Tyres provide the majority of your grip. Without the right tyres for the conditions changing other setup options looking for grip can be a frustrating exercise. Start with the right tyres and then fine tune with our Setup Tips.
Last updated: 30 March 2019
This page is for tyres which fit the standard F104 size wheels (ie: nearly all modern chassis). Our page for F103 and FGX Tyres is here.
Asphalt (bitumen) - Rubber Tyres
Recommendation: Ride GR for warm to hot tracks and Pit Shimizu for cooler tracks. These are not the only good tyres for these conditions but these are our recommendation.
Update 30 March 2019 - Pit Shimizu has closed. The good news is that Schumacher has taken over their tooling and will be producing 575 rears and 571 fronts at this stage. Press Release here. You can use Ride GR front or Volante Green front along with Pit Shimizu/Schumacher 575 Rears if Schumacher discontinues the 573 front (as it seems like they will).
* Ride GR replaced the Ride XR which replaced the Ride R1. Ride XR and R1 have been discontinued.
** PS 573 fronts are medium compound tyres and produce a slight understeer which is easy to drive. For more turn in try PS 571 tyres which are a soft compound and produce a lot more front grip and therefore more turn in. The downside is that the car is harder to drive and the extra front grip makes it easier for the rear end to breakaway at times.
A tyre combination popular in the USA is Pit Shimizu PS571 front with PS572 rear. This works well in many situations but is not our preferred combination.
Top Tip - tyres are sold in pairs so you can buy one type of tyre for the rear and another type for the front. Your rear tyres will wear out much quicker than the fronts. The rear tyre is normally softer than the front.
7 December 2018 - Volante Tyre Review (and comparison to Ride GR)
Carpet - Rubber Tyres
Rubber tyres are unlikely to work well on carpet without some sort of traction compound. In our experience you should put the traction compound on just before putting the car on the track with the tyres still wet. Sounds crazy but it works really well on many carpet surfaces.
Foam tyres are more practical for some surfaces including; carpet tracks that do not use traction compound, astro turf and some other surfaces.
While rubber tyres are the standard around the world many Asian countries continue to prefer foam tyres.
Foam tyres wear quickly and ride height should be checked after each race. They can provide excellent grip.
Foam tyres use double sided tape rather than glue and so are quick to get ready. However, they can don't always attach evenly. It's possible to use a tyre truer to grind the tyres to be perfectly even.
Some clubs and many events may not allow foam tyres.
Tamiya A Foams are the kit tyres that come with the Tamiya F104 Pro. They work well on carpet.
How to mount foam tyres - it's very easy
Most modern tyres come pre-mounted and pre-glued at the factory. If you wish to use a different foam insert than the factory provides you will need to buy the tyres and wheels separately and glue them yourself.
These tyres are often available for purchase without wheels. They can be mounted on any foam wheels eg: Tamiya 51378 (black) or 54400 (silver) wheels.
For instructions on mounting Pit Shimizu tyres on foam rims see our How to Glue Tyres article.
Other Tyres Available
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F103 wheels can not be used on a car that requires F104 wheels. Although the wheels will physically fit, it is not possible to have sufficient rear ride height due to the smaller tyre diameter (using Pit Shimitzu rubber) unless you use hop up parts.
Note: Ride rims for rubber tyres are all 39mm internal diameter and so can be used to mount any Ride tyre and any Pit Shimizu Grooved tyre. They can not be used to mount Pit Shimizu slick tyres as they have an internal diameter of 44mm. Use foam rims to mount Pit Shimizu slick tyres (see instructions above).
Other Good Tyre Related Articles
Where to BuyCheck out our Links page under the heading Online Stores.