Newbie type question: why does an unresponsive yoyo start to become responsive?

I have noticed one of my yoyoz has started to become responsive midway through tricks. Does the bearing need cleaning -it looks clean to me! Maybe it’s just me being sloppy, but it never happened before!

If you unscrew the yoyo and flick the bearing while its in its seat, does it spin?

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Not for very long!

You need to clean the bearing. If a bearing doesn’t spin very long(more than 3 seconds), it’s going to be rather responsive.

It’s OK, don’t let the bearing being clean or not be a concern for you. My Chico YoYoCompany was my latest “high dollar yoyo” where I had to do bearing maintenance right from the start. It was semi-responsive then way too responsive. I cleaned the bearing, put it back, problem solved. Some companies are just that way with their bearings.

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Thank you - I will do a forum search to find out how best and most easily to clean the bearing.

Edit: I just read the sticky post and found the bit about bearing cleaning. Can I just use the v4m thin lube to clean an in shielded bearing I.e. method 3 or do I have to use all the mineral spirit type thingies?

Also, do I have to remove the bearing completely from the yoyo or can I just unscrew the halves and put a few drops in?

Lube doesn’t clean a bearing. You need a solvent to clean a bearing. I prefer pure acetone. In my experience, this has provided for me the most consistent and best results over mineral spirits. I do not like lighter fluid, since apparently people on my wife’s side of the family are pyromaniacs and the last thing I need is an intentionally flammable liquid within 1000 feet of my house!

I recommend removing BOTH shields when cleaning a bearing. Some people say one, I say both. This way when you blow out additional stuff, it will blow THROUGH and out for sure.

Make sure you drain the bearing and then spin to fully dry it. This can take time. Blowing out helps speed this up.

If you then want to lubricate your bearing, remove the tip off your VM4, dip a needle or long straight pin into the lube, pull out at an angle(don’t touch sides) and that little drop you have goes onto 1 or 2 balls in the bearing. Spin it. Done.

You can re-shield your bearing(my recommendation but is optional) and then re-assemble your yoyo.

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V4m is a lube. It helps make the bearing run smoother, but it wont help responsiveness. You will need paint thinner (mineral spirits) or acetone to clean the bearing. Cleaning removes everything from the bearing, including lube.

Edit: ninja’d!

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Thank you. I will clean the bearings tomorrow once I have found some acetone and see if this helps.

When a yoyo becomes responsive I usually check the response system. Pads can move over time, and rub the bearing, causing the yo to become responsive. I also check and clean the bearing seat.

If everything checks out then I look at cleaning the bearing.

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If you use acetone, don’t use nail polish remover because it has other stuff in it that won’t help with cleaning.

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Dirty bearing is likely the problem, as everyone else has already suggested. Just because your bearing doesn’t look dirty, doesn’t mean its clean. Even the most minute particles can make a bearing responsive, especially if those little minute particles build up over time. Acetone is my preferred cleaner, as I find it evaporates much more quickly than other solvents and doesn’t leave behind any residue. Also, don’t fret when you clean your bearing, lube it, and then find out it is still responsive. Once you get the hang of lube application you may not have to worry about this anymore, but for the most part lube is always going to make your bearing a bit responsive. This is completely okay, it will just take a little time to break in and become unresponsive once again. It’s also important to note that break in times vary depending on how much lube you used and what type of bearing you’re using. If you want to skip the hassle, some people clean there bearings and then don’t add lube at all, they just play them “dry”. This works well too as you you don’t have to worry about break in, but most of the time it leaves your bearing a little bit louder than if you were to have lubed it. In the end, it’s just a preference thing. Experiment and see what you prefer! Good luck! ;D

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Bought some acetone, removed the bearing using the string trick and cleaned the yoyo as described by the excellent posts on this forum. Used compressed air can to dry out the yoyo and then put in one drop of v4m lube and gave it a spin!

This has improved the play considerably and it has only snagged once on a simple cold fusion - I think it’s to do with my play becoming a little sloppy, but other than that I can definitely feel an improvement.

Next time i will shake the bearing in the acetone for a few minutes rather than a few seconds too!

Thank you to all of you for being so helpful.