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2011 Rubber Tire Review

For anyone coming to this page looking for advice on what rubber tire to use I will make it short and sweet. But please don’t disregard all the hard work that went into testing countless compounds and combinations. This information is current as of 12-22-11

Tamiya F104: Shimizu 0571 and 0572 works the best on every surface tested.
FGX: Shimizu 0565 and 0561 works the best on every surface tested.
Tamiya F103: RIDE “A” compound front and rear works the best on every surface tested.

Alan Yang / Tire Analysis
July 15th 2011

Performance Scale Remark
Steering (1-5): Based on steering input. (Understeer – Oversteer)
Stability (1-5): Driving down the straight. (Unstable – Stable)
Braking (1-5): High speed braking applied before the a tight corner. (Unstable – Stable)
Feel (1-5): The impression and bounciness of the car. (Floaty – Sticky)
Endurance (1-5): The wear rate of the tire. (Quick – Lasting)
Fade (1-5): Overheat resistance through the race. (Less – More)

2011 Rubber Tire Review - P1

Past Test Asphalt
Front Tires: Pit Shimizu F3 (PS-0574)
Rear Tires: Pit Shimizu R3-S (PS-0579)
Steering: 1
Stability: 5
Braking: 5
Feel: 5
Endurance: 3
Fade: 3

Track Tamiya America Outdoor
Surface: Prepared Asphalt
Grip: Medium
Weather: Sunny, Slightly Windy, 70-75F
Chassis: Tamiya F104 PRO Black Special
Setup: Soft T-Bar, Soft Front-Springs Right-Height 5mm All-Round, No Friction Plate, Muchmore 400 Oil, Tamiya Soft Black Srping
Powerplant: Team Orion Vortex Pro 21.5 Max Motor Timing, KO PROP BLZ ESC
Transmission: Spur 93 Pinion 36 (slightly overgeared to reduce acceleration)
Radio: KO PROPO Eurus, Steering Curve -25%, Throttle Curve -50%, Brake EPA 60%
Note: Each test was only ran around 3-5 laps to get a feel for the initial impression. No tire sauce was applied to keep the test consistent.

2011 Rubber Tire Review - P2

Test 1 Asphalt
Front Tires: Pit Shimizu F1-S (PS-0571)
Rear Tires: Pit Shimizu R1 (PS-0575)
Steering: 5
Stability: 3
Braking: 1
Feel: 3
Endurance: 2
Fade: 3

2011 Rubber Tire Review - P3

Test 2 Asphalt
Front Tires: Pit Shimizu F1-M (PS-0573)
Rear Tires: Pit Shimizu R1 (PS-0575)
Steering: 4
Stability: 4
Braking: 2
Feel: 4
Endurance: 2
Fade: 3

2011 Rubber Tire Review - P4

Test 3 Asphalt
Front Tires: Pit Shimizu F1-M (PS-0573)
Rear Tires: Pit Shimizu R1-H (PS-0572)
Steering: 3
Stability: 5
Braking: 3
Feel: 5
Endurance: 4
Fade: 4

2011 Rubber Tire Review - P5

Test 4 Asphalt
Front Tires: Pit Shimizu F1-S (PS-0571)
Rear Tires: Pit Shimizu R1-H (PS-0572)
Steering: 4
Stability: 4
Braking: 2
Feel: 4
Endurance: 4
Fade: 4

2011 Rubber Tire Review - P6

Test 5 Asphalt
Front Tires: Ride S1 (24008)
Rear Tires: Ride S1 (24010)
Steering: 3
Stability: 4
Braking: 3
Feel: 2
Endurance: 4
Fade: 2

2011 Rubber Tire Review - P7

Test 6 Asphalt
Front Tires: Tamiya Hard (54198)
Rear Tires: Tamiya Soft (54199)
Steering: 4
Stability: 3
Braking: 2
Feel: 3
Endurance: 3
Fade: 4

Track TQ RC Racing
Surface: New Carpet
Grip: Medium
Weather: Indoor, 75-80F
Chassis: Tamiya F104 PRO Black Special
Setup: Soft T-Bar, Medium Front-Springs Right-Height 5mm All-Round, No Friction Plate, Muchmore 400 Oil, Tamiya Soft Black Srping
Powerplant: Team Orion Vortex Pro 21.5 Max Motor Timing, KO PROP BLZ ESC
Transmission: Spur 93 Pinion 35 (correctly geared for my setup)
Radio: KO PROPO Eurus, Steering Curve -25%, Throttle Curve -25%, Brake EPA 60%
Note: Each test was only ran around 3-5 laps to get a feel for the initial impression. No tire sauce was applied to keep the test consistent.

2011 Rubber Tire Review - P8

Test 7 Carpet
Front Tires: Pit Shimizu F1-S (PS-0571)
Rear Tires: Pit Shimizu R1 (PS-0575)
Steering: 3
Stability: 2
Braking: 3
Feel: 3
Endurance: 3
Fade: 3

2011 Rubber Tire Review - P9

Test 8 Carpet
Front Tires: Pit Shimizu F1-M (PS-0573)
Rear Tires: Pit Shimizu R1 (PS-0575)
Steering: 1
Stability: 3
Braking: 4
Feel: 4
Endurance: 3
Fade: 3

2011 Rubber Tire Review - P10

Test 9 Carpet
Front Tires: Pit Shimizu F1-M (PS-0573)
Rear Tires: Pit Shimizu R1-H (PS-0572)
Steering: 2
Stability: 5
Braking: 4
Feel: 5
Endurance: 4
Fade: 5

2011 Rubber Tire Review - P11

Test 10 Carpet
Front Tires: Pit Shimizu F1-S (PS-0571)
Rear Tires: Pit Shimizu R1-H (PS-0572)
Steering: 3
Stability: 4
Braking: 3
Feel: 4
Endurance: 4
Fade: 4

2011 Rubber Tire Review - P12

Test 11 Carpet
Front Tires: Ride S1 (24008)
Rear Tires: Ride S1 (24010)
Steering: 2
Stability: 4
Braking: 4
Feel: 3
Endurance: 4
Fade: 3

Conclusion
The new Pit Shimizu R1-H seemed to grip better than my used R1 (medium), but I am not sure if it’s because that the my used R1 has already lost its grip. The fair comparison would be to use a new set of R1 and R1-H for the test. Note that the R1 and R1-H have thinner inserts than the R3 and R3-S. Next, I plan to test different combo out again using 3-series tires, and then finally, mix and match.

2011 Rubber Tire Review - P13

Charles Lightfoot (F104):
Sun July 3rd 2011
Just wanted to mention a new rear compound PS-0572 I tried out today. Alan Yang was kind enough to lend me the set… Sean at TQ I believe was given this set to test by Shimizu… anyways…

Originally when I started testing 104 rubber a while back I settled on PS-0575 rears with PS-0577 fronts… I felt it gave me the best overall balance, under-steer for sure, but very easy to drive and I just adjusted my driving style for the push…

I then realized that I could get faster lap times by using the PS-0573 fronts which gave me more steering, but also made the car a little on edge… Even though I was getting faster lap times the constant focus required to drive the car wasn’t very enjoyable…

Today at the track 3 of us who all run the same tire combo on our cars all had the chance to try this PS-0572 … All of us without exception preferred the PS-0572 rear with the PS-0573 front… For me personally, the car felt really well balanced, I had very good steering with just a very mild under-steer… The car was easy to drive, and I was getting my best lap times from any tire combo I’ve tried to date…

Another great thing about this tire is the sidewalls are stiffer then the PS-0575 which get damaged pretty easily… and the wear is way better… At the end of today you can still see and feel the center line on the tire… I’m not even sure how much Alan drove on this set…Better performance and looks like better wear…

Unfortunatly this compound isn’t available now but soon will be… TQ is the only source for F1 Shimizu in the America’s

Anyone who has a 104 should definitely try out this combo…

Sat June 26th 2010
CAL raceway… clear weather, one spray on track, temp around 78, NO tire compound…

Tamiya: the Soft rears and Medium fronts… car was well balanced… but slightly nervous at the end of the straights where the road gets bumpy… it unsettles the car and if your not careful and let off to let the car settle, the back end can fly out…

RIDE: The Super Soft rears are the best option… but I could never get enough steering up front, even with soft fronts… maybe the SS fronts would be OK… sad because the 103 Rides are so hooked up… also maybe with a different brand fronts ??? I hate to mix…

Shimizu: The Soft rears are really nice, and with the 3 or Medium up front it’s well balanced…
The car doesn’t seem as responsive in the infield as the Tamiyas, but you can carry more speed through high speed turns… I felt the most comfortable with these tires so far…

On a side note, Cuda tested the Shimizu and Tamiya with lap times, and he was able to get slightly better times with the Tamiya… and he even felt like the Tamiya was faster…
I really feel that the Shimizu are the way to go… I had the car dialed down to 70 out of 120 and I felt the most confident with these tires… I also discovered when I got home that I forgot to drill holes in the wheels, so these tires had NO air escape at all… Holes are now drilled…
Hiro told me that the HPI rubber, although made by Ride, is a completely different compound…
and recommended the Soft Rears and Medium fronts… So I mounted up a set of those tonight…

Sun June 27th 2010
Camarillo… clear weather, spray on track, temp around 75, NO tire compound…

Tamiya: was fairly well balanced and easy to drive when the track was clean and sprayed, but towards the end of the day, and dust had blown over, it became a little handful…

RIDE: Was the same story as the day before… the Super soft rears are great but no front rubber to balance the car… I tried using the Shimizu 3 and it was much better, very close to using the Shimizu all all around, but not quit there…

Shimizu: Was definitely the best grip, best balance, better in every way… in fact , it was just as good as my F103 with RIDE tires… Not sure if the drilled holes in the wheel helped that much ??? or just a better sprayed track, but this set up was better then yesterday… Doug drove with these tires and felt the same way… Bill used them for one qualifying and liked them a lot…

HPI: Tried the Soft rears and Medium fronts… the rears are pretty damn nice, but the fronts are the same problem as the rides, not enough steering… Maybe because they are the rides ???? Anyways…The drawback of the Rides and the HPI is that you have to use Ride wheels only, and these wheels are very brittle, they also have to be trimmed with a drimel on the inside edge, and the bearing fit way too tight… also slightly more expensive then the Tamiya Foam wheels which are cheaper, easy to find, don’t break… The Tamiya’s are pretty good, and I could see someone being competitive against the Shimitzu, but I feel for my driving style the Shimizu are a all around better choice… The Tamiyas look like they would have a longer wear, if I had to guess, maybe almost double the Shimitzu ???… we will see…

Sun July 4th 2010
Surf City… weather was cool, spray on track, temp around 70, NO tire compound…

I have to be honest, I went out for a few minutes on the Tamiya rubber to give myself a starting point, but soon put on the Shimizu and never looked back… For my driving style, these are by far the best tire for me…Again I have to point out that Cuda beat me that day with Tamiya rubber, so it ultimately does come down to what works for you, but I’m very confident saying that the Shimizus would work for most people…

Getting this car to work is 95% tires… and what seems to be the best approach is to go as soft as you can for the rear and then play with the front compound to balance the car… spending time with setup when you don’t have the right tire is a waist of time and will drive you crazy…
I finally have my 104 just as easy to drive and as fast as my 103…

Tim Ruwe (F103):
Pit Shimizu has been making tires for the RC industry for years. In fact the Shimizu tires and had a reputation as the tire to have for the Tamiya F201 when you wanted a little more traction that the stock tires had to offer. Not a well known company these days, Shimizu is still producing tires for F1 with a product lines for Tamiya F103 and F104 as well as the HPI F10. Shimizu offers a few compounds for tuning to track conditions.

Listed below are the compounds offered for the Tamiya F103 and F104.
F103:
rear
545 soft
548 medium
555 hard

front
541 soft
543 medium
547 hard

F104:
rear
575 soft
578 hard

front
571 soft
573 medium
577 hard

Thin foam insert for both F103 and F104
546

The tires come with a instruction sheets with a lot of detailed text. Unfortunately, the text is all in kanji so I was left to do the testing without a lot of guidance. The part numbering scheme seems to have been created by a random number generator, but the one thing that seems to be consistent is the higher the part number = harder compound.

The rear tires come with strips of foam for inserts. I am not a big fan of the foam strips as they tend to leave the tire with a slight egg shape from the unequal pressure within the carcass. Optionally, a thin foam insert is available that is about 1/2 the thickness of the tire. As I only had one set of each of the rear compounds, I opted to not use the thin inserts to be able to give a better side by side comparison of the two compounds in equal conditions. Fronts come with a doughnut insert and mount on foam rims just like the rears.

The tires are designed to mount on a rims designed for foam tires. And a quick trip to the hobby store to score me some Tamiya foam rims and I was ready to glue up some tires (my least favorite part of the hobby). As foam rims do not have a ridge to align the lip of the tire to the rim, I had to take a great deal of care to make sure the rubber came to the very edge of the rim all the way around to avoid creating a wobbly tire. The tire has a very wide lip where it comes into contact with the rim, so it is doubtful that it is ever going to peel away. As I mounted the tires, I was wrote the part number on each rim for future reference.

My first test run was at TQ, a carpet track located in Chino CA. I mounted the softest compound on the fronts and rears and took a few laps. Balance was not too bad with the soft fronts and rears, but overall I was not impressed. I pulled the car off and basted fronts and rears with a coat of Jack the Gripper and made a few laps with my foam car while it soaked in. After 10 minutes, I wiped the excess off and and from the first turn it an obvious transformation. Although still not as “grippy” as a good set of foams, the soft Pits delivered a well balanced car with good turn in and plenty of rear grip to accelerate out of the turns. Thanks to a BL motor and a LiPo I was at the 8 minute mark before the Jack started to wear off and the car began to push. I pulled off convinced that these tires are the real deal.

The second test run was at a our monthly F1 event on indoor asphalt at WCRC. Temperature was in the mid 70s and I was a little apprehensive running an untested tire in an actual race event. I put my car down to get a feel for the car before we started. This time I went straight for the sauce on the hardest compound for both the fronts and the rears. After a few laps the rear tires were heated up, but I was still loose and spun a few times at the apex of the sweeper. Perhaps the thin inserts are for the harder compound, but more testing will be required. A quick run to the pit area and a swap back to the soft compound on the rears and I was hooked up for the race. Although the traction was very good in the groove, the track was dusty and a misjudged turn into the marbles would leave you with dirty tires that took a good half lap to clean off before you could go fast again. It was a tight race, but I came out fairly well against several of the F1 drivers running on foam and finishing about the same place in the pack as I normally do on foam tires. At the end of the race, I lent the soft compound tires to another racer who normally runs on Ride rubber tires. His report back was that they are very comparable with out a clear advantage or disadvantage. After putting them back on my car I then ran a few laps with the medium compound on the fronts and found them to be about the same as the hard compound with perhaps a little more turn in on this surface.

Conclusion:
Not everybody is a big fan of rubber tires on an F1. But if rubber is your thing Pit Shimizu tires are the real deal. With a variety of compounds, tuning is possible for a variety of tracks and conditions. It would have been nice to try running the hard compounds on asphalt, but it seems those would only work on a very hot track. With rear traction being the key to making the F103 perform, the soft compound is the way to go. Tire wear is not bad. As with all tires the traction seems best after a scrub with a sweet spot of 2-4 runs, but are still performing well after 10 runs. I look forward to ordering a few more for the pit box.

Update:
The F104 tires have been mounted and tested with some fantastic reviews by several of the regular F104 drivers. At an event at the Road runners club in Camarillo, the soft compound tires were passed around with everyone showing significant improvement in race performance after using the Shimizu tires over the Tamiya option rubber.

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