We recently got word that our amigos at Vee Tire had a new 27.5 fat-bike tire in the pipeline called the Snow Ball. They sent us some pictures and they looked promising. The Snow Ball features a nice widely spaced set of moderately aggressive knobs, festooned with a fairly sparsely spaced array of stud pockets. It looked like the kind of tire that is the most versatile in both dirt and groomed snow. When you add the ability to run studs, I started to wonder if this new tire from Vee might be a contender for the (dirt/snow/ice) triple crown.
I completely ignored the fact that the tire has ‘Snow’ as its first name the moment that I opened the box to find that the two test tires came in without studs. I took it as a sign that we should baptize these new tires in the dirt! I mounted one on the rear of Ten Beers and I’ve been riding singletrack, doubletrack, gnome trails, gravel, mud, sand, and superchunk…basically everything, with the exception of snow (balls) or ice. (snow and Ice will come later)
The tires weighed in at 1400g and 1378g each. (Lighter than Van Helgas) With the tire laid out flat the bead to bead measurement was 217mm and the tread to tread measured 110mm. Mounted to an 80mm rim, the casing plumped up to 101mm and the tread measured 95mm. The knobs on our Snow Balls range from 1.6mm to 1.9mm tall. The Snow Balls are tubeless-ready and set up very easily with the shop air compressor.
27.5 fat-bike tires are pretty tough to get ahold of right now so I’m keenly interested in this new tire option. The new product drought in the fat-bike market is slowly starting to come back to life just a little bit so I’m hopeful that we’ll have more products like this to share with you soon!
Rest assured that we’ll be rock’n these Snow Balls through hell and high water till the snow flies and then we’ll probably stud these bad boys and see how they compete in ‘Pairs Ice Dancing’ when the inevitable glaze of ice coats our neck of the woods. We’ll be back with a full review in early ’22 sometime so till then, have a smurfy bike-life amgos!