First look at the 4.8″ Snow Avalanche
We recently got hooked up with Vee Tire’s Snow Avalanche studded 4.8″ tires. Vee Tire Co is the only fat-bike tires manufacturer to offer a true 4.8″ studded tire in two different rubber compounds. The Silicone Compound – SC (black) and the Pure Silicone Compound – PSC (white). We’ll be testing both compounds, back to back, to see where each compound shines. The design is very similar to the 4″ version, just super sized. Here are the stats we recorded from our test tires:
- Casing width: 4.73″/120 mm on 100 mm rims
- Knob width: 4.50″/ mm on 100 mm rims
- Center knobs are 5 mm tall and side knobs are 8 mm
- The overall diameter: 29.38″/ 746 mm
- The bead-to-bead measurement: 10.35″/263 mm
- Stud count: 240 studs
- 120 TPI casing
- (SC) Published weight: 1,580 g, measured weights: 1,574 g and 1,575 g – (PSC) – Published weight: 1,740g, measured weights: 1,636 g and 1,651 g (this should mess with Ken’s logic board)
- Published MRP for both 4 and 4.8″ tires is $130/non-studded black compound, $145/PSC non-studded and $200 PSC studded
KBS – Like most Vee Tires, tubeless performance has been excellent. There is a bit of wobble to the casing/tread but nothing too bad. The weight is surprisingly good for a full 4.8″ tire with studs. The shape of the tire on a 100mm rim is very similar to the 4″ on an 80 with a squared off profile.
Both Gomez and I (KBS) have clocked some time on these tires and they seem to have similar characteristics to the 4″ version but a bunch more float. Cornering traction is still superb. Drive traction is improved over the 4″ version but still isn’t anything to write home about, compared to other 4.8″ tires. Stud performance is also similar helping a bunch to keep your butt off the ice but not displaying crazy good traction like some other studded tires.
I have only had the chance (so far) to ride the SC (BLK) compound and Gomez has a few rides in on the PSC (WHT) compound and this is what he added about them.
~gomez~ Conditions have dictated the use of studs over the last month, so if I wanted to get out on Otis, I needed a pair of big fat studs. The new 26 x 4.8 PSC Avalanches from Vee, came into the test labs, just as the studded Bontrager Gnarwhals (along with a blaze orange Farley) were returned to ‘the Trek’. After pushing those Gnarwhals around for a month, the Avalanches felt measurably easier to propel my own fat-bike forward. I ran these tires for a hand full of really icy rides at Kettle and Camrock and we quickly became good friends. I started each ride with 10psi and trail tuned the ride by dumping a little air along the way. In glare ice conditions, I like to run a little more pressure in studded tires to help push the studs into the ice, but not so hard, that the tires get bounced around by trail irregularities. If you like studded Dilly Five’s, you’ll probably like this tire. In the end, I stopped riding the tires, not due to any performance issues, rather the way that they made Otis look like it was ridden by the Easter Bunny. I’m fairly certain that I’m not in line to become the freak’n Easter Bunny. It’s all personal preference, whether you find white tires acceptable on your fatty. I took Easter Bunny Otis to the Fat-Bike Nationals and nobody made fun of me (to my face), but maybe your bike is white or silver and the white tires would work out better (in the visual sense). I’m fond of saying that a lot of the crap that we talk about, like who’s name is on the down tube, or what material the frame is made of, or what color tires that you run, becomes immaterial, once the rider turns the pedals and the bike gets up to speed and reaches that magic balance point. The white tires rode pretty damn well.
From the beginning, we planned for Ken to do a back to back (SC/PSC) comparison of these tires, so after I put enough time on the white tires to confirm that Vee’s latest offerings, continue to trend upward, I sent these to Ken for a full test. Vee is the only fat-bike tire maker that offers their line, in two distinctly different rubber compounds and we hope to shed some light on where each of those compounds perform best. Ken will be running some tests and he’ll share a full review, somewhere down the trail, amigos. If you’d like more information about Vee Tire visit – https://www.veetireco.com/