The new Vee Tire Co. TOP40 Tackee rubber is the softest compound they’ve ever made, and it’s already been proven on the World Cup DH circuit. Never one to move slow, they’re already using it on a new Snap WCE (World Cup Edition) tire for downhill and enduro. The tire takes its design cues from the Flow Snap, but is a whole new animal.
For starters, the WCE model turns the side knobs to be more “straight”, which they say makes it way more aggressive in the corners. The side knobs aren’t perfectly aligned, with the “L” shaped ones staggered inboard just slightly from the square ones, helping them act as transition knobs as you lean into the corners.
Compared to the Flow Snap, the Snap WCE’s casing is rounder, and the center knobs are taller, giving it an overall much more round profile. This was done at the at the request of Team Sixpack Propain riders and team manager Ben Reid because it allowed them to roll and corner faster. So, for some riders, it may not feel as stable, but if you like to really lean your bike hard, the combination of deep tread and super grippy rubber will give you monstrous traction.
Speaking of that rubber, Vee’s Tackee Compound used to stop at a 48A durometer, which was used at Red Bull Rampage by Vinny T. This new one, as the name implies, is 40A, and while super soft, their team riders have been able to get through a full weekend of practice laps and racing on a single set (per rider, of course). There’s signs of wear, for sure, but the samples we saw were still plenty ridable. That said, don’t expect them to last for months of hard riding; think of them as a race-day secret weapon.
They say the revised tread block layout also clears mud better, which is key when you’re headed to a race and conditions could change overnight. So, it’s designed to work at the highest levels in both dry and wet conditions, which they proved with a win at the World Cup under Propain Sixpack junior rider Henry Kerr.
They’ll be available in 29×2.35 and 27.5×2.35 with their Gravity Core casing, 72tpi, folding bead, and tubeless ready. Retail is $74.50 / €64.78.
Vee Rail Escape trail tire and a prototype
The new Rail Escape 2.4 offers a wider size for XC and trail riders looking for a fast rolling, lower profile tire who still want more volume. And at an 875g claimed weight for 29×2.4, it’s respectable for a 72tpi model with their Synthesis sidewall protection that costs $55.
Shown on the right in image on right is a new XC race tire that’s in development. It has a target weight of just 576g while still having an Aramid puncture protection belt. And it’s a modern 29×2.1 designed around a 30mm internal rim width. Look for it to have a120tpi casing, be tubeless ready, and probably launch later this year.
Ever wonder what all goes into a tire casing? Vee was showing off the different layers. That straw-hatch looking stuff is the nylon thread that gives a tire its TPI rating. This one’s probably a 72tpi or lower judging by the thick threads. Lower thread counts have more space between them, which means more rubber gets around them, so they’re more durable and firmer, but also heavier. Higher thread counts use thinner, more tightly packed threads that don’t let as much rubber between them, so they’re more flexible and lighter, but not as tough. This is why you see higher end race tires with 90-120tpi ratings, but more affordable and/or aggressive tires using 60-72tpi.