Spotted under Robert Marion and Adam Myers were three prototype cyclocross tires from Vittoria. Marion mentioned them in his bike check video, then led us in for a closer look where we received additional intel from reliable sources who shall remain unnamed.
The tires are drastically different than Vittoria’s current offerings, and the technical specs won’t come until their official launch (planned for Sea Otter in April), but we did learn that they’ll be offered in both clincher tubeless (31/33/40 mm widths) and tubular (31/33 mm widths). The tread patterns will include the all conditions shown above, plus a mud version and a file tread, each with very interesting designs…
All three use a lot of angles to accomplish traction in every direction that it’s needed. The all condition tire has a strong center tread for fast rolling with pockets of open space between the equally tall side knobs to keep them clean. The longer side knobs have fish tail shapes angled such that they’ll deform to grab the ground as you begin cornering, then use the rest of their length to support deeper lean angles and hard cornering.
The small ridge just beyond that, right before the skinwall casing, further support the tread wrap while allowing the sidewall to be very flexible.
The mud tire uses a quasi-paddle wheel pattern with very wide open spaces and directional siping on the tread blocks to control knob squirm for max grip.
When spinning, the design creates more of a center tread platform than its wide open looks suggest, helping it roll fast for a mud tire.
The tire both athletes seemed most excited about was the file tread.
Using ramped hexagonal blocks in grouped patterns, it allows each little nub to grip the ground rather than just roll over it. The side knobs get a mid-height transition knob, each with siping to orient flex in the right direction.
Each hexagonal nub is ramped, with the rear being slightly taller than the front, to enhance braking traction and further improve grip.
“Casings are an big part of why they work so well,” said Adam Myerson, who took the Masters Men’s win and held his own in the single speed class, too. “They bend so much and are so supple, you can run a little bit higher air pressure to get the flat protection but they’ll still bend around stuff. The Graphene wheels are also amazing, very stiff and they have good braking power.”
We’ll get more info on the casings, weights and the rest in April.