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Fat-Bike Exclusive ♦ Vee Rubber Speedster Tire

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From the moment that I laid eyes upon the VeeRubber Speedster tire at Interbike’s Outdoor Demo out in the LasVegas desert, I knew that I just had to ride a set. The first thing that crossed my mind, for this 26″ x 3.5″ set of snake skins, was how they would work on my rat-rod. Soon after the tires arrived at the Bike Black Ribbon Proving Grounds, I started to think about how they would work on my Pugs. The same Pugsley that I’ve been threatening to sell ever since Thparkle got between my legs, about a year and a half ago. I weighed the two test tires and they came in at 984g and 972 grams (thats super light!). I mounted the tires up on the (Fattie Lumpkin – hand-built) blood red, drilled Rolling Darryl rims that are laced to a Rohloff (IGH) and a White Industries M-16 hub up front. On the 82mm rims the Speedsters have a nice round profile.

guard rail

The tires mounted up with ease and from the ‘get-go’ looked all ‘fat and furious’ ala choy! The tread of the Speedster’s resembles a BMX park tire on Rubber Growth Hormone (RGH). March in Wisconsin is the start of Mud Season. Until the frost leaves the ground, fat-bikers are left with 2 options….beach or pavement. The Speedsters may well make fair beach tires (for a lighter rider), but my beach time (during March) was split between testing the 9:Zero:7 – Tusken and the ultimate beach ‘Katana Blade’ – Thparkle, so the first deployment of our test tires was dedicated to asphalt and gravel.

I’ve found myself, abandoning my usual (spring thaw) Cross Check mileage in favor of my Speedster-clad Pugsley. After a couple of weeks of local rides, BBR Test Pilot, Colin Ford, and I shuttled out to Iowa City to attend Q7’s 2nd Annual Tweed Ride. Ten to twenty, semi-sober miles of Iowa City bar hopping seemed the pen-ultimate test for the Speedsters, plus any trip to Iowa City means that I get to visit, mi hermano, Adam, along with, a rather long list of cousins on my ‘gnome-fest ‘side.

After Colin and I got into town, we parked the truck and along with Adam (you might know him as Fattie Lumpkin) rode the fat-bikes….everywhere! Adam and Colin are markedly faster riders than me, but they were rolling Nates unt Knards on their Necromancer pugs, while I was rolling the Speedsters. Because of the lower rolling resistance of the Speedsters, I was able to keep up with those two young, jack-rabbits, without breaking a sweat. On Friday night we rode all over town and led an aggressive assault on several pitchers of PBR and slurped rounds of jello shots called “purple elastic thunder fucks”! Before the weekend was over the Speedsters were tested on a number of natural and man-made substrates that included mud, grass, gravel, carpeting and pavement…with various levels of debauchery. Through it all…the Speedsters kept me upright and performed admirably. Fattie ended up getting his bike nicked on Saturday night, but we found it the next morning just down the street from the Blue Bird, where we were having breakfast. I love happy endings! The tweed ride was a stone cold groove and the Speedsters were the best (fat) tire for the task.

on the rocks

After returning to the Big Whiskey, the spring monsoon started and confined my testing opportunities to wet and sometimes flooded roads. I dug out a set of SKS Fenders and slogged out a couple of rides where the Speedsters gave a confidence inspiring performance on the rolling glacial hills that rise between Twin Lakes and the Fox River valley. The 3 1/2″ width of the tires meshed very well with the SKS fenders. I ran the tires at 18(psi)-front & 20(psi)-rear and they behaved, very much, like a fat set of road tires. I was chased home by thunder and showered with liquid sunshine both times that I tried to squeeze a ride in-between storm cells that danced across the doppler radar. The Speedsters roll really fast! The ride feel is smooth and stiff.

gravel faced

After 4 days of torrential rain, the sun came out and I took the opportunity to hit some local gravel for a twenty-two mile out and back test ride. On crushed limestone these tires feel super grippy and fast. I ran 12 psi front and rear on the gravel and the Speedsters just ate it up! You can see how the inverted tread grips the limestone in the picture below.

bentgrippy

These are a great set of urban fat-tires. They will excel at commuting, road or gravel touring and city cruising. I’m going to pass these tires off to Schlick Cycles Pro Rider – Aris – to see how they perform from a jump-park point of view. Stay tuned to Fat-Bike for further reports.

under bridges

In the US – these tires will be available through shops that order from J&B Importers – MSRP of $60 for wire bead and $80 for folding – some time in early summer – 2013.

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16 Responses to Fat-Bike Exclusive ♦ Vee Rubber Speedster Tire

  1. vaultbrad April 22, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    I’ve been waiting impatiently to hear review and word of these tires. Thanks for the write up and for making me even more impatient in my wait for these to become available.

    Do you have any idea as to the relationship between these tires and the tires that come stock on the Sun Crusher cruiser? They are the same tread and size and I’m guessing Vee makes the tires to be rebranded for Sun. I’ve seen them available though with a white stripe on the sidewall.

    Do you know if these are the same tires just rebranded or are the
    Suns perhaps heavier and less svelt than these? If they are just the same, then the Suns could be a way to get these tires earlier.

  2. Frank April 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Your weights are much less than theirs on their website:
    http://www.veerubber.co.th/2013/?p=1834&cur-cat=bicycle

    Folding: 1,090±30
    Wire: 1,160±40

    These look much better than the Black Floyds in terms of profile depth.
    Would like to know how they perform on wet/slippery surface.
    Hellalot better I guess.

  3. Beaker April 23, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    How’d I fall off my bike on Friday night again?!

  4. Ernesto April 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    I wonder what they would look like after riding over a broccoli patch. Or sticky glue from the horse farm.

  5. Ron April 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Where, when and how much are they? What distributor is carrying them?

    • Preston May 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

      These will be exclusively available from J&B Importers dealers in mid June. Not sure on retail but my guess is $60-$100.

  6. Dan April 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    Nice and light but I have to wonder how much all the pebbles stuck in the tread add up to?!?

  7. McColgan May 2, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    Can’t wait to throw these on Seamus!

  8. nick July 9, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    where can I buy these wheels?

    • Gomez July 9, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

      Click on the Vee Rubber ad (in the right hand column of this page – near the top) and it takes you to a page with a 1-800 number and even has logos of companies that are selling Vee Rubber’s Fat-Bike Tires – It makes our sponsors very happy when you click their ad and consider purchasing their products. ¡Thank you for reading bici-gordo.com!

  9. Rick August 3, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    Did you do any running in water say puddles. On the tread I see no water routes to get water out from under the tire , being such a FAT tire Ids figute here would be a tread pattern to allow water to escape the middle of the tire , then again I don’t know jack so….wouldn’t this cause a potential hydroplane ?

    • Don September 9, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

      The water gets pushed out by forces exerted by pedalling, pressing the tire down. It’s a myth that tires need sips. There is more contact and therefore grip with this tire on pavement and even gravel than a knobby tire. But if you ride only mud/dirt, then there is a better tire for that anyhow.

  10. Chris August 17, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    I have Black Floyd’s (120tpi) on my Marge Lites and they fly on concrete at 20psi allowing me to use my fattie on rides as far as 50 miles while my road bike hangs in the garage. However I do not run the Floyds on gravel or dirt for fear of puncture and nuclear explosion. These Speedsters look like they would provide more options: concrete, gravel, and hard/dry single track. I was thinking about a pair of 26 x 3.x Knards until I saw this review – many thanks for sharing.

  11. Chris January 8, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    how would these work for a gravel road century, I have 3 coming up in the spring and would love to run these instead of my winter husker du’s…and would you go with bead or folding version?

    • Don September 9, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

      These look great for gravel. A folding version will be more supple, lighter and grippier. The higher the thread count, the more supple, grippy and light as well, but less durable than a more rigid lesser TPI tire with more weight. STeel beads dont feel as nice under the rim and weigh more, while being harder to mount/dismount, but cost less. I hope this makes sense to you.

  12. Patrick Coughlin September 11, 2015 at 6:49 am #

    These are GREAT on gravel! We’re using them on our new Ventana Tandem Fat Bike.

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