Pit Bull Rock Beast II 2.2 Tire Review

pit bull rock beast ii opener

They say the shoes make the man. Nice leather shoes may seal the deal on a fancy suit, but it ends there. You can look like Trump, but still be dumb as a stump. If you buy a new set of Air Jordans, you will be wearing the same sneakers the best basketball player who ever lived wears, but you will not have his first step, his court awareness, ability to motivate others to new levels and handle pressure (MJ doesn’t choke, LeBron), his ups, etc., etc. In real life, the shoes do not really make the man. In RC, however, the equivalent of shoes, tires, do make the man, I mean, truck. Give me an ill-handling race truck, and if I can change only one thing, you can bet your last nickel it will be the tires. Same goes for a rock crawler. I’m not saying nothing else matters, but nothing matters as much as tires. I don’t mess around with poor performing tires. And, speaking of tires that are definitely not poor performers, not all that long ago I got a chance to test and review Pit Bull Tires Rock Beast Scale 1.9 tires. I was impressed, so I jumped the chance to give their Rock Beast II 2.2 tires a shot.

SPECIFICATIONS
Diameter 5.75 in.
Width 2.16 in.
Weight (bare tire) 5.1 oz.
Price $30 (pair)

pit bull unmounted

FEATURES
Pit Bull is a full-size off-road tire manufacturer that leans toward the hardcore. You aren’t likely to find Pit Bull tires as a factory tire on a light truck anytime soon. Their tires are built for off-road performance, not to offer excellent street manners with occasional or possible off-road use. Point is these tires are aggressive. Now, when Pit Bull released its first generation of 2.2 tires, they learned the tires were too wide for how tall they were and that there was also demand for a generally taller tire. They were similar to other 2.2 RC tires in proportions, but for the demanding scale enthusiasts, it became apparent that an all new 2.2 was needed. The version that I am reviewing here is the second iteration and may look similar, but it is definitely a whole new tire. Pit Bull answered the call for a taller and narrower scale tire with the Rock Beast II.

tread detail 2

One look at the Rock Beast II tire and you’ll quickly realize that they are very aggressive and very different from most other off-road tires. The tread pattern doesn’t repeat as quickly most tires. Many tires have the same lug design–a single lug size and shape–going around the tire. Some alternate—small lug, big lug, small lug, big lug, etc. The Rock Beast II has four different lug shapes before it repeats. It looks busy, but it means there are a lot of edges and points to dig into dirt and grab onto rocks. It also plenty of open space between lugs to keep dirt and mud from packing in. If you look closely, you can see the Rock Beast II has nice scale details like the siping and the tread-cleaning bars found on the full-size tire.

inside pit bull tire

The Rock Beast II tires are molded in what is called the Komp Kompound. The inside of the sidewall is reenforced with ribbing for support. Pit Bull doesn’t include foam inserts with this 2.2 tire. I bench tested standard foams, dual foams (standard and memory) and full memory foams. I decided that Pro-Line memory foams were the best match for my setup.

I matched the Rock Beast II tires with a set of aluminum wheels from Locked Up RC. With the Pro-Line memory foams, which weigh more than standard foam, and the aluminum wheels, the end weight of 10.95 oz. was significantly heavier than a stock tire on a plastic wheel. On a scale rig, I like a pretty heavy tire and wheel combo. While the 2.2 comp guys are building everything lighter, that practice doesn’t translate to scale. A heavy tire setup lowers the center of gravity and scale rigs with scale accessories usually have horribly high center of gravities. The downside of heavy tires is that they require more power to move and all that mass can break, or at least put a lot more wear on, steering, suspension and drivetrain parts.

action 1

PERFORMANCE & FINAL ASSESSMENT
Like I said in my admittedly longwinded introduction, I was impressed with the 1.9 version of this tire, so I had high expectations for the new Rock Beast II 2.2 tires. That said, I also worried that the new taller tires would be too tall. I’ve put a lot of RC miles on these tires, but my official testing consists of three segments. The first test session was at my most often used scale crawling playground, my own backyard. I have a lot of exposed rock to crawl on and having been over these rocks every which way, I have a pretty good handle on what can and what cannot be done on the terrain. I immediately took my truck to the known hard parts. The Pit Bull tires showed they had no weaknesses. All the challenging parts I could climb before were still doable. I tried an off camber turn that few vehicles can pull off and while I thought these tires would have the stick needed to stay on all fours, they too eventually stopped grabbing. So, on my home turf, the Pit Bull 2.2 tires were just as capable as any other 2.2 scale tires I have used, but I couldn’t say they displayed new levels of performance—at least on these rocks.

The next round of testing took place at RC Madness in Enfield, CT. This hobby shop has a large scale crawling area. While they have a long manmade rock course, the vast majority of the scale courses are on dirt—sometimes loose and sometimes packed. Again, the Pit Bull tires worked well on the rocks. There aren’t any tires that I’d say outperform the Rock Beasts on rock. Now, despite the Rock Beast name, these tires proved to be just like their smaller counterparts and absolutely excelled on dirt. The rig I was using for testing is equipped with a Holmes Hobbies Puller motor and has plenty of wheel speed without a sacrifice in torque. Being able to get on the gas makes good use of the Rock Beasts’ aggressive tread. These tires simply dig and climb like it’s their job. If you mostly run on dirt, these tires are a no brainer. That isn’t to say they don’t work on rocks. It just appears they shine on dirt. The reality is it’s very hard to differentiate these from, say, the Pro-Line Interco TSL SX Super Swamper 2.2 tires, which have proven to be excellent tires worthy of use in competition. The Pit Bull Rock Beasts are just as worthy. If you want tires work so good that you could use them in competition, the Pit Bulls are just as good of a choice as any other tire.

action 2

The last part of my three-part test was R/C Excitement’s Tough Truck Challenge. This event was well attended and with a lot of very competent competition. The competition included a hill climb, sled pull and a long obstacle course that further included rocks, mud, some sandy dirt sections and some seriously difficult climbs. The hill climb proved to be too much for most of the trucks to tame. My Pit Bull equipped truck made a decent show of it, but didn’t really come close to topping the hill. I was disappointed, but the upside is no one made it up and over. On the sled pull, the dirt was very loose. Most trucks didn’t get past tightening the chains. I made it about halfway down and was only bested by one other truck. Worth mentioning is my 1.9 rig also had Pit Bulls and while all of the other trucks got stumped at the start line or close to it, my super low geared truck achieved a full pull. It’s safe to say that the tires, the common denominator, helped these trucks out distance the field. On the obstacle course, the tires worked flawlessly and, again, are just as good of a choice as any other tire. In the end, I won both classes with two trucks both equipped with Pit Bull Rock Beast tires.

There are team drivers out there that will tell you whatever they run is the end-all, be-all and the absolute best ever. I am quite sure you can find a ringing endorsement of the Pit Bull Rock Beast II tires by a clearly and understandably biased person. That’s how it goes. It’s up to the consumer to take everything with that old grain of salt. We’re here to help. Now, I can’t tell you these tires will be a game changer for you—because you may be running competitive tires already. What I can tell you is the Pit Bull Rock Beast II tires are as good as anything that is currently out there. I do wish they came with inserts. Even if the latest trend is to get hybrid inserts, I’d like to see any old inserts included. This would allow the average guy to at least use them right out of the bag and not have to figure out what inserts to get. It’s also worth noting that these tires are tall. They are almost too tall for my rig. I opened the wheel wells as much as I could stomach and still had to raise the body. This is risky as a high center of gravity is the mortal enemy of a crawler. That said, my new setup obviously didn’t ruin my rig as I was able to take home a win. These tires really make me want to build a new 2.2 scale comp rig—a fenderless truck with at least a partial tube frame and a 2-speed. If I were to build this truck—my idea of the ultimate competition 2.2 scaler—I would use Pit Bull Rock Beast II 2.2 tires.

Links
Pit Bull RC Tires
Pit Bull Tires
Locked Up RC
Pro-Line Racing

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Filed Under: FeaturedReviewsRock Crawlers and Scale

Matt Higgins About the Author: Matt has over 30 years of experience in RC and has worked professionally in media for two decades. Matt enjoys everything from racing to rock crawling to bashing, and he believes RC should be all about having fun. Matt is as at home covering a world championship in an exotic country as he is showing a new hobbyist how to set gear mesh. His desire to share the hobby with as many people as possible inspired him to create RC Truck Stop and RCTruckStop.com.

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  1. Richard Haskill says:

    I am a PitBull team driver. If you really want these tires to come alive. Get a set of Crawler Innovations Double Deuce foams. Get the 6″ medium/firm. You will be truly amazed at how much better this setup is than any pro-line or any othe companies foams for that matter.

  2. Will1063 says:

    Do you have wheel weights on the front wheels? if so, what brand are they and if i wanted to get them, would i have to upgrade my C-hubs and all that? I run a Axial scx10 just for the info.

  3. Chris Marsh says:

    on your review Matt i got a set of these for my trail truck, so far they have handled just as good as the 1.9s, i keep tipping over and i thought it was from the tire, it was not it was from me using the axial trail ready beadlocks and useing the small hub conector in the kit, plan to fix this soon and get you a U review. cause these tires are AWESOME! just wish PitBull would make a Summit sized tire (5 3/4 x 3) so i can run a set of rockers on all my trucks

  4. Dennis says:

    Have a Axial Deadbolt. Had a blast out of the box. But as life dictates you have to change something. I picked Pitbull’s, Axial bead locks, rim weights for the fronts. What a change in the climbing! Set plywood ramp up in basement, put bath towel on it for traction. It drove up a 55 degree with no problem. I’ve moved the battery low and forward and have climbed almost 60 degree. My new Axial (stock) can not make it up a 55 degree, yet! I have new bead locks and Pitbulls coming. Thanks for a great web site.

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