Vee Tire Trail Taker – Review

May 9, 2017 at 10:26
by Mike Levy  
Vee Tire Trail Taker 29 x 2.20


Vee Tire describes the $55 USD Trail Taker as follows: ''This tire was made to get you through the thick stuff. The aggressive tread depth allows for excellent traction with low rolling resistance, giving you the ability to power through whatever you run into.'' That makes the Trail Taker sound like a pretty burly tire, and those words are accurate of the high-volume models that I've seen… but certainly not my set of cross-country focused, 715-gram 29 x 2.20'' Trail Takers that look speedy but aren't exactly sporting ''aggressive tread depth.''
Trail Taker Details

• Intended use: cross-country / trail
• Sizes: 27.5 x 2.25'', 27.5 x 2.40'', 29 x 2.2'' (tested)
• Compounds: Tackee, DCC (tested)
• Tubeless ready
• 'Synthesis' casing
• Folding bead
• Weight: 715 grams (29 x 2.20'')
• MSRP: $55 USD
www.veetireco.com


Vee Tire Trail Taker 29 x 2.20


The tire's crown is home to alternating single and dual lugs that all feature ramped leading edges and small, perpendicular sipes intended to allow the each lug to flex and act as if the rubber compound is softer than it actually is. The spacing is fairly open across the top of the Trail Taker, with a channel between the dual lugs and a lowered center section to the single lugs. Small transition lugs, also with shallow sips, are used between the tire's crown and corning knobs, the latter of which are fairly low and all feature the same shape but an alternating forward and reverse layout.


Vee Tire Trail Taker 29 x 2.20
Vee Tire Trail Taker 29 x 2.20


Vee Tire offers the Trail Taker in two different compound makeups. The 'Tackee' compound sees them use a soft, slow rebounding 48A durometer that is more about all-out traction than rubber longevity or minimizing rolling resistance, and this option is only available on the 27.5 x 2.40'' Trail Taker. The other choice is 'DCC,' an acronym for 'Dual Control Compound' that see a 48A compound put to use on the tire's sides and a stiffer, fast rolling and longer wearing 56A down the center. The DCC construction can be found on the 27.5 x 2.25'' and the 29 x 2.2'' (reviewed below) but not the high-volume 27.5 x 2.40'' model. All of that is laid on top of a 185 TPI, tubeless 'Synthesis' casing that's said to be cut resistant and sports a relatively round cross-section.


Performance

I mounted the 29 x 2.20'' Trail Taker tires onto a set of Stan's Arch MK3 rims that have an internal width of 26mm (29.3mm external), and while it wasn't the most frustrating tubeless install that I've done, it also wasn't the most painless. Or driest. The Trail Takers fit a bit loose on the new Arch rims, even with two full wraps of Gorilla Tape around their circumference, but both did eventually seal up with the help of a lot of soapy spray and removable valve cores that let me get the air in as quick as possible.

Once seated, there were a lot of bubbles and soap on the ground, but none coming from the tires' sidewalls—both Trail Takers held air instantly, although I should admit that I somehow managed to damage the tape which caused a slow leak during my first ride on them. My bad. Casing width is a true 2.20'' on the Arch MK3 rims, with the widest cornering lugs measuring in at 2.10'' wide, two numbers that make the 29er version of the Trail Taker more of a, er, trail tire than anything that would fall into the all-mountain category. I tested them on 100mm-travel Rocky Mountain Element cross-country bike, which is a fitting steed for the skinny Trail Takers.


Vee Tire Trail Taker 29 x 2.20
Vee Tire Trail Taker 29 x 2.20


The 29'' Trail Taker looks like it would roll quickly and it most certainly does, with it being noticeably faster on smooth, hard ground than a more substantial, aggressive tire. That's not a surprise, but I wasn't expecting the Trail Taker to offer as much braking bite as it does—there's a decent amount grip available when it's time to drop anchor. The smallish volume means that they're not as forgiving as a larger tire, of course, but they also don't feel as harsh as a pure cross-country tire that you'd need to run at higher pressures. I settled on 22 psi up front and 24 psi in the rear tire.

Unfortunately, the braking bite isn't equaled by the tire's forward traction, and I found that the rear tire would often spin and search for grip anytime it was tasked with getting me up a steep pitch that wasn't paved in hero dirt. Roots seemed especially challenging, with the Trail Taker often deciding that it should take a break from moving me up the hill, even when the ground was bone dry. Dropping a few psi helped, as you'd expect, but anything less the 22 and 24 psi resulted in too much casing roll for my liking. Throw in some rain and mud and forward traction could be so on/off that it felt like it was controlled by a light switch. Mud and wet conditions are the Trail Taker's worst enemy.

In dry, forgiving conditions—aka the kind of stuff that most all-around tires can do well in—the Trail Takers do offer consistent cornering traction that's on par with their size and intentions. That's to say that no, they're not meaty all-mountain tires, but they are well suited to short-travel bikes being ridden somewhere that isn't in the middle of British Columbia's mega-wet spring riding season.







88 Comments

  • + 135
 YO VEE RUBBER, ya boy won a voucher for a set of free tires from y'all at a Southridge USA Winter Series like 5 years ago, I sent it in and still haven't gotten my fresh rubbers. USPS shipping is slow, but its not that slow. Help a brother out my dudes.
  • + 31
 pics or it didn't happen
  • - 106
flag WAKIdesigns (May 10, 2017 at 9:15) (Below Threshold)
 So you felt the need to tell everyone that you wanted to cheap out on fkng VeeRubber and then lots of people upvote you for it. I believe that aliens exist, and the only reason we haven't heard from them is because they flew by Earth and haven't found signs of intelligent life on the planet. Honestly humanity, you can better than that
  • + 33
 @WAKIdesigns: the OP said he won them for free, not bought them for cheep. You couldn't read, so people downvoted you for it. FYI. And the aliens keep flying by..
  • + 20
 @FLATLlNE: Wakdickhead is a Narcissist best ignored.
  • - 46
flag WAKIdesigns (May 10, 2017 at 13:45) (Below Threshold)
 huh, yea, huh. Heeeeey I woooooon mediocre tyres and I didn't get theeeem, I will teeell the interneeeeeeeeet! ahsre's the justice?!

Downvotes, Jesus... hey, an engineer delivered a rather shitty drawing with proposal for new column placement, should I downvote him? I will call her tomorrow and tell her that if it was a comment on Pinkbike it would be soooo downvoted.

I don't care about prop system, even if I got 100 up otes I would not give a tiniest sht, I piss on downvoters and sht on upvoters. To me mentioning the system as any point of reference for value of a comment is a sign of being a retard. Heeey morons... byeeee
  • + 28
 @WAKIdesigns: Rough day, buddy?
  • - 36
flag WAKIdesigns (May 10, 2017 at 13:48) (Below Threshold)
 Can I please get banned now? forever. I mean look, Dave Trumpore has blocked me, I cannot comment on his articles which means half of photo editorials will not have a tiniest comment of mine. If every Pinkbike employee did the same I would be out of the system.

Yes Pinkbike is filled mainly with regular people, cool blokes and some fkng idiots. Now propping system is surely used mainly by the idiot side of the spectrum. Why would anyone fkng bother to rate a comment?! What do you win by doing this? I can at least call someone an idiot and in this way feel better about myself.

Byeeeeeeeee
  • - 3
 @WAKIdesigns: LOL. Baby Dick Trumpmore blocks someone for criticizing his content. I'm guessing it was accompanied by a "get off your computer and go ride."
  • + 14
 Makes me think of the time I won a Nomad in a raffle and I never heard back from Santa Cruz. Yeah, must of been about 4 or 5 years ago now. Come on Roskopp, help a brother out my dude.
  • + 17
 @WAKIdesigns: what a f*cking T bag you are.
  • + 4
 MCMbiker, judging from the comments Vee Rubber may have done you a favour by not sending them - they sound like they are destroyed in less time than it takes to put them on your rims.
  • + 2
 Here is the best story. My friend won a car after attending the auto show a few months before his 18th birthday, and filling out a ballet, then they phoned him, and told him he'd won, but he wasn't 18. I would have been livid.
  • - 10
flag WAKIdesigns (May 11, 2017 at 1:19) (Below Threshold)
 @Kramz - people have to help me out here, I may be wrong but I think that winning a car or a Nomad, and not getting it, is a different thing than not being able to claim 5$ voucher on Kenda tyres on CRC Smile It's like my 3 year old son being forced to stop watching cartoons because we have to get to the day care at one point of the morning. He screams sooo much and cries so hard, as if someone was slowly cutting his fingers off. it makes me wonder sometimes how would it be if someone actually did it, as he obviously run out of scale of reaction already at Peppa Pig being turned off. That is the problem with the first world problems...

@h-beck83 - damn right I am. Then I'm also a bit fat, on the edge of divorce, haven't ridden my bike since a few weeks because I get into youtube spiral often ending with watching zit popping. Then every second poop I masturbate to pornhub on my phone before I wipe my bum.

Oh what a way to start a day Big Grin
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Pretty sure MCMbiker was just having a laugh in the first place - correct me if I'm wrong here MCM- but I don't get the impression that this is just a glimpse in a long and vitriolic campaign that you've waged against Vee in pursuit of a free tyre??

PS - that sounds like a lovely way to spend time WAKI, please tell us more
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: so refreshing to read finally something honest and relevant.

That smelly d!ck is part or the divorce issues? ????????
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (May 11, 2017 at 7:23) (Below Threshold)
 @Sontator: no I wasn't honest about masterbation, I don't do it on toilet, I'm too sophisticated for that. I do it in bed, using HD projector, dolby surround sound system, kashmir sock and candles around.
  • + 1
 @Robo88: The OP won something and they didn't come through. Says a lot about the company. Pretty objective evidence that the company sucks, and he has every right to put it out there, as a lot of people do in such occurances. To me, it's better feedback than slagging in them with complete nonsensical gibberish as you do, Wiki. Not only do you crap on vee, but you crap on the OP too, and you're still at it. Like...does it make you feel smarter, or bigger, or better about yourself? Are you THAT pittyful? It's sad dude, these dumb rants you go on. You aren't relevant man, and you never have been. You don't add value, you're generally negative and insulting, and you're offensive to a lot of people and that's why you have yourself banned. Honestly, after this thread of stupidity, I think you should do yourself a favor and get your head checked man, get some psychological help.
The OP did nothing wrong. You are wrong. Leave him alone and stop being a douche nosel.
  • + 1
 *grabs popcorn
  • + 1
 Neber thought I'd say this, but I agree with @wakidesigns. Pinkbike has been getting really unimaginative and repetitive with all the price-complaining, 26" bullshit, and carbon-hating. It's getting harder and harder to use Pinkbike comments for real product research.

But at least we get a few good zingers whenever Vernon or Mike wears awkward sunglasses.
  • + 5
 @sevensixtwo: You're entitled to your opinion. But I think this guy is going out of his way to bully another member, while he thinks he has exclusivity to crap on vee. You look at him cross eyed in your own defence and he snaps and rages like a preteen. It can be mildly amusing at times sure, but then it can be completely ignorant and immature more often.
  • + 2
 @FLATLlNE: I'd agree with that, too.
  • + 2
 @FLATLlNE: Also, I got banned by a photographer too, I think. No sure which one it was, but I couldn't comment on the post. It was the guy who posted that big Cube e-Bike campaign, and clearly my comments regarding e-bikes are bad for his sponsors.
  • + 3
 @FLATLlNE: As I said in an earlier reply Waki is a Narcissist.
  • + 1
 @chappers998: We're all narcissists. Review all the posts and see how many start with "I like... or I think...". Mine do. Yours do too.
  • - 2
 you got it a bit wrong. I treat Pinkbike comment section like a pirate taverne or Star Wars cantine. I go in and talk shit to any random creature because I like to talk shit, I enjoy myself doing it. On this particular occasion I took a form of a drunk embarrassing uncle who came from a wind swept planet with low atmospheric pressure. Came in pissed, saw a dude waving a pair of tyres and went: "Hey you, what the fk are you doing hah?! Nothing personal, I just need somebody to fight,'I feel like fighting today, here let me hit you with a bottle filled with alien pussy juice!"
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: your so cool!
  • + 0
 Quick question...

Basketball = Mountainbiking
Lavar Ball = ?
  • + 3
 Shoot me email : bike@veetireco.com
  • + 0
 @brncr6: maybe if you're comparing him to Pee Wee Herman or Urkel.
  • + 52
 This was the result of my 3 days experience with vee rubber.... (21 side knobs removed in 3 days)
ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb14710960/p4pb14710960.jpg
  • + 5
 Nasty
  • + 15
 Confidence inspiring
  • + 27
 That's Vee's proprietary adjustable traction feature, Side Hold Individualization Technology!
  • + 5
 The first time I heard about Vee Rubber tires was in the late 90's when I was racing motocross. The tires looked like my favorite Dunlop but we're almost half the price. I mounted a brand new vee rubber tire and won the first moto but really struggled to find traction in the second moto. When I pulled off the track I saw that all of the knobs had been torn off of the rear tire. No more vee rubber tires for me.
  • + 18
 You obviously did not find your stick-on replacement kit in the original packaging.
  • + 3
 sssssssuuuuuuuupppppppeeeeerrrrrr tacky!
  • + 14
 @timmyelle: so tacky they stick to the ground....perminantly.
  • + 1
 HA glad I wasnt the only one
  • + 1
 I was expecting a picture of your smashed up face or something...
  • + 2
 @mxjeremy: Same here. bought 10 MTB tires for the shop, 8 sold and failed and 2 sat around until ebayed. VR rubber did get me some replacements- the pair I put on my bike failed after .75 miles on a real trail. That is not getting what you pay for.
  • + 2
 These are some very clean cuts, congratulations! You must be some kind of tyre surgeon!
  • + 4
 That whole tire looks rotten. Maybe the mixer accidentally dropped his McNuggets in that batch.
  • + 19
 VEE has always seemed like a crap tire company to me. This just puts another check in that box. Specifically since their own description of the tire and its intended use is clearly not accurate.
  • - 4
flag thepwnstar39 (May 10, 2017 at 9:06) (Below Threshold)
 Clearly not accurate. Who cares how the tire actually rides, right?
  • + 2
 I was never a fan of Vee rubber either. I did find a tire made by V rubber that I absolutely love for Sandy conditions. It is there gravel grinder. I do believe every company makes a good tire for the right conditions. You just have to figure out where that tire works best. Also it's a 690 Graham Tire that I get a pair shipped to my house for $40. Thanks eBay
  • + 13
 I bought a set of Vee downhill tires at Sea Otter on special for $20 each. It seemed like a great deal. At the end of the first day after having fought to have any decent traction and tearing off about half the knobs, I realized they were the worst value in any tire I had ever bought.
  • + 15
 Vee Rubbers..when there is nothing left to review.
  • + 10
 Vee rubber just seems like a discount brand. If you want shittier tires just get Schwalbe performance line.
  • + 1
 yep. got me some magic marys bikepark version for 16€ each and they are f*cking alright haha.
  • + 7
 Thanks for not bowing down to advertiser pressure and posting an honest review
  • + 14
 This article was paid for by Maxxis.
  • + 3
 It's obvious from looking at these tires that they're garbage. People say you have to actually try them to know but why would I spend $$$ to try something that is clearly crap? Vee does a good job with marketing, though...
  • + 2
 To anyone bashing Vee tires from years back. Vee has gone through extensive testing and r&d and has changed their tires. I personally have been a test rider and saw the same
Issues I keep reading about. The new compounds are hands down better then any other tire I have used. The synthesis sidewall casing is far superior then any other tires on the market. You want a tire that will blow your mind? Try the Vee FlowSnap. The new design is the best tire I have ever used. As it wears it actually gets better. I have 280 miles on my front and it still looks brand new. Vee is a company that wants to be the best in the industry. New companies have to start somewhere. Give them a chance! You'll be glad you did.
  • + 4
 Braking traction- good
Forward traction- not good
cornering traction? Those knobs are waaaaaay down on the shoulder.
  • + 20
 Judging by the comments, those side knobs must have been placed out of the way to prevent them from ripping off the tire. Can't rip them off if they never touch the ground, right?
  • + 1
 This is kinda odd as I picked up a set of the original 650b Trail Takers that were Intense branded a few years ago. They had a much more aggressive tread pattern and worked damn well considering how inexpensive they were. Oh well.
  • + 4
 They must suck at shedding mud... hence the name Trail Taker Big Grin
  • + 1
 My god, the fact that they have even wasted their time in reviewing this crap tyre mind boggles me. What a shit looking tyre, wouldnt dream of putting this on my bike. Just about get away with this on a pump track.
  • + 4
 Reviewing bad product is actually very useful, as people get a warning before wasting money and time themselves. TBH just looking at the tread you can guess most of what the review reports. Heavily ramped knobs suck for any kind of technical climbing. I've checked other models from Vee tires and find them very unconvincing. It looks like someone with a CAD software copied parts of popular tyre designs and made their own versions by mixing and matching knobs, but never actually built prototypes to test on dirt. The review and failure reports makes me think my suspicions are pretty close to the truth.
  • + 3
 Looks like a worn high roller!!
  • + 1
 A buddy of mine was testing those a few weeks ago and couldn't complete a group ride cause he got two flats in the 1st 1/2 hour.
  • + 1
 These look like the old IRC Notos XC tires, but with about half the knobs. Not impressive.
  • + 1
 That raised hexagon sidewall.......theres gotta be a pound of dirt in those nooks n crannies. Trail taker. Apt name.
  • + 2
 So is it a 2.0 or 2.2? I've seen both thrown around numerous times.
  • + 1
 15ish side knobs gone after 1 ride, good to hear I wasn't the only one. Will not buy again
  • + 1
 I ran the VEE "Crown Gem" 27.5x2.4 last year and it was great, wore out a little quick but they're inexpensive tires.
  • + 1
 Dont they have something to with geax tires?
  • + 1
 Trail taker?? More like Undertaker ????
  • + 1
 Would like to see you review the RM Element- please.
  • + 1
 Love this category of tire though. We need more 700ish gram tires.
  • + 1
 Even for my 70kg, 800gr is the minimum for a (27.5) tyre that can survive rocky terrain. A few grams more make accelaration slower, but you're much slower with a slashed sidewall.
  • + 1
 I can't argue with that, but it also depends on riding style and elevation profile. Nobby Nics are great at 700G for 29er.
  • + 0
 I Have the MK3 on my dirt jumper- still work great after a year, same as the ones they used to make for intense-
  • + 1
 Don't like .
  • - 5
flag BadMotor (May 10, 2017 at 8:22) (Below Threshold)
 Hey look an Ardent...er, sorry "Trail taker"...
  • + 1
 Ardent leads the tire world in the "Quiters" category
  • - 1
 I run V rubber on my rear. It is as lose as Danny Hart or as dialed as a Gwinner. I sure enjoy the feal of your rubber.
  • + 11
 sorry, but i gotta ask, whats life like not being able to spell "feel" correctly? :0
  • + 11
 @pm148: just grate
  • + 0
 Fast and loose, sounds like Gwinnerrr!
  • - 2
 2.2.... 2.25... ?? do people really ride these widths? Especially in this time of everything "plus"? Personally can't get by on anything less than 2.4.
  • - 3
 Anyone try them at 12-13psi on carbon wheels?
  • + 8
 Do you like breaking expensive rims?
  • + 3
 @m-t-g: I wouldn't know...I don't have carbon wheels or stupid to run pressures that low.

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