Rampant confusion and missinformation is far more common on another forum than it is here, but since I took the time to write this, I figured I'd cross post.
While I've been on this forum for a few years I've been noticing more and more that while most people know how yo-yos work, many people don't really understand why yo-yos work the way that they do. A major topic that I've noticed a lot of confusion about is the issue of response. People don't quite understand exactly what's going on, then try to give advice to noobs which may be incorrect. Only a few days ago an old friend of mine who was buying his first yo-yo was convinced to buy a Dark Magic as a starter yo-yo because he says "they said it was supposed to be more responsive." Not that the Dark Magic isn't a good throw, but if he would have asked me I would have probably steered him toward a YYJ without a starburst response such as a Hitman or X-Convict, as it would have worked just as well for him and he wouldn't grow annoyed with it later like many people do with starbursts inflexible bind performance and what-not. All because someone who gave him advice confused starbursts being more bind responsive, with the fact that noobs should start with tug responsive yo-yos, which brings me to my point.
From what I've observed and learned over the years, there are 2 types of response systems at work in a yo-yo. "Bind Response" and "Tug Response". These systems do work together in ways, but in general they are different and govern different aspects of how a yo-yo performs and shouldn't be mixed-up. The problem is people just talk about "response" and don't specify what they mean. Before I try to explain bind & tug response here, I feel like I first need to explain what exactly happens with a bind.
Binds: What happens when you bind is easier to see if you do it really slowly and look in the gap at what's going on. When you do a backspin bind by pinching the loop and lifting your throw-hand you are leveraging the force of gravity pulling down on the yo-yo to cause friction against the response area of the yo-yo. Because the string is being pinched, the segment going from the throw-hand knot and the pinch can't become shorter, where the opposite would happen if you weren't pinching and the yo-yo would just slide back and forth on the trapeze. So when you're pinching and lifting, gravity is still pulling the yo-yo down to the lowest point it can go, which would be closer and closer to your non-throw-hand the more you lift. While this is happening the friction between the bottom trapeze string segment (which is fixed) and the yo-yo attached string segment (which isn't fixed) starts to cause the yo-yos segment to start wrapping around the bearing while the outside race of the bearing rotates with it. This continues as more and more wraps of the yo-yo segment wrap around the bearing, until the wraps of string start to exert outward pressure into the walls of the yo-yo. This is where the bind response system comes into play.
Bind Response: Depending on the aggressiveness (tackiness) of your response system there will be a point where the friction of the string pressing against the response system, which is rotating in the same direction that the yo-yo string is winding, will be enough to overcome the force of gravity that is pulling the yo-yo down, at which point you can basically let go of the loop and the yo-yo will roll up the rest of the string while returning to your hand.
If your binds slip it is because at the point that you let go of the loop (either because the loop was too small and you were forced to let go, or that you just simply let go of it) the friction of the string pushing outward into the response was not enough to overcome the gravity acting on the yo-yo. This is remedied by either wrapping more string around the axle (by making the pinched loop larger, therefore pushing more string against the response for more friction) or by putting a more aggressive response system in the yo-yo which needs less string pressure pushing against it to equal the same amount of friction. The opposite actions will fix a yo-yo that snags a lot, since snags are common where a response system is too aggressive for the loop size that you fed in. This can also be effected by tightening the gap on a adjustable gap yo-yo because when more string segments are wrapped on top of each other, both more pressure is put on inner wraps of string pushing them out harder, as well as more wrapped segments stacking on top of each other and making contact with the response system sooner to increase the total friction. This is why a very narrow gapped yo-yo like the Aquarius will still bind even though it's response area is just smooth plastic. Binds can be preformed on any yo-yo, be it cleaned bearing, lubed bearing, fixed axle or whatever. As long as you've got enough pressure pushing against the walls/response area for the texture of the material that's there, it will work the same way because that's where all the action happens.
Tug Response: Tug response in a yo-yo is not initiated by a 'positive gravity + string/wall friction' factor, but by a sudden 'loss of gravity + axle friction'. In a lubed bearing yo-yo, all the friction happens inside of the bearing because the lubricant causes increased friction between the balls, inner race and outer race. The forces that determine the tug responsiveness of a yo-yo are the amount of friction inside the bearing fighting against the gravity holding the yo-yo down and various centrifugal forces of the yo-yo and the string when it's moving. When a yo-yo is spinning, the inner race of the bearing moves at the same speed (RPM) that the yo-yo does. The balls move around the inner race, but the outer race stays stationary with the string because the force of the friction of the balls running against the outer race is less than the gravity's force holding the yo-yo down. The yo-yo would still sleep and perform the same if the string was actually permanently connected to the outer race of the bearing. When you tug and pop a lubed yo-yo into the air you are suddenly depriving the yo-yo of the earths gravity, at which point the friction of the outer race of the bearing and the balls running against it becomes greater than gravity's force and then the outer race starts to rotate with the balls, taking the string around with it. On a responsive ball bearing yo-yo there will still need to be some kind of grippy response system in place, as the string does begin to grip it while returning (though it is more jumbled and not as clean as a bind), but if there weren’t a response system, while the yo-yo might still make it back up to your hand, the next time you throw it there will be little friction grabbing the actual yo-yo and it will just shoot down to the bottom of the string like a rock without gaining much spin. This is the same thing that happens if you have a loose bind with an unresponsive yo-yo. It's also why old style Duncan friction stickers wear out so quickly. They were originally designed to assist an already tug responsive yo-yo, not for binding, which wears a pad far more. As the grippiness of the axle increases, the less need for response area grippiness is necessary. This is why you don't really need one with a wood axle yo-yo.
When you completely or nearly completely remove friction from the inside of the bearing, i.e. when you clean the bearing to remove the lubrication, it becomes very difficult for the amount of friction of the balls acting on the outer race of the bearing to overcome even small forces acting on the race where it's held by the string. Therefore the yo-yo will be unresponsive and not return to your hand, even if you jerk it around or do a sloppy suicide or something. As long as the string is free from friction of the spinning part of the yo-yo, it will not spin up and return. Even if you have a smaller gap or a more aggressive response system, a cleaned bearing = a yo-yo that will not return with a tug unless something pushes the yo-yo into the response system adequately enough to grab it. This is kind of the reason why I don't buy the claim that YYF dial response yo-yos will make a cleaned bearing yo-yo tug responsive. You'd have to adjust it way far in and throw on starburst shuttles that stick out into the gap to possibly do it and even then I'd think it would be inconsistent, where a simple lubed bearing would work far better. Adjustable gaps are more for adjusting how you like your binds to feel than tug responsiveness.
So that's how response works according to my observations and experience over the years. I'm happy to discuss other people's opinions and observations if you think that I'm not specifying something correctly or am missing something. Otherwise, I hope this helps you get the most out of the yo-yos that you own or consider purchasing. Everyone should love their yo-yos and should know what's wrong if they are unsatisfied. A yo-yos performance and feel during binds and regens, or even if it snags or slips too often is an overlooked and important aspect to how it plays and a lot of people I feel are dealing with bad set-ups that get in their way because they don't understand how to tune the feeling to their liking.
Thread: Guide To Response
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06-02-2010 08:11 PM
06-03-2010 09:07 AM
Great post! very informative..
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- Jan 2010
06-03-2010 03:12 PM
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06-07-2010 12:45 PM
Let's get a sticky on this please!One must stand and one must fall...
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- Jan 2010
06-21-2010 11:44 PM
- Rep Power
this is very informativomg get down befor *boom!*....nvm
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- Apr 2006
06-22-2010 08:34 AM
- Rep Power
good post but pictures would help
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- Houston, Tx
06-23-2010 09:00 AM
- Rep Power
this is almost mostly sorta rightish.
that's well above par for the boards..
I could probably make a lot of comments and corrections.. but for now I'll just say that it is -entirely- possible to have tug responsive yoyos with clean bearings.. it's not even hard. They existed for -years- before unresponsive play came into fashion. It simply requires a gap that isn't massive (not small, just not huge) and a somewhat agressive response system. Also, adjustable gap was -invented- to adjust tug response.. that was its only purpose for a long time (about 10 years or so).
When you tug a yo-yo, yes.. the effect of gravity is reduced and the outer race is allowed to push the string up around itself.. but this only acts to engage the response system which does the rest of the work, and it doesn't have to do much. You are essentially creating a loop very much like a bind for the response to grab onto, just without the stupid hand movements and multiple layers of string.
KyleYou can argue with me, but you'll still be wrong.
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02-10-2012 07:36 AM
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Just answered all my questions on the subject lol
02-10-2012 04:58 PM
What Cornual meant to say was,
At least 15% of what I say is true.
Finger Lakes Yoyo Club in Ithaca, NY - PM me for details.
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