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Old 05-15-2006, 06:44 AM   #1
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Default GRP Foam Tires

Well, I couldn't resist speeking up on this one. GRP has gone with Horizon Hobbies for exclusive distribution of their tires from what I have been told. I looked the tire prices up and they are $18.99 pr.& $19.99pr. By the time I pay shipping, a single set of tires is $46.03 (They must be LOCO )

You know, you can't blame hobby shops for the prices. The hobby shops keep saying that people are going over-seas or on the internet for better prices. They keep telling customers that this is hurting them, they need to tell their suppliers. They are the ones controling prices.

When you go to a major race, all the factory guys are out thier on fresh tires every time they hit the track. At the Winternats, that would be 6 qualifiers, at least 2 practice sesions, and a Main. Ok, that would be 9 sets of tires.....at $40 a set(est), that $360 for tires for the week for a person like you or me. So, what do you do?.....you quit racing is what you do and then the hobby shops go out of business, thus forcing suppliers to increase prices again to pay wages, ect, ect, ect...........

On a second note, why do you think people are dropping off like flies when it comes to racing? Its not the price of GASOLINE! Prices are getting out of hand, and with the manufacutres selling less, prices are going up. Yes, materials are going up too, but Novarossi engines are to be going up 20-30%, their glow plugs have already gone up from $6-$9. Overall, its a cycle that is out of control.

As a daul business owner, Customers are #1. Taking care of the customer is most important for repeat business and advertising via word of mouth.

I go to a store all the time that sells me a $26 item for $20. This in turn has caused me to buy at least 20 in the past year. Now, if I would have had to pay $26, I would have bought maybe 4 in a year. Now, I have to say this person is valued as a friend and as a customer relationship goes, I have a good/excellent one with them. So looking at this, for general purpose, Lets say the profit was $9 on 4 items, $36 over a year. On the other hand, Now I have 20 at a profit of $3, thats $60 over the year. So, if you were an owner, what would you do? The owner knows that I will be in to buy other items as well just because he gives me a deal on that one item.

Now look at the tire issue. 2 days ago, a manufacture told me prices of tires should be up around $28 a pr.......WOW, must be gold in them tires But if they want to sell tires at those prices, I won't race, I won't even bother to watch, as they won't be selling to me or any of my racing friends.

And something else, I still don't understand how a rubber tire can be less expensive to produce than a foam tire. I'd like someone to explain that to me.

(let me go off on this:: I can buy a sprinkler valve for $14, and it has 20 parts to it.) Rain-bird need to go into business making foam racing tires
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:55 AM   #2
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I think it will get worse before it gets better, US dollar keeps dropping against euro and other major currencies, I doubt the japanese and european manufacturers will be kind to us much longer.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:56 AM   #3
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RC Mushroom has Ellegis. but only 37 and 40 fronts in the Fast Tires for the MTX-3. They are still 8.00-9.00 a pair. If you buy enough of them, it makes the shipping worth it.
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:09 AM   #4
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Actually, it is Great Planes, not Horizon that has GRP. Foam tires have been undervalued for years. To make a rubber tire you must first make a mold, then go to town running the tire. For foam you must:
1)Skin the sheets
2)Cut the sheets to the correct thickness
3)Laminate the sheets
4)Cut the donuts
5)Mount the donuts to the rim
6)True the tires
7)Clean the dust off from trueing.
There is much more labor involved in making a foam tire than a rubber tire. In addition, the scrap generated from a sheet of donuts is greater than the number of tires yielded. Thus, as a business owner you can understand the frustration of having to throw away 65% of your raw materials.
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:21 AM   #5
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Then they need to improve the manufacturing processes, if the price of tires for racing on-road does not improve, people will just continue to drop away from the hobby and then who will the manf. sell to then. As it is because of volume pricing lhs are already priced out of the market.
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:29 AM   #6
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The manufacturing process is what it is. They are completely automated so it doesn't get any more efficient than that. They aren't the only choice, you know. Our prices (JACO) are as competitve as anyone's and the tires perform great.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Rimer
Actually, it is Great Planes, not Horizon that has GRP. Foam tires have been undervalued for years. To make a rubber tire you must first make a mold, then go to town running the tire. For foam you must:
1)Skin the sheets
2)Cut the sheets to the correct thickness
3)Laminate the sheets
4)Cut the donuts
5)Mount the donuts to the rim
6)True the tires
7)Clean the dust off from trueing.
There is much more labor involved in making a foam tire than a rubber tire. In addition, the scrap generated from a sheet of donuts is greater than the number of tires yielded. Thus, as a business owner you can understand the frustration of having to throw away 65% of your raw materials.
I agree to an extent. If you are having to throw away 65% of the foam why not make use of this waste and produce smaller foam tires for something like 1:18th or 1:24th scale. The latest class mini-Z (actually mini 1:12th cars with full side damping and lexan slotcar shells) racing run foam tires with 11mm width front and 16mm width rear. Overall diameter is about 22-24mm before truing. Should be able to cut from the center of a 200mm donut.

Check out www.inzaneracing.com for more details.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:24 AM   #8
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I agree too. But Jack knows his schitt about this process for sure.

But if there are alot of raw materials left over, using it for other methods does make sense. I can see slot cars and 1/18th scales making full use of it if the leftovers are large enough to warrant. or maybe sell the leftovers to specialty market tire makers.

Can the leftovers be recycled and reprocessed into new sheets? (not sure how that works?)

What about the piles of dust from truing the tires, can that be recycled?
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpilone
What about the piles of dust from truing the tires, can that be recycled?
Funily enough we did do this years ago with 1:12th when running indoors on polished surfaces.We ran 1:8th in summer and used the dust from them. We would mix the dust with pva filler glue to get a grippy tire that would take to the rims. We make the main tire from the mixture and then coated the inner surface with just foam dust.

We also used this method to fix chunks for practise tires.

Why cant the tires be cut in flat sheets and joined at the ends using brown evostick glue. The stuff wears evenly with the foam and doesnt have any effect on tire grip. Its not like CA were you get a hardened join.
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:54 AM   #10
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James:

Before you get too upset, wait until they actually have the product in stock. You might find out that the prices listed are just retail, or close. I remember when the MTX4 was about to become available there were places that had it priced at $900. I am just speculating, but don't panic yet. Even if that is the price, I am firm believer that the laws of supply and demand will force the prices to something that is realistic in the market. Give it a little time. Great Planes has committed to selling a lot of GRP product and they will find out they can't sell them at those prices.
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:02 AM   #11
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The material cannot be recycled into tires. We do maximize our yield with smaller tires as much as possible, but you must also understand that cutting circles with lead-ins is not very efficient utilization of the sheet. In addition, the outside edge of the sheets is unusable because of it being firmer.
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:07 AM   #12
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Jack
has anyone ever approached the manufacturers to see if the foam could be moulded in a tube form, either by extrusion or some other process. I don't know nuthin about how the actual sheet is made, wether its poured and ambient cured or heat cured. but seems in todays age of technology it should be able to be made in tube form requiring slicing only.
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:08 AM   #13
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If something is made overseas and the item is ordered from the country it was manufactured, of course it will be cheaper. If something is designed and made in Italy, by the time it gets in the U.S. it has been through five hands minimum before the consumer: Bulk Freight, Customs, Freight/Mail, Distributor, Retailer. A distributor places a $300,000 order from Italy, Japan, Taiwan, etc., probably gets taxed at least 10%. They have to recoupe the $30,000 from some where.

Cheaper prices = eliminate the middle men. The fee for freight and customs will always be there. However, prices go up regardless so in ten years we'll be complaining on why GRP tires cost $20.00 a pair direct from the factory.
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:10 AM   #14
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Also, I use Foam Tire Glue to repair tires that are chunked. After truing, the clue is hardly noticable and wears excellent, also it is soft and flexible. I believe it is tire glue #902.

Also, the foam dust that is created, I was saving my truing "dust" for a while for a friend of mine that does RailRoad modeling, he used it for coal in the cars, landscaping, and also his friends used it for thier Nascar Displays for "marble" effects against the walls. So, their is a use for some of that "dust'......The people I know that do tires, leaving a sheet of foam left with bunches of holes. These could be sold by the truck load to Foam Pits that are used for practice jumps by motorcycle/ atv and stunt people. Knowing that the foam comes in sheets, how about getting the foam in "Rods". You have them formed, extruded, or cut to a sheet, they could be done to a "Rod" the same way.
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:25 AM   #15
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The problems with using the foam scrap is that it is highly flammable since the foam is mixed with the laminating glue. I don't think I would want to land my ATV in a pit of that. The "dust" is also flammable and smells very bad which limits its use in consumer products.
They have tried extruding the rubber, but the process by which they produce sheets yields a much more consistent, balanced "tire". The extrusion process does not work for this type of rubber under the demanding requirements R/C racers need. As far as glueing strips together....does anyone remember the "tip tires"? Enough said.
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