Developed on the World Cup circuit together with Aaron Gwin & Intense, Vee Tire have a wholly revamped Gravity mountain bike tire line-up with a couple of all-new tires, pared-back logical sizing, simpler sticky rubber, and three casing options to cover everything from enduro to DH to eMTB. Of that, the real newest Vee Gravity highlight is probably the Snap WCE MK2 evolution of their popular all-rounder, plus a versatile new Snap WLT mud tire. But overall, it’s maybe the simplification that most improves their aggressive mountain bike tire offerings…
Vee simplifies Gravity MTB tire lineup, while adding a couple new treads
all credited images c. Mountain Bike Connection (BCA), photo by Mirror Media, lead photo by Rupert Fowler
Vee Tire boils down their Gravity mountain bike tire shake-up as: 4-3-2.
4 gravity-ready tread patterns now, 3 different discipline-specific tire casings, and 2 separate rubber compounds. I’d personally add a 1… simply 1 width per separate tire, although that gets a bit blurry with their carryover WCE tread.
Anyway, in an industry where it feels like tire companies just keep adding more tread patterns, more sizes, and so many acronyms on the sidewall of your tire… a little simplicity is welcome. Don’t worry though, Vee hasn’t given up on making up new acronyms. /s
Snap WCE MK2, Snap HPL, Attack FSX, Attack-HPL (l-r)
So four treads…
New Vee Snap WCE MK2 gravity tire
Vee Tire’s Snap WCE – World Cup Elite – could be their winningest tire, and the most versatile for anyone riding or racing in changeable conditions. Developed to race DH, the Snap family is all about going fast in challenging terrain and in all weather. But the Snap WCE came in three widths from 2.35-2.8″, all with the same blocky tread simply getting scaled up or down to fit. And the perfect width that the pro Intense downhillers wanted, wasn’t really there.
So Vee (re)developed a new second-generation Snap WCE MK2 in that ideal 2.5″ – the same width as their other top gravity racing tires. And they tweaked the tread of the new sweet spot WCE M2, bringing the blockier center logs closer together for reduced rolling resistance like on the previous Snap Trail, while keeping big spaces everywhere else to dig in for grip and to shed mud. The result is a subtle upgrade, but now a more capable tire, better suited for racing.
new Snap WCE MK2 (l) vs. original Snap WCE (r)
The OG all-arounder Snap WCE is still in the line-up (and technically still counts as just one tread with the MK2). It also gets the rest of the updates below, but now it’s the only Gravity tire that still gets multiple discipline-specific sizes for those that need narrower or plus-sized tread.
New Vee Snap WLT mud tire
Just like the MK2 is an “new” tire that’s not a huge surprise to see, we actually saw pre-production prototypes of the new Snap WLT – Wet & Loose Terrain – mud tire last summer. And it already seems World Cup DH racing success, too – Top 10 finishes for both Elite Men and Women at last summer’s rainy Leogang racing.
Vee saw that their pro downhillers wanted proper spiky mud tires for super wet & sloppy racing, but ended up trimming down many of the spikes for most wet conditions. So, Vee calls the Snap WLT a “mid-spike” mud tire. It still has sharp blocky mud spike lugs, but they are a bit shorter so they offer more support and provide good traction in a wider range of trail conditions – not only deep, slick mud – while still rolling efficiently.
Attack FSX & Attack HPL carry over
Intended for faster, drier conditions, the Attack tires come in the fast-rolling but still grippy FSX – FaSt eXtreme – and HPL – Hard, Packed & Loose – with a more open design built for looser conditions. These proven treads carry over with the other updates.
Snap WCE MK2, Snap HPL, Attack FSX, Attack-HPL (l-r)
All four treads can be run on both front & rear tires, depending on conditions. But we’ve also seen a lot of instances where a rider will run the more aggressive tire up front and the faster-rolling out back for in-between conditions.
We’re thinking to put more time on a Snap WCE MK2 upfront and an Attack FSX outback for everyday technical all-mountain riding.
1 simplified size (mostly) in 2 diameters
c. BCA, photo by Rupert Fowler
This simplified setup is about ending the hunt for the best Gravity tire to fit, no need to mix and match. But also it means that each tread pattern is specifically designed for the exact width of the casing. Reduced sizing was a direct input from the Intense Factory Team riders who just wanted to be able to swap tread patterns depending on trail/track conditions while keeping tire volume consistent. Vee settled on 2.5″ as the happy medium for enduro and downhill, offering all the new tires in both 29″ & 27.5″ diameters.
Sure, the original Snap WCE still offers 2.35″ tired for enduro or DH, 2.6″ for enduro or eMTB, and 27.5+ 2.8″ for enduro or eMTB. But I’m gonna kinda gloss over that in the interest of simplicity.
2 simplified rubber compounds: single for gravity, multiple for eMTB
Full 40 is Vee’s new single compound of sticky, low-rebound rubber. And all of the new enduro and downhill tires get upgraded to sticky rubber from edge-to-edge. Thanks to new additives that they don’t really explain in more technical detail, this new single 40a durometer rubber is softer and more grippy than any of their previous dual-compound blends, while decreasing overall rolling resistance and being just long-wearing.
Just as an aside: modern rubber mixture marketing seems like magic – how is more grip & less rolling resistance possible? – but on the trail, it does seem like whatever the chemists are mixing into the rubber, really does seem to work.
The eMTB tires get a new E-Ctrl multiple-compound rubber based on their previous Top 40 compound that uses a stiffer 52a durometer base for support under the soft 40a shoulder knobs, paired to a harder, longer-wearing 60a center rubber that Vee puts in their city & trekking ebikes. The combination promises increased durability and puncture protection, plus gravity-ready cornering grip.
3 simplified Gravity Core casings
Vee has also simplified the overall construction of the Gravity tires into 3 Core casings.
DH Core means an extra reinforced, full 2-ply 72tpi downhill casing over the entire carcass of the tire. Plus it gets tall rubberized Apex inserts that extend up the sidewall from the bead to virtually eliminate pinch flats, bead Chafer protection, and full sidewall Synthesis protection against cuts. This is much like the previous generation, and is the one to bash through rock gardens on the World Cup circuit when a faster time is the only thing on your mind.
The newer GXE Core means gravity crossed with enduro, a happy medium between trail and DH. It is a reinforced 1.5-ply construction that uses a finer 90tpi casing, overlapping under the tread for extra support and adding a B-Proof Nano anti-puncture layer under the tread for added protection. The sidewalls gets shorter version of the supportive anti-pinch Apex insert, plus the bead Chafer protection. Overall is shaves just 100-125g off the DH casing, but results in a more supple tire that is light enough for aggressive all-mountain style riding, but is built to handle the full-on abuse of enduro racing.
It’s even tough enough for a bit of tougher gravity racing, too. The pro Vee athletes apparently sometimes mix it up a bit, pairing a GXE front tire with a DH rear for less aggressive tracks to get a nice balance of grip and protection.
Lastly is the new Vee Override Core eMTB construction, with what looks like a relatively light 1-ply casing that takes advantage of a tougher, coarser 26tpi fabric to give the tire more resistance to additional torque, without adding unnecessary weight or a harsh ride. It still gets the (anti) Chafer bead protection, plus the same longer Apex anti-pinch treatment as the DH tires.
So how do they ride?
c. BCA, photo by Rupert Fowler
That’s a lot of tech talk about how the Vee Gravity tire lineup got simplified, and to be honest it doesn’t sound quite so simple when I separate out all the tech. But essentially the Override Core x E-Ctrl compound eMTB tire line just includes the Snap WCE & Attack HPL for either wet or drier e-biking. And the GXE Core & DH Core x Full 40 compound tires let you pick from the full Gravity family to seamlessly mix and match based on your conditions.
So far, I’ve only ridden a bit on the new Snap WCE MK2 – which weighed in at 1279g in the lighter GXE version, a few grams lighter than claimed. Unsurprisingly, it’s not an exceptionally light-feeling tire, but that soft rubber does stick to the ground. And since I don’t race DH and don’t really ride eMTBs at home very often, I’ll likely stick to the GXE casing, which offers plenty of protection for all-mountain riding & enduro racing.
As of yet I’ve only turned a few damp to wet trail laps on the new MK2 tire, but definitely appreciated the grip on wet rock and greasy roots. Now, as spring thaw sets in on our home trails, we hope to be moving more towards putting kms on a Snap WCE MK2 / Attack FSX combo. But maybe in the meantime, we’ll still dig in a bit with some of the new Snap WLTs, too.