Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
April 24, 2016
iYoYo is a well known company to many, but one that I am just now getting around to trying for myself. The company was started by EYYC Champion and German yoyo store owner Dave Geigle. They have been carried in the US by YoYoExpert for close to a year now and, from what I have read in the YYE forums, they have been well received by the community thanks to their competitive price points and fun designs. Honestly, I did not notice the company until they released the stunning TiGER, a titanium collaboration between Geigle’s company and his long time friend Frank Orben’s company, ILYY. After stumbling across that, I began to look into the rest of the company’s products and working on bringing some in for review. I was able to get access to three iYoYo designs and have decided to start it all off with a review of their latest bimetal, the FiRROX.
• Diameter: 56.57 mm
• Width: 43.79 mm
• Gap: 4.6 mm
• Weight: 65.3 grams
• Response: 19 mm Slim Pads
• Bearing: String Centering C-Size Bearing
The FiRROX is a collaboration of sorts between iYoYo and US design student Ze’ev Yehuda, who worked with iYoYo on there latest mono-metal, the HiDRA, a yo-yo I will be reviewing later on. The FiRROX design is one that I would put firmly in the extreme H-Shape category. The large, steel wrapped rims end at an extremely steep aluminum walled catch zone that drops almost straight down towards the exaggerated step out from the gap. The steel rims on the FiRROX are well implemented and do a great job of hiding the seam between the two metals. The cup of the FiRROX mimics the curves of the profile with a steep curve from the outer rim down to the step in, hub less, flat floor. I can see the floor, with its wall around it, being excellent for finger spins. The coating is a mixture of blasted finish in the catch zone and slightly polished in the cup with highly polished stainless steel rims. The blasted finish feels great in the hands as allows for impressive grinds. I almost wish the steel rings were tucked into the cup so that iYoYo could have continued the blast all the way to the profile’s outer edge. The overall design is quite comfortable with enough organic flourish to keep the large rims from stinging as this full sized yo-yo returns to your hand.
The FiRROX feels light and nimble on the string with impressive spin times. Thanks to the design, there is little in the way of center weight on this yo-yo. Everything has been pushed to the absolute outer edge. The weight placement makes it so this yo-yo can easily be played horizontally and vertically… and it loves to gyro flop.
Response and Bearing
The bearing used is a string centering bearing similar to YYF’s offerings. It does a decent job but I just do not care for them. I have said in the past that they bunch the string wraps in a less than ideal way, but that isn’t my only issue with them. They also can cause slippy binds because they are designed to keep the string away from the walls. Overall, I personally think they are more of a problem than a help… but that is just my own opinion and therefor not something that I will hold against this yo-yo.
The response is a standard, white silicone 19mm pad that does a great job of giving perfect binds while staying rock solid after quite a bit of play.
The FiRROX is zippy and light on the string, deceptively so. You would expect something with this feel to give adequate, but not great, spin times. I found myself underestimating when I needed to bring it back to the hand for another throw or when I needed to perform a regen, most of the time having it come back when it still had a great deal of power left in its spin… making me thankful for those nicely rounded rims. I was correct above, the FiRROX is a pleasure to throw vertically and horizontally. I was able to pull off a limited amount of tricks including some decent finger spins thanks that cup design. Grinds are excellent for anything that allows the yo-yo’s catch zone to come into contact with your skin, which limits you to finger grinds. Palm and arm grinds take a hit due to those highly polished rims and there is no IGR to speak of for thumb grinds. I would call it a wash since it makes up for its lack of thumb grinds by increasing the finger spin ability of this yo-yo. At the end of the day, the play impressed me quite a bit. It plays like a feather weight on the string while giving the spin times and stability of a much heavier design.
iYoYo has impressed me quite a bit with the FiRROX. I am looking forward to writing the reviews for the Steel and the HiDRA in the near future. With the FiRROX debuting at $100, it is iYoYo’s a most expensive bi-metal and quite a bargain considering other bi-metals are giving similar performance at a much higher price point, even though they are also being machined in China to keep the price down. If you are looking for a great performing bi-metal, I would honestly recommend skipping some of the more well known brands and picking up this one instead.