Unresponsive turned Responsive

I just tried this with my YoTricks Arcade’s bearing—which I think is just a CenterTrac without shield walls/side walls (not sure on proper terminology). The darn thing STILL wraps string like crazy. I put the 10 Ball in the Arcade to see if it would do the same thing, and it did.

Since it’s going wearing the bearing is, I’m guessing it’s totally shot somehow.

What I can’t figure out is my Arcade bearing, which normally plays totally unresponsive, suddenly starts eating string when I put it on the Cascade.

Almost all of my throws have CenterTrac Bearings, except for one: my TopYo Selene, which I believe has a Koncave. I also tried a CenterTrac with shield walls from my Wedge, which had no effect either. My Koncave, on the other hand, actually works! I wouldn’t have thought to look at other bearings if you hadn’t mentioned it.

It did eat the string on a super hard tug where it hit the palm of my hand, but after a little lube it’s working. I feel like the 10 Ball should kinda snap onto the hub, and it doesn’t. Maybe that’s just because the bearings on my other throws have to be pressed on and usually give a soft snap or pop to let you know it’s on, and fully seated. Whereas on my Cascade, it kinda just lays there. It’s my only OD, so I don’t know if that standard for them or if something, somehow, broke my yoyo.

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One Drop yoyos have great bearing seats that enable the bearing to be lifted out easily whereas most other yoyos require a struggle, sweat, and a bearing tool to get the bearing out. I do not have a Cascade. I hope you get it all figured out. It’s usually something simple when the dust settles…

Yeah, I think the bearing just died.

I completely forgot about the OD DeepState that I have. I don’t super feel like stripping and cleaning the thick lube out of it to see what happens. I ordered a couple new bearings. We’ll what happens when they get here.

The only other thing I can think of, is that at some point, I swapped the Side Effects from my DeepState to my Cascade, and then totally forgot that I knew my DeepState was even SE compatible. I thought they were just hubs. But the axle in the SE’s on the DeepState is a bit longer, meaning a wider gap, than the ones in my Cascade. Does that make sense for a tug response? I feel like a smaller gap would be more responsive, a wide gap less so. I’m going to Google images and see what the SE’s look like. Maybe I screwed up so long ago I forgot lol.

That’s really good to know about the bearing seat! I was starting to worry a bit that I’d done something to mess it up.

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I have a Deep State and used other OD SEs with it and it made no difference. I am sure all OD SE are exactly the same and can be used on all OD yoyos. I can’t speak from expertise but someone here can…

That’s what I thought, too. The DeepState and the Cascade have slightly different gap widths listed. Since the SE’s are the axle, would that mess with it? It’s like a millimeter difference, and I’m not 100% if gap width is determined by the axle by itself. I’m sure the curves of the yoyo get some say.

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I have 4 One Drops with different gap widths and I have put the 4 side effects I have in each of them. They were designed to be compatible with all One Drop yoyos. I wish someone who was more knowledgeable would chime in. I think it’s just a bearing problem.

Yeah, I think you’re right. I found nothing saying “except DeepState” or something. Although the DS isn’t listed on their SE compatibility list. Maybe because mine is an older run?

Anyway, I swapped them between the yo-yos twice and found no discernible difference. Going with bearing problem for now. Hopefully it will stop when the new ones get here. The Koncave worked for a bit, then started doing it, too. That could just be the last bit of lube dying though.


I’m pretty sure the gap difference comes from the bearing seat depth compared to the response pad depth. Like on 4a yo-yos, the response area comes together and overlaps the bearing, coming very close to the outer race of the bearing without touching it.

You probably have already done it, but also check the bearing seat for gunk.

I had a group of various bearings, mostly one drop 10 ball flat bearings that I couldn’t get to act unresponsive. I bought a can of acetone, and let them all sit overnight several times in a row. After adding a touch of lube, they were almost all still responsive. A few were spinning a respectable unresponsive spin. Then I just let the responsive bearings sit for a few days, because I wasn’t sure what to do. After maybe a week, I just thought I’d check them again and I think 3 of them were spinning for a real long time. So, I don’t even know what happened there. Bearing seemed to self correct after just sitting out in the open for a while.

From what I’ve seen, if the bearing is the problem, you’ll be able to see a dramatic difference in spin time in the bearing when it’s off the yo-yo. Unfortunately, response is an interaction between 3 things: bearing, string, response system on the side of the yo-yo. I’ve definitely been in the situation where I’ve switched bearing, string and yo-yo trying to figure out why the string starts to wrap on a basic sleeper. It can be frustrating.

I don’t keep a bunch of response pads laying around, and at this point I prefer to flow some silicon in there and get it recessed because I don’t usually have a problem binding, but I do often have a problem with the yo-yo responding unexpectedly.


What pads did you replace the original stock OD pads with? I’m positive you cannot put any other company’s pads in there as they will stick out farther than the OD pads.

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I used Permatex flowable silicone. So they’re dead flush with the yoyo.

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The opposite actually. Most One Drop yo-yos, Cascade included, use their regular Flow Groove pads, which are about twice as thick as most 19mm pads. They also have several yo-yos which, due to the design of the yo-yo, they had to use a slimmer pad, so they also have a 19mm slim flow groove pad, which is about .2mm thinner than other 19mm pads. The Top Deck uses the 19mm slim flow groove, e.g.

The slims are great to use in other yo-yos if you want the pads slightly recessed or if the yo-yo has a slightly shallow response groove, so I always keep some OD 19mm slims on hand. Also great to keep on hand for people who like recessed silicone in case the silicone gets ripped out, you can fix it in a pinch and redo the silicone when time permits.

Why do people do this? If the string is getting pulled around the bearing enough to make contact with the pads, it’s the bearing (or possibly goop in the bearing seat). Pads and string affect response aggressiveness, not whether a yo-yo is responsive or unresponsive (unless the pads are protruding well into the gap, but that’s an abomination and not the case here).

Because I didn’t know that. For one. For two…I’d tried everything else I could think of, or find here and online. Changing the string was a bit of a last ditch effort—a “just in case something is going on that I’m not aware of,” sort of thing.

Since the previous string was thicker, heavier, and more grippy, it made basic sense that it would take less of it wrapped within the gap to trigger a response from the pads. Even though a thinner, smoother string wouldn’t fix the problem, my hope was that it would stop the alligator snaps because more string could be loaded into the gap. With the smoother texture, I hoped, it wouldn’t trigger the pads without a bind. Yeah, the bearing would likely still pull the string around it, but thinner, lighter and smoother means more open air space between the loops of string and less friction.

I can’t speak for others, but that’s why I did it.

I read your post about the pads, and I’m not sure I’m following you. The Permatex IS flush, but it should not be? I need to add another layer? Since it’s binding just fine at the moment with the Koncave, I’m not sure I see the significance beyond personal preference.

Fresh 10 Balls get here today. Really looking forward to putting a new one in.

@safetypin Yeah, I’ve checked, cleaned, rechecked and recleaned the bearing it self and the bearing seat. It HAS to be the bearing. Or some vengeful YoYo God put a curse on my favorite throw :joy:

Your explanation of what determines gap width, though, was the most straight forward one that I’ve personally come across. So cheers for that! I Googled it the other day when I was worried the SE’s axle size difference was the problem. Each explanation I came across was wordier and more confusing than the next. For me, at least.

I wasn’t really looking for an answer, but fair enough.

No, don’t add another layer! Flush is fine. A lot of people who use silicone prefer the response to be slightly recessed. Right after flowing the silicone, use the corner of a credit card and scrape out a bit of the silicone—when you do it right it all goes out away from the bearing seat, and you can peel it off the body of the yo-yo when it dries or wipe it off right away, kinda depends on the type of silicone. A properly recessed response is really nice, allows for more complex mounts and wraps before you start to get drag from the string making contact with the pads.

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Cool, I didn’t know that either. I’ve thrown for only a couple years in total, and some of that was on and off. I’m not anywhere near inventing my own tricks and combos and all that. There’s a TON I don’t know.

The only really cool thing to come out of the headache my Cascade has given me, is my new found interest in things like flowable silicone, different bearings and strings on different yo-yos. Until this, I used whatever the recommended stock response was, and was very much so a…”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” kinda player.

Then my favorite throw started acting up. Hard. So I learned a lot in trying to solve that problem, and discovered that I had fun messing with that stuff.

By the way, I did NOT add another layer. I wanted to sure I understood you before I did anything. Next time I do the Permatex, I’ll give that recess creating technique a shot. It seems kinda like starting with a perfectly broken in, but still grippy pad. Which would be pretty cool.


So…I think my whole “Vengeful Yo-Yo God” theory may actually be correct.

The new bearings finally came. I tried each one, totally dry at first. The string is still being pulled around the bearing. Took the bearings apart, cleaned them, spin dry with compressed air, a pins head worth of lube, spun a few times. The string still gets wrapped around the bearing. Put the bearings in different throws, and they worked beautifully.

It know it doesn’t seem to make any sense, but it’s the Cascade itself!

I did something I never thought about before the other night, and tested it for vibration…and whoa dang was there vibration. Which is very confounding because I’ve babied this throw. It’s never been outside, never used in a room without carpet, never dropped, bumped or dinged.

In another part of the forum, I read that the only three factors of vibe that can be fixed (unless you have a micrometer and a machine shop) are: Axle, Bearing…and…I forgot the third one :sweat_smile:. This made me wonder, once again, about the Side Effects, and had I switched them forever ago and forgotten?

I popped the hub style ones out of my DeepState, and switched them with the Ultralights in my cascade—I know, they’re meant to interchangeable, and we established that the axle has very little, if anything, to do with gap width. But, it worked. Sort of. The string is still being pulled around, but the vibration has been significantly reduced.

What the heck is going on??

Can vibration cause this? Some of kind of weird, wobble in the spin that pulls No-See-Um Particles in a vortex motion, opening a micro-black hole into another space time that’s sole purpose is swallow joy?!

Because I am out of ideas, and about to throw this beloved yo-yo out the window, I’m going to pull the Permatex and try the method to give it a pre made recess. Less friction. Won’t fix the string being cranked, but might make it playable again.

Since I’m sure someone will ask: No, the Ultralights cause zero vibration in my DeepState.

The good news is, the yo-yo gods do forgive… it just takes a long, long time. They also only help those who help themselves, like so many other gods. They don’t seem to respond to thoughts and/or prayers either.

I’ve had issues like this before. It’s usually something obvious that you just didn’t notice.

I’d skip the lube for now.

Check the bearing seat and the well where the outer race spins. The tolerances can be pretty small, so a tiny string of silicone or a smudge or grease could be contacting the bearing, and I imagine vibe could interact with that if it was the case. I had the tiniest string of silicone in the bearing well that I couldn’t see until I looked with a magnifying glass once, and that was causing a very similarly baffling problem.

Don’t throw the Cascade away. I’m sure someone would be willing to check it out, or even buy it for cheap.

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The fine tooth comb, eh? Very well, sir. At dawn…WE CLEAN! :joy:

I mean, I’ve wiped down the bearing seat, but if it can be something so small you need a magnifying glass to see it? Yeah, I could totally have missed something. A tiny strand of response pad glue that found it’s way into the seat. Or a speck of Permatex.

As for selling her…If I can’t have her, no one can! :rofl:

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if the yoyo is "“eating string”, meaning it wraps around the bearing even with a fresh CLEAN and DRY bearing, the outter race isnt spinning freely. something is blocking the spin. bearing responsive yoyos are only really responsive because lube causes enough friction for “String to be eaten” and grab the pads. my day tripper (2.75mm gap A-bearing) does not respond with a clean, dry NSK bearing installed without a bind.

all side effect yoyos are compatible with all side effects, period. poorly assembled side effect yoyo can also grab the string/outter race, and will without a doubt have vibe. side effect yoyos are a little more prone to vibe as well, not super important for this convo.

gap width is determined by how much “yoyo” hangs over the bearing while the yoyo is assembled, this is separate what side effects will do. the deep state just has a lot of yoyo hanging over the bearing, hence the narrow gap.

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