Mini-Review: Pro-Line Raid 2.2″/3.0″ 17mm Hex Wheels

Seeing the need in the market for a wheel that has standard SC dimension and 17mm hexes, Pro-Line introduced the Raid wheel, targeting vehicles such as the Arrma Senton 6s, Pro-Line Pro-Fusion SC 4×4, or any vehicle that has a need for heavy duty hexes. The wheel was created with design cues from many modern full-scale truck wheels and incorporates Pro-line’s logo into the wheel face for added style. Overall, the wheels look very nice whether they are mounted to a truck with a traditional SC race body, a scale pickup style build or even a dirt late model (I’m using a set on my Pro-Fusion for dirt oval racing). Looks can only take you so far though, the question remains, how do they perform?

I’ve had a set of these on hand for a while now and have had the chance to see just how much of a difference they truly make. The wheels feel stiffer when you squeeze across their diameter; i’m not sure if this is a function of the 17mm hex, the spoke design, or the material itself, but compared to other wheels the Raid’s feel stiffer. On an aesthetic note, I love the detail Pro-line incorporated into these wheels. The spoke design looks very scale and the PL logo is a nice touch without being too over-the-top. One concern that I have is how hard it will be to keep mud from caking into this area and being difficult to clean. I don’t normally drive my trucks in wet conditions but if it becomes an issue I’ll try coating the wheels with a dry silicone spray that I use on the chassis to see if that alleviates the problem.

For a practical test of the Raid’s, I borrowed a 3s pack to use in my Slash 4×4. If anything was going to stress these wheels it would be this truck. I am running a 150a speed control, a 4-pole 3660 size 4300kv motor and, just for this test, a locked slipper. The truck is extremely quick on 3s and was quite a chore to keep on all fours when accelerating from most speeds. I think the RPM wheelie bar wheels saw as much use on that first pack as the front tires did. After the first pack was drained I brought the truck in and swapped out the shocks for a shorter set that I use for speed runs and on-road use. This took care of the wheelie-ing and really allowed me to plant the power. On the textured concrete that I do my on-road testing there was an abundance of traction and I was able to go full throttle within a few feet of launching. At no point did the wheels flinch. The wheel nuts were just as tight at the end of the run as they were at the beginning and the there was no slop around the hex. I have no doubt that these wheels will hold to what ever abuse you can throw at them.

If you are running 12mm hexes and having trouble stripping them, consider these as a viable solution. They are durable, good looking and the price is affordable.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

For a more intense test of the Raid’s I mounted a set of Pro-Line Hoosier dirt oval tires and hit the track. The Pro-Fusion SC 4×4 puts down power like no other truck I’ve ever driven and if any truck is going to push the Raid’s to their limit it would be this one. The tires fit into the beads better than any SC tire I’ve mounted so far; the bead sits flush and there is little to no gap when gluing. I was surprised by this as most other PL tires fit well but this combo was more snug than any tire I’ve mounted so far.

The PL Hoosiers are very sticky and hook on any surface; this transmits all of the force of the 4s/2650kV combo directly into the wheel hex. The stiffness of the wheel is very apparent when accelerating. Some high-horsepower vehicles feel like there is a rubber band somewhere in the drivetrain that has to be wound before the truck accelerates, caused by flex either in the wheel hex or in the wheel spokes themselves. This is especially noticeable in wheels with 12mm hexes that are worn or just on the verge of stripping. The Raid’s have a locked-in, solid feel that is unlike any wheel that I’ve used so far.

Throwing the truck into a corner is where the Raid’s really shine. There is no deflection, no delay, just action. On looser surfaces (such as the dirt oval that I initially tested on) the benefits were not as noticeable. The wheels held up well to the grit and rocks of that loose surface; sliding sideways across that type of terrain can be rough on a wheel but the Raid’s walked away with no battle scars to show for their effort.

On a tackier surface the wheels really shine. The stiffness is evident every time you throw the truck into a corner. It’s hard to describe how direct these wheels make the steering feel. I would go as far as to say that they feel like a dish wheel despite having a spoke design, they are that good. After each battery I would double check to see if the wheel nuts had loosened and despite all of the abuse I threw at them, they hadn’t. The centers of the wheels are holding up to the serrated wheel nuts quite well with no signs of wear or damage despite being swapped from truck to truck, each of which use the serrated nuts, and having the hexes secured fairly tight each time.

After dozens of packs, in several trucks powered by everything from 2-4s, on multiple surfaces, the Raid wheels never ceased to impress me. They are strong, light, and look great to boot. If you have a need for a 17mm hex wheel or just want a massive upgrade in strength and durability, the Pro-Line Raid is an excellent option.

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