As conditions transitioned from a relatively dry period of summer in the Tweed Valley, Scotland, where I had been running the Attack FSX on both ends, I found myself first with the Snap WCE MK2 on the front of the RAAW Madonna only in the GXE Core casing. As the Fall rain set in and trail conditions deteriorated further, the DH Core casing Snap WCE MK2 went on the rear, in pursuit of improved mud clearing properties – an area where they excelled. Over the following few months, I stuck with this tire combination and faced the whole range of conditions from some unexpected dry (but not dust) through to serious slop and found myself comfortable with the performance of these tires regardless. That said, I’m wasn’t ever blown away.
As with the Attack FSX tires, the Vee Snap WCE MK2 tires offered a reassuring fit on the rim and held air well without sealant seeping through the sidewalls. I began with the same 24 PSI in the GXE Core front tire and 26 PSI in the DH Core rear tire as I’d ran in the Attack FSX tires, but ended up upping this by 1psi on each end to help the knobs drive into the terrain below. The Full 40 rubber combined with the fairly wide tread spacing feels to drag slightly more on the climbs than the Attack FSX, but they’re not painfully slow in the sticky gravity tire realm.
Hardpack conditions are not the strong suit of the Snap WCE MK2, with the float generated by the pronounced channel necessitating some committed tipping-in, which then highlights the tendency of the relatively small shoulder knobs to fold when pushed hard. A relatively small braking edge limits the ultimate ability to latch on and slow down too, with the rear more inclined to lock up than some. In these instances, the Attack FSX proved to be a more reassuring tire, and the same went for rock slabs.
So, evidently, they are not an ultimate tire in some instances, however when the soil became slightly more broken up – whether in loam or mud – the Snap WCE MK2’s began to improve. Small and sticky knobs do a reasonable job at penetrating and holding in the softer soils, but they’re not the deepest and so don’t quite hook up as well as an Maxxis Assegai; WTB Verdict or Schwalbe Magic Mary. The float zone wasn’t as apparent in wetter conditions, but I’d certainly have welcomed some slightly taller knobs all around to increase their bite a bit further, albeit with an inevitable penalty to the rolling speed. I’d expect dusty conditions to be met with the same reasonable positivity, but not exceptional traction.
With less rubber between the ground and the carcass than the Attack FSX, the toughness of Vee’s tire casings was put through a more stringent test, to which it passed with flying colors. I didn’t manage to harm the GXE Core on the front nor the DH Core casing on the rear, impressed by their durability through some seriously jagged rocky testing conditions at times. It’s clear that Vee has done a stellar job on the durability front with the carcasses, and the Full 40 rubber compound stands up comparably to the likes of MaxxGrip or Addix Ultra Soft – that is, not incredibly well, but not exclusively to be saved for a race day.
Compared to a tire similar in its tread layout – the Schwalbe Tacky Chan – the Snap WCE MK2 falls short in terms of ultimate traction across most situations and doesn’t offer the same level of reassurance when pushing as hard as possible. That said, it feels to roll faster and retails for a good chunk less, so it’s certainly not a tire to be discounted.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Sitting in the middle of the road between their Attack FSX dry conditions specialist and a more dedicated mud tire, the Vee Tire Co. Snap WCE MK2 may not be a standout performer in any particular scenario but proved to offer good traction in intermediate conditions. I’m surprised to see it hailed as a tire for the world’s best downhillers though, with the tendency for the side knobs to fold making me think that they may struggle to feel confident when loading it as hard as they do. For less aggressive riders however, these may just be worth a try.
GXE Core 29×2.5”: 1200g
DH Core 29×2.5”: 1390g (avg)