VEE TIRE CO CITY CRUZ TYRES
700x35c tyre 819g £29.99 each
The Vee Tire Co City Cruz 700x35c tyres are portly, though swift and dependable. Parallels with Schwalbe’s somewhat iconic, Marathon, are perhaps, inevitable. However, the City Cruz is an urban/trekking tyre, with touring potential.
Pros: Relatively swift, compliant ride, rugged and dependable casing.
Cons: Limited range of sizes.
There’s a fair bit of technology but it works to broadly, the same principle as its competitors. The City Cruz is available in either 700x35 or 38c. Sensible widths, given the design brief.
These will cater for tubby tourers, gravel/adventure and other ‘cyclo cross derivatives and hybrids. Mind you, I’d whip out the tape-measure and double-check clearances. Especially, more traditional tourers, running cantilevers and full-length guards.
So then, their Energetic compound. This is a hard, durable type, with a 27tpi casing. Not synonymous with speed, perhaps. However, this 60A compound is designed to roll quickly, conserving rider effort. It is also intended to cope with the additional stresses generated by e-bikes.
The aptly named B-proof casing employs “A speciality material that adds extra protection, without the weight”. These ease sharps out, in a capillary action before they can burrow into the casing. The aramid belt acts as a final line of defence - broadly the same as that, employed by Schwalbe. To date and 400 miles in, not flats, or superficial cuts.
Staying with this a moment, while slicks offer the best purchase, especially in the wet, the City Cruz’s chevron pattern is deigned to offer traction on looser surfaces, such as dry trail/towpaths. Water channelling grooves, in this instance, employ water and spray to flush out mud and other sharps, before they can tax its puncture repelling defences.
Hub dynamos have increasingly become the norm, but some commuters will miss the bottle dynamo track along the sidewalls. Retro-reflective sidewalls are also standard fare. nowadays but with good reason.
Mid-section tyres, particularly those with wire beads are generally very tame. Just observe the directional arrow. Ours popped onto these Halo White line hoops, sans tools.
A combination of transit and chevron pattern gave the false impression of a wobbly rim to start with and may tickle chrome plastic guards, for the first few rides. A small thing and if ours was any gauge, should right itself, given 60 miles or so.
Formative impressions were of a relatively portly, though quick rolling tyre, less engaging than Schwalbe Marathon GT . Pressure range is between 65 and 85psi. Even at 85, ride quality never felt harsh and at 70 odd kilos, I found 75psi to be the sweet spot. The first few weeks were incredibly arid-perfect for evaluating their capabilities along dry trails.
Clearances allowing, I’d plump for the 38mm and drop to 65psi, if dirt roads and towpaths formed a big part of your riding diet. Nonetheless, traction was favourable, at least to around 18mph. In this context and in common with Schwalbe’s Marathon 365 their increased girth became less apparent. On a clear run, winding them up to, and maintaining 18mph or so required only moderate effort.
I wasn’t completely surprised to find grit, flints and other sharps accumulating within the tread. Resisting my urges to sweep these clear, I continued, racing through sticky asphalt, shards of glass, thorns and anything else typical of suburban streets.
Schwalbe Marathon GT deliver a more compliant ride across lumpy lanes and washboard tarmac, but the City Cruz weren’t far behind. Damping low-level vibration and ironing out battle-scarred town centre tarmac.
Though senses are usually screaming with alarm, at the first hint of a hole, often sheer volume of town/city centre traffic means we clip a shallow one, now and then. At junctions, when making quick escapes-turning right at the lights; or cut up by larger vehicle. Their Zilent cousins have an edge, in the comfort stakes, although they are a bigger volume tyre with a £20 premium per pair (assuming your frame clearances and wallet could wear it) .
Nonetheless, the City Cruz smoothed these out, nicely. Acceleration in these contexts is up to scratch too. They’ll cruise quite nicely along open roads without sapping too much energy.
Descending at 35mph, along 1in4s, with my BOB YAK homage and 20kilos trundling behind couldn’t persuade them to turn bandit either. Up to this 300mile point, there’d been no rain…
After a prolonged dry spell, the first rains wash spent diesel oil and similar contaminant into the road, making for a potentially, perilously slippery cocktail. Take a look on Facebook.
Cornering prowess in this context won’t rival supple casings, such as those found on Soma Shikoro or Soma Supple Vitesse EX .However, these are very different tyres, with much bigger pricetags. Nonetheless, swooping into bends at 20mph, the compounds offered plenty of feedback.
As before, they behaved impeccably at 30mph, along my favourite 1in7, although admittedly, I wasn’t towing my trailer at this point. I was also pleased to note the channels flushing foreign objects from the casing with similar finesse. I’ve had the odd pregnant pause when traversing wet manhole covers, railway crossings etc but nothing outlandish.
Overall, the City Cruz have performed very well, given their design brief and price point. Personally, Schwalbe Marathon GT have the edge, on tarmac. However, the City Cruz would be high on my list, were I wanting rugged, affordable tyres for bikes serving as child/trailer tugs and four seasons commuters.