Great RC Car or Truck Handling Starts With the Right Tires

Great RC Car or Truck Handling Starts With the Right Tires

If you had to pick which component of a RC car or truck has the biggest impact on its handling, what would you pick? Most RC enthusiasts agree that a vehicle's tires have the biggest impact on how it handles. Regardless of whether the tires are made from rubber or foam, learning more about how weight is transferred from side to side and front to rear, as well as the ins and outs of each RC tire type, can help you take your RC performance to the next level. Winks Hobbies, Ithaca hobby shop looks at the state of RC tires. rc hobby tires, ithaca hobby shop

Rubber Tires 101

The wheel, insert and tire are the three components of rubber tires. These RC tires are generally classified by their temperature range. In just about every case, the higher a rubber tire's rating, the more firm it is. When it comes to choosing which compound is the best fit for your needs, you need to take both the temperature and track conditions into consideration.


The way that weight transfer works is the softer the tire, the more it transfers. That in turn increases traction. However, if you don't choose the right tire for the specific conditions, it can result in too much weight being transferred. The outcome of that scenario is it will likely cause handling problems like an unsettled suspension or even the tires coming off the ground.

A common question RC car owners have is whether they should start with tires or suspension components. In general, it's best to start by finding the right set of tires. From there, work on suspension components can be done to finely tune a vehicle for specific race conditions.

Another question we get on a regular basis is what can be done about tires that are overheating. If you're experiencing this problem, the first potential solution is you need to get a different set of tires for where you're racing. If you have the right type of tires, then the second solution is you need to adjust your suspension because it's more than likely too hard.Winks Hobbies, Ithaca Hobby Shop, RC Tires

It's also worth noting that consistent tire care really does have a big impact on performance. When you clean rubber tires, be sure to use something along the lines of Simple Green or WD-40. That type of cleaner will ensure that the rubber compounds aren't harmed.

The Most Important Thing to Know About Foam Tires

While most of the same concepts apply to foam tires, the main thing to be aware of is that wear on these tires is shown in a different way. The most common sign of wear is coning. If you're experiencing this issue and feel like you're going through tires quite quickly, it likely means there's an underlying caster/camber problem you need to address.

If you have any other questions about RC tires or just want to chat with people who are as interested in this topic as you, give Winks Hobbies a call at (607) 277-7775 or just stop by our store in Ithaca, NY!