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Product Spotlight – Vee Tire Snowshoe 2XL 5.05 Tire

The king of fat-ness

The king of fat-ness

Vee Tire has quietly made a new fat bike tire available to the public and it is going to raise a lot of eyebrows in the fatty world. It is called the Snowshoe 2XL and the listed size is 26 x 5.05 inches. The crazy part is, it is even bigger than the listed size on 100mm rims! I snagged a pair of the 120 tpi version as soon as I saw that they were available but from the packaging it looks like they will offer a 72 tpi version as well.

For those interested in the numbers:

  • Bead-to-bead: 298mm
  • 5.1-5.2″ wide on Clownshoe rims (100mm)
  • Diameter: 31 1/4″
  • Weights for my two tires: 1,823 and 1,779g (published weight of 1,740g)
  • Knob height: 7-8mm

It is important to note that these tires are MASSIVE! Below is a picture of a Surly Lou mounted on a Clownshoe compared to the Snowshoe 2XL on the same rim:

Surly Lou on 100mm rim compared to the Snowshoe 2XL on a 100mm rim

Surly Lou on 100mm rim compared to the Snowshoe 2XL on a 100mm rim

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Big Fat Knard on a Clownshoe compared to the 2XL on the same rim

The Lou that is shown has been in service for about a year and a half now and has been set up tubeless the whole time so it is as big and stretched out as it is going to get and it still looks tiny compared to the 2XLs which were freshly mounted and at the same pressure (all measurements were taken at approximately 10psi). When I measured the width of each, the 2XL was around a half an inch wider than the Big Fat Knard, Bud and Lou. To give a perspective on the size of the casing, here is a pic of the Bud and 2XL unmounted:

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The tread design looks very promising with a similar knob height to the Bud/Lou, a nice open tread design to shed snow and lots of sipping and edges to bite in and provide great traction. The tread is also a really nice width compared to the casing with well supported side knobs. They even provided a lot of serrated edges on the knobs to create more biting edges.

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The overall shape of the tire is nice and round but looks like it will flatten out nicely in soft conditions and low pressures to provide some great traction.

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For now I have them mounted up with tubes on my tandem for some beach riding. I plan to test out how they go tubeless in the near future and will also try to fit test them in other bikes. It is going to be tough to find frames and forks that fit this tire. The width is substantial but I think the height of the tire will be even more limiting in a lot of frames. It just fits in the rear of my tandem and once the tire stretches some I doubt it will have enough clearance. Good thing I made sure Scotty Q at Quiring Cycles got a pair of these tires also! There is going to be a new single fat bike in my near future built around these bad boy tires!

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24 Responses to Product Spotlight – Vee Tire Snowshoe 2XL 5.05 Tire

  1. Simon August 19, 2015 at 11:45 pm #

    Will this fit inside a Bluto fork?

    • Ken Blakey-Shell August 20, 2015 at 6:09 am #

      Haven’t personally checked but word on the street is no, it doesn’t even come close to fitting on a Bluto. I did check my Borealis fork and it just fit.

  2. Guitar Ted August 20, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    I think another thing you guys might want to touch on is how much higher the bottom bracket height will be when you swap these beasts into your single bikes. I know my Blackborow is already “up there” pretty high with Lou’s on Clown Shoes. I doubt I could easily mount or dismount the bike on harder surfaces with the height being jacked up to Snowshoe 2XL levels.

    Not to mention the adverse effect on stand over……..OUCH!

    Wondering if maybe your custom Quiring will take this into account and have a lowered BB height compared to many fat bikes?

    • Ken Blakey-Shell August 20, 2015 at 9:28 am #

      The BB height is a really good point. These tires will raise the bike up a 1/2-3/4″ which could cause issues for some people. Scott and I still need to work out some of the details with the custom frame and BB height will definitely be part of that. The goal for that bike will be to make it ride as well as possible in super soft conditions and not make compromises/concessions to improve the ride quality in firmer conditions. Both Scott and I already have great fat bikes for firmer conditions so the new “powder hound” bikes will be a neat experiment to see how far we can optimize fat bikes for soft conditions with currently available technology such as these tires.

      • Guitar Ted August 20, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

        Soft conditions and pow-pow- Makes total sense, and I agree that these would likely be a piggish tire for dry, fast mtb-like fat biking. Horses for courses, and all….

        I’ll stay tuned to see what you and Scott come up with. Sounds really interesting.

  3. Espen Wettre August 20, 2015 at 8:25 am #

    This is a special purpose tire.
    The interesting thing about these, will be to run really low pressures and get monster footprint in really soft surfaces.

    Low pressure will lower the BB, but the overall height will still higher than smaller tires of course.

    e

    • Guitar Ted August 20, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

      Espen, the comparison would be a wash, since I also run my current Lou tires at low, low pressures. In other words, “tire drop” on my bike and “tire drop” with your tires, (similar to “sag” in suspension terms), will be similar, and the BB height differences will still apply.

  4. Tad Dickman August 20, 2015 at 8:44 am #

    Dear VeeTire… please stop putting that texture in between lugs. It makes the entire tire pack up. I really tried to like my Bulldozers, but couldn’t get past them packing up. They were a nice grippy tire, but what’s the point when they completely pack up and you have no more lugs? I ran a Bud on front and a Bulldozer on rear to test (and also switched front/rear) and the Bud nearly shed all mud while the Bulldozer was packed firm.

    Do you not test these designs on soft sticky surfaces like mud or snow… you know, where fat bikes are meant for?

    • Altair November 23, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

      Dear Tad Dickman,

      The way to obtain good traction on snow is by having a tire that retains some snow between its tread, therefore allowing that snow to stick to the snow on the ground.
      Rubber itself has poor adherence to snow, while snow adheres well to itself. That’s why automotive tire manufacturers go to great lengths to develop tires that will retain some snow. Check some deep snow Jeep’n videos for confirmation.

  5. JonWyo August 20, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    Seems like this would fit only a few bikes without issues. Mostly only on the front end too. Will it fit on a Moonlander rear end?

    • bighit August 23, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

      I have a set for my Moonlander. I should know by the end of the week. I will report back.

      • bighit August 25, 2015 at 7:17 am #

        They fit the front with a ICT fork and the rear is tight, but they fit with room. A rear bolt on hub is a must.

  6. Wade August 28, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    These tires might be right up my alley. My 9Zero7 gets high centered on a speed bump. Can’t wait for my 0 BB drop Twenty2 frame is done. Size Marge will be the cat’s meow with 5.05’s out in the backcountry snowmobile trail rides!

    Goodbye lowrider!

  7. SteamRoller72 September 3, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

    I hope the trends peaks around 5.25″ width for fat tires in general. The tire widths are exceeding the standards of 170/177 already and 190/197 is next. What are 2018 fatties going to be spec’d with…210/217 rear hubs? At some point you’ve reached the point of no return and bulkiness outweighs practicality.

  8. hubert September 25, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    What is the minimal rim width required in order to fit these on my fat bike ?

    you spoke about 100 mm rims, can these tires fit my 85 mm wide carbon fiber wheel, and be able for a tubeless set up ?

    • Ken Blakey-Shell September 25, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

      I quickly tried them on an 80mm rim and had no issues but as all things tubeless, your mileage may vary.

  9. hubert September 27, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

    One question I forgot to ask earlier, on the tandem bike in this post, what are the rear and front hub spacing ?

    • Ken Blakey-Shell September 28, 2015 at 5:46 am #

      135/190.

  10. 29errider November 9, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

    KBS….great review, thanks. Missed seeing you at Iceman this past weekend

  11. Armadillozack December 3, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

    I am so glad it rained tonight, and I decided to catch up on some things, Because if I had missed this article, I would have to shoot myself ( just some drama ) …! No really I am really glad to have read this, and now I’m not wasting any more time, and I am ordering me some tires, 4 to be exact, because that is what I need for my custom quad…! And all work, and no play, makes the Armadillo man really p____ off…!

  12. Joe January 15, 2016 at 9:08 am #

    Thanks Vee tire for pushing the envelope with these fat tires, theres definitely a demand. We are wishing at least one big name bike company starts manufacturing frames to handle 5.05″ and coming soon…5.6″☺?

  13. Guy January 27, 2016 at 10:10 am #

    5.6″ tires? Nah! Let’s go straight to 6″ ☺
    But seriously, as the outside diameter increases in direct proportion with the width, those tires (and the frames that will receive them) should really be made for 24″ rims, not 26.
    A 6″ x 24″ would have an awesome look, but more importantly, would provide fantastic flotation and traction on snow.

    If the manufacturers could make the tire section less rounded, flatter, like a car tire, that would also limit the constant increase in outside diameter.

    • Ken Blakey-Shell January 27, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

      It is interesting that you mention making the tire “less rounded, flatter, like a car tire” to limit the increase in diameter as tires get wider. I recently got a pair of Bontrager Barbegazi 4.7″ tires and they have a very flat/square casing profile compared to other similar size tires. I am measuring the overall diameter at slightly less than 750mm and 123mm width for my Barbegazis. If you compare that to Surly Bud/Lou (762/120mm) and 45NRTH Flow/Dunderbeist (758/116mm) it seems like the diameter of the Bonti tires is around 10mm smaller diameter. I haven’t noticed this type of casing shape in any other fat bike tire up until now.

      I am not sure if tire manufacturers could reduce a tire with the width of the 2XL down to the “normal” diameter range of 4.8″ tires (760’s) from the current 790ish diameter of the 2XL but it may be possible to reduce the diameter of wide tires doing whatever Bontrager did with their casing design/manufacturing.

      • Guy February 1, 2016 at 8:48 am #

        I’m pretty sure that the manufacturers could easily keep the diameter down, while keeping increasing the width to more than what is available now.
        The BIG advantage of having a flatter profile is that it will greatly reduce rolling friction. I run my Snowshoes XL at 3psi room temperature, and once outside in the snow, they must be down to 2psi. The traction in snow is fantastic, but if I go on the pavement, the tire fights with itself, lots of self-steer, and I can hear the knobs scratching against the pavement because the center of the thread is at a different speed relative to the edges. There would really be a large gain in flattening the profile.

        Lately, I was thinking about the mention of a 6″ wide tire, and the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. I often ride on older snow which has hardened enough on the top to be able to support the weight of the bike. But I also often go through the crust, and then it’s difficult to get back on top. Wider tires would have more flotation and would stay on top.
        That’s why I run my tires at such a low pressure, to widen and lenghten the contact patch. And I’m gonna buy a new frame that can take the 2XL soon.

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