After three and a half decades in the cycling business with shoes, Vittoria is jumping into the helmet market for 2013 with five models.
The helmets range from $70 to $250, with the top-end V700 featuring a co-molded design, structural carbon fiber, a rear dial closure, 25 vents and a rubberized texture on the exterior for scratch resistance. A prototype V700 in size S/M weighs 270g.
Vittoria Shoes’ experience with shoes goes deep. After retiring from professional cycling, Celestino Vercelli founded the company in 1976, but his family had been making shoes for generations before.
When it comes to making helmets, though, Vittoria did not have experience, so they hired a few folks away from another company.
“We hired a couple people from an Italian helmet manufacturer. I won’t say who because we’ll get in trouble,” said Michael Musil, Vittoria’s US sales manager. “It’s not like we just decided to make them on our own with no helmet knowledge.”
The helmets will be shown at Interbike in September, and available for sale that month. Two more helmets are in the works for a mid-2013 release.
Details for the full range of helmets have yet to be finalized.
A prototype V700
New shoes, too
Unlike the helmets, which will be outsourced for production, Vittoria makes all their shoes in Italy.
“All of the production is done in one facility,” Masil said. “It allows us to do four different widths, and a pair of shoes with two different lengths. We do women’s models in every single one of our designs. The turnaround is 14 business days for a custom shoe. Everything from multi-length, women-specific, low-volume, narrow, you name it.”
The new Hora EVO cost $425, and that includes any special modifications you may have, such as a 44.5 right shoe and 45 right shote.
Musil said Vittoria is the first company to use a cable tension closure, in 1992.
And what about tires?
Vittoria Shoes and Vittoria Tires are both Italian cycling brands, but they share nothing beyond the name.
“Two weeks after Vittoria Shoes was founded, Vittoria Tires started,” Musil said. “They started originally as a Dutch company. We agreed not to get into tires, and they won’t get into shoes.”