Monday, July 21, 2014

News Season Part 3: Tires V1

NOTE: Large doses of "my opinion" will be handed out in gloppy dollops today. You've been forewarned.....

There were some questions I got recently about tires and today's post covers some of that. Keep in mind that we will be seeing a lot of tire intros now through the Fall. Here's V1 on Tires.....

Bontrager Hodag fat bike tire
Bontrager Hodag Fat Bike Tire:

This is the tire due to come on many Trek Farley fat bikes. It will be a 60TPI tire with a tubeless ready bead and a 3.8" width with folding Aramid beads. This tire is made to work tubeless with the Jackalope rims which are 80mm wide from Bontrager. No word on when or if these will be sold separately, but all indications are that this will be the case. 

Retail price is set at $149.99 for the tire.

Comments: In a day and age when many fat bike enthusiasts are fed up with high tire prices and in combination with many brands offering similar fare at $50.00 less or more per tire, the Hodad will be a tough sell separately. While it boasts a tubeless set up with the Jackalope rim, I see this as only an advantage to those buying a Farley or upgrading one. Besides, isn't just about everyone looking for 4-4.5" tires now?

The Maxxis Chronicle 29+ as shown on Greg Matyas' new Corvus
Maxxis Chronicle 29+

More 29+ tires will be getting out there really soon and one of those will be the Maxxis Chronicle.  Maxxis makes some decent treads so I suspect that this one will be well liked. Another benefit of the Maxxis mtb tires are that they generally convert to tubeless well and don't seem to show any ill effects from sealant.

Commentary: One side note- Maxxis is a big OEM supplier, so you have to wonder what brand may have laid the foundation for this tire's production, as it is doubtful that Maxxis just decided to produce it of their own accord. Whatever the case may be there, it bodes well for 29+ that someone with the "horsepower" of Maxxis is getting behind it, even if only for a bit.

Mammoth indeed! A Maxxis fatty.
Maxxis Mammoth: 

I've posted this here before, but it maybe needs to be mentioned again that Maxxis is also doing a fat bike tire dubbed the Mammoth in a 26 X 4.0" size. The tread looks like a modification of a Crossmark 29"er tread with a bit of the old Endomorph's webbed barring in there as well.

Commentary: Once again, the existence of a Maxxis fat bike tire begs the question- Where will this show up and on which brand's fat bike? I just find it really difficult to believe that this wasn't made for an OEM customer, but again, I could be all wrong. The thing is, it is the right size and tread pattern for a stock, higher end fat bike from somebody. Then again, Maxxis has been known to put tire models out there fishing for OEM business, so the tire very well may have come first.

Vee Tire "Trax Fatty" 29 X 3.0
Vee Tire Trax Fatty 29+ & B+

This tire is a pretty well known entry by now, or at least it should be, but Vee Tire now has it on their site with details.

Available as a 29 X 3.0 in 72 TPI wire or folding bead at 1025 grams and 980 grams each at $100.00 , $110.00 respectively. There will also be a 120TPI version said to clock in at 920 grams with an Aramid folding bead for $120.00. The B+ version will mimic the bead selection, prices, and TPI selections with weights as follows starting from wire bead/72TPI: 895,820, and 800 grams. The width on this one is said to be at 3.25", so wider than the upcoming WTB model in B+.

Commentary: Vee Tire is pretty aggressive with tire introductions and the B+ and 29+ entries are really no surprise. I think the B+ model is too wide to be practical for swapping into current 29"er frames and with a current dearth of wide, 27.5"/ISO584 rims, it seems to be either a dead end tire, (for now), or it signals another OEM bike we don't know about yet. To be sure, wider 27.5 rims are coming, but they aren't quite here yet. (That said, by the time you read this a certain bike company may have made their announcement of a B+ sized rig, and that may change the landscape somewhat.) The Vee 29+ tire is another example of downward pressure in terms of price on a market that Surly has had to itself until now. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out in the future.

3 comments:

coastkid said...

Good post,
We need 29+ forks next, in both budget as well as top end offerings as recently announced by the new Rock shok 29+ fork

Tyler Loewens said...

I wonder if that 29+ Maxxis tire will work well on gravel.

Exhausted_Auk said...

The Vee tire 27.5 X 3.25" comes out to the same diameter as a 3.8" fat bike tire. So possibly useful to convert your Pug or Mukluk to mid-fat rather than 29er. Agree it still needs a suitable rim, though.