The last time I tested a set of Vee Tire Co.’s offerings, the rubber was exceptional but the stiff, wooden carcass left trail feel a little wanting while requiring more air than I’d have liked to stem leaks when run tubeless. This year saw the Thai operation launch their Attack HPL tyre.
Tread is similar to that of the Maxxis Assegai with some changes, mostly a lack of sipes in the tread blocks and the addition of a support block to every fifth shoulder knob. Vee Tire Co.’s ‘Top 40’ compound feels just as sticky as it always has but the Enduro Core single-ply casing offering drastically better compliance than the outgoing offerings.
The claimed 2.5″ size is questionable, with the tyre looking very much the same size as the 2.3″ Specialized Butchers than came off the Specialized Kenevo SL test bike they’re shod on currently. That’s not the end of the World really for their Enduro use, but might be a problem if you fancy rocking them for some downhill action. Fitting was easy and they went up tubeless on the Roval Traverse alloy wheels with an Airshot pretty quickly. They’ve yet to show any signs of leaking either.
Out on the trail, the first thing you notice is the tyre rumble. These are not fast-rolling tyres but without being anything ludicrous. Anyone looking for a fast rear tyre should look elsewhere. There may be better options for rear wheel braking grip too. On the climbs, traction is in spades, only losing out when the ground is dry and loose, something that most tyres would struggle with.
When things turn downhill, the Attack HPL starts to sing, especially when it’s steep and traction is at a premium. They have brought the Kenevo SL new life with the quantity of grip and control on offer, leading me to trust the bike and tyres enough to not brake on turns where I’d normally be hard on the anchors. No sliding, no squirming, just traction. Several days in the rock-infested Highlands failed to find the Attack HPLs wanting. Despite the soft compound, they show little sign of wear, despite dealing with some seriously abrasive rock of late.
What do we think?
With the Attack HPL, Vee Tire Co. has come of age. Their tread and compounds were always there, but the casing seemed to be the weak spot. The Enduro Core casing has made good the Thai offerings are up there with the top dogs.
Fast rolling they are not, but open tread tyres rarely are. If you value traction and control, the Attack HPLs are hard to beat.
Lots of lovely grip
Plenty of support
Great feedback through the tyre
Could do better:
You can check out the Vee Tire Co. Attack HPL tyre on their website here.