Just a short while ago you could practically count on several fingers the number of five inch fatbike tires available. The landscape has now changed.
Vee Tire entered the 4+ fatbike tire market with the Snowshoe and in mid 2014 Vee released its bigger brother the Snowshoe XL.
I have been provided with a pair of silica compound 120 TPI studdable Snowshoe XLs for review. Check out the video for a more detailed unboxing.
The 120 TPI sidewall makes the tire extremely subtle and easy to mount. I barely had to use the tire levers to get them over the rim lip. In my opinion the 120 TPI option in any tire is well worth the money as the tire is generally easier to mount and rides smoother.
Vee’s claimed weigh is a svelte 1380g. My handy dandy scale put them pretty close to this mark.
Mounted to a 80mm rim they come in at 109.8 mm (4.3 inches) wide which is comparable to a Bud. The XL is almost 10 mm (0.5 inch) wider that its little brother the Snowshoe. You can also see from the picture that the XL (R) and Snowshoe (L) are completely different tires.
The silica compound in the XL have some pretty interesting characteristics that will benefit fatbikes in all four seasons. For more detail check out the video.
For those with 190mm rear spaced fatbikes you will have no trouble mounting this tire to your ride. My 170mm Bigfoot had derailleur rub (not chain rub) in the small chain ring, however as I’m doing some experimentation in the gearing department (watch for upcoming blog) to eliminate any rubbing. Initial testing is quite positive.
You have to see these tires in person, they are impressive. You can't help but smile when looking at them mounted and aired up. The lugs are deep and the spacing is ample to allow for maximum gripability. They are tubeless ready, directional and ready for studs if necessary.
I will be field testing them in various non-winter terrain to see if they exceed their namesake and if they can handle being a true four season tire. Stay tuned for that.
And a shout out to Cychotic for letting me borrow a Snowshoe for the photo shoot.