Attaching Tread on Vex Traction Wheels

To those of you that have used Vex Traction wheels in the past, what method did you use to attach tread to them and what tread did you use?

We used the roughtop tread directly from Vex and attached it with rivets-that seems to be the most common method for attaching tread (barring the Andymark ziptie wheels)

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We drilled pilot holes first then attached the tread through rivets. I may suggest 2 for holding applications. Andy mark traction This is pretty nice.

We didn’t use the VEXpro traction wheels this year. However we have used traction wheels in the past and many teams get the tread from other sources such as McMaster-Carr, that’s how they get blue or black tread.

We swapped out 4-inch Higrip wheels from AM with 4-inch Vex traction wheels for the increased traction. We used McMaster roughtop tread, which you can find with a simple search on their website. Using 6 rivets per wheel has ensured that they remain firmly attached, and the tread lasted us 3 competitions before it needed to be replaced

Our tread is the blue nitrile tread from Mcmaster, bought in sheets and cut on a saw. The blue tread wears extremely well. We used to go through red/orange thread quickly. We’d have to replace them 3 times a year, or every 2 competitions. In 2013, we used the blue and did not have to change it a single time.

Get large-head rivets and double rivet the ends of the tread. A couple intermediate rivets along the length will insure it never comes off.

This year I may take a look at different ways to use zip-ties to attach the tread.

Since the wheels are glass filled nylon, were rivet backing plates used to stop the rivet from pulling to the wheel or trying to split wheel ?

If no backing plates were used, did your rivets pass fully out of the rim (as per traditional rivets) or were they buried (which I would think would put huge pressure on the holes).|

Also the wheels have support ridges cast into the wheels exactly where ideally the rivets should go. Could grind off the ridge where the rivet would pass through but not happy with that. Else the rivets have to be moved in from the ideal spot. What did everyone else do ?

How long a rivet did you use ? Diameter 3/16 ?

2013 use 1/8 by 1/2 rivets to attach our tread (conveyor belting from a sponsor). we also used a 3m marine adhesive to fill in those ridges and to make sure the tread would stick on well. (for the most part the rivets are for insurance, as the adhesive is very strong) They seem to be holding up very well. Our first set of wheels we only riveted and the treads ripped right off of our wheels.

1640 has an article on their wiki about using threaded inserts and bolts with large heads to attach the tread. We are planning on implementing this next year in our custom wheels.

The link

Team 649 also highly recommends the blue nitrite tread. We install ours on AndyMark high performance wheels. After cutting them to the proper length and width on the bandsaw, we cut two notches out of each end, making a smaller portion that fits in the slot provided in the wheel. We then drill a hole through both ends, insert them in the slot, and pull them tight. While one person hold the tread tight, another slips in a zip tie and ties it through the holes and through the wheel. Used the orange stuff last year, but with the same method. Havent had a failure yet.

+1 for the glue. We use glue, and then rivets.

When we use traction material on our wheels, we use “Shoe Goop” as the adhesive we sand the mating surfaces and clean with alcohol to remove oil and dust. We make up sheet metal clamps out of soft steel and square bar stock and pull tight with a vise or vise grips until the glue has cured. After the glue has cured, we then drill holes on the perimeter of the wheel rim near the spokes, slightly larger than the stainless safety wire we use. We then loop the safety wire across the tread, and twist the safety wire with a safety wire plier and cut to length and fold to the interior of the wheel. Drill double holes where you join the ends about 3/8" apart so you can tie down the ends of the tread joint. Cut the tread slightly shorter ( 1/16-1/8") than what you determine by hand wrapping. This will prevent buckling at the joint when clamping. Never lost a tread yet, and tread can be replaced by cutting the safety wire and peeling the tread back and away from the wheel. We normally place the tread joint in the middle of the spokes for more room for the double holes. We build two sets as insurance which will allow us to change out worn tread, and allow overnight glue curing of the repaired wheels. Just FYI, we have changed to Colson’s this year. A lot less work, and no loss of performance. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

We used rivets exclusively on our Vex traction wheels. We’ve used glue in the past on other traction wheels but due to the uneven surface on the Vex wheels we determined it would be impractical (and use a lot of glue). Regardless, we had no issues with tread coming off and the Vex roughtop tread we used lasted 2 events before needing to be replaced.

We did find that it was extremely difficult to find adequately long pop rivets to hold the tread that also had large enough heads (so the tread didn’t just slip off). We ended up using long rivets with small heads and using washers to prevent tread slipping off.

We used these 97447A317 from McMaster-Carr. 2 on each end & 1 additional in two places about 60 degrees apart. The rivets were placed in valleys and the tread pulled tight around the wheels. You have to watch not to drill into the screw holes that hold the wheels together. We have not had issues with the tread coming off.

I used to glue tires on my bicycle. Major PIA. I am not sure what if anything this has to do with robots.

We used the vex wheels and attached the tread with 6 rivets and 3M 2 part epoxy. We did not have any problems with them falling off or separation. One key aspect of this is we used high quality steel mandrel and body rivets not aluminum for extra strength. You can get these on McMaster or at Fastenal. Also make sure when putting the rivet into the wheel is to make sure you are putting it through the high parts of wheel and not the low valleys. This way the tread is attached smooth and not bumpy.(hopefully you get what I mean by this)

I can attach pictures later for more details. Best of luck