Wheel treads for Concrete

Our team is planning to run the robot on concrete, mainly because that’s the only surface we have good access to. However, concrete is proving to wear out the treads on our rims quite quickly. We are in the process of modifying a set Hi-Grip Wheels for the swervedrive for use in autonomous, but we want to use the rims for the teleop runs. (Rims so that we can preserve the hi grip and quickly swap treads) We’ve replaced the blue tread with pebble top, but we are still seeing excessive wear (here and here). That was approximately 5 hours of semi-constant use

What are some alternative materials/treads that other teams have found that last longer and grip well?


Just to add on, our wheel alignment is about +/- 2 degrees, and the rest of the swerve drive software is functioning correctly (I hope) . Also, we have a rookie driver and there are hard stops happening, but we still want to find something with better grip and durability. (Links to swerve drive and rims)


You’ll want something with a higher durometer, because even the blue nitrile tread thats pretty coomon will get worn down at some point. 70A is the durometer of usual car tires, and you can get sheets of that stuff on Grainger. They come in sheets, so you’ll have to cut them down to what you want, but you can get 70A durometer sheets at 1/8" thick. Something like this may work well. E. JAMES Rubber Sheet, Buna-N, Rubber Width 12 in, Rubber Length 1 ft, Rubber Thickness 1/8 in, 70A - 1XYZ9|4070-1/8A - Grainger
We have not tried it, but it looks like it could work. I am also curious about what ideas others have though, as I’m sure others are also looking for more durable tread.

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How out something like this. Already cut to 1” strips.


We got the 70A 1/4" rubber strips from McMaster and they work well with the SDS billet wheels on concrete.


Does it have good grip, or are you seeing more slip than you did with the blue nitrile?

We are getting good grip, and it’s lasting very well. We got 2 hours of driving in and we’re liking the current tread wear and the performance. If you want something with extreme grip, you can get softer rubber (60/50A)

That’s all on concrete though, on carpet blue nitrile will make sense.