I have been rolling a pair of Vredestein Black Panther series tires most of the Fall now and I have a Quick Review of these tires from the Dutch company that is not very well known on this side of the Atlantic. c_g has already done an excellent job covering the Vredestein tires here on the site, so I will only give my over all view and comments here. To view c_g’s previous posts on the Black Panther XTREME, see here.

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Introduction: The weights and measures for the tires I used were remarkably similar to c_g’s findings, (XTRAC 670gms, XTREME 680gms), and the widths were 52.0mm/2.05″ on Velocity Blunt SL’s. Not as wide as advertised, but oh well….. So many tires we test are not as wide as advertised that we almost come to expect that, and are surprised when they do measure to spec! 🙂

Black Panther XTREME

Black Panther XTREME

Black Panther XTRAC

Black Panther XTRAC

The tires seemed to be non-directional and I could not find a recommendation for which to use front/rear, so I made my decision based upon looks! 🙂 The XTRAC struck me as a front tire more than the XTREME did, so I mounted them as such and that’s the way they were tested throughout the test period. The tires mounted in a similar manner to what c_g reported- that being easily and with no fuss. In fact, tubeless performance has been very good.

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Ride Performance: Right out of the box I felt that the Vredestein tires were some of the smoothest, most supple tires I have ridden. Maybe the Specialized Ground Control I tested, (here), comes close, but these tires are smoooooth! They also roll quieter than most tires with this many and size of knobs do as well. One other immediate impression was that these tires required a bit higher air pressure to feel secure and roll their best. I attribute this to the ultra-supple casings. I ran 30psi frt/33-35psi rear most of the time to get the best feel and performance for my weight and terrain here.

On hard pack, I was surprised to find that neither tire showed any tendencies to squirm, roll over on their knobs, or feel vague. The cornering performance was grippy, smooth, and secure feeling in every instance. I zoomed around our tightest single track corners faster than I ever have with these tires mounted.

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When things got wetter and muddier, the Vredesteins held on and I was further impressed by their mud shedding abilities, grip level, and continued sweet, smooth ride feel. Cornering, braking, climbing- In all instances it was hard to find fault with this Black Panther combo. Much like the cat they are named after, these tires are stealthy trail tires that surprise you with their abilities when you least expect it. They are not wide, voluminous, or particularly impressive looking, but they do perform very, very well in a wide range of conditions.

Winter Shoe-Vred Testing 11-13 002

Conclusions: The Vredestein Black Panther XTREME and XTRAC models were a revelation in smoothness, grip, and speed for a tire of this class. I didn’t even mind that they weren’t as big as they claimed since they outperformed their width in every instance. Much like c_g found out, the Vredestein tires are really good all-arounders, great tubeless performers, and have a very smooth, comfortable ride feel. As far as I am concerned, these may be the best trail tires in this size range I have ever ridden.

Note: The Vredestein Black Panther XTRAC & XTREME tires were provided for review and testing at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches. We are not being bribed, nor paid for this review, and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.