If you thought fat bikes would soon fade into the distance, you haven’t seen the show floors of the Taipei show. Fatbikes are everywhere and so are fatbike accessories. For a category that basically started with one option not too long ago, the amount of fatbike tires popping up is staggering and no one seems to be matching the pace of Vee Rubber. Now with 8 tires in their “Fat Tire” collection, Vee rubber is gunning for market share with high tech compounds, light weight casings, improved tread design and even the first 27.5″ “fatbike” tread.
What does that mean for the future of fatties? Read on to find out.
Following in the tire tracks of their Snowshoe, the new Snowshoe XL measures in at a true 4.8″. The original Snowshoe came in undersized so they are relabeling the tire a 4.5″ to reflect the actual size. But the XL is about more than just size – in order to provide as much grip as possible the tire has a textured surface between the tread blocks. If that and low pressure alone aren’t cutting it, the new XL will be sold as a studded tire in addition to a studless version. Like the rest of the fatbike line up, the XL and Snowshoe will be offered in Vee’s Silca compount which basically uses sand mixed in with the rubber to increase grip and it lightens the rubber a bit as an added bonus.
Available in 72 or 120tpi casing with a folding bead, the Snowshoe XL studded tire will retail for $195 (120tpi), and the XL studless 120 will run $150.
If it’s a more aggressive fatbike tire you seek, the Bulldozer looks like it may live up to its name. Built with aggressive corner and transition knobs and a ramped center, the Bulldozer looks like a great tire for rallying your fatbike on the trails. Labeled a 4.7, the Bulldozer will come in 72 or 120 tpi and in wire or folding bead, with the 120tpi folding tire selling for $160.
The H-Billie is another new fatbike tire that is a bit smaller at 4.25″. With a ramped center an widely spaced knobs the H-Billie should perform similar to the Snowshoe, just a bit smaller. The H-Billie will be produced in the same casings and beads as the Bulldozer, and will retail for $140 at 120 tpi.
Summer is coming and you want a fatbike tire built for hardpack trails or cruising to the beach? The Speedster was built for that. The smallest of the fatbike tires, the 3.5 Speedster is offered in the same 72 or 120tpi construction as the other tires.
Here’s where things really start to get interesting – the Trax Fatty, their new 869g 29+ tread, is also going to be offered in a 27.5″ version as well. The 29″ variety is 3″ wide, while the 27.5″ tire will bump up to 3.25″. Who makes a bike for this new tire size? No one, yet. But according to Vee yet is the key word as there are a handful of big manufacturers that have expressed interest and are waiting on a tire. Who those manufacturers are we don’t know, but we can tell you the coming year will be exciting.