Newbie Question - Pretty Basic

So, I’m new to yo-yos. I mean I had one when I was a kid, but when I was a kid, ball bearings weren’t part of a yo-yo.

So now I have a very basic, entry level yoyo. It’s a Duncan Speed Beetle. I know it ain’t awesome, but I’m having a lot of fun with it.

I’ve gotten to where I can do several tricks with it, and I’m getting to the point where people who don’t know much about yo-yos are starting to think I’m good.

But now, all of a sudden, I can’t get the yo-yo to come back up when I throw it. It stays in a perpetual sleeper. I believe this is called an “unresponsive” yo-yo.

The problem is, I want it to be responsive (presuming I’m using that word correctly) - meaning I want it to come back up from its sleeper when I give it a little slack.

I’ve watched all the tutorials on this, and no, the string doesn’t need to be replaced. It’s brand new. No, it’s not a non-responsive yo-yo, it’s a Duncan Speed Beetle. They’re supposed to come back up.

I checked the friction pad, and it does seem to be wearing down quite a bit. I’ve used the crap out of this sucker in the two weeks I’ve had it.

But I don’t have any more pads, and I don’t know where to get any more. to be honest, I had to go to five different stores just to find a bloody yo-yo in the first place. These things ain’t terribly popular any more.

Anyway, I don’t have any new pads (presuming this is in fact, the problem), and I’m not going to start paying $20 for the pads I see on some of the sites for yo-yos when the yo-yo itself cost $3.50.

Is there anything I can do to help get the string to bind, at least temporarily? Maybe some sort of oil or something on the pads? I don’t even know how to replace the pads on this sucker - if they can in fact, be replaced.

So I’m hoping someone can help. It’s a very cheap yo-yo. I don’t even know what kind of pad it is…

Is there anyone out there that might educate me a bit? This is the first time I’ve touched a yo-yo in 25 years. I didn’t even know they had pads until I took this one apart two days after I got it…

I don’t know what to replace these pads with. I also don’t know how to replace them. I guess that would be a good place to start.

Apologies for the newbness of this post, but wow… This ain’t the yo-yo I had in junior high…

Lube the bearing with anything non-corrosive, 3 in 1 oil, singer oil, as long as it’s not thin lube.
If it’s still not coming back or too slippy and you don’t want to get another pads (I believe it has Duncan friction sticker?), I’d suggest getting a Yomega Raider. It has a bearing, responsive as long as it’s lubed properly, classic shaped, and uses starburst as the response (which will last longer than the yoyo itself, if you can break it). One of the all time favorite.

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I can’t get my Raider to return from unresponsive. :wink: My story is just like Alastor’s in that once the Raider went unresponsive (and I HAVE thick lube) I was just… out of luck.

When that happened, I got my first yoyo that could play both styles (a YYF New Velocity).

Tried making that Raider Responsive again the other day. No luck still. :wink: No idea how to get the shields off, despite people telling me 3 or 4 times… I don’t mind breaking the shields or whatever, but I simply can’t get anything wedged in there in order to rip 'em out. So there it sits.

I’m not opposed to getting new friction pads for this yo-yo. I just don’t know where to get any. I can order them off the Duncan site, but the pads are $5 and the shipping is $10 - that’s a total of five times what the yo-yo cost brand new!

I also don’t know how to replace the pads, but I suppose they are in fact, just stickers?

I guess the best way for me to phrase my request for help is that I have a Duncan Speed Beetle, and I want to keep it. The pads appear to need to be replaced, but I’m not positive what kind of pads they are (Duncan has several kinds), and I’m not sure where else to get some.

I want to make certain I get the correct pads for this yo-yo, and I would prefer to not have to pay five times the cost of the yo-yo to get them.

If someone can confirm that they are in fact, just stickers, that would help too.

I really don’t want to put oil on my yo-yo. I know from other mechanical experiences that eventually the ball bearing will clog, gunk up or break. This yo-yo seemed to work quite well for someone of my skill level with just the pads, so I’m really just interested in getting new pads.

Maybe one of you gurus out there can coach me up on this and show me the ropes so to speak?

  1. What kind of pad am I looking for?

  2. Where can I find them on the Internet that won’t cost me five times as much as the yo-yo itself did?

  3. Is it in fact, just a sticker? I just peel the old one off and stick the new one on?

Thank God I’m not the only one who doesn’t know how to repair their yo-yo. Thank you very much, Greg. I was pretty embarrassed not to even know for sure what was wrong with my yo-yo. It’s never a good thing to see someone else have trouble, but I did find your post to be somewhat reassuring that I am not, in fact, an idiot.

Thank you.

Yes, they’re stickers. You can get replacements here at YoYoExpert -

What you’ll want is the “Looping Stickers” or the regular “Friction Stickers”, both will work in the Speed Beetle (12mm size). You should be able to get them for $5 with $2 shipping (USPS First Class). You might want to order a 10 pack of strings while you’re at it, if you haven’t replaced yours in a while it’s probably getting frayed/worn.


No no asking anything as long as it’s still related to yoyoing is fine really, nobody will call you stupid for asking about something like that (at least not in yoyo community).
Raider just need thick lube, make sure it’s going inside the bearing, I had a couple raiders and modded fireballs (which are basically raiders).

A yoyo will be responsive if the bearing is lubed, you don’t have to replace the stickers as long as it’s still “grippy”. For now try lubing the bearing I’m 99% sure that’s the problem since lube wears out over time rather quickly. If the sticker has worn out chances are you can’t even throw it (it will slip down instead of spinning). Yes they are just stickers and can be replaced easily.

I’ve been trying to find duncan friction sticker alternatives, none works well other than chucking the yoyo onto a drill and make a groove to fill silicone into, or drill small circles around the response area for the string to catch into.

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My Raider went unresponsive on me as well and I’ve never got it to be submissive since.

Alastor, I’m thinking you may just need some new friction stickers on that Speed Beetle.
I’ve got some to spare here. Drop me a PM with your address and I get some out in the mail to you.

(You may want to also consider stepping up to your next yoyo. There are some really decent throws available that won’t break the bank. A YoYoFactory One or YoYoJam Classic are just a couple that come to mind that might be a good next step.)


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There’s pad making tutorials so you might be able to find some of those. A lot of them use hot glue or plastidip as a response

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Now this answer was prefect, thank you!

I see that the looping stickers are made specifically for my yo-yo, but that I can also use the others you suggested, which are a bit cheaper and come in a 48 pack. Since shipping is the lion’s share of the cost on some of my “po’ boy” items, that might make more sense.

What I’m wondering is whether or not the extra grip from the “looping stickers” is really all that noticeable compared to regular friction stickers. The reason I wonder is because doesn’t have looping stickers. It just has the regular friction stickers (or silicon).

Also, I just ordered 100 strings from the site, so maybe I can call tomorrow and have them bundle my stickers into that order, if I do decide to get the friction stickers instead of the looping stickers.

Oh. Mine was sort of doing that (being able to slide down the string instead of roll). Also, I did just take it apart and got some of the string that had gotten stuck on it off (it appears that some of the string had actually melted onto the pad). Playing with it now, it still seems a small bit sluggish, but better than it was.

But you’ve said something that I might need to pay attention to. This bearing is lubed? And has to be lubed some more? How come none of this was on the package when I bought the yo-yo? I didn’t realize I’d need an entire maintenance kit for this yo-yo…

The Speed Beetle’s bearing needs to be lubed?

What kind of lube does it use?

Why is this yo-yo getting more complicated by the minute?

Sorry to hear that you had the same issue with your yo-yo becoming unresponsive.

Thank you for very generous offer to send me some stickers, but I think I’ll do some calling tomorrow and see if a store near my house has any to go grab real fast. I also have an order in on this site already as I said above. Since I now know what to get, I can probably just modify that order.

The only question that remains for me is whether I should get the looping stickers (not sold on this site) or the regular friction stickers (which means I wouldn’t have to pay for separate shipping).

That was very cool of you to offer to send me some stickers though. That’s very generous and kind of you to offer to go out of your way for me like that. Thank you.

As for upgrading… I really do like my Speed Beetle as a basic yo-yo. I think the next yo-yo I get will be one I lathe myself though. I think I’d like to make an old school imperial out of purple heart and white maple that looks like the old yo-yos, and then put a ball bearing axle in it. The only issue I might run into is that lathing purple heart wood can be toxic. I also think ebony and cherry look great together. I might do some in some acrylics too. Anyway, the next yo-yo I want to get is one I make for myself (and some friends and family).

That’s actually what got me interested in yo-yos again. I like to play with wood projects, and lathes. Yo-yos are round and seemed fun, so I got one to figure out how to make my own, and well… I’m just having a blast with this stupid $3 thing.

Thanks for the tip on the pad making tutorials Sparhawk. I’ll look into those down the line. I actually have looked into plastidip before just because it was cool, but I never found a color I liked at ACE, so I gave up. I have some tools I want to plastidip though, so I may as well knock out a few chores and give it a go. Sometime soon I’ll try that out.

Thanks for the tip!

If the pads are worn lubing the bearing wont do much besides an occasional bind and mad spin time loss (which is ironic due to the yoyos already low spin time)

Consider getting a c3yo speedaholic or yoyojam classic. Or perhaps, a magic yoyo.
For $15> you don’t have much to lose :slight_smile:

Lubing the bearing is basically a general way to make a yoyo responsive, it wouldn’t be practical to list everything on the manual. If a yoyo becomes unresponsive, lube the bearing, it has always been that way.
I recommend trying to lube the bearing first just to make sure if it was the actual problem, since finding lube is easy, just get any non corrosive thick lube, 3 in 1 lube, singer oil, or whatever thick oil intended for metals and won’t corrode it. I mean, I rather try to find lube first then try if it works… if the yoyo still don’t return then buy another friction stickers. That is the least expensive way.
If you still want to buy the stickers, please go ahead since you will need them sooner or later. I just tried to help you save a bit money…

I’ll give all those things a try. Thank you very much!

Do you think I’ll see much difference between the looping pads and the friction pads if I order friction pads instead?

As noted above, the Duncan stickers sold here will work perfectly. You can also put one in a Raider to make it responsive. I have done that and it works fine. As to removing the shields on small bearings like in the Raider or the Speed Beetle, you just pry them out. Works best if you work on the inside edge rather than the outside. Don’t bother looking for a “c” ring.

As for lube, Yomega Brain Lube works fine. Be sure to lube between the axle and the bearing as well as just the bearing (on a Raider). I’ve also had good luck packing them with white moly grease (assuming you got the shields off).

My shields (Speed Beetle) are held in by small screws. They come off with a screwdriver. Presuming the shields are the things that the friction pads sit on.

The shields referred to are on each side of the bearing to keep dirt etc. out of the bearing balls. People sometimes remove them and leave them off to make cleaning and lubing easier.

You’re confusing the side caps with shields, as MattB noted the shields are on the bearing.

Oh, okay. I see. Thank you.

I didn’t even know those came off… I thought I’d break the bearing if I pried that out.

Thanks guys.

Give me your address and I’ll send you a really old DV888. :slight_smile:

I had to google what those were, but they’re actually pretty cool lookin’. Why don’t you like yours? I think those are pretty slick lookin’.

Update: When I went to the Wizard’s Chest to see if they had looping stickers, they (two of the guys there that actually know how to use yo-yos) looked at my pads on my Speed Beetle, and they agreed they were definitely not regular friction pads. They think they’re looping pads too. Sadly, they didn’t have any looping pads, so I’ll have to wait for my looping pads from the site to get here.

I did however, purchase my first butterfly (coincidental timing, Coronett). I’ve never owned one before, and it’s kind of interesting. I mean we had them when I was a kid, but I never owned one and we thought they were pretty stupid.

I got the Yoyojam Classic and I gotta say, it’s sort of weird and you do sometimes have to work to bind it, but it’s pretty cool. It has a solid sleep time and stays balanced pretty well for string tricks (compared to a Speed Beetle or a Duncan Imperial at least).

The only thing it’s worse at is “walk the dog” and probably only because it has a wider base and rides the floor on the edges of its shape instead of in the middle of its shape like an imperial design would. As a result, my dog looks a little drunk.

It’s very interesting though, and it’s fun. Not bad for $13.

I’m having fun with it. It should tide me over until my looping pads get here.

Thanks again for all your help, gang!