken U2 sold for $299.99 when it had a warranty. The reason Senior Bats do not have a Warranty is because the Manufacturer's allow us to set the price on what we sell them for and they sell them to us (Team Dealers) at a lower price because there is no warranty. If they had a Warranty, they would increase the price and also set a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) on them to keep them up around the $299.99 mark like the bats that do have a Warranty.
May 23, 2012
BATMAN~!
2 posts
You can break in a bat by Hitting It, Hitting with It, Rolling It, driving on it, or anything else you want to do as long as you do not remove any of the material of the bat (except the grip) such as shaving it. If you shave a bat, then you altered it and have cheated!
May 23, 2012
surf88
Men's 60
901 posts
Slo: Have your pal get hold of me and tell him not to use the bat & it should work out for him. Ed
May 23, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
443 posts
If you examine many of our discussions the story about a "virgin" bat being taken out of the wrapper for a tournament and then breaking quickly is a common story. Chi has outlined a method to break-in a bat which is approved by a major seller of Reebok and other senior bats (Alan). Don't complain about early failure unless you have followed the approved method. Perhaps we have a beef with the manufacturers who to my knowledge have never said anything about how to break in a bat. The keys are the temp, the progression of force and rotating the the barrel.
May 23, 2012
SLOBALL1
Men's 50
173 posts
HJ "approved method" ???? OK...
85 degrees . 6 at bats and we were hitting a ASA 47core 300 compression ball on saturday.Obviously he never got to the stated and "required" 25 swings whether they were game or practice swings. Can't see where he did anything adverse to your so called "approved method".


Surf ,I will have him contact you. Thanks
May 24, 2012
Tri18
645 posts
Slo....try and stay away from the .47 cor ball. No break in and using that hard of a ball most likely contributed to the bats demise. Most of the composite manufacturers recommend a .44 cor ball for break in and also for durability over the long hall. Best of luck. Alan
May 24, 2012
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2689 posts
Alan, so using your logic one shouldn't use the 52/300 for bp? 300 compression is not a hard ball.
May 24, 2012
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2689 posts
I'm sure you were thinking of the 47cor 525 comp balls that we used 10 or 12 years ago.
May 24, 2012
canIjack
Men's 60
322 posts
Someone doesn't know their softballs, like their making out that they know these bats! LOL.
May 24, 2012
Tri18
645 posts
Sorry I missed that...I prefer the 44 375 but the others can be used. Can jack... You are welcome to call me and discuss softball design and manufacturing....I worked in that field for ten years....and then we cam discuss materials technology, etc... I am interested to hear your opinions
May 24, 2012
the wood
1087 posts
TRI:
I've used that technique for a few years now... or at least a version of it. Kevin Schullstrom shared it with me when he was with Anaconda. We use the Trump 44/375 ball almost exclusively and do not hit with them when it's below 65... Freaks or Super Freaks instead.
We've been using Combats for 3-4 years now and have NEVER had one break with less than 500 swings on it... most of them last for 1,000 or more.
So we feel that we're more than getting our money's worth.
BW
May 24, 2012
Tri18
645 posts
Wood, smart man! This is something we have developed after over ten years working with the composites. Btw....Kevin and I have worked on numerous projects together over the years. He is a knowledgeable source as he has worked on a vast amount of ball and bat testing over the years. I think he would agree...neither of us are rocket scientists, just guys who have had a multitude of experience on all kinds of products for a long time. And our other commonality that makes it worthwhile,,,,we love the game. Best to you, Alan
Team 1 Sports tricoach18@att.net
May 24, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
443 posts
Slo: My use of "approved" referred to the method dictated to Chi by Alan and set forth above by Chi. Apparently both Alan and Kevin are on the same page. If you read Chi's post carefully you will see that the process takes 75 swings and only the last 25 are a full game swing. Clearly what you described at the tournament did not remotely approach this process. I listen when experts like Alan and Kevin speak.
May 24, 2012
garyheifner
367 posts
If you run into Corky, who now works for SSUSA (not Miken), he can give you some great tips for breaking in a bat.
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