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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vee Rubber New Tires

A look at the new rubber from Vee Rubber.
Test riders are riding the tires now, check back for first impressions.

    • I rode this tire today. I was actually thinking it would be very similar to the Small Block 8 as the center knobs are also low and about the same height - fast on the straights and struggle in the turns.
      I was wrong.
      This tire felt like it had little suction cups on it in the corners.
      The key difference from the SB8 is that the farthest side knobs are also low which means that when pushed do not fold over like so many other tires do, but more spaced out so able to dig deeper into the surface debris.
      There are also no longitudinal bare spots around the circumference of the tire. This means that every possible angle the tire hits the ground has a knob to grip it.
      This one is a 2.0 width, something I almost never run, but I was impressed with how it gripped, both front and rear.
    • 2nd ride:
      With a heavier casing the tire pressure can be run lower than on a super lightweight race carcass.  At lower pressure the tire, as most will do, tends to over-steer.  That means when turning the wheel wants to turn more aggressively than normal.  An odd feeling for sure.

    • Mounted these up front and rear on the race bike. Very similar to the Traction Power I rode before.  These are slightly smaller and were mounted to slightly more narrow rims.  The key difference is the side know patter (see pic) .
      Different course today. They felt fast, and stable. Like when u go from full suspension bike to a hard tail, that feeling of stability. This thanks to the low knobs. No roll when turning either.
      In the turns they were good, though maybe not as sticky as the Traction Control.
      I was happy with the performance of the tire. In straight line it was fast, rolled very fast, and in corners held its own.
      With the similarity from this to the Traction Control I will need a little more time to evaluate the differences.
      These Vee Rubber tires mount up easily with No-Tibes sealant. 4 tires and no persuading the tire to seal, they just mount and hold air.

Race-V, Speed-R and Trax are all very similar treads and handle similarly.

The Speed-R is similar in looks to the Race-V .
Surprisingly fast and sticky in the corners for what you would expect from its looks.  This may well be the go-to tire for all around use.
The Speed-R feels very solid in the corners. Leaning the bike yields no mushy-ness as so many other tires do.  Transition from vertical to a full lean is smooth and predictable - something that is becoming common among Vee Rubber tires.

Cory Rimmer is on the V 12 currently.  The tire is reported to be super fast - almost like a road slick.  It corners superbly in dry hardback conditions, but in the mud the little knobs do clog up and provide little traction. It is meant as a dry conditions tire and does that well.  
During a cross race Cory said he was hitting his pedals in the turn before the tires ever complained about the corner.  Lock the brakes up or hit a mud patch and the tires pack up, so these are dry condition tires only.

"When I first rode on the 12s the lack of razed side k knobs were quickly noticeable. The bike felt like it wanted to fall into the turn. After a few more turns I began to compensate for the lack of “support” you feel with tall side knobs and began lean the farther than I thought I could. Instead breaking lose and drifting into a turn I just kept lean as of I were on a motorcycle on the road.
I know I will be using the 12 a lot this season. With super low rolling resistance and the ability to take corners faster than most would dare. What more could a xc racers looking to win ask for?"

Cory went on to win the 24 Hours of BURN solo men in 2012.

update:  The 2013 V-12 tire sees higher knobs for longer wear and a little more bite into the deep.  Several of the tires got a facelift for 2013 after feedback from riders and reviews.  Vee is eager to please.

The 7 is a to like the 26 inch Rail.  Our test riders are not reporting as exciting feedback as from the other Vee Rubber  tires. The tread is fast like the other models, but the large lugged side knobs do not bite as well as other V tires do.  Something is not quite right on the side traction; it handles like any other tire, and that is not expected from the new offerings from Vee Rubber otherwise.

Race-V 29'er and V-10 29'er

Spinning tire.  The Speed-R in motion shows the profile of the knobs.  A distinct space between the side knobs and the center knobs should hook up in muddy conditions when sliding sideways (or prevent that).
Usually a blank space means a blank somewhere in the lean angle, and a loss of traction, but by moving the blank space further out seems to work, perhaps at that distance out the knobs help the tire deform enough to flatten out over the terrain.

The Rail in motion. A good spread of knobbies and a smooth transition from vertical to full lean.

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