SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 30th
VEE TIRE ROLLDIAC TYRES
700x30 Long Term 2, 400 mile test 348g £39.99
VEE Tire Co 30mm Rolldiac are a bigger section, fast rolling, yet super dependable road tyres with excellent wear rates. Marketed as all-rounders, these will train, tackle winter and more spirited commutes with equal but models like Vittoria Voyager Hyper are better bets, if you’re looking to throw a bit of weekend touring into the mix.
Pros: Grippy, responsive and seemingly long-lived tyre that copes well in most contexts.
Cons: Less puncture resistant than some competitors.
Before I discuss these, it’s worth mentioning they were originally known as the Rain Runner. However, VEE Tire Co discovered this label gave Western audiences, the impression they were rain specific, hence the name change.
With that out of the way, let’s talk compounds and casings. Folding beads keep weight down, means they’ll easily slip into a pannier, or bike packing type luggage for longer/endurance rides. Some tyre/rim combinations can prove tricky when it comes to re/mounting.
Deeper sections, such as this Halo Aerorage required a second, composite lever before the final 20% would sweep home but they swept aboard standard hoops, such as Mavic Open Pro, or my now retired Planet X, with minimal fuss.
These use the brand’s Synthesis compound, which is developed to minimise rolling resistance but without shortening lifespan, or sacrificing reliability. Glancing at the tread pattern, it features a smooth pronounced, centre strip and dimpled shoulders.
Now the 120tpi casing is a “specially woven lightweight layer” designed to resist cuts and ultimately punctures. I’m also inclined to agree when they say it looks good into the bargain, although some riders suggested they’d need to be at nose level to fully appreciate it.
I wondered whether this would fade over time with slimy roads and winter miles but ours still look seriously fresh, despite being exposed to pretty much everything the changing seasons can chuck at us (with the periodic, sudsy bucket scrub-downs, naturally).
The sidewalls recommend 85-145psi, which is very broad. Caters for most scenarios and rider weights. There is a persuasive argument for not exceeding 100psi with a bigger section tyre, especially if you’re riding a 6061/7005 series aluminium alloy frame and pushing 90kilos.
Some twenty kilos lighter and with steel test rigs, aside from testing their temperament throughout the range, I’ve plumped for 120-125psi. Rammed with 145psi, I wasn’t surprised to find the ride quality felt comparatively direct - that’s over virgin tarmac, let alone anything that’s seen serious traffic. That said; even when I’ve pushed them hard -35mph plus along 1in4 descents, they’ve behaved impeccably.
Pressure fettling sorted, the Rolldiac are a fast rolling and generally dependable mid- section tyre. Acceleration is brisk and rewarding of rider effort, while the gummy compounds provide excellent feedback, so you’d need to be doing something fairly extreme to lose traction, under normal circumstances.
Run at their minimum, when ice has been forming almost before my eyes, I’ve been confident enough to maintain 18-19mph. Similarly, Vee Tire Co suggest they’ve scope for the odd bit of dry trail.
I’ve run them over smooth, loose surfaces fairly convincingly, too, but, personally, I’d be looking toward a bigger section, say 35/38mm, and I’d never suggest they’re an option for gravel-esque escapes.
At the sweet spot described earlier, they’re noticeably more compliant over washboard surfaces, than their Baldy siblings. Noticeable on shorter 25-30mile blasts but best appreciated after a full day’s riding, when I’ve felt comparatively fresher, especially around my neck and shoulders.
Trailer en tow, I’ve tended to run them at 105psi, which under normal spring/summer conditions, seemed optimal. I’ve managed the occasional 40mph descent with the odd S bend and 20 kilos following behind. I should point out, that’s with the trailer’s 16inch hoop sporting aftermarket, slick rubber. In my experience OEM tyres tend to induce an attack of the vapours beyond 20mph, or so. On the flip side, a great cure for constipation!
I’ve had three flats in the past 2400 miles (excluding a blow out, induced by an imploding rim) which isn’t bad, especially given these only feature an aramid centre-strip. Two were caused by thorns, aided by lanes carpeted in slimy dung, the other a very sharp flint.
The latter also claimed a sealant filled tube, so clearly had my name on it. That aside, there’s no obvious damage to the casings. At least, I’ve felt no need to introduce superglue/similar sealant, let alone a “boot”. Wear rates seem favourable, too, although no less than I’d expect, given the design brief, price point and service described.
The recessed V pattern also has a tendency to accumulate tiny stones/sharps. Therefore, regularly sweeping the casings with a medium stiff brush, such as Green Oil Eco brush is a wise precaution.
Overall, the Rolldiac seem a very capable mid-section tyre that suit training and speed orientated commuting. Nonetheless, they face stiff competition, which is great news for consumers. Something like Panaracer T-Serv PT lack the tune-ability, pressure wise. However, they boast a more comprehensive bead to bead aramid belt and lose nothing in terms of ride quality/performance. Similarly, the Vittoria Voyager Hyper are, in my opinion; another contender, favouring those who fancy the odd bit of weekend touring.
Verdict: 3.6/5 Quick, dependable tyre for training and fast commuting.
PUBLISHED APRIL 2018
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH