Replacing your RC tires can be surprisingly expensive depending on the model RC you have. When it comes to competitive racing, the prices increase drastically as tire manufacturers go through every measure to ensure the tires are perfectly optimized to give you the best performance to win the race.
Why Are RC Tires So Expensive?
RC tires are expensive because of supply and demand. There aren’t many RC tire manufacturers and therefore the supply is low. The demand is very high compared to the supply as everyone with an RC car will need to replace the tires after some time.
High-performance tires are very pricey because they’re optimized to be the best sparing no expense. They use the best compounds available for grip and traction which isn’t cheap. Whenever you buy anything that is used to compete against others, it will have a bigger price tag because the manufacturers go through the extra effort to produce the best possible product for you to win. Competitive racers will pay four times more for exquisite performance tires if it means winning the competition. Even if the tires only last for the day of the event.
How Long Do RC Tires Last?
Your RC tires can last anywhere from 3 to 12 months depending on the type of tire, the terrain you’re driving on, and many other factors like the style of driving that you adopt. Wet or hot weather will also affect how long your RC tires last.
Type of tire:
High-performance tires with lots of traction will wear down quicker as the tire rubs off on the track. Highly competitive RC racers will sacrifice long-lasting tires for tires that perform well for a short amount of time.
If you’re spinning, drifting, and doing doughnuts with your RC, the tires aren’t going to last long with all the friction you produce. If you want to drive in this way, you should purchase special tires with low grip and hard compounds. Drifting tires obviously won’t perform well in speed races and will affect your acceleration, braking, and cornering. They’re perfect drifting races or just for spinning and sliding around for fun.
Hot or wet weather can make your tires wear down faster as the heat makes the rubber softer and wet weather will cause your tires to slide on the surface you’re driving on creating more friction.
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The wrong type of tires:
If you’re using offroad tires on the pavement, they aren’t going to last long. The tread on your offroad tires is designed for less abrasive surfaces like sand and grass. The tread digs into surfaces like sand, gravel, and grass. When they’re used on pavement, only the tread makes contact with the rough surface and it wears down in no time.
You also shouldn’t use slick tires offroad as they will be damaged by hard debris like stones.
Paved RC racecourses are very grippy so that you can take corners at higher speeds and accelerate faster. This amount of grip that the course provides you with also wears your tires down very quickly. A hardcore 30-minute session on a paved track can destroy a fresh pair of tires. Just like with full-scale race cars, RC tires need to be replaced very often if you racing with them.
How To Make Your RC Tires Last Longer
Here’s some basic advice on how to make your RC tires last longer.
Keep different tires for different terrains:
If you plan to drive on both pavement and dirt, keep both types of tires on hand and use the appropriate set depending on the terrain you plan to drive on. Use offroad tires for the dirt and track tires for the pavement.
If you plan on drifting and doing doughnuts, get drifting tires with harder materials designed to slip on surfaces. Not only will you be able to perform better while spinning around, but these types of hard tires will also last a lot longer than soft tires.
Change your driving style:
If you don’t want to replace your tires regularly, you’ll have to change your driving style a bit. When you’re just having fun bashing around with your RC, try not to spin the tires, the less sliding around on surfaces the tires do the longer they’ll last.
How To Remove Old RC Tires
If you’re trying to figure out why RC tires are so expensive, you most likely need to change your current tires. Let’s go through some of the most popular ways of removing your old tires and fitting the new ones to your RC. Replacing the whole wheel is easy enough as all you need to do is unscrew the wheel from the axle and screw the new ones on. When it comes to replacing the tire only, here are the most popular methods and what I think of them.
Related post: 6 Ways to Remove RC Tires From Rims
Oven heating the tires:
With this technique, you must preheat your oven to 300 – 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then switch the oven off and place all the tires on a baking tray and leave it in the oven for around 10 minutes. Remove the tires with oven gloves and put them on a big cloth. Remove the tires from the wheels using the cloth so that you don’t burn your hands.
This method works well and heating up all the wheels at the same time makes things go quicker.
Boiling the tires:
Put water into a pot along with as many tires you can fit inside. Heat the water up to boiling point and let it boil for about 5 minutes before removing the tires from the pot. Use something like cooking tongs to carefully remove the hot tires from the boiling water. Once again you should place the tires onto a thick cloth so that you can use it to pull the rubber off without burning yourself.
I don’t recommend this technique because water gets into the foam and it’s going to squish out and potentially burn you while you trying to remove the tires.
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Heat the tires with a hairdryer:
Use a hair dryer or heat gun to heat the tires up a bit. I prefer a hairdryer as the heat isn’t too aggressive which gives time for it to spread around inside the wheel. About 5 minutes of heating should do the trick. Use a thick cloth or towel to pull the tires off the wheels.
This method works alright but you have to heat up one tire at a time so give yourself extra time for all four tires.
Soaking tires in acetone:
This method involves soaking the tires in acetone for 24 to 48 hours before removing the tires from the wheels. It works sufficiently but I don’t recommend it as it takes too much time to carry out and it’s a more expensive technique compared to the others.
Glue The New Tires On
Once you’ve removed the tires using your preferred method, push the new tires onto the rims and slowly apply the super glue all around the inside where the tire and rim meet. Let it dry for 30 to 60 minutes and you should be good to go.