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Lathed Pinewood Derby Wheels for Better Peformance. 

Example of pinewood car

Lathed Pinewood Derby Wheels

The wheels that come in your kit are not perfectly round and the tread surface is not even. In addition, several different molds are used to make the wheels. The wheels from each mold have different characteristics and imperfections. The result is that your car will vibrate or bounce slightly as it goes down the track slowing your car down.  We slightly modify the official BSA wheels to eliminate these problems.

We start with official BSA wheels then:

  1. Sort by mold number - this "balances" the car because all the wheels now have the same characteristics.
  2. Lightly lathe the wheel tread - this makes the wheel round within 0.002 inch and removes all bumps and other imperfections.
  3. Dome the wheel outer hub - By coning the hub, we reduce the contact area between the wheel and axle head, minimizing friction.

The result is that our wheels are much faster!
Best of all, the visual changes that we make to the wheel is minimal so it should pass all but the strictest race rules (see below).

Lathed Pinewood Derby Wheels

This wheel would not be allowed in races that specify
that the diameter of the wheel must be greater than 1.18".

This wheel should be legal in races that specify any of the following:

  • Wheels must be the original shape as packaged in the Official Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit. (Wheels must not be peaked, ‘H’ed, humped, tapered, or narrowed.)
  • Wheels may not be tapered or rounded.
  • Only wheels and axles from the official Pinewood Derby kit may be used. Beveling, routing, tapering, perforating or any other significant altering of the shape and performance of the wheels is prohibited. The tread may not be modified to enhance its performance and must be a completely flat surface. The tread width must not be narrowed beyond its original width.
  • Wheels must be full width, as provided in the “Grand Prix Kit.”. Wheels may not be tapered or re-formed so as to reduce the footprint of the wheel against the track surface.
  • The wheel diameter cannot be reduced past the ridge (rippled) edge and the ridge (rippled) edge must remain intact on the entire wheel.