VEE Tire Co. Snap WCE Tire

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VEE Tire Co. Snap WCE Tire
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Tested: Vee Tire Co. Snap WCE Downhill Tire

Vee delivers a true contender in a seriously competitive DH tire market.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: Vee Tire Co. Snap WCE Downhill Tire

With warmer temperature hitting the northern hemisphere and the snowpacks beginning to sluff off, here at Vital we started dusting off our big hitting bikes for a great season of shredding. Before all that and while the snow was still falling, Vee Tires filled us in with their latest project, the Vee Snap WCE tire. This new DH tire is the product of extensive R&D in conjunction with the Propain Six Pack World Cup DH team, and it brings to the table another option for riders looking for a grippy, durable and strong tire for going down rowdy terrain at stupid speeds. With several months of aggressive riding in the desert of Southern Utah now behind us, here are our first impressions.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Top 40 compound and rounder profile hold lines among the best
  • Slow

With warmer temperature hitting the northern hemisphere and the snowpacks beginning to sluff off, here at Vital we started dusting off our big hitting bikes for a great season of shredding. Before all that and while the snow was still falling, Vee Tires filled us in with their latest project, the Vee Snap WCE tire. This new DH tire is the product of extensive R&D in conjunction with the Propain Six Pack World Cup DH team, and it brings to the table another option for riders looking for a grippy, durable and strong tire for going down rowdy terrain at stupid speeds. With several months of aggressive riding in the desert of Southern Utah now behind us, here are our first impressions.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Top 40 compound and rounder profile hold lines among the best
  • Slow rebounding characteristics keeps the tire grounded
  • The casing offers outstanding protection from rocks and cuts
  • Long lasting tread life
  • With the caveat that we have yet to test in muddy and wet forest conditions, no real weaknesses have been detected to date

Vee Snap WCE DH Tire Highlights

  • New slow rebounding, tacky yet durable Top 40 compound (42+/- durometer)
  • Gravity Core 72 TPI folding bead
  • Knob layout and rounder tire profile designed to offer seamless transitions from center to side and back
  • Extra protection casing
  • 29 x 2.35 - Weight: 1315 grams claimed // 1320 grams actual
  • 27.5 x 2.35 - Weight: 1235 grams claimed
  • 22.5 to 50 PSI pressure range
  • MSRP: $74.50 USD

Initial Impressions

Getting our hands on the new Vee Snap WCE tires, we quickly learned that these aren’t your average run-of-the-mill DH tires. These things are packed with all sorts of technology. First up, the extra protection casing. Vee applied their signature Synthesis layering into the casing of the Snap WCE to help prevent any sharp objects from cutting through on the trail or the race track. An extra aramid layer was placed just below the knobs and the casing is also reinforced just above the bead of the tire, creating the most durable tire Vee has made to date. Handling the casing, it truly feels tougher and more durable than other tires we’ve tested, including the ever so popular Maxxis Minion DHF 2-ply 3C Maxx grip DH.

Top 40 compound is a new rubber compound found in the Snap WCE tire. Rated at 42 (+/- 2) durometer, the knobs were easy to compress and move with just our fingers which should translate to optimal grip on the rocks and roots. The Top 40 compound also has an impressively low rebound rate which should add even more grip and control at racing speeds. As for the tread pattern, the center knobs are quite high, with block and L shaped knobs found on the sides of the tread. Moving from the center of the tread down to the sides, the L shape knobs are there to make the transition from straight lines to leaning the wheel smooth, while the block-shaped knobs stand bold, helping riders to hold their lines in tight and off-camber situations. The rounder profile of the Snap WCE tire complements the tread profile and allows the rider to lean from one side of the tire to the next without compromising speed or control.

The Vee Snap WCE weighs in at 1320 grams in the 29-inch version, and you can see how it measured up once mounted on We Are One Composites hookless Outlier hoops with a 31mm internal width in the pictures above.

On The Trail

With snow covering the majority of our DH tracks when this test began, we decided the terrain of southern Utah would be a perfect battle ground to really evaluate the potential of the Vee Snap WCE. The tire is designed to work well in a majority of conditions, from rain to sun shine, but our testing focused primarily on the dryer side of the spectrum. While descending some of the more iconic DH trails in the area (Grafton DH and Flying Monkey) the Top 40 compound really came to life, offering optimal grip. In sections where our bike will often bounce and skip down rock from rock, the Snap WCE tire’s traction was among the best we've tested to date. The slow rebounding knobs further improved control in the roughest portions of these trails and it allowed the bike to really stay planted to the ground.

In spots where we are used to braapping a berm or two, these Vee tires held the line and had us working hard just to get the tread pushing dirt sideways.

Thanks to a wet El Nino year, we were able to verify that the side knobs held off-camber lines while climbing and descending on slippery slabs - actually we were surprised from time to time on just how well the Top 40 compound gripped when we did manage to get it wet. Although we can testify to the tire's abilities on dry and wet rock, the area where we tested lacks the wet mud and slick roots common to DH tracks so we’re unable to offer any insight regarding their performance in such conditions. Of course, rocks and roots are focus areas in developing a performance DH tire, so chances are good the Snap WCE will work as advertised deep in the forest loam - we did notice outstanding grip whenever we found a patch of dirt to play on too. In fact, in spots where we are used to braapping a berm or two, these Vee tires held the line and had us working hard just to get the tread pushing dirt sideways.

Things That Could Be Improved

So far our testing of the Snap WCE tires has not revealed any real shortcomings or weaknesses. Before receiving our production samples, we were provided with a few prototypes to give feedback on - and one of these tires had a malformed bead. Hardly something we can hold against the finished goods, which in both appearance and performance have been nothing but impressive.

Long Term Durability

With several months of use on some of the roughest and rockiest trails in the country, the Snap WCE tires have held up astonishingly well. Where other tires in the same category have had torn edges and ripping side knobs at this point, these tires show next to no wear. The sidewalls show minimal scuffing as well, and no snags or tears have developed despite many close encounters with sharp rocks.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Vee Tire Co. came out swinging with the introduction of the Snap WCE tire. The new Top 40 compound offers excellent grip and even greater control thanks to its slow rebound characteristics, and the layout of the knobs mixed with a rounder profile gave us phenomenal traction from side to side and everywhere in between. Although we’re not able to comment on how it performs on wet roots, this tire holds the line on rock and dirt - come rain or shine. The sidewalls are incredibly durable and the tread life is among the best we’ve seen, particularly impressive given the very soft (42, +/- 2) durometer rating. Coming in at just under $75 USD, the Vee Snap WCE tires are a real contender in a hyper-competitive market.

Visit www.veetireco.com for more details.


About The Reviewer

Lance Starling - Age: 31 // Years Riding: 18 // Height: 6'3" (1.91m) // Weight: 190-pounds (86.2kg)

Lance got his first mountain bike in 2001. Fast-forward 18 years and not a day has gone by that he hasn’t completely obsessed over the sport. This obsession has transformed him into a mountain bike guru whose love for picking apart components and gear is similar to a honey badger consuming king cobras. Nothing is left untouched. His playful riding style generally keeps him more in the air than on the ground and whatever tricks he lacks he makes up for with a good ol’ bar hump. Never at any time have consumers have had it so good and with over ten years in the industry as a certified mechanic and gear expert, Lance is devoted to helping those riders find the perfect gear to meet their needs.

Photos by Lance Starling and Tyson Hudson

Specifications

Product VEE Tire Co. Snap WCE Tire
Riding Type Downhill, Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b), 29"
Tire Width 2.35 inches
Tubeless Compatible Yes
Bead Folding
Durometer 42A, Top 40 Compound
Sidewall 72 TPI, Gravity Core
Weight
  • 2 lb 11.6 oz (1,235 g)
  • 2 lb 14.4 oz (1,315 g)
Miscellaneous ETRTO:
60-584, 27.5" x 2.35", (part no. B43002)
60-622, 29" x 2.35", (part no. B43001)

Recommended Pressure Range: 22.5 to 50 PSI (1.6 to 3.5 bar)
Price $75
More Info

Aggressive Knobs

The higher center knob hooks to surfaces with maximum grip while side knobs are designed from two different profiles, one with an L shape to give support during the transition from center to side section.

Round Profile

Riders want a seamless transition from straight to cornering. Vee's engineers created a rounder profile compared to the Flow Snap so riders can maintain speed on any angle of the bike.

Extra Protection Casing

Any puncture during a race means a lost chance at the podium. An extra layer of aramid is placed below the knobs to minimize the chance of sharp objects breaking the rubber layer. At the sidewall, Vee's Synthesis prevents side cuts and chips just above the bead while Apex reduces the chance of snake bites.

Top 40 Compound

From Vee's Tackee Compound, riders expect a slower rebound to maintain the grip on roots and rocks. The Top 40 compound is the softest compound that Vee Tire Co. has created for more control, more comfort and more confidence in all terrains.

Gravity Core

This casing combines Vee's 2-ply and Synthesis technology for protection that is three layers strong. The highest level of defense, Gravity Core has been developed to remain light and maneuverable for downhill while still offering durability.

For more info, visit www.veetireco.com.

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