Trail ready Thai tyres built on trickle-down downhill race tech. We test that fast-rolling Vee Tire Snap Trail Top 40.
Vee Tire Co. has been growing in popularity at a very steady and consistent pace over the past few years, and that’s a pretty outstanding accomplishment. Just imagine deciding to enter a crowded market full of established brands making quality products, and making a mark! That takes some doing.
Vee’s success over the past few years comes in part to the fact that they own their factory and control every aspect of manufacturing to the team of pro riders and athletes they support in all forms of cycling.
With its rubber plantation, Vee Tire can ensure the quality of materials, then inspect everything along the manufacturing process in house. And their wealth of riders allows the company to design treads they know that will work on the track.
Vee Tire not only produces its range of tyres but also makes products for other manufacturers including E*thirteen, who openly revealed this fact.
As mountain bikers, we know Vee Tire Co. as a gravity tyre producer, but they also sponsor World Pump Track Champion Tommy Zula, several BMX, road and XC teams along with freeride athletes and UCI DH World Cup Teams.
It was this work with downhill teams that gave birth to the Vee Tire Flow Snap, a durable gravity tyre with aggressive tread design and ultra-soft Top 40 rubber compound, which has been raced to success over the past few seasons. As good as the Flow Snap is though, it is a little on the heavy side and those aggressive knobs and ramps don’t roll as effectively as a trail tyre should, so Vee’s team looked at adapting improving the tyre for enduro and trail riding. And so we come to the newly launched Vee Tire Snap Trail.
Vee Tire Snap Trail – Design
The centre of the Vee Tire Snap Trail tread design features closely spaced blocks with a horizontal groove across, alternating with wider spaced trapezoids with a large ramped area and a vertical groove. The design is similar to the WCE downhill tyre, but the tread depth is slightly shorter and the design is more tightly spaced.
Side knobs are also alternating in design with a block L shape followed by a chunky block tread. The depth and profile of these side knobs are more aggressive than some other trail tyres we’ve tested and look just the sort of design we would be after in loose UK conditions.
Vee only offers the SNAP Trail in its Top 40 rubber compound. It’s a very soft feeling rubber that offers lots of traction as well as a low rebound speed.
Depending on how and where you plan to ride, Vee offers the SNAP Trail in either an Enduro or Gravity core. The Enduro Core is the lighter of the two with a single ply 72 TPI construction whereas the Gravity model boasts 2 ply. Each tyre uses Vee Tire’s Apex material to help stiffen the tyre wall and a Synthesis outer layer that is designed to protect against jagged rock strikes and slashes.
Vee Tire Snap Trail – The Ride
Based in the Peak District I’ve had a fair amount of rain and snow over the past few weeks, with a sprinkling of primo conditions in-between. The weather and nice mix of terrain I have to play with make it a great testing ground for the Vee Tire Snap Trail.
As a comparison, I have been running Schwalbe Magic Mary and Hans Dampf or dual Maxxis Assegai tyres for most of the past year, good tyres and solid competition to the SNAP Trail.
Pedalling to the top of my favourite trails I was impressed by how well the SNAP Trail rolls. Although the tread is similar to the WCE Downhill tyre and the compound very soft, Vee’s team have managed to create an energetic tyre, that rolls efficiently without noticeable drag.
The only time I experienced the SNAP Trail squirm for grip were on the steeper, moss-covered rock climbs we have in the area. Wet roots and mud weren’t a problem for the SNAP, whose tread digs deep in soft conditions and rolls well on hardpack.
With a fast-rolling centre tread, I felt a little more energetic entering some of our boggy, root-filled descents, but even when my skill failed me the aggressive side profile and soft compound dug in enough to save my bacon. Even when the gradient isn’t on your side, the SNAP bites into flat corners surprisingly well too.
In rockier conditions, the Top 40 rubber moves around enough to find traction but there’s no squirm just a planted, fully connected feel. This is also thanks to a slower rebound speed in the compound that helps the tyre stay in contact with the ground as much as possible without bouncing you about.
I suppose one area where you might have concern is how the tyre holds up over a long period? I haven’t ridden on the SNAP Trail long enough to comment, but I have used the WCE tyre with the same compound for a few months more and can only see slight wear.
Vee Tire Snap Trail First Impressions
I’ll be updating this review in a few months to let you know how well the SNAP wears, but so far I would say that Vee Tire has made an excellent trail tyre, that offers predictable and ample traction and grip in all conditions. This is certainly a tyre to keep an eye on.Add block
Vee Tire Snap Trail Specifications
- Sizes available // 29 x 2.35 or 27.5 x 2.35
- Compound // Top 40 42a rubber
- Construction // Enduro core 1 ply 72TPI, Gravity Core 2 ply 72TPI
- Protection // Apex side wall support and Synthesis abbrasion wear.
- Price // €60 Each ($65)
- From // Veetire.com
|Vee Tire Co
|Vee Tire Co
|€60 ($65) each
|by Andi Sykes for 1 month