We featured a product spotlight on the new Bulldozer from Vee Tire, just about the time we were losing our snowpack back at the end of March. I was immediately drawn to the Bulldozer because of the width, the relative light weight and the unusual tread pattern. We recently published a six week test of the 45NRTH Dillinger 5 tire that I ran on the front of my Fatback, during that same period that I ran the Bulldozer on the rear. I think a six week test is a good measure of what a tire can do, but any test of a fat-bike tire is incomplete without the introduction of Snow, Sleet and Ice. So we’ll have to give this tire another whirl, once the snow flies, but I’m comfortable that we can speak to the Bulldozer’s performance on Dirt, Sand, Pavement and Gravel.
The Dozer’s tread pattern doesn’t look like any other fat-bike tire that is on the market. The tread looks counter-intuitive for what, one might, traditionally think would excel in the dirt. The ramped knobs appear to be going the wrong way and the negative space of the tread is textured, giving this tire a very unique curb appeal. So with all of that said, I followed the directional arrow, that’s embossed on the sidewall and started testing. The Dozer is mounted to a 90mm Fatback Umma rim with a 24 x 3 specialized tube*. The test rides took place on beach, gravel and pavement, along with an emphasis on twisty natural surface, Wisconsin singletrack. Six weeks is long enough to get a really nice variety of conditions and applications for our test.
The Bulldozer’s have the same bead to bead measurement at the Dillinger 5’s at 245mm and when mounted to the 90 mm rims, plump up to 112mm at their widest point. The first thing that I noticed about the Bulldozer was the smooth – low rolling resistance ride. The Dozer’s roll very smooth for such an aggressively knobbed tire.
Dirt performance was excellent with the Dozers. I rode in everything from ‘rain slicked’ to ‘bone dry’ trail conditions and both climbing and braking traction were top notch. The Dozer climbs as aggressively as it looks and yet has an easy rolling feel. All of this despite my initial thoughts about how it looked like the knobs were ramped the wrong way to help them achieve low rolling resistance. I liked the way that this tire worked, so well , that I never turned the tire around and ran it backwards to see if that would make it even better. I figured, why mess with a good thing!
Beach riding with the dozer was the same story. All that’s really required of a good beach tire is flotation and low rolling resistance and the Dozer came through that test with flying colors. Every now and then, when you ride the beach, you hit a pocket of really soft wet sand and the Dozer’s aggressive knobs got Otis and I out of a jam more than once, when the sand tried to swallow up the rear wheel. Since I only tested the Bulldozer as a rear tire, I can’t speak to the issue of self-steer. I guess the only negative thing that I can say is that the Bulldozers seemed to collect a layer of dirt that stuck to the textured part of the relief area of the tread. (picture right). I really like this tire and continue to run them, well past the testing period.
The Bulldozer from Vee Tire is a great rear tire. I give it four and three quarters gnomes out of 5!
For more information about Vee Tires visit http://veetireco.com/tires/fat-tire/
* I can’t recommend these tubes for 4.7″ fat-bike tires. I went through 5 of them in just a couple of months with two of them failing at the base of the valve stem. I’ve gone back to using 26 x 2.7 Q-Lite Tubes.