Can You Use Slicks On The Street? 6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t

Are you looking to make your normal car a drag-racing beast? Then you might want to put slicks on it. But can you use slicks on the street? Will it be safe? Let’s figure it out.

If you are acquainted with racing bikes and cars, you have definitely heard of slicks. Racing slicks are tires that are made with a smooth rubber surface to allow high contact between the tires and the road.

These are very effective as racing tires, but what happens if you drive them on common public roads? In today’s article, let us tell you about slicks and whether or not you should be using them on public roads.

 

Can You Use Slicks On The Street

 

What Are Slick Tyres?

Slick tires are specialized racing tires that are sensitive to water, dust, and sand. They are manufactured to give a car the largest contact area between the tire and the ground. These tires do not have water-dispersing grooves that are present in normal tires to be driven in rough or wet conditions.

The way they are created, slicks are made to be driven on smooth roads at extremely high speeds. It is not meant to be driven on public roads where moisture, asphalt, and other particles can have a very harmful effect on the vehicle, including accidents.

Why Should You Not Use Slick Tyres On Streets?

Slicks are exclusively created for racing vehicles, and there is usually a warning issued to use them as street tires. But is there any reason other than their design that makes them unfit to drive on public roads? Here are a few reasons why you should not use slicks on common roads.

Temperature

No matter what kind of tires you are using, there has to be a certain level of temperature that is maintained. This ensures that the tires are not burning out due to the friction it has with the road. Since slicks can achieve huge speeds very fast, they work at a temperature of 100 and 120 degrees Celsius for the front and rear wheels, respectively.

Slick tires are often protected with covers before a race to maintain the smoothness of the track. For normal tires, the temperatures needed are much lower, and slicks will not be able to run smoothly at low speeds with less temperature. If you are planning to ride safely on public roads, you cannot raise the speed of your vehicle to such a high just so that your tires run properly.

Weather

Other than temperature, weather conditions have an effect on tires. Slicks are created for dry tracks where only a tiny bit of moisture can be tolerated by the tires. For car tires on public roads, they should be able to without bad rains, heavy humidity as well as moisture almost on a daily basis.

Slicks are known to work on damp roads, but the catch is they do not have grooves that allow any kind of water to slide off and have a grip on the road. So using slicks on public terrain means that there will be practically no grip when you are driving on wet roads.

 

Can You Use Slicks On The Street

 

Heat Cycles

Sometimes you can notice blue or purple bands on the edges of tires after you have driven through any kind of rough terrain. This is due to the release of oil from the ‘heat cycle’ of the tires. This happens because tires have oil as part of their basic compound.

The heat cycle is what helps a tire cool down after reaching a high temperature. This usually remains for a few seconds before reaching back to an optimum temperature. Now, if you are using slicks and they have oil leaking from the rubber, it will make them more slippery than they already are. So, no grip on rough roads the next time you are taking your car out.

Cold Shear

Cold shear is a condition where the surface of the tire gets torn because it has been operating below the required temperature. So when you are moving the tire along the road while driving, the soft compound gets into the ground, plowing through.

In extreme cases, cold shears are known to throw pieces of rubber while you are driving it at high speed. Slicks have a high tendency for cold sheers to occur because of the material they are made up of and the temperature levels they operate at.

Suspension settings

Whenever you are using a different kind of tire, they will have to be in line with those specific suspension settings. For slicks, it is especially important to have suspension settings since they are made for certain kinds of roads.

Trying to change the settings from track to road may already be a complicated thing, but trying to manage the suspension every time you take your car out is not something you would want to do. Normal tires have a suspension setting that is fit for public roads.

Safety

When you are driving on public roads, rash driving should be the last thing on your mind. The primary concern for any driver is to drive the car safely and ensure that the car is performing well with all its components functioning properly.

If you start using slicks in your car, it could become a recipe for disaster, mainly because of the lack of grip. Not to mention, this could be a very expensive mistake when you are trying to replace slicks in your car. Finally, track settings can result in a fairly uncomfortable ride.

In fact, these tires are often called cheater slicks because they are not street-legal tires in most states. They are competition tires and should not be used as normal street tires.

 

If you are trying to test out slicks, simply go on a track. It will help you try out the quality and speeds that come with racing tires and help you understand better how you should be using them. Do not use the tires on your regular car, and start driving on public roads if you are trying to get an experience.

Are Regular Tires As Good As Slick Tires?

Modern-day regular tires have become some of the best versions to use on streets in recent times. Manufacturers like Bridgestone and Pirelli Diablo Rosso have updated their tire designs to create sport-touring tires. This means that you can get a smooth racing experience even with normal tires.

The best part of modern street tire designs is their safety features, along with the grip they provide. You could be driving on the worst roads and have a smooth driving experience with the right tires. In most cases, people try to use slicks to have the experience of a smooth ride on a normal road.

If you are thinking about your safety, you will choose the modern street tire design that replaces regular tires with slicks. The groove design allows for the car to be safe on bad roads, and these tires have a better chance of picking up speeds. The tires also remain safe with their cooling features, and there is less damage done over time.

 

Can You Use Slicks On The Street

 

Full Slick vs. Semi-slick Tires

Some drivers are of the opinion that if you do not want to use slicks on your vehicles, go for semi-slicks. But does it really make a difference?

Full slick tires are created for smooth asphalt roads that racing tracks are made from. These have all the features of specialized slick tires and are considered the best option as race tires.

Semi-click tires are also used on race tracks but are somewhat different in the compound they are made from, with slight differences in design.

Either way, these tires are not fit to be driven on public roads that can be rough to drive on. Most importantly, the moisture in the tires does not fair well with either of the tires since they are very sensitive to water or liquid and will probably lose grip at the first contact. Some drivers are of the opinion that if you do not want to use slicks on your vehicles, go for semi-slicks. But does it really make a difference?

Full slick tires are created for smooth asphalt roads that racing tracks are made from. These have all the features of specialized slick tires and are considered the best option as race tires.

Semi-click tires are also used on race tracks but are somewhat different in the compound they are made from, with slight differences in design.

Either way, these tires are not fit to be driven on public roads that can be rough to drive on. Most importantly, the moisture in the tires does not fair well with either of the tires since they are very sensitive to water or liquid and will probably lose grip at the first contact.

 

Can You Use Slicks On The Street

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use slick tires on the road?

Slick tires are not the best options to use on normal roads. It can be dangerous and sometimes illegal to drive slicks that have an extremely low capacity for grips on a rough road. These tires are sensitive to moisture and dust and can result in a rough experience on the road.

Can you drive daily with slicks?

Slicks are not the best option for daily driving since they are specialized racing tires. These tires are difficult to drive in high temperatures and bad weather conditions. They can be prone to accidents if driven on rough roads.

Are drag tires street-legal?

Slicks are not permitted to be used on public roads by the U.S. Department Of Transportation. There are specific criteria for DOT tires that do not match with slick tires. They are not street-legal tires since they do not have the DOT serial number, as they are meant to be driven on tracks.

Are slick tires good in the rain?

There are certain slick models that have a tread pattern, which makes them good to drive in the rain. Most slick tires are not appropriate to drive in the rain since they are sensitive to moisture. The threaded options are also safe to drive on dry pavements.

 

Can You Use Slicks On The Street

 

Conclusion

If you are a professional race-car driver, slicks are often your best friend. If you have a car to make trips to the grocery store and use for the occasional long drive, you should reject the idea of even using slicks. These are specialized tires that belong to the race track and should be used where it is safe. Thank you for reading, and drive safe!