Tires can take a real pounding when we are racing our RC vehicles. There are loads of factors that can have an impact on how long RC tires can last. We all know a good set of RC tires can be expensive so I’ve looked into the many ways we can help maintain them so we can get as much use out of them as possible.
RC tires will last just 2 or 3 of goes on tarmac when drifting. For off-road, the quality and compound of the tire can be a factor, some tires can be completely bald after around 6 hours on an indoor track. The kind of terrain, temperature, setup of your RC car and how often and how abruptly the brake is used can have an impact on RC tires. It helps to choose the correct tires for different racing conditions.
So if you’re finding that your tires aren’t lasting very long when using your RC car, read on because we are going to delve deeper and look at the ways to choose the correct tires for the right terrain and look at ways to make them last longer.
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The Lifespan of an RC Tire.
Its so hard to determine the lifespan of an RC tire so here I will give some examples and some things to consider if you want to get the best out of your RC tires.
- You might use a whole set of tires on a specific track but if you change the set up of your car, consider the temperature and conditions for that track it will help you choose the best-suited tires for that track. You can choose rubber tires to suit certain temperatures.
- What you do after a race can benefit you long term, cleaning your tires and storing them correctly can be a big help in maintaining them.
- Consider the type of tire and surface when drifting.
- Consider the compound of the tire and the surface when offroading.
- Think about re-trueing you’re tires.
Tips to Help Tires last Longer when Racing your RC Car or Truck.
All race tracks vary so its best to ask people at your local track what tires they are using and you could find some valuable information on what’s ideal for that track.
You could use a whole set of tires in just one race but if you speak to other racers they may recommend a different tire or what kind of set up to use that could help them last much longer.
Clean your tires after each race. One way is wetting the tires and rubbing something like a gel hand soap around the tires and cleaning them with a brush and then rinse off the excess soap and dry with a towel. Once nice and dry, spray tires with WD40 and use a brush, rubbing in different directions, this will help keep the tires soft and help prevent dry rotting. This method is good if you have an old set of tires and want to help keep them soft.
Some off-roaders use a concentrated cleaning solution called Simple Green, this is similar to the WD40 method as explained above.
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Store tires after each race. Store tires in a plastic container. Choose one with a lid that has a good seal and get a container that’s an appropriate size depending on how many tires you own, this will help maintain them and that way you can keep them tidy in one place.
Another way to store your tires is to place your set of four wheels on a zip tie, or a zipstick and use a clip to fasten them on. This way its easy to store them on a race day and lets say you place them on a table and they get knocked over you can easily pick them up without having to search for your tires that have rolled off in different directions.
Some tire manufacturers sell zip bags and these are great for storing tires, you can even label the bag with the date you first used the tires, how many times you have used them etc. You could also use any zip bag from your general store.By doing this it will keep the tires fresh and help prevent them from drying up.
If you don’t remove your tires after each race then at least store your car where the tires are off the surface, this could flatspot them and damage them.
Another trick to help the tread last longer on your tires, regardless of the type of tire you are using, is to label each tyre when you take them on and off so every time you put them back on, they go on the same way.
By doing this the tread will only wear more on one side of the tire because the tread will always be in the same direction. If you don’t do this and put the tires on the opposite way then the tread would wear on the other side of the wheel causing them to bald more quickly.
You can also rotate the rear and front tires to help them last longer, only left back with left front or right back with right front, never diagonally rotate them.
Choosing the Correct Tires for Drifting.
Tires can last several months depending on how often you drift but you must consider the type of surface you drive on.
Here are some examples;
- Yokomo rings are good on smooth slick surfaces
- ABS or Raikou S45 or D68 are good for asphalt or concrete.
- HPI T drifts are good for beginners.
- Tamiya driftechs are good on most surfaces.
How to make Drift Tires Last Longer.
Tires can get debris stuck in them after each time we drift so a simple trick is to remove the tires from the car and place a tire in your hand and rub the tire into a carpet, rotate the tire and repeat until all four wheels are done. This will remove the majority of the bits of concrete that got stuck in the tires.
The process will take around thirty minutes but its well worth doing, your tires should turn out nice and smooth.
Wrap ducktape around each tire when drifting, this will help prevent the tread of the tire from wear and tear.
How Temperature can have an Effect on the Lifespan of Rubber Tires.
Rubber tires usually come classed with a number rating, in most cases the higher the number the firmer the tire is.
Here are some examples;
- Sorex 28 (68F-84F)
- Sorex 32 (81F-96F)
- Sorex 36 (96F-151F)
Selecting the right tire based on temperature and track conditions will help produce the best traction when racing.
Once you have selected the correct tires you can then adjust the setup of your car so it’s finely tuned for that specific track.
If you find your tires are overheating it’s usually down to using the wrong tires or the set up of your car isn’t right.
How Long do RC Foam Tires last?
Again it all depends on the type of surface we are racing with foam tires. You will probably get plenty of runs on a well-groomed track but you might only get a couple of runs on rough concrete like a parking lot.
To get the best out of foam tires you need to check their shore rating, the higher the number the firmer the tires so take this into consideration when racing on a specific track.
Here are some examples;
- Xceed RC Enneti 1/8 on road rear tires (37 shore)
- Contact 1/10 Electric Sedan tires (42 shore)
If you are going through tires very quickly its probably down to the setup of your car.
If the tires are coning, you can retrue the tire to an even thickness across the surface of the tire.
Tire trueing is the process of using an electronic device that shaves some of the rubber off your tires to make them as even and round as possible.
Most people will use a different shore rated tire for the front wheels compared to the rear, normally with the harder tire being at the front. Normally only a difference of 5 shore between front and rear.