How long do your bearings need to spin for?

  • My bearing has to spin for at least 10+ seconds and feel smooth/sound quiet.
  • My bearing has to spin for at least 10+ seconds, but I’m fine with a slightly crunchy feel/sound.
  • If it’s not seized up/responsive, it’s good to go. (2-5 seconds of spin time)

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I’m curious about this. I see a lot of people referring to a bearing that only spins for 2-3 seconds as being bad and needs to be cleaned.

I personally feel like that’s a bit overkill because it seems like as long as a bearing isn’t seized up/responsive, the bearing will make your yoyo spin plenty long enough to get through minute+ long combos. But that might just be me.

You can certainly feel a smoother/quieter bearing in play. They feel smoother on the string and it might be placebo, but it seems like they’re less prone to snags. I don’t care enough to put in the maintenance time required to fully clean my bearings to get them to their peak though, so as long as the bearing spins at all then it’s good enough for me. Any snags or prematurely killing the spin of the yoyo feel more like a player skill issue that’s on me, and that I should just practice more. A longer spinning bearing wouldn’t be helping me much.

Also this isn’t a question of if you prefer flats/concave/center tracks/etc. I’m only curious about how long you feel like your bearings need to spin for and feel.


I mean, if it’s only spinning for a few seconds that’s a problem. I don’t care how it sounds or feels but if the spin dies faster than a fixie, it’s time for a new bearing

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This isn’t referring to how long the yoyo spins on the end of the string, the question is asking about how long the bearing should spin for by itself. I have no problem doing minute+ long combos on bearings that only spin for 2-3 seconds when flicked.

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Ok now it makes sense. Yea a few seconds in that case is fine for me

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I opened a random yoyo I’ve been using and the bearing spun for 36 seconds on a hard flick, measured with a stopwatch. It’s a relatively nice example of a center-trac (licensed OEM, not CBC made). This has be interested in some of my other miscellaneous bearings.

One of my better topyo 5-cuts spun for ~30, one of the more rattly ones went for ~8.

I think my bearing-flicking skills are at play here.


I think this is a more complex problem than most people realize. A bearing without a yo-yo attached to it takes very, very little force to slow it down and stop it. So just because it doesn’t spin very long with almost no inertia keeping it going doesn’t mean it won’t spin well in play. Also, real trick involve forces in all different directions, some bearings I’ve had that spin for 30 seconds with a flick almost lock up as soon as there’s any force not perfectly parallel to the spin.

So I just go by whether they play unresponsive and spin well in play. I only consider flick tests when cleaning after I already know how a specific bearing behaves.


In my experience, bearings that won’t spin for more than a few seconds without a yoyo cause the string to start to wind up when I bounce the yoyo, and start to bind with a talon grind. If a bearing spins longer than that (usually in that 10-20s range) then i won’t have that problem.

The shorter spinning bearings are also louder in the yoyo. I REALLY like a quiet yoyo. I want to say it’s not strictly necessary, but its a strong preference.