Last year at Interbike, while trudging around the desert finding bikes to ride, and avoiding torrential downpours, we noticed an interesting tire in Vee Rubber’s booth. It happened to be a fatbike tire that was 4 inches wide and had a tread pattern that looked great. Also at Interbike that year, we saw the same tire on J&B’s new prototype fatbike, the Crawler, only this time it was branded as an Origin-8 tire. When the time came to get some rubber for Project Fatbike, I was too intrigued not to check into the Origin-8 tires first.
Origin-8 was happy oblige, and soon we had some Devist8er 2’s to throw on Project Fatbike.
Find out why this is a bigger deal than you might think, after the break.
As Fatbike’s popularity have grown, one thing has remained mostly constant until recently: the tires. For what seems like forever, the majority of tires were branded as Surly, made by Innova, and sold through QBP. There were a few tires that were available through other channels (remember the Innova Spider?) but even as the amount of fatbike tires increased, they all seemed to be out of QBP. The Vee Rubber or Origin-8 Devist8er 2 is a departure from that mold, and a big one for one specific reason – price.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all too familiar with the difference between an expensive tire and an inexpensive tire (we’ll get to that in a bit), but at these prices the Devist9er 2 will surely get a few looks. Whether riders are looking for a cheap summer tire, or simply can’t afford a $70 Larry or Endomorph, the 60 tpi Devist8er 2 should fit the bill with a retail of $39.99!
In addition to the 60 tpi wire bead model, Origin8 will also be offering the Devist8er 2 in a 120 tpi Kevlar bead model which still seems like a bargain at $55.99 retail. It seems the specs have changes a few times in the process of creating the Devist8er 2s, but as far as I know these are the final specs.
So what are you sacrificing for such an inexpensive tire? Weight, for one. Regardless if you’re talking the claimed weight of 2000g or the actual weight of ~2140 grams, the 60 tpi Devist8er 2s are heavy. However, thanks to their Kevlar Shield flat protection, it should also mean they’re fairly bomb proof, as in I’m pretty sure you could ride these as fast as possible over the most jagged rocks you could find and still be all right. The tires earn the name Devist8er as they will crush anything in their path.
The only other downside? Even after quite a few times installing and inflating the tires, the casings still have a fair bit of irregularity that is visible as the tires spin. Fortunately, with how large the tires are, and how low of psi you run fatbike tires at, it isn’t noticeable when you ride. Hopefully, the 12o tpi tires are more uniform, though at $40 a tire any faults should be easily overlooked.
When it comes to sizing, the Devist8er 2 is a true 4.0, well 3.996 to be exact. This was when mounted to an 80mm wide Vicious GFS rim front and back. As you can see from the photo above, the White Brothers Snowpack still has plenty of clearance on either side and should be no issue for those wishing to run a Surly BFL. On the Pugsley, the clearance in the rear is tight with the Devist8er 2, but still manages to clear the chain (just barely) with a triple and full 10 speed cassette. Getting the tire into the frame is a bit of a struggle, but once it’s in place it’s all good.
I haven’t gotten chance to ride the Devist8er 2s in the snow yet, though if the weather stays on course that will change by this weekend. Crazy that all year we had more rain than we’ve ever seen, yet when it’s cold enough to snow we get nothing. Hopefully we will have a set of the Kevlar 120 tpi models in soon to test and weigh as well. Stay tuned.