A bearing perspective

I received a new yoyo for Christmas. Which yoyo? I won’t mention the name as this is about the bearing. I will say it was an older, created prior to today’s trends, and it came with a lubed responsive bearing. I was so excited! Finally a bearing that hasn’t just been sitting in a bag, a box, or even a yoyo forever unprotected. Silence on the first throw, little tug, back to the hand the yo returns. ;D A yoyo to build a relationship with during the break in process.

As I spent some time just enjoying the smooth quietness of this joyful bearing I began to realize how much I miss with most of todays unresponsive bearings out of the box. I also note that most every bearing I’ve ever had problems with has arrived without any lube, completely unresponsive from day one. My best bearing in fact came filled with thick, blue/green, grease! I tried playing it for a month and just couldn’t break it in, popped off the shields and saw the grease.

My point? From my own experience, I would rather receive a lubed bearing, even a greased bearing, responsive out of the box, spend the time breaking it in and messing with it than a dry scratchy unresponsive bearing. In my opinion they play better and are less prone to problems down the road.

Many will may feel differently but It just makes sense, to me, to have bearings protected with at least a light coating of lube in the warehouse.

Opinions, experiences?


i think the same,but grease is maybe a bit too much

I share this opinion. Mind you, I ran out of patience with one particular CTX and cleaned it. Promptly re-lubed it, though. :wink:

There is way too much complaining with bearings now. I feel bad for CLYW because a lot of heat is coming at them for not using CTX bearings. They wanted to fulfill the wishes of a customer, and it fell apart.
If you don’t like the stock bearing, replace it with another bearing from a yoyo you don’t use as much.
Sorry for the rant, just ticks me off.

i personaly think that they should just not use ct or ctx since the quality control on them is really poor,i have 2 ctx,one that is new that doesn’t spin for two second on a pen while the other spins for over 10 second and i think it doesn’t make sense,i think they should atleast use a consistent bearing.

does anyone know what the flat bearings in clyws are these days? i would guess the one drop bearing, but im not sure. personally i like when bearing come unlubed and unshielded, i was glad my gold ct and gold flat bearing came unshielded. ive never broken or worn out an unlubed bearing. im not sure its really an issue in our application, and that lubes place is for noise control or response.

i can however respect the break in period of most things leather goods, jeans, golf discs… but those things dont suddenly fly at my face when i least expect it haha.

I just don’t trust any bearing directly from the manufacturer. OD 10 balls are acceptable for my preferences usually, but that doesn’t exclude them from my normal routine of a new bearing.

Whenever I get a new bearing, I immediately deshield and clean it with some acetone. That way, I know how the bearing performs when freshly cleaned and dry; in my opinion, it’s the best gauge of the quality and performance of a bearing.

After that initial cleaning and quality check, I’ll apply slightly more lube than I usually do, and put it in one of my most used throws. I do that to break it in with some heavy play and plenty of gyroscopic flops for about an hour or two.

After that, I’ll clean it thoroughly again, and apply my normal amount of lube, which is barely any at all, only enough to maybe prevent any possible corrosion.

By taking these few precautions, I know exactly what the quality of the bearing is, and how it will perform. It also ensures that I won’t damage it at all if it comes to me dirty, and it won’t be over lubed for my preferences. I just don’t like taking chances or playing guessing games with my bearings.

This is exactly what I prefer to do.

Well yes, it’s the best for the bearing. Though i choose to believe that most yoyoers don’t have a routine of immediately cleaning the bearing of a new yoyo when they get it. I believe that most yoyoers will play their new yoyo as soon as they get their hands on it, rather than using hours on cleaning and breaking it in. Combine that with the fact that probably 95% of the yoyos we buy are made to play and played unresponsive (if you don’t count the 2A yoyos), and i don’t really see why they should be gunked up with lube or grease. A bit like the 10-balls are fine, but no more IMO.

As for the corrosion issue, i’ve never experienced corrosion with any bearing i’ve had, not even after cleaning one and then using it for a year without and lube/protection. Still works just fine.
And most bearings are relatively low cost, so if you clog one up it’s not going to be the end of the world.

TL;DR: Most 14 year olds are not interested in cleaning and lubing their bearings and just want to play the yoyo when they get it.

Yeah, I understand that.

I mean, if I get a new throw, in absolutely going to play it, but I still take the 5 minutes to deshield and clean the bearing first. Then playing with the new throw isn’t diminished at all by a bearing that performs poorly out of the box, and the heavy play that a new throw gets takes care of my normal break in process.

I agree that yoyos should come ready to play, but in my experience, that hasn’t been the case. OD 10 balls are generally my best experience of “ready to play”, but what about the rest of my experiences? Just look at how many posts get made about new players thinking something is wrong with their yoyo because the bearing started acting up shortly after they got it. Sure, it’d be great if every manufacturer shipped their throws with bearings that are ready for a long period of no maintenance, but that’s simply not the case.

I wasn’t saying that’s what everybody should do, just stating what I’ve resorted to to make my experience with new bearings as good as possible. Although, with a new throw, it’s 5 minutes of maintenance before I can throw it all I want, so I really don’t see it as any sort of hassle.

I just take the bearings out and throw them away. Just wrap the string directly around the axle. :stuck_out_tongue:

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The best of both worlds in my opinion is the CTX.

Out of the box it comes ever so slightly responsive and after a few weeks of play it will be dead smooth and quiet.

I used to be uber obsessive about my bearings constantly cleaning them, lubing them, spinning them on pencils, gyro-ing them for hours. But after all of this the bearings never seemed to play how I wanted them to play.

Now rather than obsess over my bearings I just a put a CTX in them and play them until they are smooth and then just leave it.

I think a lot of the people on here who are constantly toying with their bearings are the ones who are never happy with the performance of them. I recommend to all the younger players out there to just play their bearings and maybe de-shield them and then put a drop of lube in them from time to time when they get loud.

I miss the old greased up YYJ bearings.

If you are playing unresponsive, get a ceramic bearing and never have to worry about it. no lube, no break in period, and minimal maintenance, a blow of compressed air usually cleans them and if not a couple drops of acetone will. And the extra price is worth it for the extra quality and life span. I would much rather pay double and have the bearing last twice as long then go through the hassle of buying/shipping/breakingIn/maintaining a second steel bearing.

Ok, gentlemen; it’s time for bringing priority and clarity to your Focus of what is really more important and why. I could explain this about 50 ways. But, best to just start with 1 example to grasp the rationality of my perspective.

You buy a CLYW Yoyo for 145 bucks plus shipping. (Recognize that I am only using CLYW, randomly, for this example. I am in no way suggesting that all CLYW Yoyos are shipped with fail quality bearings). No sooner do you start throwing the yoyo; and you start seriously not liking the yoyo. The Bearing is Horrible for any one of several reasons… Or All of them.
1 noisy
2 short spin times
3 actually makes the yoyo feel vibey
4 it’s too responsive
5 it just sounds like it is eating itself alive
6 etc…
7 All of the above

You vent by sharing your thoughts with a few friends <> I got this New yoyo and I hate it! It plays so bad. The bearing is pure junk. I just wasted $150!

Ok; What is wrong with that last statement?

Of course; I will tell you, lol

You… ‘You’ didn’t just waste $150. You spent $150 and wasted about $10. < Huh?

Most yoyos aren’t designed around bearings. Yoyos are designed and then furnished with one bearing or other. The value of the bearing is a very small part of the actual cost of a $150 yoyo. (I already know somebody is going to let me know my view doesn’t compute if you use a $10 dollar yoyo on my equation)(but I am not using a $10 dollar yoyo. I am using a $150 yoyo in this instance).

So you have a $ 140 yoyo with a $10 junk bearing. So what should you do/ what should you think? Very simple.

Change your mindset. The more you spend on a yoyo; the more important how you view your Investment.

Never ever; like in NEVEREVER; base your like or dislike of a yoyo; on the performance of the bearing that comes with the yoyo. Your ‘Lens’ is not in Focus; if you do.

The cure? Piece a cake <>

As soon as you take a new yoyo out of the packaging; take it apart and take out the stock bearing. Replace it with the best playing bearing you have(in the same size, obviously) from another yoyo that plays Great for you. Why? Simple.

Set yourself up for a Good first impression. Don’t let a possible bad bearing ruin your feelings for your New yoyo. Give the yoyo the best chance to impress you. By using a bearing that you know is ‘good’ you give yourself the opportunity to appreciate the engineering that went into the yoyo design. After all; the yoyo Makers; provide the bearings. They don’t make them. So judging the/a yoyo by the quality of the bearing is short sighted.

Yoyo halves; unlike bearings; do not, in most cases; need to be broken in. (There are exceptions like certain blasted finishes need attention at times, etc.).

What I do is simply consider every bearing in every yoyo I buy; to have zero effect on my view of the Performance potential/enjoyment of the yoyo.

…if you buy a car for $30,000 and you like everything about it except the way it hugs the pavement; did you waste $30,000? Probably not. You might just have to spend another Grand on different tires and a few suspension mods.

Yoyos are not much different. The yoyo is the car and the bearing is the ‘tire’. You simply change an inexpensive part of the machine and ‘you find Happiness’.
(I understand that my parallel is a little off, technically. The car would represent the yoyo and the engine would represent the bearing. I used the tires to represent a more valid percentage of value in relation to full investment.)

So… Bottom line <> buy a yoyo and place No importance on the Stock bearing. Give the yoyo a chance to impress you with a ‘known good playing bearing’. Once you feel you have fairly gauged how well you like the New yoyo; then; put the stock bearing back in the yoyo and see if you got lucky and got a good bearing; lol?

But before you put back the stock bearing; put the stock bearing into the same yoyo you removed the very good, broken in bearing, from. Get a feel for how a yoyo you know well; plays with the new bearing. Then; put it back into the New yoyo and see how it plays.

The part of your purchase you want to impress you the most; is the part you paid the most for. Disregard other feelings.

Don’t let a bad bearing rain on your new yoyo parade.

I got a Dazzler for $650 bucks. No discount… $650 straight up.

Did it have some kind of Amazing special bearing in it? Lol The stock bearing Sucked like a defective Dyson!

I put in a New bearing; problem solved. I coulda had a Cow. How could I get such an expensive yoyo and get a Bad bearing? Easy… I got a Bad bearing.

I know bearings aren’t a dime a dozen. But they represent an insignificant percentage of higher end yoyo cost. I change em out; just like changing socks.

Remember; the major part of your money is the yoyo itself. The bearing is chump change. And always a simple fix. It’s all in how you look at it.

Now, all that being said; if the Yoyo Makers; all MADE the bearings that they provided with the yoyos; my view would be somewhat different. I would hold them to more product quality Scutiny. But they don’t.



I think a lot of people also miss the point that a lot of the buyers of yoyos are young kids. Do we want to encourage young kids to play around with mineral spirits, acetone, terpentine etc?

… Atleast not in America, where you can get sued by basicly everything.


Eh, they just need a bit of supervision/instruction. Bubble wrapping everything isn’t the proper way to prevent kids from harm.

I’d much rather the parents of these kids sit down with them and work with them, in order to teach them how to properly maintain their possessions and how to properly handle toxic chemicals. That will go much further in the kid’s life than, “no Jimmy, you can’t use those chemicals, deal with your bearings playing like crap.” A little bit of instruction will go a long way.

From age 10 or so, my dad has constantly involved me in any project that he’s worked on. That includes finishing our basement, doing maintenance on countless small engines, typical car maintenance, completely remodeling our farm house, and now completely remodeling our cabin. Now, had he sheltered me from countless power and other “dangerous” tools and potentially toxic substances, I’d have much less life experience, and would be much more likely to actually harm myself.

Education is far more effective than prohibition. This goes for most things in life.

Also, I plan on doing a detailed writeup with pictures, and possibly video, on how to properly clean and maintain bearings sometime soon. It’s such a simple topic, but so many people just don’t know about it. It will be prefaced with a warning for kids to have parental supervision if they’ve never used acetone/mineral spirits/denatured alcohol/lighter fluid before, but I think it’d be great for them to walk through with their parents.

I find it quite the opposite, most of my bearings that come heavily lubed are somewhat more problematic in the long run.
But that’s just me.

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