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…
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.
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 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.
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.)
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.
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.