Hot new wheels and tires round-up – part 2
The number of new wheel and tire options hitting the mountain bike market in 2017 is dizzying. But while things can get confusing, choice is never a bad thing for consumers. And Mtbr is here to help. We’ve already rounded up many of the most exciting new hoops and rubber in part 1 of this series, which included new offerings from the likes of Bontrager, Kenda, Stan’s, and others. Now it’s time for round No. 2, where we’ll check in with Atomik Carbon, DT Swiss, FSA, Hutchinson, Panaracer, Reynolds, Vee, and Vittoria. Have a look and let us know which of these new MTB products interest you most.
Vee Tire Co. Rail Tracker Tires
Heretofore best known for its plus and fat bike tires in the U.S., Vee Tire Co. is making a big push into the XC market with a host of solid looking options, including the Rail Tracker. This tubeless ready fast roller is 120tpi and uses a dual compound formulation, with harder center rubber to increase rolling speed, but softer shoulder material for enhanced traction, especially in loose-over-hard conditions. It also now comes with the optional tan skinwall for those into a little bit of retro style. The Rail Tracker is available in 29×2.2, 29×2.0 and 27.5×2.2., and it also comes in a plus size offering. Price: $55 | More info at www.veetireco.com.
Vee Tire Co. Flow Snap Tires
Of course Vee also has the trail riding crew covered with a host of options, including the popular Flow Snap, which now comes in 29×2.3 and 27.5×2.35. The 72tpi tire is tubeless ready and utilizes Vee’s proprietary Tackee compound, which enhances traction, while the Enduro Core increases durability and lessens the chance of ride wrecking punctures. Price: $65 | More info at www.veetireco.com.
Vittoria Mota and Martello Tires
Formerly only available in downhill configurations, Vittoria is bringing its popular Mota (wet/mud) and Martello (all around) tread patterns to the enduro sect with new 29×2.35 versions. Highlights include 120tpi, folding bead, and use of a 4C compound that delivers separate base and surface characteristics, and more tuned tread flex and rebound. Both also have unique progressive sipe widths, where the leading edge has a smaller sipe that flexes less, while the trail edge has a larger sipe that flexes more for better braking performance. Price: $54 | More info at www.vittoria.com.
Atomik Carbon AM 35 Wheels
Atomik Carbon’s burliest all-mountain wheel to date is designed to match the rowdy factor of today’s mid- to long-travel trail/enduro bikes. The tubeless ready composite rims use a hookless profile and oversized 3.5mm sidewall that can better accommodate the new breed of 2.5 and 2.6 tires that are flooding the market. Inner rim width is 28mm, spoke counts are 32 front/rear, rim depth is 24mm, and claimed rim weight is 480 grams (29er). The wheels are all handbuilt and will be available in 27.5 and 29er with a variety of hub options and 13 decal color choices. Price: rims $435 per, complete wheelsets start at $1350 | More info at atomikcarbon.com
Atomik Carbon Magnadrive Hub
Atomik Carbon also has an interesting porotype freehub design in the works that utilizes a magnetized system that is claimed to virtually eliminate drag. It’s also deathly silent, durable, and requires little maintenance, they say. The hub will debut this fall in the Tampa, Florida-based company’s road wheels and then trickle over to the mountain side soon after. We witnessed a demo of the hub at Sea Otter and it clearly had less drag than a comparable traditional set-up. Price: TBD | More info at atomikcarbon.com
DT Swiss Hybrid eMTB Wheels
For anyone doubting the oncoming deluge of e-bikes to North American shores, here’s one more indication that they’re coming and coming fast. Famed wheel and hub maker DT Swiss has just launched four new e-specific MTB wheels, one carbon, three alloy. Each utilizes the same MTB rim as the analogous non-eMTB version, but incorporates a new hub platform where hubs have larger bearings, stouter hub shells, steel freehub bodies, and heavier gauge spokes. That obviously adds some weight (about 10% Mtbr was told), but DT Swiss said that in testing it determined that the extra torque coming from the motor was primarily directed at those two areas or the wheel and thus needed to be beefed up. The new wheels will launch this summer in Europe, and then come to the U.S. in the fall. Price: TBD | More info at: www.dtswiss.com.
Panaracer Pandura Tires
Launching this month is the new Panaracer Pandura, an all-mountain/enduro tire that will only come in 27.5×2.4 for now. A 2.6 version is possible down the road. The tire will be available in multiple versions, from a 27tpi price point model all the way up to a triple compound high performance offering that’s tire of choice for famed gravity star Cedric Gracia. The 3C version has harder center knobs for enhanced speed, and softer edges for better traction. The casing itself also uses two compounds, with stiffer material on the sidewall to help lend support. Expect this tire to work best in dry and loose conditions. Price: $50 | More info at www.panaracer.com.
FSA Afterburner WideR Wheels
As the name clearly indicates, these tubeless ready alloy MTB hoops are targeted at the expanding trend toward wider tires. Rim width is 31mm and they come in 29er or 27.5. The hookless design lowers weight, improves durability, and makes tubeless set-up easier. Black anodizing provides a tough finish, and alongside black spokes and black brass nipples, nets a stealthy look. Claimed weight is 1830g per set. Price: $629 | More info at www.fullspeedahead.com.
Hutchinson Taipan Koloss and Toro Koloss Tires
France’s Hutchinson has a pair of toothy plus tire offerings in the Taipan Koloss and Toro Koloss. Both come in 27.5×2.8 66tpi and are tubeless ready. The Toro trends toward wet and muddy conditions with a more open tread design. It can also be a good choice as front tire. The Taipan is better in dry or mixed terrain, and is often earmarked as a rear tire choice because it rolls faster. Price: $77 | more info at hutchinsontires.com.
Reynolds Bernard Kerr Limited Edition DH Wheels
Reynolds has just lifted the lid on a new 27.5 DH specific wheel that’s claimed to have gained 40% impact strength compared to its predecessor. The Bernard Kerr Limited Edition wheels use a totally new carbon fiber, resin, and lay-up, which Reynolds says caused a one-year learning curve to get the curing process right. The end result, says Reynolds, is an ultra-stiff, ultra-strong wheel that actually dissipates impact forcing rather than just bouncing off things. This improves tracking and helps the rider maintain speed and control in high speed situations. Rim width is 28mm internal and they are 29mm deep. Claimed weight is 1900 grams with Industry 9 DH hubs. Spoke count is 32/32 and they come with a lifetime warranty. Buyers also get an extra decal set, a Reynolds jersey, and an autographed poster from the man himself, World Cup DH star Bernard Kerr. Price: $2700 | More info at www.reynoldscycling.com.