Friday, January 6, 2012

Choosing Your First RC Car

Traxxas Mustang Boss
RC cars are a hobby that many people are attracted to at some point, but many people don’t follow through because it can seem like a difficult and expensive pastime to become involved in. RC cars do not have to be expensive or complicated, and with the right information anyone can choose an excellent starting RC car or truck for their particular situation.
Traxxas Maximum Destruction
One of the first choices to be made is what kind of RC vehicle you are interested in. Certain types of vehicles are better for certain situations, and some handle very differently despite being internally similar. For “off road bashing”, or generally mucking about in the great outdoors, RC monster trucks are generally the best choice. They have excellent ground clearance, large wheel bases and large rubber tires. These make them ideal for handing rough terrain. Monster trucks are great for jumping as well, because they are durable and can be made very powerful.
Redcat Racing Backdraft Buggy
Those interested in racing dirt tracks with be looking at buggies, stadium trucks and truggies. Both race in their own class so performance is really more of a personal preference. Buggies are lower the ground and are more precise. They cut into corners quicker than stadium trucks and are more nimble. Stadium trucks, however, run better on rougher tracks. They are also more forgiving and easier to learn how to drive. Truggies are a combination of the stadium truck and buggy, and their performance lies somewhere in between.
Losi Micro-T Stadium Truck
Those wanting to race on-road will be looking at street racers. These cars are extremely powerful and some can reach speeds of over 100mph. There are models available based on just about every real life car one can think of, and of course price and performance varies drastically. These are the kind of cars that can be converted into drift cars as well. Redcat Racing has a large selection of on road cars geared towards beginners.
Redcat Racing Shredder XT
Another important choice to make is whether to purchase a nitro or electric RC car. Electric is more recommended for beginners because electric RC cars are both safer and easier to use. Nitro engines work basically the same as an old car engine. They have spark plugs (sort of), carburetors, need the proper air to fuel ratio, produce smoke and need some way of cranking the motor over. All of these things can be very fun, and those who know a lot about internal combustion engines will probably enjoy nitro RC cars. For the average person though, electric cars will be much easier to learn. Nowadays electric cars are just as, if not more, powerful than nitro cars.
Traxxas Slayer Pro Nitro
Cars come either ready to run or with assembly required. Assembly of an RC vehicle is different from normal model assembly and can be very complicated for those who are not experienced. For this reason, ready to run (RTR) vehicles are recommended for beginners. This allows the user to skip the hassles of assembly and simply get to running the vehicle immediately. As with the hassles associated with nitro motors, some people find this is one of the draws for them. But while I would recommend someone getting a nitro car provided they have the dedication and time to put into it, I think that ready to run really is the way to go for a first car.
HPI Blitz
Once all of these decisions are made, choosing an RC vehicle should be a simple process. Simply click the appropriate category on the Hobbytron website, set the search filter to the appropriate price range and make a pick. With RC cars you mostly get what you pay for, but brands like Traxxas and HPI have been around for years and are well-trusted but the hobby community. Anything from these and other major brands is likely to be a good investment.
Mini Fire Fox
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