Vee Tire Co have a history in rubber for some of the greats, and now they are making mountain bike tyres for themselves. We’ve chucked on a pair of Crown F and Gems.
Vee came to my attention a couple of months ago through their freshly appointed Sales and Marketing guy John Owen. John is one of the good guys and fast as funk on a bike, so when he said I should have a go on the tyres he was running himself, who was I to disagree? After all, he rode this out….
Vee Tire Co have decades of experience in the tyre industry producing products for a number of big players in the rubber industry, and are taking that experience to their own brand of mountain bike tyres. They already produce a range of tyres for fat bikes and are pushing the + sizes as well, and are keen to drive themselves into the UK market.
They are now offering a full mountain bike range, aimed at trail riders and enduro riders for the most part. I grabbed a pair of tyres, the Crown F for the front, and the Crown Gem for the rear. Both are in 2.35 inch width, and are also available in 29″ diameter. I went for a pair of dual ply tyres as I can’t be doing with punctures, I went for Tackee compound which is Vee’s take on sticky rubber, and have fitted them tubelessly to Pro-Lite Antero AM rims.
The Crown F is a low profile and rounded tyre with a very fast rolling central rib, but still some decent side knobs to help hook up in the corners. The Crown Gem also has a rounded shape and a relatively low profile to help it roll fast. Out of the box they looked convincing, and seated themselves easily on the rims with very little bother.
The first ride out took in some of the rockiest and loosest bits of trail I could find (no, not the ones in the pictures!), what’s the point in testing stuff if you aren’t going to push it a bit?! Both front and back were really predictable both across slick rock and looser surfaces, gripping really well and holding on on some fast, loose corners. The front did wash a little when pushed hard into tighter turns, but didn’t give up completely. Into more natural terrain the more aggressive side knobs started to kick in more and delivered surprisingly good grip. I did have a few burps of air, never enough to stop me finishing a section or them losing their seat on the rim completely however, so it’s time to start playing with pressures to see what we can get away with on this tyre/rim combination. Look out for a full review later in the summer once we’ve given them a real hammering.
RRP £42.99 (Dual Ply, Tackee)
Weight – 705g
Action Shots – Rick Littlejohn