One Drop Rally
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
July 10, 2013
In the world of yo-yos there seems to be three distinct classes of yo-yo: woods, plastics, and metals. Wood yo-yos are beautiful but are seen as “old school” or “classic” and are a nostalgia piece for some. On the other end of the spectrum you have metals, seen as the highest end of yo-yo manufacturing. These are the yo-yos that competition players throw and there for must be what you need in order to win competitions… not necessarily true but we have all met the kids starting out who think this. Stuck in the middle is the trusty plastic yo-yo. These can be seen as a classic, think Duncan Butterfly or even the Free Hand. More times than not they are considered beginner level. Don’t believe me? Go to your popular forum of choice and ask for “a beginner yo-yo for a young child” and see what is suggested. I bet most of them are plastics. While there is nothing wrong with this thinking, some love the feel of a plastic throw. Many companies have worked hard to make more “high performance” plastics due to the demand from plastic loving players. Most of these higher end plastics are machined out of acrylic or Delrin with companies like 3Yo3 and Crucial leading the pack. These tend to be priced similar to metals due to the machining cost and trickiness that comes with working with the materials. Then there is the other camp that is making molded plastics with weight rings or, in the case of the upcoming CLYW plastic, using a glass infused polycarbonate to achieve the desired performance. Weight rings are nothing new, Buzz-On and YoYoJam have been using them for years with their various designs, so have modders who have been machining rings that snap in where the caps are on a Duncan FHZ. Molded plastics are cheaper due to produce but tend to have a little vibe due to the molding process, which can have a slight pooling of material on one side of the yo-yo or the other. All that being said, One Drop has decided to enter the plastic market with a molded model with weight rings called the Rally. I am curious to see how a company known for ultra-strict tolerances and in house machining of all the parts will compensate for having to hand control to a third party molding company.
• Diameter: 58 mm
• Width: 43 mm
• Gap: 4.2 mm
• Weight: 67 grams
• Response: Flow Groove
• Bearing: One Drop 8 Ball Bearing
One thing you will immediately notice when you pull the Rally from its race themed box is the color. It is a shade of green that I have never seen on a metal, that is one plus of plastic yo-yos, there are just some colors you can only get using molded polycarbonate. The bright, mint chocolate chip green used contrasts nicely with the jet-black aluminum hubs and weight rings.
The shape of the Rally is based off of One Drop’s wide rim, V-Shaped CODE2 design. While the basic shape is there it is way more than just a plastic CODE2. The width is smaller than the CODE2 while the diameter is larger and the projection grooves are gone, leaving a smooth catch zone with only a slight step out before entering the gap. The cup of the Rally shows the large aluminum weight rings and the black aluminum hub spike with the One Drop logo laser etched on it. The cup retains the shiny, almost polished look that it came with from the east coast molding company that One Drop employs. The outer walls all the way down to the gap have had an extra machine pass in the One Drop shop that smoothed any rough spots and gives the Rally a velvety smooth grinding surface. The Rally is quite comfortable in the hand. There are no sharp edges to cause comfort during play. Only those with petite hands may find an issue with its large frame.
The Rally tips the scales at 67 grams, which would normally be at the top end of the weight range that I enjoy but it is hardly a sloth on the string. It plays precise and stable and can be pushed to breakneck speeds if need be but feels equally comfortable in a chilled out play session.
Response and Bearing
The response and bearing seat are machined out of 7075 aluminum along with the bearing post hubs. Each part is press fit into the yo-yo shell and is not user replaceable. One Drop stuck with their long lasting Flow Groove pads but changed things up by using their budget 8-Ball bearing, the same bearing they used in the Caferacer. Now before you dive for your pitchforks, budget is not a profane word in the yo-yo industry. The One Drop 8-Ball plays just as smooth as its older 10-Ball brother. In fact, the only difference is that the 8-Ball is slightly louder. I would say the best way to sum up the One Drop 8-Ball is that it is equal to the 8-ball AIGR bearing used in all General-Yo products. Not bad considering that the AIGR is my alternate “go to” bearing.
The first throw of a new yo-yo is always a little bit stressful… at least for me it is. Here is this new yo-yo that I have been eagerly waiting to get my hands on, and the first throw is going to set the tone for the entire experience. With the Rally I went in with a set of expectaions based on other molded plastics with metal weight rings that I have thrown, like the Element-X, Northstar, and too many YoYoJams to name. This plays nothing like them. The Rally is smooth, as in dead “don’t know it is spinning” smooth. I usually do not gush over the smoothness of a throw, a little vibe adds character and has never bothered me. The Rally’s character comes from the total absence of vibe, something I have never experienced with a molded plastic yo-yo. The weight rings add the heft needed to give the Rally impressive spin times during extended play sessions. That spin is going to come in handy, especially when attempting to learn tricks like the Grind to Cross Arm GT that Jacob Gross posted on High Speed. The surface of the Rally grinds about as well as any blasted metal I have used and the power from the rims kept it from spinning out on my finger while I got my arms crossed and into position for the drop into the GT. As for the rest of the play, it is all there; suicides, whips, slack tricks, whatever you want to throw at the Rally it will handle it. Just about the only change I would make is to sharpen up those spikes a little for matador play, but that is such a small issue it is almost not even worth mentioning.
I have to admit, I was NOT expecting the experience I got from the Rally. This is one heck of a yo-yo. Notice, I did not say one heck of a “plastic” yo-yo. This holds its own against some of the best metals in the industry and while retailing for $45, considerably less than half the price of its metal brethren. One Drop set out to prove they could make an entirely American made, high performance plastic, and they succeeded. I am not sure what voodoo they employed to get this level of performance but they have set the bar high. Again, I hate to gush but honestly this has become the standard for plastics. We have all heard “Oxy Smooth” and “Torrent Smooth” when comparing metal throws, get ready to hear “Rally Smooth” when comparing plastics.