Versus Tires is an all-new direct-to-consumer tire company started by some mountain bikers who’d already been working in the cycling industry and wanted to create a better way to buy high-performance tires.
We’ve all seen the consumer-direct sales model thrive in mountain biking for the likes of Canyon, YT, Commencal and many others – not to mention the more recent online sales moves of giants like Trek, Giant, and many more to mix brick & mortar shops with direct sales. So why not tires, too? Sure, you can shop online, but this is about cutting out the middleman to pass on savings without passing up on quality and new tech.
Versus All Mountain tires delivered direct to your doorstep
More businesses are appreciating the power of delivering straight to consumers’ doors in these crazy times, so it looks like Versus are presenting a new option, just in time. A rider owned & run company makes three promises: “really good tires… reasonably priced… [delivered] direct to your door.” It’s a simple premise developed to make it easier & cheaper to replace your tires when they wear out. The even offer a return customer rewards program, where the more tires you buy from them over time, the lower the price will be.
Versus All Mountain 29×2.4″ tires – Tech details
For now, Versus offers a single aggressive mountain bike tire tread design – the All Mountain – in two different constructions. That simplified the startup cost of their molds, but also allows a pretty wide range of technical mountain bike use. That tread pattern looks a whole lot like a Minion DHR II (“imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, right Oscar Wilde?) with paired, ramped center knobs and boxy & L-shaped shoulders. Hopefully, with their modifications Versus can deliver a similar level of performance of that long-running AM/Enduro benchmark tire.
Versus says their designs stand out for having sipes on every tread block to increase traction, and lots more edges inside & out on the shoulders to bite into the terrain. The shoulder knobs also get unique accordion cutouts on their leading edge to encourage the knobs to deform, while solid trailing edges maintain support.
Inside a bead-to-bead VERSA woven textile impregnated with rubber is said to prevent punctures and hold air longer than most modern tubeless tire setups. All tires are tubeless-ready, designed for 30mm internal rims.
Trail vs. Gravity casings
The difference in the two All Mountain tires is less casing than the rest of the construction. The both share the same 60tpi walls & VERSA protection liner.
The Trail casing tire uses a harder 63/60 dual compound rubber composition and gets a folding bead – for a claimed 1050g weight. The Gravity casing shares the same casing & protection, but opts for softer, stickier 58/52 durometer rubber and a heavier wire tubeless-ready bead – coming in at “~1500g”
Versus MTB tires – Pricing & availability
The Versus tires ship consumer direct around the globe, although free shipping in the US will make it an easier decision for Americans to give them a try. A pair of AM Trail tires will set you back $120, the AM Gravity tires $130 for a pair. Versus says that already accounts for a $5 savings over buying one at a time (which will likely be available in the future.) The Trail tires are also available in a limited edition LTD Yellow Splatter look for those looking to stand out.
In Canada it will take about $42 more or if you figure on sending that to Europe you’ll need to add at least another $70 in tax & slow boat DHL shipping. Versus does say they have a 30-day trial guarantee. So, ride the tires a bit (not wear it down as quickly as possible), and it you aren’t happy, they will take them back and refund you.
So what’s next from Versus?
As it stands you can only buy one 2.4″ tread pattern, only for 29ers in Versus’ first product roll-out. But a 26″ version of the same tire is already on pre-order now for the huge number of legacy gravity & freeride bikes already out hitting the bikepark for the last couple of decades. Those tires are being pre-sold individually for $62.50 a piece.
And yes, a 27.5″ version is on the way too. Production has already been ordered on those, and they are slated to head out to consumers starting in fall 2020.