Geax & Vittoria: 2010 tyres for road, dirt and e-bikes

Italian rubber to meet the road (and dirt)

Geax and Vittoria have a handful of new tyres for 2010, including a fat new downhill tyre, the Geax Synapsis, and a new incarnation of the popular Rubino Pro road tyre with a thinner, lighter casing.

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“I’m only going to show you the stuff that’s really new,” says Luca Cedroni of Vittoria and Geax, sparing us the endless list of “and we have a 2.718in version of this now…” that sometimes fills tyre range announcements.

The Geax Synapsis is the big news from the off- and on-road Italian rubber combo of Geax and Vittoria. Available in two-ply casing and only in a 2.4in width, the Synapsis has a soft 50 ShA durometer tread designed to shed mud for downhill races in conditions that are les than dry and dusty. The knobs are not as tall as typical lousy-weather treads; Geax describes it as an ‘after-rain’ tyre.

The Synapsis is available in two versions, either regular UST tubeless or with Geax’ TNT design. The initials stand for Tube/No Tube and indicate a tyre with a proper tubeless bead, so there’s a good seal against the rim, but that doesn’t have an airtight casing.

As well as making the tyre more versatile, because it ends up a sensible weight even without a tube, using a tubeless bead makes the tyre less likely to fall off the rim if you do get a flat.

The new Geax AKA cross-country race tyre has a medium-spaced small-block tread, intended to roll quickly on dry and compacted surfaces. It comes in regular and TNT versions, and has a widely-spaced small-block tread. It comes in 2.0 and 2.2 versions, with the 2.2 size having bigger tread blocks than the 2.0 – they’re scaled up ten percent, according to Cedroni.

Geax aka has small tread blocks for fast rolling on dense surfaces.: geax aka has small tread blocks for fast rolling on dense surfaces.
John Stevenson

The AKA is available in four variants: UST, TNT, folding and non-folding. The lightest version, the folding 2.0 for use with tubes, weighs in at a claimed 520g.

On the road side, Vittoria has a few new tubulars, including a slick version of the Corsa Evo, but Cedroni was most keen to show off the revamped Rubino Pro which now has a 150 threads-per-inch (tpi) Nylon casing, up from the previous 120 tpi. That should make for a more supple tyre with reduced rolling resistance, and a bit less weight.

The new vittoria rubino pro has a finer casing than the previous version and comes in loud new colours like this screaming orange.: the new vittoria rubino pro has a finer casing than the previous version and comes in loud new colours like this screaming orange.
John Stevenson

The new Rubino Pro is available in 20mm, 23mm, 25mm and 28mm widths with plain black tread, and with side tread in various colours including the new orange and green versions you see here.

The 23mm and 25mm widths are also available in a completely slick tread, and for those who want super-fast road-going mountain bike tyres, there’s a completely slick 26 x 1.50 incarnation.

Finally, at a show where you had to keep your wits about you to avoid being run over by one of the hordes of silently speeding electric bikes, Vittoria has an eco-friendly tyre for electric bikes. The E-Rando is made from rubber reclaimed from other manufacturing processes at Vittoria and uses the same two-ply casing as the Geax downhill tyres to better support the weight of the battery and motor and cope with the extra speed of an e-bike compared to your typical commuter-pootler.

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To cope with the slings, arrows and broken glass of outrageous urban fortune, the E-Rando has Vittoria’s Double Shielding puncture protection. Vittoria claims the high-quality casing helps keep down rolling resistance. That makes sense, as rolling resistance is a significant source of drag at typical commuter bike speeds.