The Vittoria Mazza, Mota, and Martello mountain bike tires are now available in a premium Enduro Race model, with a tread pattern made up of a softer, single-compound rubber, and a more supple 1 x 60 TPI casing construction. They each bear the same respective tread patterns, but with an all-new super soft, low rebound rubber that combines Graphene and Silica to produce what is said to result in maximal grip and damping at every lean angle.
Vittoria position the new tires as their most performance-oriented tire for gravity riders.
The Mazza is the Italian brand’s most popular tire for trail and enduro usage. We test it here in the new Enduro Race casing.
Vittoria Mazza Mountain Bike Tires: An Overview
Before we divulge our first ride impressions, it is pertinent to understand the range in a bit more detail. The Vittoria Mazza line-up (and Mota and Martello, for that matter) now comprises the following three tires:
- Mazza Trail: 1-ply 120 TPI construction with an anti-puncture breaker belt underneath the tread, and sidewall reinforcement provided by a layer of nylon and an anti pinch-flat insert
- Mazza Enduro: 2-ply 120 TPI construction with an anti pinch-flat insert in the sidewalls
- Mazza Race Enduro: 1-ply 60 TPI with an anti-puncture layer underneath the center tread and a shorter anti pinch-flat insert at the sidewalls
This is much better understood by looking closely at the cutaway profile of each of the casings; differences between the three are most clearly seen at the sidewall.
While the Trail and Enduro Casing tires have a tread pattern made up of Vittoria’s 4C Graphene rubber, comprising four rubbers of varying durometer (or hardness), in a bid to balance grip with durability and rolling speed, the new Enduro Race is formed with a rubber of a single durometer.
Unlike some tire manufacturers, Vittoria does not divulge the actual Shore Hardness of their rubber compounds, but we are told that the single soft compound on the Enduro Race tire is softer than any of the four compounds that go into the 4C Graphene layup.
The Vittoria Mazza is not a new tire to me. I have previously tested it in the 2-ply 120 TPI Enduro option – review here. To summarize, I got on really well with the tread pattern, finding it predictable in corners with good mud clearance in sloppy conditions. I particularly liked how it performed as a rear tire; the 4C rubber is relatively fast-rolling, and the stepped leading edge center-tread seemed to provide excellent grip on steep, wet, technical climbs.
I do, however, recall some “pinging” sensations when riding the tire at 18psi, an undesirable characteristic that I put down to the very stiff sidewalls. When dropping pressure to as low as 15psi, the tire burped air and sealant to the point where it wasn’t really a viable option.
The final comments in my review of the Mazza Enduro are: “While Vittoria’s 4C Compound is a quality fast-rolling hard-wearing rubber compound, it is the only compound they offer. A softer, tackier, lower rebound compound would be a welcome addition to their line-up, allowing the brand to really take on the big names in mountain bike tires”.
I asked, and Vittoria has produced.
First Impressions: Vittoria Mazza Enduro Race
In my hands, the tread blocks of the Enduro Race tire feel a bit softer and, most notably, rebound to the original shape much more slowly than the tread blocks of the 4C Compound Enduro tire.
Handling the cut-down carcass of the two casings, the difference in stiffness at the side walls is significant. The sidewall of the Mazza Enduro is barely foldable thanks the much thicker anti pinch-flat insert, whereas the sidewall of the Mazza Enduro Race is far more supple, without being quite so flexible as the Mazza Trail casing.
I tested the Mazza Enduro Race as a front tire only, in 27.5″ x 2.6. On our Park Tool DS-2 scale, it weighed in at 1,336 grams, which is a not-insignificant 121 grams heavier than the claimed weight. The 29″ x 2.6″ weighs 1,393 grams, slightly lighter than its 1,400g claimed weight. Still, it’s a good bit heavier than a 29″ x 2.5″ Maxxis Assegai in the DoubleDown MaxxGrip variety (1,313 grams).
The Mazza Enduro Race measured up much narrower than its advertised 2.6″ width on the 33mm internal width aluminum rim of the Hunt Enduro Wide V2 Wheelset; our Park Tool calipers measured the width at 2.45″. The tire was easily wrangled onto the rim. I seated it tubeless with use of a compressor, purely because I was in a hurry.
Terrain-wise, the Mazza is a bit of an all-rounder, but Vittoria suggest it performs best in mixed, loose, and damp-to-wet conditions. The two banked rides I have on this tire cover that spectrum nicely. My local trails of the Tweed Valley, specifically those known affectionately as the Golfy, have everything from fast, shale-like loose-over-hard tracks, to soft loam of the fresh cut variety.
My first ride impressions are good. Very good, actually.
Trail conditions are intermediate right now, though drying out rapidly. Long stretches of reliable tackiness give way to small patches of moist, greasiness, but these are few and far between. The Vittoria Mazza Enduro Race has been flattering at every turn.
Just as I remembered, the Mazza corners with good to excellent predictability, with no feelings of vagueness as the bike is leaned over into turns. I’m in no danger of bar dragging, but I found the tire to deliver consistent grip at reasonably high lean angles in flatter corners.
Under braking, the tire is very responsive. It’s not abrupt by any means, but it does seem to bite a little more firmly into the dirt than the Continental Kryptotal Front it replaced.
At 16psi, the tire was providing plentiful stability on rockier, loose terrain, and was holding its shape nicely in corners with more compression at the apex. Happy with that, I built the confidence to drop the pressure to 15psi, and have since experienced no ill effects of doing so. I have no tire burp incidents to report, no loss of traction, nothing remotely negative, in fact! I reckon I could probably go lower.
The tire has held some nice root-ridden, off-camber lines through the loam. It’s not defying the laws of physics or anything; I have felt some sliding sensations on the odd shiny root, but really I can’t complain. The tire is sufficiently supple to deform to most features encountered, and provides a consistent level of traction that is, so far, as good as a Continental Kryptotal, and Maxxis Assegai of the MaxxGrip flavor.
Having only ridden the tire on two occasions, it is of course very early days. But, so far, I’m really stoked on the levels of grip and comfort provided by the softer compound and more supple casing of the Vittoria Mazza Enduro Race. I have no desire to switch it out for any of the aforementioned; I believe this one has many a happy lap ahead of it.
Pricing & Availability
In my view, Vittoria’s tires offer really good value in terms of their performance, particularly when compared to Maxxis pricing. The Mazza Enduro Race tested here, as well as the Mota and Martello equivalents, retails at $89.99 / £64.99 / 72.95 € in Italy.
|Vittoria Mazza, Mota and Martello Tire Size||Casing||Construction||£ GBP||€ Italy||$ USD|
|27.5″ x 2.4″||Enduro Race||Multi-Layer 60 TPI Protection||£64.99||72.95 €||$89.99|
|27.5″ x 2.6″||Enduro Race||Multi-Layer 60 TPI Protection||£64.99||72.95 €||$89.99|
|29″ x 2.4″||Enduro Race||Multi-Layer 60 TPI Protection||£64.99||72.95 €||$89.99|
|29″ x 2.6″||Enduro Race||Multi-Layer 60 TPI Protection||£64.99||72.95 €||$89.99|