Those of you that read over my review of the MonkeyfingeR Tri-B may well remember that I was quite taken with the REvolution bearings that MonkeyfingeR ships stock with all of their throws. The combination of the ceramic balls with the out steel cage made these flats bearings some of the nicest I had yet tried. I like them so much that I stocked up on them shortly there after in order to run them in most of my collection.
Well, due to popular demand, MonkeyfingeR Design has now introduced the latest version of the REvolution bearing, dubbed the Tasmanian Tornado. This new bearing is now shipping with all yo-yos from MonkeyfingeR, which included the new Gelada 2.1 and 2Evil throws now in my possession. While the Tasmanian Tornado bearing still uses a steel cage and ceramic balls, it differs from the original REvolution in two important ways. First, the Tasmanian Tornado uses ten balls rather than the eight balls found in the original REvolution. Second, and perhaps more significantly, the Tasmanian Tornado is a centering bearing.
Oh, and a quick side note before we move on to the review. Like anything else with throwing, opinions are subjective. Just like one player loving a particular throw and another hating it, the same seems true about bearings. In every bearing discussion I have read, as there will be as many throwers that will vilify a particular bearing as those that will praise it. Just keep that in mind here, because my opinions are based on my experiences and your mileage may vary.
OK, onto the review of the Tasmanian Tornado bearing. Let me first give you the official stats before and then we can discuss how it plays.
The MonkeyfingeR REvolution: Tasmanian Tornado Bearing
- Size C
- Steel cage
- Ceramic ball elements x10
- “Double-V” centering surface
I have had the chance to try out the Tasmanian Tornado bearings quite a bit lately so since I received my Gelada 2.1 about five weeks ago. MonkeyfingeR Ray was also kind enough to send me a couple more of them for testing purposes which I have tried in some other yo-yos as well.
First off, let me explain the “Double-V” description of these bearings. I chatted with MonkeyfingeR Ray about this, and he informed me that this is the manufacturer’s description even though we both agreed that it is a bit misleading. Essentially, the shape of the Tasmanian Tornado is like your typical centering bearing, with a wide-V shape with a narrow flat center channel. This shape is decent for keeping the string away from the walls while still providing ample room for lateral string movement during wraps.
The Tasmanian Tornado ships from MonkeyfingeR pre-lubed with a tiny amount of their own Gorillius Lubricus lube (and when I say tiny, I mean not enough to make them responsive). From my testing so far I feel like they don’t play quite as smooth and quiet as the original REvolution bearings, which I think is mostly due to the design. You may have never considered or noticed this, but in order for centering bearings to work the ball elements need to be smaller than those in flat bearings assuming that the flats in question use the biggest ball elements possible (which seems to be the case for the REvolution flats). This is because in creating the center track the bottom of the centering surface must push down into the ball channel (raceway). Thus, smaller ball elements are needed to allow for this, and smaller balls need to spin faster to cover the same distance as larger balls (side note: I am pretty sure there is a joke in there somewhere). Check out the comparison shots of the two types of bearings below to see what I mean.
[Update: as someone pointed out below, the number of balls may also play a factor in determining the size. While this is probably true, I don’t believe it is the only factor. If you crack open a CBC Center Trac eight-ball bearing you will see that the balls are smaller to allow them to fit into the raceway channel, and so the number of balls clearly isn’t the only factor that limits size. Also, it is possible that flat bearings could use smaller balls and use a thicker floor and/or ceiling. In such cases the centering channel may simply change the thickness of the ceiling and floor and use the same ball size. There seems to be a few variations on possible bearing design. In the case of the MonkeyfingeR bearings, it appears that shrinking the ball elements was necessary in order to make room for the channel. I will ask MonkeyfingeR Ray for clarification on this.]
Of course that is pure speculation on my part because I am not a bearing engineer, although I am willing to bet it is a factor. In any case, I must be careful to not make this sound bleak because in reality the new Tasmanian Tornado bearings are really quite good. It is just that if you have been spoiled by the original REvolution bearings (as I have been) then it may take a little bit to adjust to the feel and sound of the new Tasmanian Tornado bearings. Not really a big deal, but keep it in mind.
On the flip side, another thing worth keeping in mind is that with the Tasmanian Tornado you are getting a hybrid ceramic bearing for less than $10 USD, which is quite a bit less than you will pay for other ceramic bearings out there. For that price you can pick up a couple of the Tasmanian Tornado for what you would pay for other retail high end bearings. And those that know me from the different throwing community sites will know that I am a big proponent of not spending much money on bearings. I simply don’t think it is worth it. This is even more true when you consider that you can get really good ceramic hybrids from MonkeyfingeR for a relatively low cost.
So if you are looking for a long spinning bearing or have wanted to tool around with a ceramic bearing of some kind without having to spend more than $10 bucks then MonkeyfingeR’s Tasmanian Tornado bearing is worth a look, especially if you like centering bearings.
As always, enjoy your throwing!