vee flow snap enduro tyre

Review: Vee Tire Flow Snap + Enduro Core 29×2.6in Tyre

by 3

Tyres, as many of you know, represent perhaps the least sexy but certainly one of the most emphatic ways to alter your ride. From those proponents of the ‘fit once and only replace once you can see the rim strip through the carcass’ school all the way over to ‘I change my tyres only on days with a ‘y’ in them’ proponents, slipping on some glistening new blackness is guaranteed to change your bike’s handling, its grip and even how it feels to pedal. 

Vee is (literally) expanding its tyre lineup, with a larger 2.6in version of the versatile Flow Snap.

Of course, not every tyre will grease the wheels (so to speak) of every rider, and some are unapologetically niche (‘this tyre only works at its best on a medium-to-fine loam with a moisture content of 4.5’) while others essentially offer the world on a stick (‘the Parvalbumen ThraXXer 2.45’s new neocortex carbowaffle weave can tame mountains, swamps, deserts and even relatively shallow lakes! Simply adjust pressure to suit).

The Vee Tire Company has recently been attempting to increase its brand awareness in mountain biker circles with a wide range of tyres that aims to suit an equally wide range of disciplines.

Indeed, the 27.5×2.35 Flow Snap Enduro Core tyre – similar, but somewhat less embiggened, to the one tested here – was blessed with a coveted ‘Singletrack Recommended’ accolade by the deliciously muscular and fragrant Mr James Vincent.


James Vincent reviewed the slimmer version. Click to read that review

Vee Flow Snap + Enduro Core 29×2.6in Tyre

“But wait!” I hear you cry, eyes staring about in confusion as your brain tries desperately to process the impossibility of this situation. “What are you blethering about if you’ve already written about them?”

Fear not, gentle reader. Soothe your fevered brow with the unctuous balm of the enlightened when I tell you that this is the ‘plus’ variant of the self same Flow Snap, which is thusly denoted by the placement of a large ‘+’. While the tyre that the delectable and preposterously hench Mr Vincent drooled over was a mere 27.5 by 2.35, and thus is appropriate for his diminutive, yet curiously manly stature, this here bad-boy is a whopping 29×2.6in. So it’s not as ‘plus’ as many, so you do actually stand a reasonable chance of getting it into your frame, but it is plenty big.

Rubber compounds are, as ever, present, correct and plentiful. The tyre possesses a Core of ‘Enduro’, and a compound known as ‘Tackee’, and it’s furthermore ‘Tubeless ready’. All good things to know. But what do they actually *mean*? Well, let’s take a look.

vee flow snap enduro tyre
It is billed as a ‘dry’ tyre, but the Flow Snap works very well in softer and wetter conditions.

Strangely, the Tackee compound doesn’t refer to someone who is ‘Tacked’ by a ‘Tacker’. Rather, it’s a particularly soft – 48A – tyre compound which provides great stickiness on one’s all-mountain and enduro segments, and apparently offers also the ‘smallest rebound for more control on downhills’. This is all woven together with a 72 TPI (threads per inch) casing, with a relatively hard-wearing 54a rubber compound on the centre knobs, with the softer 48a compound on the corner knobs for increased traction. 

Fitting & Setup

Fitting the tyres was pretty straightforward on my standard test Specialized Roval carbon wheels (inside diameter of 30mm), and when inflated tubeless, they came in at precisely 2.6in wide at the carcass. Confirmed weights? A not-inconsiderable 1203g for one, and 1198g for the other. So you definitely know you’re on some serious rubber.

Frame-wise, they worked with the Pole Evolink 158, and a Santa Cruz Chameleon (largely because of the adjustable dropouts) but they failed to fit into a Santa Cruz Hightower without some tyre-rubbing. So if you can, make sure you’ve got the clearances – these are hefty, hefty tyres. On the front, there were no problems with RockShox Pikes or Lyriks, and Fox 36s had no problem either.

I tried these tyres on both front and rear in a variety of situations ranging from high Alpine dusty tech-gnar all the way to claggy UK woodland mud-fests. They’re claimed to be designed for loose, dry trails when you’re hitting them blind and flat out, which isn’t ideal for winter Yorkshire, but is pretty good for alpine autumn.

Is he airborne, or just doing ze wheelie?

On The Trail

On the front, the tyre performed at its best, surprise surprise, on loose, dry trails. Blind is optional, as is flat out, for that matter, but when genuinely hurtling towards an unexpected switchback down something precipitous, the tyre performed very well. There was little carcass flex even at relatively low pressures, and even when hauling the anchors on and trying to steer the wheel at the same time, it generally went where I wanted it to. Off-camber sections were dispatched with as much aplomb as I’ve ever had, and it hooked up nicely in ruts and roots, thanks to that softer edge compound.

But ‘good in the dry’ (although it is) is hardly a totally ringing endorsement – it’s much harder to find a tyre that also performs well in the clag, and here, the story – on the front at least, was also encouraging. Initially, cornering grip was a little off on particularly steep, slidy sections, but dropping a few PSI worked wonders at the expense of a barely detectable increase in lateral squirm at higher speeds.

On the rear, the story was similar, except that when things got properly slimy, it was difficult to find straight line climbing traction. Of course, truly scientific assessment isn’t exactly possible, but peers I’d normally match stroke for stroke (fnar) were managing to slip and slide a little less than me. That said, though, performance when pointed downwards was impressive, and it should be remembered that this is billed as a ‘dry’ tyre after all.

Durability

The 1-ply carcass, designed effectively as a compromise to drop weight and render the tyre easier to climb with, was a little more flexy than true downhill rubber when barrelling hard into stuff, as you’d expect, but not terrifyingly so. Even so, it’s a tyre that feels better cranked over than it does gingerly edging into the soft stuff.

As for general wear and tear, both tyres have worn exceptionally well after four months of testing, and I have yet to puncture either of them.

vee flow snap enduro core tyre 29x2.6
The 2.6in ‘British Plus’ width gives a little more cut-through in sloppy conditions compared to larger 2.8-3.0in plus tyres.

Overall

Overall, this is a fine tyre. Hefty, comfy and confidence inspiring on the front in a variety of situations, it’s only slightly let down by straight-line climbing performance in the wet. But given it’s billing as a dry-weather tyre, its all-weather credentials are still impressive.

Review Info

Brand: Vee Tire Co.
Product: Flow Snap + Enduro Core 29x.26in
From: veetireco.co.uk
Price: £69.99
Tested: by Barney Marsh for 4 months

Barney Marsh takes the word ‘career’ literally, veering wildly across the road of his life, as thoroughly in control as a goldfish on the dashboard of a motorhome. He’s been, with varying degrees of success, a scientist, teacher, shop assistant, binman and, for one memorable day, a hospital laundry worker. These days, he’s a dad, husband, guitarist, and writer, also with varying degrees of success. He sometimes takes photographs. Some of them are acceptable. Occasionally he rides bikes to cast the rest of his life into sharp relief. Or just to ride through puddles. Sometimes he writes about them. Bikes, not puddles. He is a writer of rongs, a stealer of souls and a polisher of turds. He isn’t nearly as clever or as funny as he thinks he is.

More posts from Barney

Comments (3)

Leave Reply