Why does a new bearing suddenly become noisy?

For a bit of background, I learned to yoyo during the late 90s boom but never progressed beyond some basic tricks like trapeze and brain twister. But over the last several months I’ve been going full-steam, both for learning new tricks and buying a lot of different kinds of yoyos. I’m getting much better, and I usually spend over an hour a day playing with my top dozen or so favorites. Despite that, every now and then a question pops into my head due to my lack of experience. I was hoping that perhaps someone more knowledgeable would be able to answer some of these questions. So, with that out of the way, why is it that some new bearings are quiet from the very first throw, then all of a sudden are noisy from then on?

For example, I recently got another Shooting Star and my first Speedaholic XX. I figured that they’d be pretty close to one another, given that the material, shapes, and specs are all very close (spoiler - they are very close, at least to me). But the Speedaholic XX originally surprised me in that I could barely hear or ‘feel’ the bearing, which gave it a very floaty quality. But then, probably around the 10th throw or so, it completely lost the quietness and now sounds just like the Shooting Star - a bit noisy but nothing that bothers me. This isn’t the first time I’ve run into this, or the first yoyo that this has happened to, so I was wondering what causes it. It’s almost as though some dust got in the bearing, but I doubt that’s the case since I didn’t unscrew the yoyo and the noise started in the first five minutes or so of play. Is this sort of thing common? Have others run into it too? What’s the cause of the noise, is the bearing just getting ‘broken in’?

FWIW, the noise doesn’t bother me and it plays just as well as it did when it was quiet. And while I could put in a tiny bit of thin lube, I’d rather hold off on that as I don’t want to lose any sleep time. I wouldn’t consider it a problem, and I’m not really looking for a fix. I’m just trying to understand what’s happening inside the yoyo that makes it noisy.

Thanks in advance!

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New bearings often times will need to break in. I’m sure if you keep playing it will work itself out. I’ve had bearings get loud off and on . Nothing to be concerned about

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some times bits of dust and what not can get in the bearing during transit. Im in the UK so by the time most yoyos get to me they’ve been in the mail for a month or so. they start off quiet then go loud. you can clean em and its fine but I usually just power through and they tend to sort them selves out and go back to normal

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if its really loud, I’d put a little bit of thin lube in there. Personally, I’ve never had issues with thin lube decreasing my spin times, as long as I do not put too much in there.

If you keep your bearing well lubricated, I believe it helps it last longer too.

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Might just be dust. I usually clean it up with some dish soap & filtered water. And dry it up with hair drier… Not very environment friendly though…

Doesn’t need cleaned, just needs a bit of lube and not much take a pin and drop and bit on the tip and put it in the bearing it will quite down and if you can do a gyroscopic flop that will make it work in faster!

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This has happened to literally every bearing I’ve ever had. Not sure exactly what causes it, but I assume it’s bits of dust or something that got trapped in there or maybe it’s the bearing shields rattling or something. I’m not 100% sure.

Like the others have said, a teensy bit of lube helps. Generally, spin time shouldn’t really be affected as long as you don’t go overboard.

My Speedaholic XX bearing is the weird one for me though. For whatever reason, the drier it gets, the less it spins. I’ll add lube and it gets super quiet and spins longer. Go figure.

When mine gets noisy, I clean it and put a tiny bit of thin lube on and it’s all good again. I suppose the bearing comes from the factory with a little lube on it and that lube doesn’t last long. Also, latent bits of dust can sit in the bearing for a long time and not cause any issues until they actually work their way into the wrong spot, there’s plenty of “safe” areas in a bearing for tiny specks even while it’s in action!

I prefer to lube the bearing with the expectation that I‘m trading a little sleep time for a longer bearing lifespan. I always get my throw tangled up long before the sleep time runs out anyway. :smiley:

The Speedaholic XX has a ten-ball bearing BTW, for whatever it’s worth.

Ivan

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Thanks for all the replies. I was going to open it up and add a tiny bit of thin lube, but work got in the way and I put that off for a couple of days. But now, after playing with it ~ 30 minutes a day for the last couple of days, it’s super quiet again. So I guess I’ll hold off on the lubing for now. My plan is to get another Speedaholic XX colorway (or two, the glow looks neat), so I’ll see what happens with those bearings when I finally get them in my grubby hands!

Thanks again for the responses and suggestions!
Nick

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More info, in case anyone is interested. After more playing with the Speedaholic XX, it suddenly started to make a grinding noise and wouldn’t sleep for more than ~ 15 seconds. I kept playing with it like that in hopes it would come back on its own. But it didn’t, so I eventually broke down and put a tiny bit of thin lube in the bearing. After playing with it for another 10 or so minutes, all spinning problems are gone. It now spins as quietly and as long as it did when it was brand new. I was thinking that I’d have to actually take the bearing apart and clean it, but for some reason, the lube seemed to solve all the problems. Live and learn, I guess.

Nick

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I’ve had this happen with quite a few bearings - quite a few OD 10-balls, some NSK’s, some Konkave. In short - I think this is normal for breaking in bearings. I used to think they were defective until I did some more research and talked to some experts.

I’ve tried cleaning and light lube (V4M) but I’ve found that the lube helped that much - maybe I went heavy handed and out too much. In any case if cleaning didn’t fix it, I’ve found that you just gotta play thru it and do a ton of flops - I would be doing these for a long time (1-2 hour) over several days to a week. Eventually you’ll start to see some improvement, the screech eventually died down and the bearing began to play more unresponsive, but it was a lot of work to get it to that point. This is technically just the break in period for bearings and you just gotta play through it - and I’ve confirmed this with YYE customer support as well.

Hope this helps!