Vee Tire rolled into the market a few years ago with some of the first “affordable” fat bike tires. They have grown rapidly, with 9 different fat bike tire models (including the plus-sized Trax Fatty), and their growth was primarily fueled by consumers being able to get fat bike tires without a home refinance loan.
The H-Billie is folding bead, tubeless ready, and claimed at 26×4.25″, aiming for the lighter fat bikes with 4″ tires that still make up the vast majority of the market.
We took a ride on the H-Billies, and found them to be pretty good, especially for the price. Take a look inside to see how a tire at half the price stacks up…
Vee Tire has created a bit of a unicorn with the H-Billie, it is a fat bike tire that only has two digits in the price tag. At $80, it is half of what a lot of other similar fat bike tires cost, and still less than most “budget” options. Our folding bead models that we tested were a $30 upgrade, pushing them to $110. With the upgrade, the pricing is more in line with other similar fat bike tires, but only because those prices have come down recently, probably thanks to Vee Tire entering the game and lowering overall prices through market competition.
Our test tires came mounted tubeless on the Sarma Naran 80 carbon fiber rims, so we were not able to get an actual weight, but claimed weight is 1,320 grams (120tpi, folding), and other Vee Tire models we have tested come in close to their claim.
On our ride test, the H-Billie punched above weight, with really good traction, especially in corners. Sometimes the lighter tires have a tendency to wash out in corners, as manufacturers look to save weight by reducing knob height. Even though the H-Billie had a constant knob height across the carcass, they held in a corner, and also up a climb. Tubeless is not an extremely common thing among fat bike tires yet, but that is where these really shine. While the tire is about 150g lighter than another fully-knobbed tire of similar size and price, the end result is over a pound lighter per tire, by simply losing a 400g+ inner tube. Now, these were mounted to carbon rims too, so it’s easy to start glowing over how fast they accelerated, but regardless of the rim, the majority of the weight savings per wheel was simply due to a lack of inner tube. I also felt that they conformed better to the ground, which probably aided in traction, and kept unwanted bounce down. All in all, these tires rode as well, or maybe better, than tires twice their price. Even if you spring for the budget wire bead models, the overall weight would be lower than a high-end tire combined with tube.
On an 80mm rim, the tire measured out to 101.45mm. From the claim of 4.25″ (108mm), they were about 6% off from claim. Regardless, right around the 100mm mark means they will fit most of the more common 170mm spaced frames out there, to get the most volume possible out of the smaller chassis.
- Compound: Silica – Single
- Tire Casing: 72 ($80, $110), 120 ($120)
- Bead: Wire Bead ($80), Folding Bead ($110, $120).
- Recommended pressure: 8-20 (0.6bar-1.4bar).
- Available in: 26×4.25
The H-Billie is a viable alternative to more expensive options. With tubeless tech, quality options, a decent weight and a more than decent price, riders of the bulbous movement should take a serious look at these. I know if I broke out the wallet, these would be on the top of the list.