By Michael McColgan – BBR/TP*
I’ve been rolling the Vee Rubber’s Mission Command tires on the Pug for a while now and I have to admit the first ride just didn’t quite feel right. I just didn’t feel stable in some rooted and choppy turns. Then I realized that my headset was loose and I should fix that so I could focus on the rubber. Now that the Pug isn’t chattering, I have to say these tires get the Mikey Likey award.
I rode the original Mission’s when I tested the Kona Wo and it definitely wasn’t my favorite part of the bike, but I get it, entry level bikes have to make some sacrifices to get the desired price point. Well apparently Vee wanted their tire to be more than entry level and decided to make a few changes, and now they have a tire that performs great in the summer and has some serious year round potential.
The reworking of the center tread pattern on the Mission Control really helped decrease the rolling resistance. At first glance it doesn’t look any different, but it’s amazing what a few tweaks to tread design can do. I’ve been running the Pug single speed with the Vee8 and when I switched to the Missions I couldn’t feel any difference in resistance.
I’ve ridden these at various pressures and haven’t felt any of the self steer that was evident in the earlier version. My PSI rating tend to be firm, soft, squishy, and really squishy. I’m kinda little bit larger than your average bike player, so 12PSI for me might be 6PSI for someone else. But regardless of the number, I never felt any of the self steer issues that plagued the earlier version.
But no matter how well the Mission Command did at low pressure, this is a tire that’s just begging to be pumped up a little more and ridden hard through the single track. With the combination of a tight spaced center and nice tread on the outside, this is a tire that shines in fast flowy singletrack, but still retains enough bite when you need it. We were leaning this into a pine needle laden turn to see if we could get it to wipe out, never happened.
I honestly wasn’t expecting to like this tire. Between my thoughts on the original tire and my personal views on fat tires, I just didn’t think it would measure up. I’m usually not a fan of “all season” tires, since they do a lot okay but don’t really shine at anything, but the Mission Command is different. It’s got a tread pattern that suggests an all season tire but rides like a super low profile summer tire. For a summer tire, these get 4.5 Gnomes on a 5 Gnome scale. Stay tuned to Fat-bike.com for more updates!