Pro-Line Racing has recently released the new Blockade tire for 1/8th scale buggy. In fact, the Blockade made its first apparition at the 2011 ROAR Fuel Off-Road Nationals where Ryan Cavalieri took the win with the Blockade. This is an excellent debut for Pro-Line and their new Blockade. Pro-Line have put a lot of R&D and energy to offer us a tire that combines lifespan and traction. The small pins grip very well on hard packed track surfaces. They are nicely spaced to increase forward traction without scarifying side traction. The Blockades are available in M2 (Medium), M3 (Soft) and M4 (Super Soft) compounds.
For testing, I’ve grabbed two pairs of Pro-Line Blockade in M3 compound that I’ve mounted on Pro-Line yellow Velocity wheels. The tires come with the new “Next Generation” closed cell inserts. They seem to be a little firmer than the previous inserts. The external surface of the inserts is ribbed for a perfect fit with the inside of the tire which is also ribbed. This helps the tires to perfectly fit onto the insert and prevent excessive sidewall flex.
I’ll skip the gluing process. First, because I’ve always hated to glue tires and the second reason is because nothing wrong happened when I’ve glued the tires. They perfectly fit the Velocity wheels. It was a breeze to glue the Blockade tires to the Velocity wheels. It almost makes me enjoy the tires gluing process!
The hardest part of the testing was to find a right place to run my buggy with the Blockade tires. All local tracks are too loose and too loamy for the Blockade. I’ve finally found a hard packed surface so I can test the tires. This was not a track but the surface was large enough to test the tires. The surface was a mix of different types of sand with pebbles that has been hard packed by vehicles. My improvised test track was near houses, I took my RC8e (2200kv motor of 4S LiPo) instead of my nitro buggy to test the tires.
With a fully charged pack, I did few high speed passes to check the tires for excessive ballooning. Even with all the power of my brushless buggy, the Blockades didn’t get out of shape at high speed. The buggy handling was more predictable than expected and the buggy was easier to control at high speed with the Blockades compared to some of my others tires. Of course, the tires ballooned at high speed but this was minor. It was now time to test the forward traction. E-buggies produce a lot of power and the Blockades showed me good results when I nailed the throttle on the hard packed surface. I had no difficulty to quickly accelerate while preventing the wheels from spinning and to keep the buggy in control. To test the side bite, I’ve simply did a small 8 style track layout. The goal was to go as fast as I (the tires) can without losing control. To my surprise, the Blockades have very good side traction and the sidewall has minimal flex. Even in the roughest sections, the inserts were soft enough to absorb the all the smaller surface imperfections.
My tests lasted nearly 45 minutes, the time to go through three LiPo packs. 45 fun minutes where I turned left then turned right then braked and accelerated more than I never did before in 45 minutes! The Blockades have surprised me, they have excellent forward and side tractions. The small pins showed signs of wear but nothing major. They are excellent tires for hard packed surfaces and they seem to last longer than others tires with similar tread design.
For more information, visit www.prolineracing.com