Carpet Traction: Treads or Surface Area

What do you think is better for traction on carpet, more surface area on tires or more tread. I’ve also seen quite a few teams using some spikey rubber stuff epoxied on or screwed into their tires. What is this and where do you get it?

They probably made it themselves. I saw lots of teams make there own tread tracks. So the tire that you saw might have been made by the team.

Hmm…well my team (84) used large tires. To get better traction, we taped 3 hack-saw blades together and made 90 degree slots in the tires. This added much traction to our bot. We seemed to be able to push most bots.

They didn’t make what I saw. A few teams had it. It is like this red or orange rubber spikey matting? stuff that they put on top of the tires. I don’t know how to describe it too much better than that.

I know the stuff you speak of but I don’t know the name, on timing belts its called a supergrip surface, I have seen it in orange and black, will keep looking

Was it like the Stuff that team 60 had on there wheels? If it was we made wheels with the same stuff.

The name of that belt is BrecoFlex. That is the company name and the trade name. Team 60 used one of the many offerings that brecoflex has. They have timing belts with custom, high friction backings. They are on the web, but are not cheap.


They will send you a catolog just send them an e-mail at

We used a similar material to what Breco-Flex offers. I found, through the Breco-Flex rep, a local supplier in town. The material I was actually looking for is conveyor belt material. The stuff we used was designed to transport cardboard boxes up 40 degree inclines. Hope this helps.

*Originally posted by sanddrag *
**They didn’t make what I saw. A few teams had it. It is like this red or orange rubber spikey matting? stuff that they put on top of the tires. I don’t know how to describe it too much better than that. **

We had orange spikey rubber stuff epoxied on our wheels, which was incline conveyor belting. You can get it from any conveyor belt store (check the BTB yellowpages).

I don’t think Kingman used Brekoflex - they used the wedge-top conveyor belt from McMaster Carr. It doesn’t have anything close to the Brekoflex friction factor.

Here is the pictures of the two, Team 60s is a diamond pattern rubber which was pretty effective but I think the Brecoflex is even better

Here is the BrecoFlex SuperGrip Material off the wonderful 2001 wildstang wheels/ sub assembly

Which by the way every team should think about doing (we did for 2002 and it worked out fantastic!)

Yeah, the Kingman tread is the same as Wild Stang used in 2002 - it’s wedge top conveyor belt available from McMaster-Carr. It only measured about 140-150# on the traction test. BTW - the Wild Stang “tank” that they engaged (file cards inside metal cleats) only bumped them up to about 160# traction, which was surprising. Sure left some impressive marks on our wedge though :slight_smile:

That’s for all your help. That is really great stuff. Do you all use the Neoprene, Urethane, or Gum Rubber versions. The rough conveyor belting looks good too along with the spikey.

The diamond pattern belt used by Kingman was Brecoflex. At least that’s what they told us. However we found a similar belt from another vendor. In tests we could not tell the difference. The diamond pattern belt digs into the carpet like a file card and is very effective. We originally had it on our wheels this year.

However in one of our matches in San Jose we got into a shoving match with the Cheesy Poofs. I think they were using the same belt on their tires. Both robots needed new tread after that. The real bummer was we had just replaced the treads going into the match. After that we developed metal cleated wheels that work just fine and don’t wear out, at least if you keep them on carpet.

We used the same belting that Wildstang used in 2001 the past two years, with mixed results. In 2001, the belting worked incredibly. Without it, we couldn’t even go up the bridge with 2 goals. However, we had a 6-wheel drive system and a narrower, half-width belt.

This year, we used the same material, but at full width and on a 4-wheel skid steer system. It gave us all the traction we needed, but didn’t last nearly as long. We had to replace the tread 3 times before we finally changed belt types. We ended up going with a slightly lower-friction belt from a local supplier, but it was tougher and cheaper than the other stuff. We had been paying about $100 per belt, but with the new stuff, we could do 8 wheels for the price of one belt. We used it for Florida practice and IRI with no problems, and it’s still in good shape. If anyone is interested, I may be able to harass our team leader and get the name, but I don’t have it right now.

Don’t harass anyone but I’m definitely interested

I didn’t ask Kingman what their belt was, but from Matt’s picture I’m pretty sure it’s the conveyor belt stuff and not Brecoflex - they’re not even close to the same fabrication. Another team gave me a sample of theirs and said it was the same as Kingman’s. It didn’t do too well in our pull tests.

One other nice thing about the Brecoflex belts is the backside design - we went through several designs in previous years to keep them from slipping off the tracks during high speed turning and these worked really nicely.

I think the rib in the picture is what Gary is referring to, we are going to play around with it later in the fall to try out a tank design. Word of caution they are expensive almost 150 bucks a track!