This season, I had the fortunate abundance of three insane cyclocross bikes to test, and when the last of them (a Cannondale SuperX) showed up with the same knobby Schwalbe X-One tires I had reviewed earlier, I decided to use it as the platform for testing the new Vittoria Terreno Dry tires.
Introduced as part of a three tire set last Spring, the Vittoria Terreno cyclocross tire family offers something for dry, intermediate, and wet conditions. We have all three, but the one I’ve spent most time on so far is the Dry. With the Cannondale last in line, the timing worked out perfectly as the last three races of our season were all perfectly arid. The first was the infamous sandy course at Pinehurst, which not only ran through dry creek beds (full of sand), but also service roads (made of sand), and a few loose gravel sections. The only grass was the sports field we finished in, leaving the other 90% of the race to that mix of hardpack clay, gravel, and lots and lots of sand.
DETAILS & ACTUAL WEIGHTS
I set up the Vittoria Terrene Dry CX tires tubeless on the stock Cannondale carbon rims. Set up was easy here and with the intermediate set on a pair of Zipp 303 tubeless-ready wheels (that review coming later). The tires are labeled 700×33 but measured 35.2mm wide (~30psi on Cannondale HollowGram carbon clinchers w/ 19mm internal rim width). Tire weights on our scale were 405g and 415g, claimed weight is 410g.
Vittoria made a big deal about these new tires, teasing them (or, at least, letting them be seen) on pro bikes and at events prior to their launch. The test pillows we spoke with were all very happy with them, so I was excited to try them. All three have their unique features, but the Dry has the most interesting of them in that it eschews the typical file tread design for a series of ramped hexagons.
Dubbed “scales”, the angular dots are ramped ever so slightly, giving them the double benefit of fast rolling and better braking. There are also repeating gaps intentionally placed to provide room to grab the ground without resorting to bigger knobs that would slow things down.
The casing is their 120tpi TNT (Tube/No Tube) tubeless-ready design, enhanced with the G+ Isotech graphene rubber. Vittoria has introduced graphene to a wide range of tires, using it to increase durability/longevity and grip, qualities that are usually incorporated at the expense of another. Admittedly, 1/3 of a ‘cross race season and a handful of training/fun/gravel rides aren’t enough to test a tire’s long term durability, but the tread patch is showing no noticeable wear yet.
Straight line speed means nothing if they can’t corner well, too, and the Terreno Dry tires use a graduated height side knob pattern to transition into the turns. They start with really small nubs and go all the way to proper knobs on the edges that get siping and supportive ridges. Compared to file tread designs of yore, it’s all very advanced looking. Here’s how they performed…
VITTORIA TERRENO DRY RIDE REVIEW
At the aforementioned Pinehurst race, there were a LOT of mixed surface transitions. From sand to dirt to hardpack to gravel to pine-needle carpets. And a little grass. We crisscrossed creek beds, climbing steep inclines up one side, then right back down them and into a turn. It was just one of three races I did on these tires, but represented the best test course I could imagine. Plenty of traction all of the surfaces, as well as rolling from one to the other. Even (perhaps surprisingly) during out of the saddle climbing up those steep inclines.
On the training ride where these static photos were taken, leaves covered the ground, which was a mix of hardpack, rocks and roots. Even here, the Terreno Dry tires hooked up amazingly well, grabbing the ground quickly and controllably after the inevitable slips on layers of leaves.
Their profile is nicely rounded, all the way off the sides. I like this type of smooth transition as it creates predictable, well mannered cornering and solid traction on off-camber sections.
I’d be hard pressed to make up any negatives about these tires. For the suggested uses, of which I did my best to cover the bases except for ice, they performed flawlessly. Tubeless set up was easy, and they hold air well over time. If you’re looking for a dry conditions tire that’s fast, grips well at all angles, and should last a long time, do give the Vittoria Terreno Dry cyclocross tires a look.
The TNT clinchers retail for up to $69.99 each (with a street price under $50) and come in 31, 33 and 40mm widths, the latter making a great choice for gravel bikes.