MAXSwerve Wheel tread failures

We bought 4 MAXSwerve pods for testing, and have had them running on a drivetrain for a couple of hours now. We’ve already had the rubber tread separate from 2 of the 4 wheels - see attached photos. Nothing out-of-the-ordinary in terms of driving - just a lot of back-and-forth feeding runs, including climbing and parking on our charging station. Has anyone else seen MAXSwerve wheels lose tread that fast? I see replacements online for $5 each, but if we need to be worrying about replacing wheels every few matches in competition, that’s going to quickly add up.


We have about 3 hours of drive time on our wheels, I would say about 1.5-2 regionals worth and are not observing that level of tread wear. However, we are running about 75 lb on our protobot at the moment, on carpet, and with the the 13 tooth ratio.

May I ask what robot weight, gear ratio and floor composition you are driving on?

Have you checked to make sure the swerve code is working correctly, and you aren’t introducing too much scrub on the wheels?


This bot’s just a drivetrain and bumpers - just threw it on a scale and it’s ~60lbs. Running on discarded competition field carpet from a couple of years ago.

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This is with a 60 lbf robot including bumpers and batteries. We are using the stock max speed gear ratio. We are using revs base code with no additional tuning. We are seeing failure of our 3rd wheel as well.

Practice is easily the most a robot will be driving, at least it should be.

Worst case is for FiM best I can tell:

  • 2 district events = 12 x 2 qual matches + 6 x 2 elim = 36 matches

  • 1 District championship = 12 qual matches + 9 elim = 21 matches

  • 1 championship = 8 qual matches + 6 elim +6 Einstein = 20 matches

Total 71 matches * 2.5minutes = 192.5 mins

Let’s call that 3.5 hours for practice matches and replays (we’re ballparking)

3 hours of practice is possible over a mere 2 days, albeit the intensity of practice vs match play is most definitely a little different.

FRC robots are not really built to survive long in terms of match play.

Now, how does that stack up against wheel durability… That’s a slightly different question, but I personally wouldn’t expect many FRC components that see heavy mechanical loads last past 10 hrs of use.

So is the path forward not to practice with these modules? Kinda disappointed that driving around quickly for a few hours is outside of the designed use case…


Not what I said, path forward imo is to recognize (just like rough top threaded wheels) that you may have to replace after an event or two. Or in this case maybe 6hrs of (not super intensive) practice.

Not sure how many hours of practice on average are being put on these wheels before failure is observed.

Just because it’s a magical swerve module that costs a few hundred dollars does not mean it is maintenance free or that it will last a whole season (although it may depending on a host of factors). Almost everything in FRC has a usable life measured in hours


I find this dubious considering we ran our mk4is for 2 straight events + drive practice with no failures excluding some tread wear…


We have an SDS module that we have been running harder every day since the season started and they have been holding up fine. ¯_(ツ)_/¯


From what I recall from my research and conversations with other teams using SDS or similar, is that they are swapping tread after qualification matches with a fresh set going into eliminations. Based off that observation, I would ascertain that 3 hrs of continuous practice is comparable.

This is the case with all swerve modules. No matter how tuned in the modules are you’re gonna have wear.
Last year using the blue tread SDS MK3s, we replaced treads every competition, and had a spare set on hand just in case. We’ve since began 3d printing our own trad out of PTG. It might last longer, but we just loop the tread replacement in with the maintenance and upkeep of swerve.

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These numbers are actually worse because we play 12 quals matches at districts (in FiM) and DCMP, not 10.

@Greg_Needel does REV have any ETA on the aluminum wheel availability? Will it be an option in 2023?

That is a bit of a hasty generalization imo, tread wear has been a continuous topic on this forum for my entire involvement and probably 10 years prior (2009 excluded, although there was probably still debate about those mandated wheels and wear)

Woops, all the same, ballparking.

(Even then, worst case places you as a finalist in the big dance, so I’ll say those extra matches cancel out for most teams)

(updated initial post to reflect 12 vs 10)


The other issue here is the failure isn’t wear, this is the tread coming off. We also haven’t seen anywhere near comparable wear with our SDS modules seen in competition. I would be surprised if the rev modules make it through a single match with defense.


The field carpet is finally fighting back!


This isnt wear though. Our tread hasnt gotten worn down its still intact. Rather it has completely seperated from the wheel. I agree that tread wear is expected.


I’ll give ya that one, I was most definitely focusing on wear. I don’t have answers beyond what 2767 has done with overmolding (perhaps @Mark_Wasserman can comment on the durability of the plastic/overmolded interface). Eventually we found ourselves back to roughtop, and while not involved with 2767 this season I suspect roughtop is still the preference.