Ridges on Fat Track...do they make a difference?

shadowracer Wednesday, 7/1/2020

Hey all...long time lurker. Been a while since I posted anything though.

I'm curious if the ridges in the driving lanes on older Fat Track and the newer Adventure Force things have any real bearing on gravity racing. I know they are originally made for cars that are self propelled, and (likely) have rubber tires. Just not sure on the science of it.

Would it affect gravity racing in any way if the ridges didn't exist?

Thinking of a foray into gravity racing again, and just exploring my options. I like the idea of the Adventure Force ones....but they're already kind of hard to get where I am. 


 Hey man, I don't know what it's like to not have them.. But it seems to me that they help keep the cars going straight. Cars obviously still get sideways, drift, and turn around backwards etc But imo the ridges seem like they lessen that.  I would say it's maybe like a snow sled with some grooves on bottom vs. not having them .  Have fun getting back into it!

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redlinederby 7/1/20
Site manager

Good question that had me thinking too. I don't have any wide track as of yet but the lines/grooves had be thinking hard about it. If I want to see if how good a card is (as much as you can on the open road courses anyway) wouldn't you not want the lines impacting your car?

Again, not having some track to play with and observe I can't say if they make that much difference. Although I'm guessing in a race that (seemingly) relies more on luck that actual car skill, those little grooves don't matter much.

I would say not at all from all the different track pieces I have.  In my ooen lane S curve, the cars go diagnol across the ridges in chloroplast with no issues, I also have original fat track pieces and Augmoto pieces, no difference in any of them.

The ridges in the curves on adventure force track are slightly more pronounced than on the straights and I think they do make a difference. If you push a car through a curve by hand and apply sideways pressure to the rear of the car the ridges stop it sliding and I think the same must apply at speed. Most cars will track cleanly through the curves (unless hit by another car) but move around side to side more on the straights. 

You could argue that 2 Lane wide open track is a bigger test of a car as it is not just about low friction but about balance and stability and an ability to track straight without being guided by track sides. Controversial! The randomness or luck element mostly comes from the interaction of the cars on track. But hey, that's racing! And it's the same in full size motorsport! 

  • You could argue that laneless is a bigger test of the car, and you'd be right... if they were on a timer and going down one at a time. Laneless is good fun, and makes for fun video, but I'd argue than laned racing or straight timed runs is probably more legit. I rather like some of the tracks like this guy below. Im thinking Id be more inclined to build something like that, if I could find the curves. https://youtu.be/aaCA-LLnDJM — shadowracer
  • I hear you. I like laned racing as well. Two individual lanes with curves like LoS's Bootleg Run or the Races and Fun track you linked to is awesome, but getting hold of those vintage two lane orange curves is tricky. Mattel really need to reissue those ASAP! — EcuWeeEcosse
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