We met up with the guys from Vee Tire Co at the Winter Bike Connection event in Massa Marittima, Italy. They turned up with a brand new tire, the Snap Trail, to be available in both 27.5″ and 29″ size options, in both an enduro core and gravity casing. The Snap Trail is essentially a trimmed down version of the Snap WCE gravity tire, with reduced rolling resistance but still coated in Vee’s super tacky Top 40 rubber compound. We got a quick shot on it on the dry, fast and loose trails of Tuscany. Here is our first ride impression of the Snap Trail Enduro Core.
Snap Trail: First Ride Impressions
I tested the Vee Tire Co Snap Trail tire aboard a 100mm travel Orange Stage 4, a refreshingly capable short travel full suspension bike. The 29″ x 2.35″ enduro core Snap Trail tires were mounted to alloy rims with an internal width of 30mm, what they are optimised for. I ran it as a front tire, with Vee’s Snap WCE tire out back, with pressures set to 20 psi and 25 psi, respectively. That’s a little harder than I would normally run on my local trails but the Tuscan trails were dry with some fairly gnarly rock gardens in places.
We rode the Snap Trail on fast trails, hitting bermed corners at pace, and angulating into flat corners with only marginally more caution. The Snap WCE / Snap Trail combo tracked very well through berms, with no squirming to speak of. Up front, the Snap Trail performed as well as the 2.5″ Assegai EXO+ I run on my local trails, and I never once found the edge of my grip, even through loose flat corners at pace. Transfering grip from the central tread to the shoulder knobs was seamless, inspiring confidence to lean the bike into turns with no hairy “moments” on the way in. The sticky TOP40 compound found plenty of grip over the rock gardens.
I wouldn’t like to comment on the rolling resistance as of yet. The majority of our riding was uplifted so, until I’ve struggled up several long climbs on them, I shall say nothing. A long-term review of the Snap Trail is coming. I’ll be mounting them to the Crankbrothers Synthesis Alloy wheels for some arduous testing in Scotland’s winter slop. Keep an eye out.
Gimme the Tech
Yep, the Snap Trail tread pattern is almost a carbon copy of the Snap WCE gravity tire’s tread pattern, just a little more svelte. The central tread is fairly standard, alternating between pairs of knobs, some close together, some further apart. The shoulder knobs are slightly offset from sitting “square on” – not so much as we see on the Flow Snap tire but still, there is an angle there. These alternate between a regular square block and an irregular block.
The distance between the central tread and the shoulder knobs is pretty short at every other incidence of the tread, probably accounting for that seamless transition to the edge. The shoulder knobs are quite a lot smaller on the Snap Trail, as compared to the Flow Snap, but they still stand fairly tall, enhancing the tire’s more squared-off profile.
The Snap Trail enduro core has a claimed weight of 1,040g but we actually measured it lighter than that at 1,020g using a Park Tool scale. The 29″ Gravity Core iteration, with its additional ply weighs a claimed 1,160g. Also available in 27.5″, the enduro core goes sub 1kg with a claimed weight of 980g while the Gravity Core weighs in at 1,100g.
The tire is tubeless ready with a wire bead, 2.35″ wide and optimised for rim widths of 25mm-30mm. For those who are interested, the ETRTO for the 29″ tires is 60-622, and 60-584 for the 27.5″ ties. What on earth is ETRTO? Find out here.
The Snap Trail is made up of natural rubber, as are all Vee Tires. The Snap Trail, both enduro and gravity, have a TPI of 72. The enduro core is 1 ply TPI. It doesn’t feature bead-to-bead protection but the sidewalls are reinforced with Vee’s Apex material which serves to add stiffness to the tire and add puncture protection. Vee’s synthesis material can be found on the outside of the tire wall, a tough abrasion-resistant compound meant to help prevent slashes. Vee reckon this weight compromise delivers a tire perfect for the demands of enduro racing and all-mountain adventuring.
Vee’s Gravity Core casing adds a fair bit of weight to the tires. It uses 2-ply of the 72 TPI rubber, with three layers of protection. The Apex layer is sandwiched between two layers of TPI, thus bestows the tire with a stiffer sidewall. The Gravity Core also features Synthesis protection.
Seated to a 30mm internal width rim, the Snap Trail has a slightly more square profile, as compared to the Snap WCE tire. Both measure at 60mm from outside knob to outside knob, but the Snap Trail sits 1.5mm lower than the Snap Flow, with respect to the rim.
Pricing and Availability
Vee Tire Co’s Snap Trail tire will be available to both European and American customers as of around 4th April. All four iterations will set you back $65.