Newcomers in the RC car hobby get concerned with loads of different things. And when it comes to tires, they get absolutely bonkers!
This century-old debate between foam and rubber tires seems to be never-ending.
But you can actually draw a conclusion between them.
So, what are the differences between RC foam tires vs rubber?
Between RC foam and rubber tires, foam tires are generally lighter. Whereas rubber tires have some heft to them which makes them heavier. However, rubber tires tend to be more durable than their lightweight counterparts. Along with these, RC foam tires tend to be more expensive than rubber tires.
Now, you must be feeling curious about the other features too. Don’t worry as I’ll unravel every difference thoroughly.
So, let’s get started with the main discussion!
Quick Comparison: RC Foam vs Rubber Tires
Let me tell you this as straight as possible. You won’t always be satisfied with just one type of tire. Depending on your need, you’ll need to change the tires accordingly.
With that out of the way, let’s look at this brief comparative table-
|Characteristics||RC Foam Tires||Rubber Tires|
|Weight for 4 Pcs (Avg)||600g or 21.16 oz||500g or 17.63 oz|
|Durability||Less durable||More durable|
|Track Compatibility||Better for indoor tracks||Performs well in most tracks|
|Grip||Better grip||A bit loose grip|
|Price (Avg)||Starts from $15||Starts from $9|
This table is just the gateway to understanding the differences briefly. But there is a bit more understanding to do. So, don’t get too hasty and wait for the fun bit!
Detailed Comparison: Foam Tires vs Rubber
Obviously, you’ve seen the table where I mentioned many differences. But you didn’t get the full picture yet. Because without the full comparison, how will you know the differences?
So, here’s the full comparison thread!
If you’re concerned about the weight of your RC tires, this segment is for you! So, try to soak in all the information you can.
Source: Red RC
Weight is important for your RC cars because it can heavily influence your lap speed. With that said, rubber tires are a bit heavy and bulky.
On the other end, your 1/10 scale foam tires are lighter than rubber ones. So, you don’t have to compromise your lap time with foam tires. On top of that, your RC car will make you feel like the RC king!
And if you’re concerned about the weight too much, I’ve got just what you need!
These are among the lightest foam tires you’ll find on the market-
- 130mm Rubber RC Tires are one of the most lightweight rubber tires you’ll find.
- Johns Bsr Racing Foam tires are genuinely one of the softest tires you can own right now.
While these can be game-changers but you’ve to take care of your RC car first. So, make sure your RC car is performing well. Because there are many components that may need fixing.
For example, RC Traxxas receiver troubleshooting is a very common thing among RC users.
So, be careful about that!
Winner: For a lighter build, go for the foam ones. Otherwise, you’ll be more than fine with rubber tires if you prefer a beefier build.
Grip & Traction
Grip and traction are not the same things but you get both right with foam tires. Not only do they give you a better grip but traction as well. So, you’re not missing out on anything with foam wheels RC car.
Even the wheels tend to retain traction on every type of track. Foam tires on asphalt are just mesmerizing!
Source: RC Car Action
Contrastingly, rubber tires are less grippy. And the reason behind this is their wide and heavier build. As the tires are heavier, they can’t offer the same traction as its counterpart. While this can be a nuisance for indoor tracks, outdoor tracks are different.
Rubber tires are better performers when it comes to the outdoor environment.
Winner: Foam tires are better performing in terms of grip and traction.
This characteristic is something you always have to consider when you’re purchasing tires. Even I mentioned which one is more durable when I compared Maxx 3.3 to Revo 3.3. So, it’s important that I mention the durability part here as well.
When it comes to offering better build and durability, rubber tires are better. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, you can get pretty much the same performance from them. So, you can get a long-lasting outcome if you go for rubber RC tires.
Another thing to add is the looks of these rubber tires. Here’s an RC enthusiast’s dilemma
On the other hand, foam tires are not that bad but definitely a bit inferior. Yes, you do get the lightweight weight, no doubt about that.
However, the durability factor does take a significant hit. You can manage to get it to work for a long time given your focus on maintenance.
Also, you can soften your tires by using a liquid wrench like WD-40. That way, you can get better durability from both of the tires.
Winner: Rubber tires are more durable because of their bulky build.
We all love it when we have some extra bucks on our hands, don’t we? But sometimes, it’s about the price-to-performance ratio you want to go for.
Rubber tires are generally more robust with a lower price point. I know it seems quite unbelievable but that’s the great thing about it. Rubber tires are more efficiently made and that’s why the cost is low.
If you want something at a low price, I bet you’re gonna love these tires-
|LAFEINA 1/10 RC On-Road Car Tyres||Compatible with Traxxas models, various color options||Grab it Now!|
|2pcs 1/18 RC Tires||Easy operation, elegant design||Grab it Now!|
|Rowiz 4-Pack 12mm Hex RC||Comes with foam inserts, free accessories included inside the pack||Grab it Now!|
Now, the same thing does not apply to foam tires. They are priced higher than rubber tires. They are small in weight but heavy in price! But make sure to choose the right rim & tire size for your RC!
Winner: Rubber tires offer better pricing than foam ones. But foam tires have their quirks even at their high price.
So, What Type is Best for Rolling?
Making the final call always seems a bit hard, doesn’t it? That’s why I want to ease your pain by summarizing everything.
Let’s be clear. For grip and weight, the decision can’t be easier. Because there’s nothing better than foam tires that suit your demands more. So, picking up some foam tires would align with your needs. Here are some of the best RC foam tires for you-
|Products||Reasons to Buy||Price|
|Contact RC 26mm 1/10 Nitro Sedan Foam Front Tires||Low price, vetted by many RC enthusiasts||Grab it Now!|
|INJORA RC Tire Foam 4pcs 1.9inch Dual Stage||Dual-layer, vibrant colors||Grab it Now!|
|6 Pcs 1.9 Inches Dual Stage Closed Cell Inner Soft Outer Foam||Compatible with most tires, 6 pcs instead of 4||Grab it Now!|
On the other hand, durability and price are the strong points of rubber tires. Even most of the tracks are better compatible with your Rubber wheels. So, you definitely want to pick up these ones for your outdoor racing.
An extra life hack for you at the end. If you don’t want to purchase tires for your RC, that’s completely fine. Because you can make them yourself! Here’s a neat way to make rubber tires-
Now, the final decision lies with you. All you have to do is to filter out what you want and choose!
How Do You Soften RC Foam Tires?
To make your foam tires softer, use a solution of oil and wintergreen. After making the combo, apply it to your foam tires firmly. Then, take a baggie and leave the tires for some days to warm up. This process allows the tires to get equally spread to the rims. Finally, you have your squishy tires.
What Does RC Foam Tires Shore Rating Mean?
The shore rating is equivalent to the hardness rating in simple terms. So, if a foam tire has a higher shore rating, then it translates to more hardness. On the other hand, lower shore ratings like 20 or 25 mean the tires are relatively soft. So, you can check the shore rating to assess the hardness.
Why Is There Foam in RC Tires?
RC tires have foams in them to enable the tires to have a better grip. Along with that, foams can support your tire carcass and retain your car’s shape. Actually, the foams are really great to mold the tires in good shape and tuning. So, having foam in your tires is not bad at all.
That wraps up the debate between RC foam tires vs rubber. I don’t think you’ll have to think twice before purchasing one or the other.
So, don’t be too tense about picking one. I’m sure you’ll have a great time with your chosen tires!