Heat cycling: The secret to tires that go faster and last longer?

By J.G. Pasterjak
Mar 11, 2024 | tires, GRM+, Heat Cycle, Tires & Wheels | Posted in Shop Work , Tires & Wheels , News and Notes | Never miss an article

How can you make tires last longer and run faster? How about heat cycling them before that first event?

Prior testing and experience has shown that many brands of track tires respond very positively to a proper heat cycle before hot laps. 

[How to manage tire temperatures for improved on-track performance]

From Tire Rack’s website on the subject: “Putting new Track & Competition …

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APEowner GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/27/22 5:16 p.m.

I wonder.  Do you get the same results if you heat the tires in an oven or is the stretching a critical part of the process?

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/27/22 5:19 p.m.
APEowner said:

I wonder.  Do you get the same results if you heat the tires in an oven or is the stretching a critical part of the process?

I'm pretty sure they need to be adiabatically heated through deformation.  Just heating it up will not have it go through the structure changes that the material matrix needs to go through.


I believe tire rack pushes the spinning tires against a roller to heat cycle them.

CAinCA GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/27/22 5:57 p.m.

Straight from tire rack's heat cycling page: "Our heat cycling service begins by mounting the tire on an appropriate-width wheel and inflating it to the desired pressure. It is then placed in our heat cycling machine which has three rollers positioned at the corners of a triangle. The tread flexes where it comes into contact with each of the rollers, stretching the rubber compound enough to progressively bring it up to temperature all the way around the tire and across the tread."

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/27/22 8:38 p.m.

Hope you all appreciate the fact that those are some properly heat cycled tires in the photo. :) 

buzzboy SuperDork
7/28/22 8:03 a.m.

We started buying pre heat cycled tires. It increased our tire life by 50% or more. Especially important before getting the wheel/tire package dialed in.

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/28/22 9:20 a.m.

For decades many race teams have "scrubbed" sets of tires during test days for this very reason.  Even Crashcar teams do it.  Teams I worked for would use the Thursday test day for the Daytona 24 to scuff multiple sets of tires.

Twenty years ago I was working with a special compound tire supplied to me for an important race.  The tire engineers told me to scuff them before the race, and let them cool back down to air temp.  In this case we had only two hours between a warm up session and the race.  I'm sure many were laughing at us as we dismounted the wheels and carried them to a hose to rinse them repeatedly to get the heat out.  (It was silly looking)  But, all that said we won the race and set a lap record. 

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/28/22 9:40 a.m.

Its probably why I have no issues with any of my Falkens.  Go out and run them pretty hard and come home and park the car up on jackstands for a day

DaleCarter GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/28/22 10:29 a.m.

A fresh set of heat cycled Azeenis RT660's are going on the Miata as I type. I think paying for heat treating is the cheapest speed and durability you can buy.

Olemiss540 HalfDork
7/28/22 11:28 a.m.

What does "scrubbing" a tire in on track consist of? 6/10ths for 3 laps? One warmup and one flying lap? Curious!

My NT01's typically get heat cycled by sliding them around as much as possible on the out lap and then usually a quick spin/4 wheel off to cool them down. They never last less than 13 or 14 weekends this way and always keeps the marshall on their toes. 

V2U_03 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/11/22 11:50 a.m.

I continue to be amazed by having to do all this extra work. Every single customer will want at least 2, if not all, of the benefits (improved lap times, longer service life, reduced wear). Do it before it leaves the factory, add $20 to the price and let's be done with it. Do an "easy session" you say? Is that why I put all this time and money into this car and this track day (and into bribing the moderately jilted wife)...so I can do an easy session and then put the tires away?

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