Vee Tire Co just gave us a back-of-the-stand sneak-peak at its new semi-slick mountain bike tyre, the Flow R-CP, at Sea Otter Europe. The tyres are so fresh, they were in a suitcase, not even mounted to a rim!
Mountian bike tyres can take years to develop. Between initial drawings and prototypes, working out compounds and casings, and usually a ton of pro and real-world testing, a lot of time can pass. That is unless you’re Vee Tire Co, who claims that it took them just 40 days from being asked by the Propain Factory Racing team to having a working sample.
The prominent lugs on the shoulder should provide confident cornering Tom Marvin
The Flow R-CP has a small-treaded centre, which in theory should roll nice and fast on dry and hardpack trails. At the edge, there’s an aggressive shoulder for biting into dirt for predictable cornering.
The tyre has been designed and produced fast enough, with the Propain team wanting to debut the tyre at the Leogang round of the DH World Cup, 8-9 June.
Impossible to know without testing, but we suspect the Flow R-CP will be a ripper of a tyre Tom Marvin
Leogang is famous for being a more ‘bikepark’ style track, where fast rolling tyres are popular — so long as the weather plays ball! Vee Tire Co says that the Flow R-CP is ideal for such tracks, and while it will mainly be used on the rear of the bikes, it could be fitted up front if conditions allow.
The tyre will be moulded from Vee’s new Fast 50 compound. This is a touch harder than the Top 40 compound found in some of its more treaded tyres, such as the Snap WCE that we recently tested, and came away very impressed by.
A harder compound tyre generally rolls a touch faster, with less resistance and should wear a bit better too. Generally, tyres designed for fast rolling and dryer conditions can get away with being a touch harder.
The transition from central to shoulder tread is often an area semi-slicks struggle to manage. We’ll test the Flow R-CP to see how they fare. Tom Marvin
The name suggests a durometer reading of 50-ish, which is pretty standard for performance tyres, so we assume it’ll still be pretty grippy.
Vee will be offering the tyre with two carcasses: the Enduro Core and Gravity Core. The Enduro Core casing is single ply, and as the name suggests is aimed at enduro riders who want durability and weight performance — it’s also rated for ebikes. The Gravity Core casing has a dual-ply construction combined with Vee’s ‘Synthesis’ technology, and is aimed primarily at downhill.
The tyre will also be available in two sizes at launch: 29 x 2.35in and 650b x 2.35in. We’ve been told they’re aiming for a July or August on-sale date.
Semi-slick tyres are popular where trails are hard and fast rolling Tom Marvin
It’s fair to say that there will be many parallels drawn with the Maxxis Minion SS, often used on the rear. Time will tell how the Flow R-CP fares and we’ll be bugging Vee to get our hands on a set!