ASK Cubby – Your Letters, My Nonsense
With your infinite wealth of rc knowledge, can you tell me the difference between belted and non-belted tires? What I mean is, how do they drive, and should I be using them on my truggy that I use mostly for bashing?
Cubby- Yo Hayden, congrats on hitting the big time. If you shoot me your home mailing addy I will hook you up with one of our super trick sticker packs. Just say’n…
Well, the most obvious answer to your question is that belted tires have belts inside to keep them from expanding, while traditional tires do not. Ya, I am just giving you a hard time. The main difference you will find when driving them is they do not expand. Where a normal tire will double in size, and will render your truck impossible to drive at WFO on 6S, belted tires simply don’t change in overall diameter (or least not a whole lot). This results in several things…
1. Gearing. Gearing is continuously variable on normal tires, depending on how much they are stretching in correlation with your throttle input. At low rpm they are one diameter, at 1/2 throttle another, and WFO, yet another. This means that the actual gearing inside the truck may be set at 50 mph, but because the tires expand so much, it may have a real world gearing of 70+ mph (or more). On a belted truck, if you gear it for 50, you are gonna get 50. When you go to belted, you may very well have to throw several teeth on your pinion to get the speed you are used to.
2. When normal tires expand, they end up with a very narrow contact patch, and their sidewalls get enormous while being very soft. This is why a truggy pinned WFO on 6S is nearly impossible to drive. Belted tires keep the same contact area as “normal”, plus they retain the same feel on the sidewalls. This instantly can take a truck from impossible to drive fast, to one where it feels like you are barely moving at over 50 mph.
Now, you say you mostly use your truggy for bashing, but you did not specify for what kind. If your thing is speed runs, then ya for sure, you will likely benefit from going to belted. Your truggy will instantly become easier to drive at high speeds.
Sadly, there is very little selection of belted off-road tires, so even if you wanted to run them in the dirt, you wouldn’t really have a choice, but if someone did make a proper lugged off-road tire, I would be the first to want to try it out.
“Tools & Such
I am preparing to buy a new ARRMA Granite or the ECX Ruckus. My question is what else will I need? What are the most needed tools and support equipment that might not be listed, but are actually needed? Also, if you do answer my question, what is your recommendation for better tires?
Cubby- Hummmmm, pretty simple question ya have there Chance, but one that is surprisingly hard to answer. If you are a super noobie, then you probably don’t know, but some modern RTRs come with pretty much everything you need. This covers a battery, a charger, and even simple tools to remove the wheels or bolts.
However, lets say you are a long lost relative of mine and are just picking up your first RTR. This is a list that I would give you to also pick up at the LHS with your new purchase.
1. A proper set of hex drivers. A million different companies sell these, but a good quality set from Dyanmite, MIP, etc, will make your life a LOT easier down the road than the simple “L” wrenches that typically are supplied with a RTR.
2. An extra battery and a proper charger. The batteries that come in RTR vehicles are of a low quality. They don’t give as much runtime as possible, nor will your new vehicle have its maximum potential speed/power. A high quality LiPo and charger will get you a lot more runtime and speed. Plus, it gives you an extra pack to drive while you are charging up the other. Oh and lastly, most RTR chargers take hours upon hours to fully charge a pack, a high-end unit can reduce that time dramatically, like down to an hour or less.
3. CA glue. Yup, give Bob Smith some cash and stock up on CA glue. That is more commonly known as “super glue”, but tires come loose a lot in our hobby, and you will also need it to glue up aftermarket tires.
4. Lexan scissors. Nope, you probably won’t need a set with a normal RTR, but they WILL come in handy for all sorts of stuff later in the hobby.
5. A soldering iron. Ya, I know how much noobies hate to solder, but if you stay in the hobby, soldering will be needed. In fact, lots of it. This is also something that can be used “around the house”, so if you haven’t learned how to solder yet, getting into rc is the perfect time.
Those are the “big ones” that I have in my mind, although I can assure you there are literally hundreds of “must haves” gizmos once you get deeper into the hobby.
Oh and, before I forget, IMO the best upgrade tires you can put on either a Granite or Ruckus would be Pro-Line Badlands. That is assuming you are driving your new MT on dirt, but in loose/average dirt conditions, the Badlands simply have no equal. They are optimal in loose dirt conditions, but also work incredibly well in grass. Furthermore, they have big enough lugs to not burn off immediately when driven on pavement.
Yup, you made it the Entire way through this week’s ASK Cubby. For that, I applaud you! If you have a question, wanna start a fight, or just wanna talk some smack, hit up my email- thecubreportrc at gmail dot com.
YOUR Cub Reporter