IRC VE33S: a 100-Mile Test Through Lincoln National Forest

I rode 100 miles through New Mexico’s famous Lincoln National forest mountain trails with the IRC VE33s rear tire and wanted to give my hands-on personal review of this gummy tire.

Overall I was impressed! This gummy tire is excellent choice for enduro and extreme riding. Keep reading to find out what makes this tire so great for single track riding.

Introduction to IRC VE-33S

This gummy compound rear tire is one of three IRC:s Extreme Enduro tire series they like to call as Gekkota. It has a 2 ply construction with a breaker carcass making it more stable in faster speeds and cornering.

Being a ling time Shinko fan, my first impressions of this tire were somewhat surprised. The tall blocks or knobs are the first thing you will notice. The tire is also very light compared to most rear tires, which is a plus.

IRC VE-33s Gekkota rear tire in 100/100-18 standing next to a dirt bike.
IRCs extreme enduro series rear tire before installation. These IRC Volcanduro rear tires are popular among hard enduro riders.

This tire is directional. You can notice that the tire pattern is not symmetrical, and is made to increase traction as well as directional grip. The knobs are also have a straight edge towards the grip side and angled for braking.

The knobs are soft, you can twist them easily. It remains to be seen how well it wears out before chunking.

Stepping on the carcass, I noticed it to be fairly stiff and surely would work better on cornering as well as harsh hits or bumps. I am eager to test it out.

IRC VE33s vs Shinko 525

Compared to a Shinko 525, another gummy tire, you can notice the taller knobs on the IRC. The Shinko is also slightly heavier tire. Knobs seem equally soft in both tires.

IRC VE33s next to a Shinko 525 on a dirt bike
IRC VE33s vs Shinko 525 comparison. Notice how the knobs are cut straight from the grip side and angled on the braking side. The tire and patterns are directional.

Where To Buy

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This tire is a great purchase considering its price point at under $100. Most tires, for example the Michelin series gummy tires as well as the Shinko 525 are at a higher price point. This tire outperforms most tires and I can highly recommend testing this tire out.

You can purchase this rear tire on various online platforms, including popular marketplaces like Simply visit the Amazon website, search for “IRC VE-33S rear tire,” and explore available options from reputable sellers.

A 100-Mile Hands-On Trail Test Through Lincoln National Forest

I took a hundred mile test in Lincoln National Forest trail system in New Mexico, near Cloudcroft. We rode along the Rim trail and some other popular hard enduro style trails, like around the Alamo Peak and Heart Attack Hill, and wanted to share my thoughts on the rear tire.

In this irc ve33s gekkota review, you will learn why this tire is so great for enduro riding.

Dirt bike riding at Rim Trail in Cloudcroft New Mexico
Great views at Rim trail in New Mexico’s famous Lincoln National Forest.

For the first leg of the riding, I set 6 PSI on the rear tire with Tubliss system installed. I also installed the IRC VX40 front tire and put around 12PSI on the front (also with Tubliss system). The conditions were mostly dry with some moisture and practically no dust. Some leaves and few puddles.

I was expecting this tire to outperform or be very similar to the Shinko 525.

Okay, so let’s talk about test results: Taking a break after only first few miles, I can tell that the rear tire is performing very well. The stiffer carcass is making the tire very predictable in higher speeds and also smooth over rocks and roots.

After few hours of riding, I would describe the rear tire as very grippy, easy and predictable with excellent cornering and high speed performance. The grip is phenomenal over rocks, roots and logs. It tracks very well in long, continuous rocky climbs and has little to no deflection. The taller knobs and the directional tire pattern helps keep the tire in check in rough and loose conditions. I was able to easily use only 6 PSI tire pressure and the tire would stand tall and didn’t give out even on the third or fourth gear log, rock or roots hits.

Build Quality and Durability

Overall the tire seems to hold well under enduro riding in tougher conditions. After 100 miles, the tire shows only minor wear on the grip side on knobs and no chunking.

The tire has not lost any grip and the tire still sits tall and doesn’t seem to have lost any shape. Most of the riding was very technical and about half of the riding was done in river beds, harsh boulder style conditions and rest in steep uphill climbs and single track.

The rigid tire wall helps set lower tire pressure and this tire likes it. I rode at 6 PSI but the tire easily accepts 3-4 PSI without losing cornering capability and stability. And the grip is AMAZING! I mean very grippy over slimy rocks or roots.

IRC GEKKOTA VE33s after 100-mile trail test
Noticeable wear after 100-mile trail test. No visible chunking and knobs still stand tall.

I specifically liked how easily you can control the tire traction and slipping with your clutch. This makes it easy when navigating between boulders and slick rocks. You can feel the amount of traction you have and prevent slipping with the clutch and ride it out even the hardest of obstacles.

Riding around the Alamo Peak in Lincoln National Forest
Trails around the Alamo Peak were very tough on tires. The sharp rocks and big boulders require a lot from the rear tire.

The rear tire was also highly puncture proof. The terrain has ton of cacti and sharp rocks, and plenty of roots and obstacles. I had no issues with the tire, even with a lower tire pressure. Overall I am very impressed on the performance and build quality of the tire.

Pros and Cons

Easy to install, soft when warmDurability
Excellent grip and tractionTall knobs tear off once near end
Tall knobs grip well in various terrainThrows rocks to rider behind you
Great cornering in higher speeds
No deflection
Pros and cons for the rear tire

Test Results

During my 100-mile trail test in Lincoln National Forest, the IRC VE-33S exceeded my expectations. Setting the rear tire at 6 PSI with the Tubliss system, along with the VX40 front tire at 12 PSI, the conditions were mainly dry with a touch of moisture and minimal dust. The tire’s stiffer carcass provided predictability at higher speeds and a smooth ride over rocks and roots.

As the hours passed, the tire’s performance continued to impress. It displayed remarkable grip and predictability, excelling in cornering and maintaining high-speed performance. Negotiating rocks, roots, and logs was a breeze, thanks to its phenomenal traction. Even in challenging climbs, there was minimal deflection, ensuring stability throughout.

In terms of build quality and durability, the tire held up remarkably well under rigorous enduro riding. After the grueling 100-mile ride, I noticed only minor wear on the grip side knobs, with no signs of chunking. The tire retained its shape and grip, even after navigating through technical terrain, riverbeds, and harsh boulder conditions.

One standout feature was the tire’s adaptability to lower pressures, facilitated by its rigid sidewall. Operating at 6 PSI, I found it could easily handle 3-4 PSI without sacrificing cornering ability or stability. The grip on slimy rocks and roots was exceptional, and I appreciated how controllable the traction was with the clutch, allowing me to navigate tricky obstacles.

Furthermore, the tire proved highly puncture-resistant, enduring encounters with cacti, sharp rocks, and various obstacles without issue. While it excelled in many aspects, I did note that the tall knobs showed signs of wear towards the end of the test, and they had a tendency to throw rocks towards the rider behind. However, these were minor drawbacks in comparison to the tire’s overall outstanding performance and build quality.

FeatureOverall 4.6/5 ★★★★★
Test results summary for the IRC rear tire.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the IRC VE-33S tire left an indelible mark on my off-road riding experience. Its exceptional grip, predictability, and stability in a variety of terrains were nothing short of impressive. The tire’s stiffer carcass and unique design translated to a smooth and confident ride, even at higher speeds and over challenging obstacles.

After a grueling 100-mile test through Lincoln National Forest, the tire exhibited minimal wear and retained its shape, attesting to its durability and robust build. The ability to adjust tire pressure to suit different conditions showcased its versatility and adaptability.

I wholeheartedly recommend this tire to riders seeking a tire that excels in extreme enduro conditions. Whether you’re navigating rocky trails, tackling steep climbs, or craving high-speed adventures, this tire delivers. Its outstanding performance and durability make it a valuable asset for both seasoned pros and avid enthusiasts.

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