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What is the Difference Between On-Road and Off-Road RC Tires?

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Question: What is the Difference Between On-Road and Off-Road RC Tires?
RC tires are usually foam, rubber compound, or plastic. Each type of material has its own best uses for different surfaces. There are different degrees of durability and hardness or softness within each of those three general types.
Answer: RC tires may have treads similiar to the family car, knobby tires, or racing slicks. You'll probably want to choose tires for performance but looks can be important too. In general, the harder the surface, the softer the tire.

On-Road Tires

Treadless foam or plastic tires are usually on-road tires. Rubber compound tires may be more durable and longer-lasting on asphalt or concrete although they might not provide the best performance overall. Foam or medium compound tires work best on carpet. For asphalt or street racing, use foam tires or soft compound tires with a street tread.

RC drifting is usually a four wheel drive street car sport. RC drifting tires are commonly made of hard (and durable) plastic PVC or slightly softer ABS pipe. Some manufacturers produce compound tires specifically for drifting. Another way to make your own RC drifting tires is to cover foam tires with the plastic caps from a spray paint can or use electrical tape to cover the tread on rubber tires.

Off-Road Tires

For hard-packed dirt use medium to soft rubber compound tires. Shallow treads or a "bowtie" pin tread work on packed dirt and mixed on-road/off-road use. Ribbed tires on the front are often combined with other treads on the back. All-terrain tires that have a medium tread that works well on-road and off-road and can be used front or back.

For loose dirt, mud, and grass, knobbier hard compound tires with deep treads provide better grip and better performance. For these softer off-road conditions use the medium to hard rubber compound tires.

RC Tire Definitions

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