RC vehicles are an easy way to get your kicks. Whether it’s planes, boats, trucks or buggies, these scaled-down versions of the real thing have all it takes to get you hooked in no time. And they come in different skill levels, so everyone can join the fun.
Entry-level kits have everything aspiring RC hobbyists need to get started. This includes a completely pre-assembled vehicle and all the electrics, radios, and batteries. Good for building skills and learning what each vehicle can do. Seasoned RC enthusiasts and anyone who knows the ins and outs of all the gear, though, prefer to build their own cars with custom parts. This means getting the performance you expect, just like in real vehicles.
Wheels and tires might not seem that important for newbies, but for serious RC racers, these can mean the difference between finishing first or not finishing at all. Tyres, in particular, determine the traction vehicles get on different surfaces, the top speeds they can reach, and how they manage different terrain. There are dozens of varying tread designs and sizes to suit different RC vehicles. And like the real thing, different compounds.
The Pro-Line Product Range
Most kits come with wheels and tyres included, but high-end competition models let you choose your own. This also means seasoned RC racers and hobbyists can fit vehicles with anything they need, and save some cash without going for subpar parts that aren’t up to the job. When choosing the right tyres, you’ll be looking at specialist RC parts brands. While there are dozens of players here, American Pro-Line stands head and shoulders above the rest. The company produces a wide selection of tyres to suit all RC car and truck categories, as well as matching wheels.
And the guys and gals at RC Proline have been churning out quality parts for the better part of four decades. Just enough time to earn them 12 IFMAR championships and hundreds of US and European regional titles. While they excel at producing premium tyres and tyre and wheel combos, they also make RC bodies for rock crawlers, monster trucks, short course and stadium trucks, as well as on-road, drag and touring cars, buggies, truggies and more. Delving deeper into the Pro-Line parts bin you’ll find suspension kits, chassis parts, gearing and specialist assembly and maintenance parts and tools. An extensive and well-featured product range to keep serious racers winning.
Which Pro-Line Tyres for My RC Vehicle?
Size, fit, tread patterns, and compounds are the main factors that determine the tyres you buy.
Size and Fit
The size of wheels and tyres depends on the size of your RC truck, car or buggy. This is in inches and refers to the inner diameters of the tyres and the outer diameters of the wheels. The two most common sizes are 2.2″ and 3.8″, roughly corresponding to vehicles in 1:10 and 1:8 scale, respectively. For instance, most 1/10 2WD and 4WD buggies and stadium trucks run 2.2-inch tyres, while bigger 1/8 buggies and trucks often have 3.8-inch tyres both back and front. Less common are 2.8″ tyres seen in some 1/10 scale monster trucks.
While tyres of the same diameter can fit the corresponding wheel, you’ll find bigger and smaller tyres depending on the height of the sidewalls. In addition, tyres of the same diameter can differ in width. Generally, buggy and on-road tyres are narrower than those found on trucks. To ensure what you’re buying fits, refer to your manual, or check specs on brand websites. Here you’ll also find info about wheels and wheel hubs if you’re buying these separately too.
Since we’re talking about different vehicles used on different surfaces and for different purposes, treads also vary greatly. Tyres with hundreds of evenly spaced microspikes, like Pro-Line’s Holeshot have decent overall grip and are seen in things like stadium trucks. Those with mini pins, like the Pinpoint or Prism tyres, are good for indoor surfaces like carpet and vinyl. The company’s range of slick treads in variants like the Reaction are good for drag racing and general pavement use. And units like the RC Proline Trencher tyres are good for deeper mud or rock crawling and come with full spikes that dig deep.
You’ll also see paddle and sand-specific tyres that maintain grip on looser surfaces. Here look for the Dumont Paddle and Sand Paw tyres. Of note is that some vehicles, like 2WD buggies, can have different treads at the front, and different treads at the back.
How tyres perform also depends on the compound, or how soft or hard they are. Soft tyres are good on most surfaces but work best on hard trails or packed tracks with little or some loose surface material. They deliver good grip and muster up decent speeds, but will wear out sooner. Tyres with medium compounds are better when roads and trails have more rubble and in mildly wet and slippery conditions. Hard compounds are used in terrain with a lot of mud or grass and on very wet surfaces. They’re not intended for speed but will last the longest and can endure harsh conditions.
When choosing tyres and complete tyre and wheel combos from top brands like Pro-Line, you’ll need to consider your vehicle, the wheel size and hub design, and where and how you’ll be using your RC car, truck or buggy. Pro-Line has specific tyres for a range of popular RC vehicles to make buying easier, as well as pre-mounted tyres and wheels that save some time in assembly. Hobbyists can find the complete selection of Pro-Line tyres, wheels, and all manner of RC parts and accessories in dedicated and well-stocked stores.