Understanding RC Car Tires & Wheels
RC Tires & Wheels
If you’re not sure what your model needs—or you’ve already got tires and wheels, but want something better suited to your driving style and terrain—then you have come to the right place. We’ll cover everything you need to know about RC tires and wheels.
Choosing the Right Off-Road RC Tires and Wheels
It only makes sense that your new RC car or truck would include wheels and tires, right? It’s tough to roll without them, and in the full-scale world, no one checks to make sure their new Chevy will arrive with wheels on it. But as is often the case, RC is a little different. Most radio control car and truck kits include wheels and tires, but many premium-performance and competition models do not. Why not? Because customers for these models prefer to choose their rubber rather than pay extra for included tires that may not be ideal for their track or terrain.
Choosing the Right On Road RC Car Tires and Wheels
The biggest category for on-road tires is 1/10 scale touring cars. Touring car wheel fitment is easy, as all brands use wheels with a 12mm hex. And because ROAR rules mandate a maximum width of 24mm and diameter of 50mm, any wheel sold for competition will have those specs. So, if you’re racing 1/10 touring car class, wheels are easy; if you’re not racing, you’ll have to consider wheel and tire width and wheel offset.
How to Mount RC Tires and Wheels
No matter how well your car or truck is dialed in or how perfectly you’ve matched your tire tread and compound to the track conditions, you’re not going to have any fun or win any races if the tires don’t stay on the wheels. Wheel-tire connection must withstand huge amounts of force as it powers your machine, especially when you combine a heavy, high-power brushless model with rough terrain. Here’s how to glue RC tires the right way. Plus we tell you how to mount RC beadlock tires.
Understanding RC Wheel Adjustments
Even the best-equipped RC car wearing tires perfectly matched to the terrain will handle poorly if the wheel and tire angles are too far off from the optimum settings. Just like full-size cars, radio control models with adjustable, independent suspension allow camber, toe-in, and caster to be precisely set to fine-tune handling. What exactly is RC wheel adjustment and how does it affect handling, you ask? Read this article to find out more about camber, caster and toe.
Additional RC Tire and Wheel Articles
Popular Pre-mounted Tire & Wheel Sets
- Schumacher Cactus 2.2" Rear Buggy Carpet Tires
- Pro-Line Trencher 2.8" Off-road Tires
- Sweep 12mm Hex "R" Series Touring Car Tires
- DuraTrax Deep Woods CR 2.2" Crawler Tires
- AKA Component 2AB 1/8 Buggy Tires
Radio Control Tire & Wheel FAQs
- What is wheel offset on an RC car? RC wheel offset is the distance in millimeters from the hub mounting surface to the centerline of the wheel.
- How to soften radio control tires? Although WD-40 is commonly used to soften tires we recommend Liquid Gravity Tire Softener.
- How do you measure an RC Tire? Using a digital caliper, measure in millimeters, the width of the tire from inside rim to rim and divide by 2.
- What is RC wheel hex size? RC hex size is determined by the size in millimeters of the hex located at the end of the axle shaft when the tires are removed.
- How do you make tires sticky or have more grip? If you are working with brand new tires, performance will improve once the tires have broken in. You can drive figure 8 patterns on concrete or pavement to wear the sharp edge off the tread and speed up the break in process. Or simply apply some traction compound.
Top RC Tire & Wheel Categories
Short Course Tires and Wheels
For short course vehicles, make sure to get a 2.2" by 3.8" inch tire to ensure it fits on your short course wheel. Short Course (SC) wheels have a 3.0 inch inner bead, and a 2.2 inch outer bead with a 12mm hex.* The last thing to keep in mind on short course tires is the wheel's offset—there are a wide variety of offsets. They range from .8 to 11mm wide. The offset on the wheel is how far your hub insert sits from the outside of the wheel. Most wheel manufacturers do an excellent job of identifying what models their SC wheels fit. So be sure to check to make certain the wheels you select fit your vehicle.
RC Buggy Wheels and Tires
These wheels and tires are considered 2.2" tires. That means these buggy tires have an inner diameter of 2.2 inches. As for the tires that fit the wheels, that's easy. All 1/10 RC buggy tires fit on 2.2 inch wheels. Like SC tires, radio control rear buggy tires mount using 12mm hex. If you have a 4WD 1/10 scale buggy, the front tires will be a little wider than a 2WD front tire.
1/10 Stadium Truck Tires
RC stadium trucks also use 2.2" diameter wheels and tires. The mounting for these tires is the same as buggy 2.2 inch tires. However, truck tires have a much bigger sidewall than a buggy 2.2" tire.
1/8 Buggy Wheels and Tires
These are the easiest to match of any of the tires listed here. There really isn't a fitment issue. Simply buy a tire, buy and wheel and glue them up. Both front and rear wheels have a 17mm hex.
1/8 Truck and Truggy Tires and Wheels
Newer one-eighth scale RC truck and truggy wheels have a 17mm hex with a zero offset. Some older trucks may have a .5 offset, but those wheels would be hard to find. Fitment can be difficult with this truck class. The best thing is to match the wheel brand to the tire brand. In other words, the AKA Evo wheels will fit the AKA Evo tires, JConcepts wheels fit JConcept tires, Pro-Line wheels fit Pro-Line tires, etc.
Now you know the basics of the size of tires and wheels and fitment. You should be able to get exactly what you need for your off-road radio control vehicle.