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Search new + high quality used Competition tires online. Starting at: $31.37. Tires in stock: 1904. Available brands: 41 with 373 models. All season: 520. Winter: 147. Summer: 1237. Run flat: 234. Selling all used tires at discount costs. All used tires go through 2 layers of inspection on specialized equipment. One year warranty + free shipping on all inventory ;) Happy shopping!
Shop Used Competition Tires at Best Prices + FREE SHIPPING
Competition tires are a subcategory of race tires designed for tuned and racing cars. They can only reach their full potential on a special racing track with a perfectly flat paved surface. Many models are not suitable for average daily driving.
Used competition tires: bald move
At first glance, these tires appear to be very worn out — their tread looks "bald". In fact, competition tires come like this when new. On asphalt that is flat, smooth and dry, they far outperform standard tires in terms of handling and grip.
Competition tires are engineered to provide safety for racers and maximum grip for cars travelling at very high speeds. They have the highest speed ratings possible — W (up to 168 mph) or Y (up to 186 mph). To deal with these kinds of speeds, their design differs from other types of tires. But to understand exactly what makes them so special, we need to take a closer look at how they are made.
5 factors to consider while choosing used competitions tires
The tread pattern on competition tires is coarser and shallower than that found on a regular tire. There are two main types of competition rubber: slicks and semi-slicks. While both types are crafted for road racing, they have important differences.
Slicks have no drainage grooves on the surface of the tread (except for rain slicks) and so do not evacuate water from the contact patch. The shallower the tread pattern, the harder it is to drain water off. For this reason, slicks can only be used to drive in dry weather conditions (again, apart from rain slicks). This is similar to why you will see F1 racers pulling in for a pit stop to change tires if it starts to rain.
By contrast, semi-slicks have grooves so you can use them on wet roads with a lower risk of aquaplaning. We will discuss both kinds of competition rubber in more detail below.
The rubber used in competition tires is softer than that used in standard tires, providing an incredibly sticky grip to the road surface.
World-famous manufacturers develop special technologies to improve tire performance so that they provide maximum grip, superior handling when maneuvering and do not wear out too quickly.
For example, for its Hankook Ventus V12 EVO2 tires, manufacturer Hankook uses a special high grip silica tread compound featuring an innovative functionalized styrene polymer.
In the carcass of competition tires, the tire cord features special metal threads which ensure that the soft rubber keeps its shape under increased load.
The low profile of racing tires is designed not for beauty but to cope with the inertial force that occurs when changing direction abruptly. This force multiplies as speed increases. The low profile of a competition tire helps it handle these stronger forces that it is subjected to at high speeds.
Types of competition rubber
As mentioned above, automotive competition rubber is divided into two main categories: slicks and semi-slicks. Let's take a closer look at the key characteristics of each separately.
The tread of slicks gives the maximum contact patch area and hence the maximum grip on asphalt surfaces. One example is the Michelin Competition GT. Such rubber is used in professional racing competitions on special race tracks such as DTM, Formula1, and other races with highly-trained drivers. It is not permitted to use slick tires on normal public roads. You definitely can't go off-road on drag slicks.
The service life of slick tires depends on many factors, but they generally have a lower treadwear due to the special composition of the rubber compound. Slicks tend to cost more than semi-slicks.
While generally slicks are designed for dry weather, there are special kinds of slicks designed for wet roads. These tires have drainage grooves which evacuate water from the contact patch to the sides. A good example of this kind of tire is the rain slick Hankook Ventus Z207 / Z217, which is a rain tire for circuit racing exclusively on wet roads. The tire is engineered to effectively reduce the risk of aquaplaning and has excellent directional stability.
In the end, slicks are really for professional racing and not suitable — indeed illegal — for common use. But if you are a professional race driver looking for used tires or a motorsport fan you can read more about slicks in the Racing Tires category.
Semi-slicks are good for car races, mountain races and amateur rallies. Unlike slicks, semi-slicks can legally be driven on public roads - but it is still generally undesirable to do so as they are really intended for racing. Semi-slicks are more responsive than racing slicks and better at cornering. Their advantages also include improved vehicle dynamics, a more comfortable ride, and good directional stability of the car at speed.
The composition of rubber in semi-slick tires differs significantly from that used in standard tires. These tires must provide good contact with the road surface and not burn when the driver suddenly steps on the gas.
To adjust the stiffness of the wheel, manufacturers adjust the compound mixture. For softer tires, more silicone is used. This allows the tire to stick to the asphalt, giving good grip even in the rain. However, the disadvantage of soft rubber is lower wear resistance.
Semi-slick tires come in different grades of hardness, namely:
It is up to the driver to choose the right degree of hardness according to the conditions of the upcoming race. For racing on mountain roads, soft rubber is a good choice as it quickly warms up in such conditions, providing a grip advantage literally only meters after the car starts to move.
For normal conditions, medium-hard (or hard) rubber is a solid choice as it is very hardy and well suited for long difficult races.
Several factors affect the treadwear of semi-slick tires, including rubber hardness, road conditions, driving style, ambient temperature, and the weight and power of the car. The treadwear index of a semi-slick is usually in the range of 80 — 140 units. Tire pressure should be set according to the tire manufacturer's recommendation as deviating from this can significantly reduce the tire’s service life. A wear indicator is located on the tread or sidewall of the semi-slick tire.
Disadvantages of semi-slick tires:
While semi-slick track tires are more adapted for normal roads than slicks, it is still dangerous to use them in rainy weather. These tires have only a small number of drainage grooves so there is still a risk of aquaplaning.
In hot weather, small stones and gravel stick to the tires and then hit the wheel arches and the underside of the car.
As with any tire made for road racing, semi-slicks are pretty expensive. But you can find affordable options on Utires.com, where a set of used competition tires will cost somewhere in the range of $183 to $846. Prices for one tire start from $34.
Top 3 from Utires.com experts
Here are the top 3 competition tires as recommended by Utires.com experts.
Hankook Ventus TD Z221
A recent entrant to the market has been rigorously tested on a variety of racing tracks. The tire is very responsive for steering and resists side load well at high speeds.
Toyo Proxes R888R and Proxes ra1
Japanese semi-slicks with an asymmetrical pattern. Thanks to the wide shoulder area, these tires perform particularly well on dry surfaces. According to the manufacturer, these tires also deliver excellent results on wet asphalt. While not recommended, they can be used on public roads too.
These tires are designed for dry racing tracks with Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, or BMW cars. The tire offers precise steering response, even under extreme loads, and excellent dry grip. They are approved for road use but not suitable for driving on a wet track.
You can check out all these tires as well as many other models of used competition tires on Utires.com tire rack. We offer a wide choice of tires from the best brands such as Hoosier, Nitto, Michelin, Pirelli and many others, all available with a warranty at reasonable prices.
To find the perfect tire for your needs, use the indicators on the bar on the left to select your ideal tread depth as well as the tire size, price, brand and model you are looking for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are smooth tires illegal?
Because it drastically reduces grip with the road and vehicle handling. Operating a car equipped with new or used competition tires becomes dangerous off the racing track: it really slides, especially in wet conditions.
Are used competition tires worth it?
Definitely. Shop for them at renowned offline or online retailers. Choose the kind you are looking for and don’t forget to check for promotions and even better discounts. At Utires.com prices for used competition tires start from $47. For this price you can buy one Pirelli Scorpion Verde NO with 8/32” tread left.
Are competition tires legal?
Yes and no. Even if competition tires have surpassed all Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements, the vehicle equipped with them cannot be driven on paved roads and highways. It is highly unsafe.
Do competition tires guarantee you’ll be the fastest in a road race?
This is one FAQ you will find in racing forums. Racers argue over the advantages of driving on competition tires. Some claim that for amateur road racing there is not much difference between competition tires and tire categories such as extreme performance, max performance, or even ultra high performance tires, and that competition tires only win you fractions of a second.
Having said that, sometimes mere fractions of a second are all that separates a winner from the first-place loser… What do you think, are competition tires the right choice for amateur racing? We’d love to hear more about your experiences in the comments.
In making the right choice?
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