Tibhar Evolution MX-P Review
Tibhar Evolution MX-P has been around for a long time now and has emerged as the most popular rival to Tenergy 05. I have used countless sheets on countless blades and is still one of my favourite rubbers of all time
Even as the newer generations of rubber are coming out (Rhyzer, Bluestorms, Rastanters, etc) MXP is still proving hard to knock off the top-spot.
Evolution MX-P is a fantastic offensive looping rubber and a deadly attacking weapon. This rubber can generate bundles of spin with the power to pack a punch too and it does all this whilst maintaining a brilliant level of control. Despite this level of control you do have good technique in attacking shots to get the best out of this rubber. This rubber is not for beginners, it is for the aggressive attacker.
- Release Date: 2012
- Sponge Hardness: 45-47deg
- Sponge: Large Pores
- Topsheet: Medium-Hard
- Catapult: High
- Level: Advanced
The most dynamic and fastest version of the Evolution family, due to the pimple geometry the rubber is more flexible, giving greater energy to attacking balls. The RED POWER sponge is a hard 46–48°, and makes no concession in terms of speed or spin. The ball contact time is extended by the PRO-TENSION rubber giving excellent sensation and is chosen by powerful loop layers.
The spin generation of Evolution MX-P is fantastic and high, Looping is effortless with this rubber and what I like about it most is there seems to be so many gears you can use, you can vary the speed of loops easily while maintaining huge amounts of spin. It has a high quality topsheet that is capable of slow loops up to the very fastest loops all with a massive level of spin.
Topsheet Grip – The topsheet is very mechanically grabby there is no denying that but I think the newer generation of rubbers they have surpassed Evolution MX-P. Rhyzers, Bluestorms, Rasanters and even Evolution MX-S & EL-S all have superior topsheet grip to the MX-P which depending on your stroke does make it easier to produce spin at slow speeds. This rubber was made before the introduction of the poly ball so it has missed out on the spin optimized topsheets than the newer rubbers have. There are plenty of high end rubbers with more topsheet grip than Tibhar Evolution MX-P.
Spin on power shots – outstanding! This is where I believe Evolution MX-P has the edge on newer rubbers like Rhyzer 48 and Bluestorm z1. When you engage the sponge of MX-P it complements the topsheet and adds more spin and maintains the arc, its very linear. With the newer rubbers iv found at high speeds its very hard to maintain the arc and spin and the quality of the shot decreases. Having said that I still think Tenergy 05 is the best in this area, Power looping at mid distance with Tenergy 05 is something quite special and hard to beat.
Arc/Throw angle – The arc of this rubber isn’t as pronounced as other rubbers (Tenergy 05, Nittaku Fastarc G1, Donic Bluefire M1). I would call it a medium arc but I personally prefer this on the forehand as this enables loops to have more penetration with deceptive amounts of spin.
Speed | OFF+
Very fast. Before the newer generation of rubbers came out I would have said this is one of the fastest rubbers produced in-fact I would only say Rhyzer 48, Bluestorm z1 & z1 Turbo & the fastest Rasanters comfortably beat MX-P for top end speed. This is a very powerful rubber. Im even more excited that they have just released Tibhar Evolution MX-P 50 (Review coming soon!)
Tibhar Evolution has a very special feel to it you can impart both spin and speed without sacrificing one or the other which can sometimes be rare in a rubber. Evolution MX-P definitely has that elastic feel to it and means you can generate tremendous speed with it close and away from the table depending on how much you put into the shot. I have never lacked for power with Tibhar Evolution MX-P
The control of this rubber can be a little tricky at times as it is a very fast rubber but what I love about it is its linearity the sheer amount of gears I can access from slow touch shots to fast smashes I can vary the pace very well.
In my eyes the control aspects are the biggest difference between Tenergy 05 and Evolution MX-P. Tibhar Evolution MX-P beats Tenergy 05 in a lot of areas:
1) Spin sensitivity – Evolution MX-P is less sensitive to incoming spin than Tenergy 05 which makes shots easier to control and counter
2) Linearity – MX-P is much more linear in how it delivers its speed, its easier to access a multitude of gears than Tenergy 05. This is one of the features I like most in MX-P I can vary the pace extremely well depending on my input.
3) Feel – The feel with MX-P is a lot more crisp giving you slightly better feedback on your shots allowing you to make more subtle adjustments if needed
For such a fast attacking rubber able to compete performance wise with Tenergy 05 to have this much control and feel is what I believe makes this rubber special.
Feel & Hardness
The feel of Evolution MX-P sublime – im pretty sure its why I keep coming back to it after trying different rubbers, it feels hard (Harder than Tenergy 05, a little bit harder than Rhyzer 48, Bluestorm z1) which i like and it feels very crisp. You get a real feel for the ball. One of the perks of this rubber is when you smash too its makes a great satisfying crack sound which makes it feel like its a winner before its even over the net. This rubber has a really special feeling which I adore.
These are the rubbers I think are best for each shot. For these comparisons I will be using Tenergy 05, Bluestorm Z1, & Rhyzer 48 as I feel these are the top rubbers at the moment that suits an all out attacking player.
Serve: R48 > Z1 > T05 = MXP
Slow Loop: R48 > Z1 > T05 > MXP
Fast Loop: T05 > MXP > Z1 > R48
Drive: MXP > Z1 > R48 > T05
Block: MXP > Z1 > R48 > T05
Flicks: Z1 > R48 > MXP > T05
Smash: MXP > Z1 > R48 > T05
Flat Hits: MXP > Z1 > R48 > T05
Counter: R48 > Z1 > MXP > T05
Chop: T05 > MXP > Z1 > R48
Arc: T05 > Z1 > R48 > MXP
Looping is 1st class with Evolution you can generate so much spin with a great amount of speed and penetration. What MX-P excels at (and Tenergy 05 struggles with) in my opinion is the drive shots. Because MX-P is less spin sensitive you can place drive shots effortlessly and with more power than Tenergy 05 without having to compensate. Drive shots are easy to produce, devastating and powerful without a high arc. Another highlight is flicking with Evolution MX-P, you can generate alot of power with the smallest of strokes and the crispness which you hit a good flick – it’s outstanding.
Durability & Quality
Now unfortunately there are several drawbacks that really bug me with this rubber:
1) Topsheet Weirdness when new. All Evolutions from the p series (MXP, ELP, FXP) have this really shiny topsheet coating when new out of the packet which has a greasy texture. It takes 3-5 sessions to bed in and get rid of this greasy coating and during this period it is not great to play with, topsheet grip is awful and major ball slippage happens. Thankfully once this rubber is bedded in and the coating has gone this rubber plays beautifully but I have known a lot of players try this rubber and bin it after 1 or 2 sessions because its that bad when new. Not ideal.
2) Sponge. Im not a big fan of Evolution MXP’s sponge, it is very porous, one of the most porous sponges of all rubbers. This causes 2 problems: 1) getting this rubber to stick down can be a nightmare, it will drink glue and sometimes not stick down properly. The amount of times I have had to stick a rubber back down – especially with water based glue – has been frustrating to say the least. 2) If you are a bat tinkerer like me the sponge being very porous is an issue. If you want to try this rubber on different blades and you want to take the previous glue layer off then you will damage the sponge and make craters as when you peel off the glue, the sponge will crumble. Not a massive issue but this is one delicate sponge.
3) Factory tuner. Tibhar Evolution MXP is heavily boosted out of the factory -which all manufacturers seem to do these days. You can smell it on the sponge when it comes out of the packet. This booster effect is great for a month or 2 but then it wears off and then the speed drops massively, it doesnt stay very consistent throughout its life at all. I personally dont like any kind of booster on any rubber as I would rather have a stable and predictable rubber instead of a wild lunatic that you never know what your gonna get and MXP is heavily boosted. The other issue which is caused by heavy booster is rubber shrinkage. If you take a new sheet of MXP off your bat it will shrink. It shrinks quite dramatically too and it doesnt matter if you use water based glue or a solvent based glue the rubber will shrink on all sides. This makes it inconvenient if your just sticking the rubber back down or you want to stick it on another blade because your rubber will be smaller than the blade surface. Its a real pain if you play national tournament with official umpires as they can call you on it if your rubber doesnt fit your blade.
The durability of Tibhar Evolution MX-P is pretty average, nothing to write home about. It lasts about 3-4 Months of playing 2-3 times a week but the biggest disappointment for me was the way the performance dropped off throughout its life – it plays quite differently depending how old the sheet is. When the rubber is old you do get visibly worn patches on the topsheet of rubber. When that happens you struggle grip and it’s not as mechanically grabby. Unfortunately after the 5/6 month mark of using this rubber it does become nearly becomes unusable for attackers because of the dramatic drop off of performance.
Tibhar Evolution MXP is constantly compared to Tenergy 05 as it is considered the best Tenergy 05 alternative and they play quite similarly. However there is a big difference in price. Tibhar Evoution MX-P retails at £39.99 & Tenergy for big £56.99…. a whopping 42% more than Evolution. Is it worth it? In my opinion no its not. I would argue Tenergy 05 is not that much better or durable than Evolution so in my mind Evolution MXP is definitely worth the money considering its performance and the fact that its one of the best rubbers on the market. Good job Tibhar!
Tibhar have produced a world class offensive rubber. I have been using Tibhar Evolution MXP on my Forehand for nearly 6 years on and off and I can confidently say I prefer it on my forehand to Tenergy 05. It suits my style better.
The only thing I would say is the reason why this rubber will never be considered better than Tenergy 05 is that it has a skill floor. You need to have a certain level of technique to get the most out of it and this is where Tenergy 05 excels. You can put Tenergy 05 in the hands of intermediate players and they will benefit as it is easier to access the performance from Tenergy 05 than it is from Evolution MXP.
Tibhar Evolution MX-P is rubber for advanced players. To get the best out of this rubber you need an aggressive attacking style with fast swing attacking shots. Because of this and the hardness of the rubber it takes a bit of getting used to and can be hard to master but there is huge potential there – trust me.
Every time I try a different rubber I always switch back to MXP, the feel is great and the performance is outstanding, if your an aggressive power looper you cannot go wrong with this rubber.