Vee Tire Flow Snap - Review

Nov 22, 2017
by Mike Levy  
Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore


Call me crazy, but I doubt it's the Vee Tire name that pops into your head when you need new rubber for your all-mountain or downhill bike. And even if it is, you likely know the company as a value brand, not one that offers a small lineup of all-mountain and downhill tires meant to compete for your bucks against the best from Maxxis, Schwalbe, et al. But that's exactly what the $65 USD Flow Snap is meant to do, with the brief saying that it's ''a universal and polyvalent gravity tire created for a variety of different conditions from mud, to dry or loose terrain.'' Nothing like a good polyvalent tire, right?
Flow Snap Details

• Intended use: downhill, all-mountain
• Sizes: 27.5'' and 29'' x 2.6'', 29'' x 2.3'', 27.5'' x 2.35'' (tested)
• 'Tackee' compound
• Folding bead
• 72 TPI
• Durometer: 48±2, 54±2
• Weight: 951 grams (27.5'' x 2.35'' w/ 'Enduro Core' casing)
• MSRP: $55.90 - $65.00 USD
www.veetireco.com

The questionably-named Flow Snap can be had in a handful of variants: a 29'' x 2.3'' model with the mid-weight 'Enduro Core' casing, the 27.5'' x 2.35'' version that's tested here with the same casing, and a 27.5'' x 2.35'' Flow Snap with Vee Tire's burlier, three-layer Gravity Core casing. Weight watchers should take note that this is not a lightweight tire; the 27.5'' x 2.35'' Flow Snap with the Enduro Core casing comes in at 951-grams but, to be fair, its Enduro Core construction feels sturdier than what's used on other mid-weight tires of the same intention. If you need more volume, Vee Tire was also showing off a 2.6'' wide version for both 27.5'' and 29'' wheels at the Taipei and Eurobike tradeshows, making for five versions of the Flow Snap.


Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore


Design

There are only so many effective tire designs these days, and most seem to be converging on a basic lug layout with a few variations thrown in for good measure. With the Flow Snap, however, I can see a couple of inspirations beyond the tired "it's a Minion but not" layout, and it also turns out that the design delivers some unique performance.

The Flow Snap's lug layout features an uninterrupted middle channel that's flanked by crown lugs alternating between being closely spaced and spread apart. A relatively open (for an all-around tire design) center section is the result, which is often associated with comparatively slow rolling speed. Those crown lugs are ramped on their leading edges to help that cause, and every lug has a sipe through it to encourage it to conform to the ground as well as possible. There are no transition lugs, but the widely spaced crown lugs bridge the gap between the center of the tire and the pronounced cornering lugs that all sit at an angle.


Views: 5,398    Faves: 1    Comments: 0



Vee Tire has used their 'Tackee' dual-compound rubber on the Flow Snap that combines 48a and 54a durometer rubber. ''Tackee compound offers the smallest rebound for more control on downhills,'' their website explains. ''This compound features a low hardness of 48a.''


Performance

The Flow Snap tires were installed on a set of Stan's Arch MK3 rims that have an internal width of 26mm (29.3mm external), and they were tested on Production Privée's steel-framed Shan N°5. The 140mm-travel 'Steel Banana' has to be one of the best and easiest cornering machines on the market right now, a fact that makes it a fitting steed to use as a tire-review sled. Unlike the speedy but slippery Trail Taker tire that I reviewed back in May, the Flow Snap seated up instantly and didn't bleed any air or sealant through their sidewalls.

Conditions were, predictably, wet and wetter given that it's late-fall in southwestern British Columbia, although a few dry days were snuck in as well.


Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore


The Flow Snap's mid-weight Enduro Core casing is quite stiff and sturdy, more so than what you'll find on tires in the 800-gram range (a common weight for this size of tire), and that allows for some relatively low pressures for a 2.35'' wide tire on a 26mm (internal) rim width. In the wet, a low 18 psi was required to get enough forgiveness out of the casing and also provide some added traction, but a few more psi was needed when things dried out and the speed picked up. Support is adequate, with no excessive casing flex at those pressures, although they could feel a bit unforgiving if you went a bit too high in the opposite direction; the ideal pressure window for the Flow Snap might be a bit tighter than other "polyvalent" tires.

Despite the open central channel, the tire actually rolls relatively well given its intentions, something that's probably down to the ramped leading edges on the lugs and a weirdly hard feeling compound down the middle of the Flow Snap. The 54a durometer rubber feels like it's actually a pencil eraser that's been left in the freezer, and while that does contribute to decent trail speed, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence, or forward motion, when crossing over slimy roots. While fine in the dry, the rear tire constantly spun on anything shiny and wet, although they do a decent job of clearing mud out from between the lugs. Braking, both when upright and leaned over, is on par with a tire of the Snap's intention.
Production Priv e Shan N 5 Photo by James Lissimore

There are a ton of tires out there with a dual compound make-up, but the difference between the two rubber compounds used to build the Flow Snap is the most pronounced that I've ever seen. It also might be why these things perform so well in the corners. Leaning the bike over, the front and rear tires grab ahold of the ground like me grabbing the last Halloween candy bar, and both ends hold on well and without surprises. The interesting thing here is that the Flow Snap doesn't seem to give a damn what condition the dirt is in, just so long as it's dirt and not wood of any kind. The transition from upright to leaned over is also without surprise, and the angled cornering lugs seem to let go gently when the time does come rather than smacking you upside the head with a drift when you're not expecting it.

If you use your fingernail to push into the outer and inner edges of a cornering lug, you'll notice that the former feels quite soft and slow, while the latter is much stiffer; this likely provides support while also letting the leg conform to whatever it's touching.

As well as the Flow Snap tire does in the corners, its longevity matches its wet-weather performance, which is to say that neither are great. After just eight or nine rides, most in muddy, slow dirt, the Flow Snap is showing a surprising amount of wear. It's not along the crown where you'd expect it, however, with the hard rubber compound clearly doing its job there. Instead, many of the cornering lugs are missing their tops, at least where the softer rubber compound has been used. Given that it's wetter than the inside of an otter's pocket, I'm surprised at the amount of wear that's present after less than ten rides. They've been reliable, however, with not a single flat tire to report.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe Flow Snap is an interesting tire that, dare I say it, provides just as much cornering confidence and predictability as much more expensive rubber options. The knock against them has to be their wet-weather bite, however, as well as what appears to be a pretty miserable wear rate. Mike Levy







72 Comments

  • + 85
 I'm more interested in the Shan No.5 review.
  • + 7
 But with real tyres.
  • + 37
 Thirty psi in my Minions

I don’t care about your opinions
  • - 9
flag c00m (Nov 22, 2017 at 13:23) (Below Threshold)
 Vee claims this piece of rubber is good I think it has better use as firewood
  • + 11
 @Boardlife69: true... but once upon a time your "tyre" of choice (insert Maxxis, Schwalbe, ETC) was a minor player like Vee Rubber. Give them a chance!
  • + 17
 Next Monday.
  • + 10
 @gooutsidetoday: Vee Rubber Corporation could be considered a "minor player" in the high end MTB tire market, but globally?


25 million tires produced every year, by 4,000 employees. Lots of OE contract work and rebadging for "brands".

Hardly a small player with $76 million turnover in 2016...
  • + 12
 @WasatchEnduro: Opinions are like arse holes. Everyone likes sticking their finger in one.

No wait... That's not it. Gimme a minute, I know this
  • + 16
 The rubber is tackier than Al Franken on a millitary airplane...
  • + 33
 and stickier than Roy Moore after Prom night
  • + 19
 The middle tread is harder than Louis C.K. with...umm....himself
  • + 14
 Arhhh come on, you just don't drop a 'tested on a pp shan no5' and then go back to a tire review that nobody cares or/and knows, cooome ooon!
  • + 4
 Levy a review from the steel banana teaser.
  • - 1
 agreed....teeeassseeeee...tho i just wanna try one...maybe with different tires
  • + 6
 Next Monday.
  • + 1
 yeah, how can you pay attention to two things at once ,when one of them is drinking the Kool aid from a brand whos best colourways are nicked from road bikes.
  • + 9
 Tweak that knob, ya dirty bastard.
  • + 8
 Article says Stan's Arch rims were used, pics show Flows...
  • + 4
 I've got some Vee tire semi slick 27.5x2.35 tires on my commuter and they're pretty awful. Had them for less than half a year and they're already showing dry-rot cracking. They're consistently sweating sealant despite being "tubeless ready" and they are nowhere close to size, measuring at 2.2"

Won't be buying vee again anytime soon.
  • + 1
 My Fatbike came with a set of Vee Rubber tires... they pulled to the left, then the right, then to the left again. So like you, never again.
  • + 3
 @bentley: Same. Best part was the rotation arrow was backwards IMO (ramped portion of the center lugs was on the trailing edge)
  • + 0
 @bentley: haha I also had a pair of Vees come on my fat bike. Damn tires wouldn't stay straight.
  • + 1
 @bentley: They will fight to the very end.
  • + 2
 @LucWicklund: Except when you want to turn.
  • + 4
 I had a crap tire that dry rotted and cracked over the winter. It was a minion dhf. Felt like my whole life was a lie.
  • + 6
 Tires are one of the most important parts of the bike. Don't settle.
  • + 4
 Why would you pay $20 more for this than for a Michelin Wild AM etc?

www.wiggle.com/wild-am-mtb-tire

$47. My bike shop price matched wiggle too.
  • + 1
 Those Michelin Wild AM's are amazing. Running one up front now and blown away by the cornering grip/rolling speed tradeoff they offer (better than any maxxis i've tried, nobby nics, purgs etc)
  • + 2
 Bought a set of their downhill tires from Vee at Sea Otter a couple of years ago. 1/2 day on them and half the knobs were torn off anc miserable traction even before the knobs tore off. Never again.
  • + 4
 No excessive flexing at 18psi? Am I too sensitive to that squishy rolling feeling?
  • + 2
 Nope, not necessarily. Rider weight, riding style, and terrain all count. There's a slow, technical trail here that I can get away with 17psi, and that's ideal for that particular trail. That low pressure on a few other local trails would see me eating dirt, though. I'm around 160lbs, too, so more weight = more air.
  • + 4
 Watch this guy shred this tire in the snow: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFdvgN2V8bw
  • + 4
 Thank you PB for always being fair and honest with your reviews. Media can still be trusted
  • + 1
 There is a vee rubber tire that I absolutely love on the rear of my bike. The only problem is if I start riding aggressively it always goes flat. I do love your tires I just wish they would hold air V rubber.
  • + 2
 I want all tyre manufacturers to put the ‘direction’ Arrow in fluorescent green, so I don’t have to search for it, when fitting my new rubber in bad light!!
  • + 1
 Flow Snap is a great tire, super burly, grippy, makes Minions seem wimpy in comparison, 29 x 2.6 version is a real enduro tire, nothing else like it.
  • - 1
 My primary concern with tyres is whether they will work well and inspire confidence as either a rear or front tyre. I am far more concerned about front tyre performance than the rear primarily because a rear slide is usually far easier to deal with whereas a front slide can result in a swift hard crash and broken collar bones.. It would be good if tyre reviews focused more on this aspect. Often its not clear which end the tyre lacked grip.

Just looking at the tread pattern on this tyre makes me nervous. It would probably be fine as a rear tyre, but as a front tyre with weak looking edging knobs I have no doubt it would be a disaster as an all conditions #enduro tyre.
  • + 3
 18psi. LOL! I call that having a flat.
#iwishiwasawhippet
  • - 1
 Iv had the vee rubber flued on for about a year ,the muti compund tyre,id say they are good in dry loose shail gravely conditions,in the wet not that good considering thay are called flued,I brought them thinking thay were a wet tyres,ok for 20 quid each but not in the 35 quid range that thay are meant to contend in.
  • + 2
 I'll stick with my fantastic, cheaper, Schwalbe Muddy Mary set up
  • + 1
 Pinkbike sure seems a lot more willing to criticize smaller players than the ones paying their bills.
  • + 2
 That video is literally bike porn.
  • + 4
 Idk, I don't think i'd like @mikelevy pinching my knob like that. Doesn't do it for me.
  • + 2
 Change it to Snow Flap and I'm in.
  • + 1
 Whats snow?
  • + 1
 Im up here in the great white north and kind of thought they had named a tire after my chosen winter past-time..The Snow Fap.
  • + 2
 Flow, snap. Basically Minnaar at VDS. Sponsorship time.
  • + 2
 No 26"?
  • - 1
 I put a 26 by 3.5 speedster on my (modified) Karate Monkey, and love it! tough sidewalls and the recessed tread pattern hooks up when I want it to and drifts like the dukes of hazzard running from Boss Hog. Still waiting for the "sample" tires they said they would send out after InterBike. Look on their website. They are actually one of the largest tire producers.
  • + 1
 Sweet another $100 CAN tire to choose from
  • + 0
 Anyone else not really give a shit about tire reviews being done in hero dirt where every tire works well?
  • + 1
 They'd mate well with a Kona
  • + 0
 ‘Tread’ing on thin ice there my friend.. veery thin ice...
I’ll see myself out.
  • + 1
 $65 is msrp... wonder what it might do on sale?
  • + 1
 14.95 Ebay
  • - 1
 @properp: For $15 I'd give them a try. But at $65, I'd rather just stick with CST.
Oh, and I'd probably sharpie out that name. Next time hire someone in the West to name your product.
  • - 1
 Find someone sponsored by Vee.
(wait)

Trade for a six pack of beer and a twin pack of sharpies.
  • + 6
 I’m sponsored by Vee tire, and here is my last video in the snow with the same tires (flow snap).

I also did my Rampage runs with Vee tire.
  • + 2
 Love that vee
  • + 1
 Wanna snap ya flow? Weeeee and here we go!
  • + 1
 I thought Vee-Flow was the name of a rap star
  • + 2
 veedub
  • + 1
 Well I guess that might be Vee tire for me. Boy that was a stretch...
  • + 5
 1 thumb up for recognizing that it was pretty bad!
  • + 0
 I've seen many vee failures in bmx racing. So I am soured on the brand.
  • + 0
 If they would be 30USD I would give them a try...
  • - 3
 My tires beat the shit outa those weakling XC rider ripoffs.
  • - 1
 Oh Snap!
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.053550
Mobile Version of Website