When it comes to RC rock crawling most enthusiasts immediately think of big tires and even bigger rocks. Super class crawlers climbing up staircases and 2.2 sportsman’s tackling terrain that is difficult to walk on are now commonplace; but what about those that want the gravel in their driveway to be a challenge or feel the urge to make their local trail more interesting by making line choice a critical element? Enter the class 0 realm of tires; the little brother to the 4.19″ class 1 series of tires that are most common on trail rigs these days. This size tire is designed with super-scale 1/10 to 1/12 vehicles in mind (such as the Tamiya CC01 pictured above) and the 1,55″ wheel diameter scales out to approximately a 15″ wheel. While these tires may look the part how do they perform in the real world? I tested a complete set of Pro-Line’s Interco Super Swamper’s in their ultra-sticky predator compound on my practice course and on some random trails to find out.
Test 1: STICKS AND STONES
The 45 degree ramp next to my shop is made of fallen tree limbs and serves as a benchmark for a vehicles ability to navigate natural wood terrain and debris that would be found on the average trail. Leading away from the ramp is a small area of marble chips that flows into large, jagged concrete “stones” that form the entrance and exit of a small wooden bridge. On the bark of the limbs the stickiness of the predator compound kept the CC01 moving in the right direction while the shoulder blocks wide lug spacing grabbed every textured edge and undulation of the limbs, allowing the truck to remain on line without any wheel spin. Once on the crushed marble the truck felt more sure footed and I could see the tires conforming to the smaller stones as the sidewalls flexed slightly. The heft of the hard body was not being thrown around as much as it usually did with the rock-hard kit supplied tires. The downside to small tires is the sacrifice of ground clearance. These 3.85″ tall tires don’t afford much room under the diffs making wheel placement and line choice paramount. On the larger jagged pieces of concrete the Swampers really started to shine. Again the widely spaced lugs were able to grab the sharp edges and allowed the truck to clear taller obstacles than I had initially expected. As each piece was cleared the tires would immediately fall into the next low spot and repeat the process; once in a rhythm the truck seemed to drive itself! The rougher and more abrasive the terrain, the better these tires will perform. Crossing the bridge was as simple as driving across a paved driveway, while descending the craggy downslope was again made easy thanks to the supple tread compound (and a fair amount of drag brake!).
TEST 2: SMALL CHEVY, SMALL TRAILS
The walking trails near my home are easily traversed by my SCX10 on Pro-Line Grunts and my GEN8 on Pro-Line BFG All-Terrains but I have never tried to take the CC01 out for a walk since the stock tires performed so poorly. The surface is a mix of hard packed dirt, tree roots, fallen twigs, decaying leaves and soft mud; the perfect place to test these tires!
At the trail head are a series of tree roots that needed to be crossed at an angle due to the low ground clearance of the tiny Tamiya. The trees of which these roots belong form a canopy that keeps the path shaded all day, making photography nearly impossible while also keeping the temperature down slightly. Up and over the roots the truck would go, toddling along like a small child. Again there was no wheel spin as the truck made its way up and over the veinous forest floor, grabbing and edge and lurching forward with each pulse of the trigger. Moving onto harder soil the Swampers could be coaxed into a bit of a slide if enough throttle was applied along with a healthy amount of steering input. Once the dust settled the truck had left its iconic tread pattern as its signature in the dirt. Small twigs were chewed up and spat out and hitting them at full speed meant catching a few inches of air followed by an audible squish from the sidewalls absorbing the impact. Finally the end of the trail was littered with small soupy puddles surrounded by soft dirt, a sight that makes everyone’s inner child jump for joy. The Super Swampers were finally home! As long as the diffs were out of the muck the truck was unstoppable. Cleanout was impressive as the outer lugs deposited the stuck on debris back onto the Earth where it came from quickly, leaving a fresh cleat ready to tear into the soil once again. Mud is not my favorite form of terrain due to its tendency to eat bearings but I must admit this was a blast! Cleaning the truck back at the shop was another story…
Trucks this size with this level of capability make an average hiking trail a challenge, keeping things fresh and fun. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed this basic trail this much! Small obstacles that would normally go unnoticed now have to be traversed with care. LInes that require no thought whatsoever with a class 1 are now slow, technical feats that make the driver look like a hero once cleared. Smaller tires really transform the way a person has to think, making even the most mundane walking trail an enjoyable challenge.
For a tiny tire truck such as the CC01 this tire is perfect. Its scale looks are backed by a boatload of performance. Jagged terrain and rough rock face climbs are no match for the Predator compound and widely spaced outer lugs while the interlocking center tread blocks provide directional stability on harder surfaces. I paired my set with Pro-Line’s Keystone 1,55″ Bead Loc wheels for a classic look and simple installation. In my eyes there is no better pairing for a square body Chevy than the Super Swamper and these scale perfectly with the Clodbuster derived body I chose. If you are looking for a small tire that is big on performance look no further!
Exact scale replicas of the real thing
Scales out to a 38″ tire, not uncommon in the full-size trail rig world
Predator compound sticks to everything
Widely spaced shoulder blocks self-clean and grab jagged terrain well
Arrive in resealable storage bags to keep tires fresh when not in use
Foams could be a bit stiffer for heavier hard-body rigs
Didn’t fix the steering on the CC01…
1.55″ Interco Super Swamper Predator Compound https://www.prolineracing.com/product/1-10-class-0-interco-super-swmper-predator-f-r-1.55-crwlr-tires-2/PRO1017903.html
1.55″ Keystone Bead Loc Wheels https://www.prolineracing.com/product/1-10-keystone-front-rear-1.55-12mm-rock-crawler-wheels-2-black/PRO279703.html