WHeels and traction

How good is the traction from polyurethane wheels with a durometer number of 90A? Where’s a good place to get wide wheels with good traction?

I am not sure what kind of traction you could get from those wheels but we had great success using wheels from Skyway… I am not sure if it has been announced yet but they have several types of wheels with special prices for FIRST members… very durable…reasonably priced…
If its on the list… they might have something else that they could provide too…

I have the utmost respect for them…

To contact them


check out the website and click on the FIRST area… it will give you this number (1-800-332-3357) and you can call and they will fax you the price sheet… I talked to a very nice person named Daniel…
Make sure you have a fax number ready to give them…

I hope this will help you!!

Best of luck in the GAME this year!!!

You’d definitley have pretty terrible traction with polyurethane durometer 90A. Grooving it might get something back, but it still would definitley be significantly worse than a good rubber tread. It sounds like you might be describing the kit wheels. IIRC, they were about that hard.

Does anyone know the durometer ratings on some tread materials that have worked very well?

Just as a heads up for those of you that may be a little lost, the units of durometer measure the hardness of a material. Hence, something with a durometer rating of 90 will be a hard rubber, as opposed to something in the 30 range which will be much softer. As you go lower, the strength of rubber typically becomes lower as well. Something in the 15 range might be too soft to use as a traction aid.

As a general rule of thumb, you can assume things with a lower durometer generally will have better contact and higher friction with the carpeting.

That’s that!


Team 100 has used the 6.75"(?) skyway pneumatic knobbies since 2002 with great success.

I would definitely reccomend talking to Skyway to see what theyr’e offering specifically for FIRST use before you look elsewhere.

If you have access to a lathe, you can take the kit wheels and lathe the tread material off until it’s flat, and then attach belting to them for added traction.


Some ideas to adjust robot traction are available in the Drivetrain Improvements document found here:


Thanks, this will help.