View Full Version : The case for slick tires

2010.01.04, 12:08 PM
In my short experience with Mini-Z I tried a number of tires. Mostly Radials, because that is what most people were running. Essentially I found that radials work really nicely for about 2 hours of driving, but then fall off quickly. I started messing with PN slicks and really liked them. I think they had slightly less traction than radials, but they were so consistent and lasted so long that I wasn't going back.

Then I tried Kyosho 20 slick rears and they are simply awesome. They must be glued down well or they will fold over causing traction roll problems. In my experience their traction level has remained constant right down to the point where I'm worried that the spur gear is going to hit the track. This is easily 10-12 hours of actual track time, probably more. During that whole time I think the traction level is very close to many very new radials. So, I love slicks for these reasons:

1) They are consistent. Since you don't have to worry about tread wearing down the tire will feel about the same at the end of the day as at the start. The only consistency concern is that as the tire wears the diameter decreases, essentially lowering your chassis. Fortunately this takes a considerable amount of time, but when going from well worn to new tires, it is a big jump. This consistency is important for a 'new' driver like me because I'm concerned with having the car working properly. With K20's I don't feel like I am chasing my setup; the car just works.

2) They are cost effective. They last a long time, enough said. However, since you must glue them down you might have to toss your wheels when you change them, I still think they last 3-4 times longer than radials, so it is still more cost effective. The PN slicks are a little stiffer, and I don't think require gluing, but IMHO are not as competitive as the K20's.

3) They require less fooling around with. I used to have to use WD40 etc, to get my tires to have traction. Not only is that a pain, it reduces consistency.

4) They let me focus on driving; mostly for reasons 1 and 3. Since I don't have to worry about my tire setup I can focus on driving the car.

Now, I've never seen one of the top drivers at my tracks run slick rears. They either run ATM 8 Radials, or K20 Radials. I'm sure some run PN's, but I don't know anyone personally. I've also heard that K20Radials use a grippier rubber than K20S, I can't confirm yet.

So these are my thoughts on slick tires. I think they are a must for the decent, but not quite competitive driver. To get the absolute lowest times, I guess you need the grip from radials. I can't really comment on that because I'm not at that level, but I think slicks can really benefit a driver who is still learning to drive.


2010.01.04, 01:56 PM
Given the fact that rads become slicks sooner than later and cost the same, you might as well get them and wear them down. Grip advantage in the beginning and still very usable sticks towards the middle of their life span.

2010.01.04, 02:03 PM
The slicks are great. My choice lately is Reflex SSG's or K20's in the rear and K30's in the front. Seems to work very well...


Davey G
2010.01.13, 04:29 PM
I find it very ironic that MINI Z racing is the ONLY form of onroad RC car racing that uses treaded tires. Off the top of my head here are the forms of RC Car racing that use slick tires:

touring foam carpet (4wd)
touring rubber carpet (4wd)
touring rubber asphalt (4wd)
1/12th scale asphalt (2wd)
1/12th scale carpet (2wd)

2010.01.13, 04:47 PM
On many occasions I have used treaded tires on carpet and asphalt, maybe it was from my dirt days in 10th scale but quite a few of us used to pattern our tires to get the handling right. If we couldn't get the right handle on sure and springs and anything else, we grooved patterns. Thinking about it I even cut a few 10th scale gas 2wd tires to get the thing to rotate right and most nights I ran a sprint car on a dirt oval I used foam slicks with grooves. I don't know what is going on today in that scale but I do know the tires are way better and I think Mini-z tires today are incredible. So many options.

2010.01.13, 06:52 PM
I agree, slicks all the way! I too never went back once I discovered k20s. I don't even glue them on. They are just perfect!

2010.01.14, 09:23 AM
I decided to try some PN 20deg slicks for the front and PN 8deg slicks for the rear on my AWD and man that thing is great, fits my driving style perfect! Now I can wear the tires down 'till the chassis scrapes the ground :D

Action B
2010.01.14, 10:07 AM
I choose treads.

With treads you can see tire wear. This is very valuable information. You can adjust camber depending on the tire wear on any particular track. Personally I don't think the treads make much or any of a handling difference. I never notice the difference when the tread comes off.