Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking Gear Reviews and Roundups





Vredestein Black Panther Tire

3.78/5 (9 Reviews)
MSRP : $59.95

  • Store Price
    Buy Now

Product Description

Three distinct rubber compounds allow the Black Panther CX Tire to balance grip and efficiency in a variety of off-road conditions. It's the same TriComp X concept found on Vredestein's high-end road tires, just adapted to give cyclocross racers a competitive edge. Vredestein is known for...

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 9 (9 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by B Baker a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: June 13, 2014

Strengths:    Light weight, easy tubeless set up, excellent grip, wears well.

Weaknesses:    Front only

Bottom Line:   
I put these on at the beginning of last season as and after a few rides was less than enthused. They mounted easily and rolled fast but were only average for cornering and climbing. I replaced the rear with a Kenda Nevegal and the combo was spot on for my mature agressive riding style and terrain here in the Northeast.The high volume combined with low pressure tubeless set up gives a smooth predictable ride. I ride thirty to forty miles a week and will probably get close to two seasons out of this tire. Patient shopping will get you this great tire for a bargain.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Schwalbe nobby nic

Bike Setup:   Santa cruz superlight

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by xserret a Cross Country Rider from Brussels, BE

Date Reviewed: August 8, 2011

Strengths:    Side-traction, a truly great tire for front wheel in wet + muddy conditions. Works very nice in tubeless-ready @ 2 bar.

Weaknesses:    Last very little as rear wheel. Do not go lower than 3 bar in tube mounts.

Bottom Line:   
Used the 2.0 "Extreme" version

I'm sold to these as front tire until somebody can demonstrate me it found something better.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   FdS

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   Km10

Similar Products Used:   Many other tires (Michelin and Schwalbe)

Bike Setup:   Kraftstoff X2 (Cross Country full suspension) +96kg

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by ss85 a Cross Country Rider from Kansas City, MO

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2010

Strengths:    High volume, lightweight, low rolling resistance, tubeless!

Weaknesses:    Poor grip in corners, poor braking grip, hardpack-only!

Bottom Line:   
They're just a little dangerous is all.

Good tires for hardpack and rocks when new, especially at low pressures. Low resistance but poor grip when climbing. To be expected.

The side knobs, especially on the 2.35, are pretty much useless on anything buy hardpack for cornering and have poor braking grip. This is bad because they are super fast. Washing out and drifting is a reality on these. Not for sand, gravel, or steep ascents/descents.

I have ridden these in Kansas (technical with rocks & short climbs), Arkansas (similar with more climbing & shale/gravel surface), and Colorado (sand, rock, and long descents).

They are fine in the KC stuff, sketchy on shale in arkansas, and scared the hell of of me in Colorado. You get what you pay for with these...I wouldn't buy them again and would never buy a vredestein 2.35 (the bull lock 2.0 is just fine)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Wilson Lake, Perry Lake, Hall Ranch, Mt. Falcon, Lake Leatherwood, and so on

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   Jenson USA

Similar Products Used:   Vredestein Bull Lock, Kenda Kozmik Lite, Schwalbe Racing Ralph, WTB Wolverine, Geax Saguaro, WTB Motoraptor

Bike Setup:   Rigid steel bike. 1x9 drivetrain.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by wxc300 a Cross Country Rider from Elizabethtown, Ky

Date Reviewed: August 22, 2010

Strengths:    Light tire for its huge volume,I run these tubeless and the side walls dont seep, fast rolling,very easily set up tubeless.

Weaknesses:    A litttle sketchy on wet roots and rocks

Bottom Line:   
I like these tires, very huge volume and easily set up tubeless and they roll fast,they will keep you on your toes in the slick roots and rocks but thats a good trade off for their performance and at 17 dollars a tire they cant be beat.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   youngers creek

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $17.00

Purchased At:   Jenson

Bike Setup:   Jamis Dakar xct 2.0

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by urbanknight a Cross Country Rider from Los Angeles, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: April 3, 2010

Strengths:    Fast, stable, light

Weaknesses:    tread uniformity, traction on steep climbs

Bottom Line:   
I was a little disappointed at how wiggly the tread pattern is, but the tires perform rather well despite that. They slip a little when climbing steep grades out of the saddle, but I shouldn't be doing that anyway. Aside from that, the tires hold nice traction on hard pack, gravel, and light sand. They're also noticeably faster than the Fire XC Pro on flats and descents.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rogers Rd

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $18.00

Purchased At:   Jenson

Similar Products Used:   Onza Rip/Rail, Specialized Ground Control, Panaracer Fire XC Pro

Bike Setup:   2000 Specialized Rockhopper A1 Comp, stock except for 28h Deore/Mavic 221 wheels.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ron m. a Weekend Warrior from Alameda CA

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2010

Strengths:    Light weight (I also weighed it at 680 grams), great looks, incredibly low rolling resistance for a fat tire (2.35)

Weaknesses:    Traction during cornering on the loose stuff

Bottom Line:   
I love and hate these tires at the same time. I love them because climbing with these tires was actually better than the skinnier Mythos tires that I replaced. Plus, the fatness made my bike look good. I hate them because I can't pitch the bike through corners as aggressively as I normally do. I low-sided twice today, both times when entering the first turn (you know how your mind is used to a particular line and bike angle expecting it to hold... well, not this time).

Anyway, I'll try them under different conditions. I just don't think I can be as aggressive, that's all.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lake Chabot

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $18.00

Purchased At:   Jenson USA

Similar Products Used:   Intense FRO Lite (heavy tires but grip like hell... I took them off because they were 2.6 lbs)

Bike Setup:   2002 Marin Rift Zone

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tim Blabbing a Weekend Warrior from Ottawa, ON Canada

Date Reviewed: October 11, 2009

Strengths:    Light, fast rolling.

Weaknesses:    Not very uniform construction, tire tread "wiggles" and "bumps" when I spin my wheel.

Bottom Line:   
I got these from Jenson. A pair + shipping and $5 tax was $60 to my door. Incredible service, by the way. I ordered these Thursday at 12:30 in the morning and got them Friday by noon. Unbelievable. And, there are NO additional fees. The FedEx shipping price on Jenson's website is the total cost to the door. This experience has opened a new dimension in terms of getting parts from the States.

Here are the specs:
Weight: Claimed (by Vredstein) 660, actual 680 grams and 688 grams. That's a 4% deviance. Not bad.
Width: (at 40 psi; take into account my rim width) 2.390" I am not disagreeing with the guy, below, but my measurements make me think Vredstein is pretty accurate with their specs. I can see how if someone had a narrower rim the tire could actually come up wider than what I got, because the side knobs would stick out more. Another consideration: my rims are incredibly true, and the way these tires wobble (I guesstimate 1/8 to 3/16" deviance both in wobble and hop) on my rims does not make me doubt there could be serious manufacturing discrepancies.

These tires are comfortably fat and light. I definitely prefer them to the Continental Vertical and Diesel Pros (both 2.5", kevlar bead) I've run, before. They are faster and lighter. However, they are slower than Kenda's K-Rad (demoed only) and Kiniption 2.3's I had. These tires corner well. They break traction predictably in corners. For the type of urban/hardpack-trail riding I do, these tires work well.

Unfortunately, I cannot comment outside my experience:
- Don't know how durable they are.
- Don't know how they do in wet conditions.
- Don't know how they do in loam or roots and rocks.

A bottom line note about how I think tires should be reviewed:
- One area of judging should be given to how accurately the tires conform to manufacturer specs.
- Another area is manufacturing uniformity.
- Then, performance easily categorized in 3 areas:
1. Do they have any negative quirks?
2. In what respects do they excel?
3. Are they a durable product?
- Price is not much of a factor, because unless a tire (excluding downhill tires) is super, super fabulous I would never consider spending above $40, and below that cost shipping becomes such a significant percentage that the gap between actual tire prices is diminished.

So, bottom, bottom line:
If these tires didn't wobble on my rims I'd give them a 5, meaning that I'm very happy with them, NOT that they are better than any tire rated lower. I'm happy with the weight and volume. The speed might be a tad better with more uniformity in the tread, though.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Jenson USA

Similar Products Used:   Continental Vertical Pro (kevlar bead) 2.5: 788 grams, excellent tire for volume, rolls good.
IRC Trailbear (kevlar bead) 2.5: 970 grams, 190 grams heavier than IRC claims, does not roll good.
Ritchey Z-Max 2.35: Best cornering front tire I've ever owned. 788 grams for wire bead.
Kenda Kinetics (steel bead) 2.35: around 1,200 grams. Very cheap, confused tire (downhill weight and sidewall stiffness with XC width) that rolls horribly.
IRC Backcountry 2.25: Worst front tire I've ever owned. Rolls poorly. Width is not impressive.
Maxxis Harddrive (kevlar bead) 2.1: Very impressive tire. Fastest tire I've ever owned. 522 grams. O.K. volume. Not a wet conditions tire.
WTB Motoraptor (kevlar bead) 2.4: Around 850 grams. Much faster and lighter than the IRC Trailbear, but not a fast tire. More burly than the Continental Diesel Pro 2.5, but slower.

Bike Setup:   Giant STP with Sun MTX (34mm wide) rims.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Ecogeek a Cross Country Rider from Calgary

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2009

Strengths:    Fast rolling. High volume (too high imo - read on). Light. Good traction *in corners*. Nice straight bead.

Weaknesses:    Bigger than the 2.5" Blue Groove it replaced. Not enough clearance. Linked centre tread makes it realtively easy to lock up.

Bottom Line:   
FYI, at ~40psi the 2.35 Black Panther is 64.58mm (2.54") wide (widest point inc nobs) and 61.67mm (2.43") deep from edge of rim to point level w centre tread of tire. Measured w digital caliper. CLEARLY too darned big to be called 2.35"! It's a 2.5!
This tire seems good for someone that wants a v fast, light high vol tire for dry conditions. V fast and smooth rolling thanks to linked centre tread. It's like a slick for speed (if you discount the pressure difference). Good traction in corners too thanks to sticky, sharp outer nobs.
Trouble is, it is HUGE. Was running a 2.5" Kenda Blue Groove. That was getting worn. I wanted more clearance, less weight and more efficiency this time, so got the 2.35 Black Panther. There's even less clearance! Doh! So, I have to take it off.
IMO, the Black Panther is better on the front. If you do much steep climbing and/or ride on trails with occasional mud-holes, you may find it lacking on the rear. For moderate climbing in the dry, I was impressed with the performance even on the rear. Did surprisingly well on a heavily rooted and damp section too. The Blue Groove made a noise like a diesel engine and caused the entire bike to vibrate showing the huge amount of my energy it was wasting. The Panther is silent and smooth. Sadly, because its enormous volume has wasted my money and time, I have to knock off a couple of flaming turds, even though the product would deserve better if the size wasn't bigger than stated. If you buy this for the front and have the clearance for it. Or if you get the 1.9 version (which is probably a 2.1), you'll probably give it 5/5. Manufacturers should have to measure their product's max width and depth including nobs at 40psi and publish the info so you know the ACTUAL size of any tire relative to all others...
From now on, I'll post actual dimensions of tires at 40psi on reviews. Please do the same and we'll all be better off.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $18.00

Purchased At:   Jenson

Similar Products Used:   IRC Mythos XCII. Kenda Blue Goove 2.5" stick-e. Kenda NBT 2.1. Vredestein S-Licks 1.5.

Bike Setup:   Customised Kona hardtail.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by kleiner1951 a Cross Country Rider from Milano, Italy

Date Reviewed: June 29, 2009

Strengths:    Very fast on the road and grip well offroad on the trails.

Weaknesses:    Availability generally

Bottom Line:   
Tyres become important as the miles increase. My local LBS recommended trying these having had huge puncture problems with the Mountain Kings.

Very fast, faster than you think, lightweight and especially good on the gravel corners. They were a surprise.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Parco Ticino

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Continental Mountain King

Bike Setup:   Klein Attitude with Ringle hubs and mavic rims

Reviews 1 - 9 (9 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating