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Thread: Is heat cycling tires "outdated" ?

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    Default Is heat cycling tires "outdated" ?

    Since most tires have a golden lap when new, I've always put new tires on for quali, then raced on the same set. The theory is, by heat cycling the tires, you lose the golden lap(s), but gain an advantage during the race. Has anyone actually seen an advantage during a typical sprint race?

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Does that work? What is the advantage during the race?

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    Tire compounds tend to get harder as they age. It's a curing process (chemical changes and mechanical forces that cure the tire). Think of it this way - the tire polymers aren't fully cured when the stickers arrive. It's why most race tires will be at their best early in life.

    In theory, a light heat cycle can push the curing process along, which can also make the tire more resistant to cyclic mechanical stresses in the future (the compound takes more of a "set"). Naturally this makes the tire somewhat more resistant to wear and heat by mechanical stress, though at the expense of the compound in an earlier and softer state. There are a host factors that influence any advantages, such as track surface, temperature, conditions. It's no coincidence that similar thinking applies to the reasons race tires are often offered in different compounds, e.g. hard to soft.

    Fortunately tire engineering has come a long way. Manufactures have developed compounds that are more resilient to problems like blistering and graining. The mechanical and chemical engineering at work here is staggering.

    My opinion - it depends on what you're doing. I haven't found heat cycling to be worthwhile in our sprint program. Tires are changed often. And pressures can be used effectively to shift when tires come in, early or late.
    Red Mist, bawareca and markn like this.

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    Track time is too precious imo to spend a session cycling tires. We might scrub a new set during the last session of the day on the test day and then leave them on for the rest of the weekend but that is about it. A lot of times we sticker up Sat morning though. I can't say that I've seen a significant difference in longevity or performance either way. This is with Hoosier SM7 and Toyo RR on a Spec Miata. Other cars/tires may want something different. We are on a new set of tires every weekend at this point so longevity really doesn't factor into our decision making process.

    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by markn View Post
    I can't say that I've seen a significant difference in longevity or performance either way. This is with Hoosier SM7 and Toyo RR on a Spec Miata. Other cars/tires may want something different. We are on a new set of tires every weekend at this point so longevity really doesn't factor into our decision making process.

    Mark
    That's what I've found as well, certainly not worth the effort, plus losing the golden laps, anyone get actual results from heat cycling "modern tires"?

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    I started scrubbing in Hoosier A7's a couple years ago. It makes a big difference in grip consistency and grip longevity with heat cycles. The first session can still include a golden lap, but I keep the session short. If I'm only scrubbing them in, then I follow the Hoosiers recommendations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markn View Post
    . We are on a new set of tires every weekend at this point so longevity really doesn't factor into our decision making process.

    Mark
    You 1% don't get what 99% are like.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    You 1% don't get what 99% are like.
    Says the 2%.
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