I have been testing the 27.5 x 4.5 Terrene Cake Eaters since late fall and up until very recently Mother Nature has not been very giving with the snowfall in our area. Luckily we got about 4′ of snow in 10 days recently and it allowed me to get out and get a more well-rounded impression of what this tire has to offer the fat bike world. Before I get into all of that, if you are interested in the dimensions and some of the other details, check out the first look. It is especially important to take note of the diameter because they are huge and may not fit a lot of bikes.
I spent the majority of the time testing this tire in lower snow conditions and was impressed with its performance. Just like the other Cake Eaters I have ridden, this version rolls fast at higher pressures and has decent cornering properties. Luckily the tire retains its fast rolling speed (compared to other similar tires) as the pressure dropped. I rode a lot with people that had Dillinger 5’s, 4.6″ Wazia’s and Beasties and never felt like my setup was slower than those.
Once we got into deeper snow I felt like I had a distinct advantage over those other similar tires because the Cake Eaters were at least as good if not better traction wise in most snow conditions. The exception was when I was riding some really wet and sticky snow conditions and the snow packed up in the dense center portion of the tread. This only happened once in a significant way and for a short stretch on another ride. Each time this happened I let a little more air out, the side knobs kicked in a bit more with helping drive traction and the disadvantage of the packed snow was minimized.
I got a couple of rides in really deep snow where float and traction in loose snow are really important. Compared to the Bontrager Gnarwhal the traction seemed a bit less but float was a lot better. I need more time to tell if the float was better because the Cake Eater wasn’t sawing into the fragile base as much or if it was the volume of the tire that was helping out. For those of you looking for a Lou comparison, early indications are that the Cake Eater comes in very close on float and drive/braking traction.
Cornering traction has been decent across the board. It doesn’t have Bud-like cornering abilities in soft conditions but does really well compared to aggressive tires like the Beasties.
Having stud pockets is a huge boon. My tires came unstudded so I added some studs to keep from dying in the icy conditions we have had. The stud pockets in the Cake Eaters are distributed well so that you have good traction when the bike is upright as well as leaned over.
Being such a big tire (both in diameter and width) it isn’t exactly light but I didn’t find the weigh to be unwieldy. The fast rolling, good float, and good traction played a bigger role than the weight.
The thing I haven’t liked about these tires is that the bead is on the loose end of the spectrum compared to 27.5 fat tires from other manufacturers. You can get around this by building up the rim bed with Gorilla Tape or something similar but when I did that it made the rims too tight to run a set of Bontrager tires.
Overall I have been very impressed with these tires. They seem to have a very large sweet spot giving you good performance across a wide range of conditions. If they fit on your bike, I would highly recommend checking them out.
For more about Terrene Tires visit – https://terrenetires.com/