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Vittoria’s road tire line gets a major Graphene addition and an overhaul with the Corsa family now covering all of the race tires and the Rubino name encompassing the all-purpose tires. The Graphene that they added this year to their rims, goes into the tires now for a mixture of grip and durability, in what they call an intelligent tire. We’re pretty curious to see how much the science backs up the supposed magic material that we’ve also seen reinforcing Catlike helmets as well, so we’ve got a feature in the works for later in the year to go visit the engineers who design and build with this stuff. Stay tuned for that.

In the meantime Vittoria’s road shuffle has some interesting implications, and a bunch of new tread designs and casings. Plus, the mountain bike tires that we saw in Tapei and the prototypes from Sea Otter have materialized, and we’ve got the details. And there is even an interesting urban tire that promises lower rolling resistance than the competition, with good cornering abilities. Read all about it after the jump…

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So out with the old, in with the new. Vittoria’s top two levels of tires Competition and All-Round all get new rubber compounds with embedded Graphene in the mix. The basic elemental shape of the Graphene material seems to have a very large surface area from what we understand, which makes it work very well in composite mixtures (like in carbon fiber or rubber.) Vittoria claims that with the added Graphene, the tires act harder or softer depending on the forces applied to them. What that should amount to in theory is a rubber that is hard and fast rolling in a straight line, but softens in reaction to changes of direction or speed for significantly more grip. I’m as curious as anyone as to how that could work, so be sure that I’ll try to get a straight answer out of the engineers when I sit down at a table with them. Besides the new rubber, the Corsa and Rubino tires get new tread patterns as well. Gone are the classic herringbone patterns, and in their place more conditions specific profiles.

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The Corsa line gets this Corsa Speed tire on the left which gets a shockingly claimed 40% less rolling resistance compared to the previous tire without Graphene and pre-tubeless. Yes, this is a fast race-only cotton tire intended for time trials, and comes in a 205g tubeless-ready version, claiming to be the lightest tubeless tire on the market. A 220g tubular is also available, both in 23mm. The wide-rim optimized tire gets a few longitudinal grooves on the sides for cornering traction and uses a single Graphene-enhanced compound throughout. Curiously, Vittoria does not offer a tubeless-ready rim as of yet, but the Corsa Speed at the top was mounted to a different sample rim than all of the other road tires. Add that to the fact that the Vittoria staff didn’t want us taking more detailed photos of the rim, and it is pretty sure that a Tubeless-ready rim/wheel is in the works, and may be imminent. The next tire, the standard Corsa gets similar updates with a few more grooves, and 4-compound Graphene+ rubber for optimized speed, grip, durability, and puncture resistance. It also gets Vittoria’s Kelvar reinforced cotton casing for a mix of suppleness and sidewall protection. It will come in clincher (open tubular, but not tubeless) and tubular varieties in 23, 25 & 28mm widths. The tubulars weigh from 265-330g, and the clinchers 235-265g. All of the Corsa tires get natural tan skinwalls.

The all black tires are the reworked Rubinos. The Rubino Pro Speed and Rubino Pro get a a new smooth center section and cornering checkers/grooves, both with 3-compound Graphene+ rubber. The only difference between the two is the thinner tread and overall lighter Speed, which comes in at 180g in 23mm and 190g in 25mm. The Rubino Pro adds 45g of rubber to that, and will also come in a 245g 28mm tire. The Pros also are available in versions with red, blue, white, or yellow tread accents in 23s and 25s. A Pro Control version is also available that looks the same as the Pros, but adds an extra layer of casing for a bit more protection. The last tire above is the all new Rubino Pro Endurance which gets its tread and 3-compound Graphene+ rubber concept from car winter tires. The Endurances are optimized to perform in low temperatures and extra wet conditions. The tread cuts are designed to work on loose surfaces, and with a thick tread area should be long-wearing even with the softer cold weather compound. They will be available in a 440g 23 and 480g 25mm tire. The Rubino family is only available in clinchers.

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On the mountain side, we previewed the nasty conditions Morsa at Sea Otter. It is an all-mountain tire that will come in 2.3″ Enduro and 2.5″ DH variants, all with 4-compound Graphene+. The enduro versions get TNT tubeless compatibility and will be offered in 26″(835g), 27.5″(890g), and 29″(940g). The 2.3s also will be available in cheaper non-tubeless foldable and wire-bead versions for 27.5″ and 29″ wheels. The downhill tires are the dual-ply reinforced rTNT with a rigid tubeless bead for more stability at low pressures, and come in 26″(1250g) and 27.5″(1300g.)

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We covered the most recent Mezcal at the Otter as well, but now we have more details on the fast rolling cross country tire that also gets a 4-compound Graphene+ rubber. The tire will be available as a 26×2.1″(560g), 27.5×2.1″(630g), 27.5×2.25″(640g), 29×2.1″(640g), and 29×2.25″(700g), all TNT tubeless. The non-tubeless don’t get the Graphene and stick with a single compound rubber, and are about 10g lighter for foldable versions and 140-190g heavier for wire beads. The new all-mountain tires also get a short sidewall reinforcement (red) that protects the tire from rim impacts, while at the same time letting the sidewall remain flexible.

We also got weight updates on the fat Bombolinis. All with TNT dual-compounds, the 26×4″ weighs 1325g, the 27.5×3″ weighs 890g, and the 29×3″ weighs 970g. Also on the mountain side Vittoria add a couple of tires with a Graphene compound designed to survive the torque-heavy life on e-bikes, including an E-Barzo and E-Goma.

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The last tire that caught our eye was the urban Revolution. It is a tire design for city riding, commuting, and hard surface bike paths. With another Graphene+ rubber compound, it is said to beat everything in the market for a fast rolling city tire. Its stepped side knobs should offer solid and predictable cornering on dirt and other loose surfaces, too. The tires get reflective detailing, and come with wire beads in 700c x 28, 32, 35, and 38mm widths, as well as in 26×2″, 27.5×2″, and 29×2″ to cover pretty much all the bases. Vittoria also introduced a couple more e-bike tires in the city lines with the E-Adventure and E-Rando to tackle that wear intensive use.

Vittoria.com

17 COMMENTS

  1. It’ll be interesting to read reviews of the graphene enhanced tires. As for graphene, Cory, given that it’s generally one atomic layer or so thick, it’s approximately a 2D material, which means it’s all surface area. It does have some properties that would seem to apply in tires: graphene’s stiffness changes with curvature of the graphene sheet and with the chirality (asymmetry in the pattern of carbon atoms in the graphene sheet).

    Of course it’s not known whether Vittoria is using largish sheets of graphene in their product or just tiny sheet fragments. That leads to wondering if this, in essence, is similar to what Easton and others tried when they were using “nanoparticles” in their CF.

  2. What happened to the whole Nano carbon thing. It was meant to change carbon bikes frames forever, but the marketing buzz with it seemed to fade away. PsiSquared, what’s your knowledge on that?

  3. Probably just a marketing gimmick. We will just have to wait and see.

    I am a fan of Rubino Pro III’s in 28c. I wish the tread pattern was 100% slicks, and I wish they made them in 30c.

  4. I’ve had excellent experience with Rubino Pros and Rubino Pro Slicks. They are tough, reasonably light (~230 gms in 23c), ride and roll well and have lasted over 4000 miles on the rear wheel. I hope the “new and improved” versions are at least as good.

    I wonder why the designers bother with tread designs on road tires. They do nothing and slicks are faster.

  5. Crikey! Look at the pressure figures on Corsa models. I’ve never seen anything so high and couldn’t imagine running anywhere near those numbers. Some wheel manufactures like HED have much lower limits for their line of products. Obviously you don’t need to run such a high pressure, but please someone tell joe public that.

  6. The tread on road tires is to see when they are worn for the most part. They do not act like a car tire with water displacement. Slicks are not faster – they just feel faster. Just like super high pressure in your tires feels faster, but it’s not.

    The Graphine that Vittoria is using is not a sheet – it’s “ground up” and is put into the tread compound as a powder. It still works the same in this manner as it would in a sheet. I can’t wait to ride them (and the wheels) and see what the buzz is about.

  7. Graphene sounds like a lot of hype to me if it is all ground up – isn’t the secret behind Conti Black Chili’s performance the use of nanoscale carbon black in the rubber to improve grip and reduce energy loss??

    More interested in the fact that, despite several interviews with Vittoria reps in the past few years stating that they weren’t interested in Road Tubeless, they appear to have gone and banged a tubeless bead on an “Open Tubular” type carcass. If they have refrained from adding a thick butyl airwall to the inside of the tyre so we can let sealant do what sealant does this might finally be the tyre that realises the theoretical advantage of a tubeless road setup.

    If their claims of 205g and 40% less rolling resistance than their previously pretty decent race tyres are half true then this is a game-changing product.

  8. The minimalist tread on road tyres helps to dissipate the surface tension in the outer layer of rubber that would otherwise occur at high pressure. So the presence of the tread is important, but the specific nature of the tread is less important. And it has nothing to do with water dispersal.

  9. ive been riding the Open Corsa CX III for a while and i have fallen in love with these tires, i hope they know what they are doing, reworking an already incredible tire. i wish they would leave the red label on them though…

  10. Vittoria says they use “Pristine Graphene +” that they get from their partner (in which they have invested) Directa Plus. On their website they say this graphene is a powder:
    PURE G+
    Extremely fine nanopowders of pristine graphene nanoplatelets.
    The pristine graphene nanoplatelets have a lateral dimension of few micrometres and a thickness of few nanometres. The nanoplatelets are weakly aggregated by van der Waals forces, exhibiting an apparent density of around 60 g/L. Pure G+ nanopowders are produced without the use of any surfactants and they are not subjected to any oxidizing steps. They can easily be dispersed in practically any kind of media, from solvents to polymeric matrices, giving a chance to match the required solid content

    I guess Vittoria mixes the powder in instead of regular carbon. They might (or might not) use graphene sheets when they make their rims, however.

    I wish they would make a Rubino TLR tire in 28 mm. But all Rubino’s use tubes which sort of defeats part of the purpose of graphene, i.e., low rolling resistance.

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