Your radio-controlled car gives you hours of fun, and maybe some good race wins, but of all the parts in it, the tires are among the most important. Finding the best rc car tires for you and your RC car is essential.
My picks for the 10 best RC car tires are:
- Duratrax Six-Pack MT 2.8″ Tires (Best Overall)
- Pro-Line Racing Fugitive (Best Buggy Tire)
- Schumacher Racing Cactus (Best Budget Tire)
- Pro-Line Racing Electron 2.2 Mc Off-Road Buggy Rear Tires
- J Concepts Fling King Tire
- Injora Rock Crawler Tires
- Mxfans On-Road Racing Tires
- Pro-Line Racing Hole Shot Tires
- Axial BFGoodrich Krawler
In this article, I’ll look at the Duratrax tires and some other high-quality options to explore as you trick out your RC car. The right tire goes a long way to making your car exactly what you want it to be, but if you’re having trouble figuring what you need, the following list should be a lot of help.
|Click to Edit||Image||Title||Buy|
|BEST FOR OFF-ROAD||Duratrax Six-Pack MT 2.8" 2WD Mounted 1/2" Offset Tires, Black (2), DTXC3522||Check price|
|BEST FOR RACING||Pro-line Racing Fugitive 2.2" M3 Buggy Rear Tires (2), PRO828502||Check price|
|BEST ON BUDGET||Schumacher Racing U6838 Cactus 1/10 - Rear - Yellow - pr||Check price|
Factors to Consider When Choosing RC Car Tires
Before we dive into my top ten tires, let’s discuss the critical variables within your decision. The right tire for you might be entirely wrong for the next person who drives the same vehicle but does so on different surfaces. I kept this in mind when considering which tires would make my ten best list. Specifically, I thought about four elements:
- Driving style
These will be the most important things to consider in tire evaluations for nearly every RC driver. I’ll address these subjects in the rankings below, at which point you’ll be able to determine what you need for your RC car, truck, or buggy.
RC Tire Tread
There are tires with no tread, called slicks, for use on a hard, smooth, clean race track. But if you’re driving your RC truck through the woods, over rocks, and in and out of water, a no-tread tire will be less than worthless.
Similarly, big, knobby tires will cost you time in a race, as they live to bite into the surface, not speed your car down a straightaway.
While there are so-called all-purpose or all-terrain tires, the more serious RC drivers tend to have sets of tires specific to the different surfaces they run on. Bear in mind, too, that there are many varying race track surfaces, too, so there’s not one tread pattern for all racers.
Racing vs Bashing: What’s Your Style?
RC drivers who bash are the ones who take the RC vehicles out into the wild. They need knobbier tires to grip wet rocks, soil, gravel, and grass, and there are varying degrees of knobs, from big, fat ones to the smaller ones called pins.
More in this post: What is RC Bashing?
Racers drive on a track– clay, dirt, grass, asphalt– and generally want a smoother tire. However, a slick tire is inappropriate for gravel or other looser surfaces that make up a lot of racetracks– not every track has a NASCAR-grade surface for your RC car to scream down.
All-terrain tires can perform in both roles, but specialized tire treads will outperform them every time. If you fall on the more serious side of RC cars, you probably want to avoid the generalized all-terrain product.
They aren’t bad tires at all. It’s just that an all-terrain tire, when pitted against a specialized tire on its intended racing surface, will not fare as well.
RC Car Scale
Your RC car is a scale model, meaning that a 1:12 model is scaled down so that one inch (2.54 cm) of the model is proportionally the same as one foot (0.30 m) of the full-size version. The most popular scales for RC cars are 1:8 and 1:10.
While most tire manufacturers offer their products for various scales, you still need to pay attention, so you don’t end up with the wrong thing.
This can be a huge factor in your decision. Some tires cost less than $20. Some nearly break the $100 mark. And sometimes, a set of these tires only contains two of them. Your budget will be as much a determining factor as anything else, so we wanted to rate tires across various price points.
Keep in mind that just thirty minutes of hard driving on a track can tear your tires up. You read that right: After half an hour you need replacements. That’s something to consider, price-wise, at the very least.
Best RC Car Tires
First of all, I’ve chosen four different tire sets as best in different situations. If you’re a seasoned RC-er, you may have your own opinions and prejudices, so please consider this list as a jumping-off point. You know what your car needs, and you know the performance you’re looking for from your car and its tires.
My goal was to provide a list that could help guide you toward choices that work for you, so you don’t have to start from scratch looking for the right gear for your car.
The first three choices are solid for most racers, while the remaining are made special for specific tracks, conditions, and the like.
There’s nothing outrageously expensive on this list and you may wish to obtain several sets of tires for one RC car so you can swap them out depending on when and where you’re driving. (Plus, it’s always great to have backup RC parts on hand.)
1. Duratrax Six-Pack MT 2.8″ Tires (Best Overall)
This tire gets our highest praise for a few reasons. Its tread pattern is a six-pack, making it ideal for a few different track types, whether it’s grass, pavement, or a loamier dirt track. Someone might have a sliver of an edge in lap times if they have specialized tires for one particular racing surface, but these Duratrax tires will travel well from track to track.
There are stickier tires out there that’ll grip the racing surface a little better, but these tires don’t balloon nearly as much as many comparable ones from other companies. That’s an excellent trade-off, especially for racing. You can find the Duratrax tires, along with the others listed below, on Amazon.com.
- Versatile without being all-terrain
- Excellent showing in many different off-road conditions; versatility is the key with these
- Big, fat tires
- Foam inserts included
- Six-spoke plastic rims work on a variety of vehicles and look great
- Packaged as a two-pack, meaning you’ll have to buy two sets
- Not as specialized as some RC drivers want
2. Pro-Line Racing Fugitive (Best Buggy Tire)
Some of us love any RC car, and as long as it drives, it’s cool. Others are interested only in certain types of vehicles. That’s why there are RC stock cars, trucks, monster trucks, buggies, even the occasional hovercraft (which, admittedly, doesn’t need tires). For buggy drivers and racers, the Fugitive is a terrific option.
The pins on this buggy tire are small. The idea is that this makes them more versatile, like the above tire we’ve seen already, specifically on concrete. One of the more abusive surfaces when it comes to tires, concrete can have you buying new tires more often than you’d like, but not so with the Fugitives.
The pin tread will grip the concrete enough to provide forward drive, but not so much as to leave pieces of itself on the ground behind it. That same tread allows for solid grabbing of a lot of off-road terrain. Again, a versatile tire that’s not as wide-ranging as an all-terrain tire is also a better overall choice than most all-terrain tires.
Designated as a rear set of tires for your RC buggy, Pro-Line touts the Fugitive as a tire that lasts. Of course, how you drive will affect the lifespan of any tire, but Pro-Line makes a selling point of having developed the Fugitive to be a durable, long-lasting product.
- Extremely durable materials and tire overall
- Versatility does not cut into the tire’s performance
- Also available in M compounds for lower-traction racing surfaces, meaning you can get the Fugitive in softer or harder versions
- Rear tires only– you’ll have to keep searching for that perfect set of front tires
- For buggies only and won’t work on your 1:10 Volkswagen Beetle
3. Schumacher Racing Cactus (Best Budget Tire)
Finding a tire specifically for your preferred racing surface is a good feeling. Carpet (or turf) racers will love Schumacher Racing’s Cactus, as it was made for that surface explicitly. Carpet racing uses a tread with densely packed pins.
The Cactus delivers with its tread pattern, allowing for excellent grip of the racing surface, which means better handling, especially on turns, without producing much grip roll.
While this is our budget tire choice, inexpensive does not equal cheap, at least not in this case.
PRO TIP: Cactus tire will serve you well for turf racing. Granted, if you never race on the carpet, this tire won’t do well for you if you try to crawl with it. But when used for its intended purpose, this is a terrific value.
- Available in three different compounds, meaning you have lots of choices for when and where you drive your car on versions of this tire
- Low cost, especially compared to other tires on this list
- Not a good choice for any other racing surface; if you’re going to be on a non-turf surface, this isn’t for you
We’re getting into less versatile tires now, starting with the Electron, designated for use on the rear of a buggy and intended for use on clay tracks. To be honest, it was difficult to choose between this and Pro-Lines similar Positrons, but those are better for harder clay tracks, while the Electrons are a little more versatile on more types of clay.
PRO TIP: This tire has square pins in its middle, which helps the Electron hold on to looser track surfaces. This means it’ll work on tightly packed or loose gravel paths, and loamier tracks won’t trouble this tire.
- Grip strength is unparalleled
- Good, stiff tire lends some extra handling control
- Hard to go wrong with any Pro-Line tire
- Premounted, so your rims are unusable with this tire
- Price– they’re under $50, but not by a lot
- Comes in a two-pack, so double that price tag
The Fling King is the big daddy of off-road tires. Designed to perform the same way their full-size counterparts do, the Fling Kings have big, deep treads that’ll leave marks in the dirt and mud, just like a life-size off-roading rig will.
The name comes from the fact that these beauties will fling dirt and mud out behind them as they tool along. When you see that stuff spraying behind your rig, you’ll know these tires are biting hard, giving you massive amounts of grip and traction. The Fling King looks impressive and performs to match.
- Aggressive treads will grip the loamiest, loosest surfaces you can find
- Look really cool on the car
- Look even cooler when spewing mud and dirt behind them
- Sold in pairs
- The Fling King’s compound may be too soft for some tastes
- Drivers will not get any kind of blinding speeds out of these tiresž
Injora makes a quality product for an affordable price. Are you going to find better tires out there? Yes, but not many of them will beat this price.
A solid off-road option, the Crawlers have proven themselves durable, which is saying something since they take a lot of abuse in the off-road uses for which they’re intended.
PRO TIP: They come mounted on a plastic rim and include a foam insert, though many RC off-roaders have their preferred inserts. This means you have to take the tires off, replace the foam, and re-mount. Doing so will then probably necessitate a tire balancing session to make sure they perform their best.
- Durable, meaning they’ll last longer
- Very affordable, making these a terrific value
- The wheel lock ring sometimes needs trimming to fit
- Not the fastest tires out there, but speed isn’t always a concern when you’re out crawling
Say goodbye to any durability issues you’ve had with plastic rims. Mxfans has built a rim out of an aluminum alloy, making for a light, durable rim to hold an on-road tire with just enough tread to grip the road, but subtle enough for the tire to act somewhat like a slick. The seven-spoke rims look terrific, too.
You get four tires for an amazing price, which seems to be getting rarer and rarer. Two-packs have become the norm, so consider this price point when you’re adding up potential budgets and costs. This Mxfans tire will be up just about every road racer’s alley for its price and its great look.
- Aluminum alloy rims, not plastic
- Foam insert included
- Although rims are included, the tires are not mounted, which means you will glue them yourself
- Lack of a substantial tread makes this less of an off-road option than others on this list
Pro-Line tires appear often on this list because the company makes a quality product. The Hole Shot is no exception. These off-road buggy tires are versatile– yet another entry here that approaches being an all-terrain item. Its best feature may be the excellent forward traction it offers, but its lateral grip doesn’t get sacrificed.
The Hole Shot’s treads consist of mini-pins allowing for good performance in various settings, although this is a tire that wears a little sooner than others. For off-road driving and bashing, the Hole Shot is a great choice.
NOTE: If you’re racing, you’ll presumably be a little harder on your tires, and that’s where the durability of the Hole Shot might become an issue.
- Tends to wear quickly
For rock-crawling, Axial has licensed a BFGoodrich tire that has won many of those kinds of championships. It’s a good, sticky tire that’ll take on the rockiest terrain and look terrific while it’s at it. They mount quickly and easily, and the included foam works fine, though there’s better foam out there.
This is a reasonable price compared to some other climbing tires, but the Krawler’s price tag may be slightly bigger than you’re used to if you’re new to the crawling game. Admittedly, you just might be paying a little bit for the BFGoodrich logo on the sidewalls, but that same logo makes for a terrific-looking tire. You’ll be happy with how your whole rig looks just by adding these to it.
- Very soft rubber helps with an excellent grip
- Big, knobby tires look impressive
- Licensed BFGoodrich product
- The included foam isn’t great; you may want to replace it
- Might be narrower than you’re used to
- Some drivers have reported occasional ballooning issues, though nothing drastic
Choose Replacement RC Tires Appropriate for Your Driving
When you buy your car off the shelf at the hobby store, you’ve presumably chosen the model that’s best for you, the one you really wanted. The chances are, though, that many of the car’s features may not be exactly what you want. And the more serious you are about RC driving, you may have more and more specific ideas about what works best for you, your car or truck, and the places you drive.
You may be replacing your stock tires because you know you don’t want them on there, or you might have driven those tires enough to degrade them. They’re not working as well as they used to because of normal wear-and-tear, maybe, and the only thing to do is replace them.
Without knowing what you’re doing, you could end up with the wrong tire or too much tire for what you need. So it’s important to read more reviews and articles like this to help you get started in your search for the perfect RC car tire for you.
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