Terrene Tire collaborated with Corvus Cycles to develop a new 27.5 tire specifically targeted on the sweet spot between 4.0 and 4.5. The Yipee Ki Yay’s 4.3″ width differentiates it from every other 27.5″ fat bike tire available today. The size of this tire follows the ‘Goldilocks Principle’ where a rider that rides a 4.0 tire might find it lacking in flotation and then switch to a 4.5″ tire and be happy with the flotation but wonders if it’s too heavy. That’s where the Yipee Ki Yay (YKY) fills the role of the porridge that Goldilocks called “just right”. A tire that is light enough to still feel sporty yet provides flotation and traction to compete with the best tires on the market.
The two test tires that we received weighed in at 1566 and 1559 grams each. That makes perfect sense because that weight is right between what 27.5×4.0 and 4.5 tires weigh. Laid out flat the bead to bead measured 242 mm and the tread to tread measured 120 mm wide. The tread of the YKY features 4 rows of 5.5 mm tall knobs with sipes and stud pockets. When mounted to a set of 80mm rims the casing was 110mm (4.3 inches!) The tread measured 108 mm wide.
The tread pattern of the YKY reminds me a little of the tread pattern of the Johnny-Five also made by Terrene. I love the J/5’s for fresh fluffy snow so that boded well for this new tire. The YKY has smaller knobs than the J/5’s but maybe you can see the similarities that I noticed in the picture (above). I’m running the YKY’s in the manufacturer’s recommended direction for the front and rear tire placement. The tires are mounted tubeless and I’ve run between one and twelve psi depending on conditions.
We didn’t have much in the way of early season snow, so that gave me a great opportunity to see how the Yipee Ki Yay’s handled the dirt. The tire that I’d be riding in autumn leafy soft dirt, if I weren’t testing the YKY’s would be 27.4 x 4.0 Van Helgas. The YKY’s are wider and quite understandably weigh around 100 grams more than the VH’s, but as far as the aggressiveness of their tread, I put them in the same category. I think that the YKY’s exhibit slightly more rolling resistance than the VH’s but not by much. In the dirt, the YKY’s traction was exemplary in both cornering and climbing. These tires handle ruts very well. They tend to remain centered and move forward in a true line when things get rough, quite reminiscent of Terrene’s Johnny 5’s.
Late autumn offered balmy temps and I found out how well these tires shed mud. In our region, land managers generally close the singletrack trails when conditions get muddy. However, I have access to rustic dirt roads and private trails that remain open and accessible in all conditions. The Yipee Ki Yay’s hook up well in the soft stuff and the knobs are spaced far enough apart that they release the mud quite readily. Shop nerds nag at me all the time about how filthy my bike looks. I reckon that they don’t ride outside every day and probably spend too much time polishing their bikes instead of riding them. Most fat bike tires handle dirt with ease. For most of the year, tires in this category are overkill in both flotation and knobbiness. Tires like the YKY shine when lower knobbed fat bike tires like Hodags or Husker Du’s might not be aggressive enough. #likeinthemud
Right after Christmas, we started to get measurable snow that stuck around (Yay!). Because I have a standing order that if it’s snowing, I go riding, I get to ride quite a bit on ungroomed snow. I’m pretty blessed to live in an area with low population density and tons of bicycle-friendly infrastructure. I can ride machine groomed singletrack at Camrock or ride the loops at Kettle that get enough bike and foot traffic to stay ridable, yet slightly more challenging than machine groomed track. I can also ride a bunch of ungroomed single and doubletrack right from my door that includes the Glacial River Mountain Bike Trails which as far as I can tell…I might be the only fat bike rider that ever rides there in the winter. So every snowstorm that passes, I try to groom that two miles of singletrack with snowshoes or my tires since it’s my local singletrack. My only competition for fresh tracks at those trails is the deer, squirrels, and raccoons. #gnomes
Riding in ungroomed snow is hard. I don’t think that fat biking would be as popular or fun if we didn’t have grooming. On the other hand, riding in freshly fallen snow is one of my favorite things to do on a fat bike. The YKY tires have handled my trail-breaking efforts in up to three or four inches of snow. They passed the snow over corn stubble test on the way out to the shotgun shed busting through drifted snow and winning the one on one battles with corn stalk punji-sticks. Currently, we’ve got about six to eight inches of snow with drifts that are a foot deep in places. The other day I tried to see if I could get the Yipee Ki Yays to float through some untracked areas and ended up hike-a-biking my way out of there. I don’t know if any fat bike tire would have prevailed. The performance of the YKY previous to that attempt made me think that they would get me through because, on up to four inches of snow, they had been outstanding! #confidenseinspiring
The climbing traction of these tires is excellent. Braking traction is also outstanding. The YKY in the rear can provide precise drifting through corners to set the bike up at the perfect angle of attack out of the corner. The front tire has the uncanny ability to redirect the front end back into the track when I’m trying to follow fresh tracks that I’ve laid down or ruts made by car tires or snow machines. As a pure manicured groomed snow tire, the YKY might bring a little more knob and flotation to the table than is required but for fresh over groomed or rougher grooming (like snowmachine track) they’re very well suited to bring home the bacon.
So how did the Terrene Yipee Ki Yay 27.5 x 4.3 score on their Mid Terms and Why is this a Mid-Term? Well, this is a mid-term review because the YKY’s have the ability to accept studs and we haven’t tried them out as a studded tire. Terrene hasn’t sent us any studs, but we’ll have to see if that is part of their plan. As far as how these tires scored on this mid-term, we’ll let the danger gnomes do the talking. The Yipee Ki Yay’s are slated to be available later this month (Jan. 2022).
For more information about Terrene Tires visit – https://www.terrenetires.com/