Vittoria bets heavy on graphene for 2016 tire range
Vittoria already uses graphene – science’s latest wündermaterial – to boost the mechanical properties of its carbon wheels. Now, the company is using it throughout much of its heavily revamped range of road, mountain, and even commuter tires for 2016 to supposedly deliver vastly reduced rolling resistance, big improvements in grip, lower weights, and even decreased wear. Sounds good to us.
Graphene for the dirt
While some companies use treads with two or even three rubber durometers, Vittoria is outfitting its enduro/trail-focused Morsa and XC-centric Mezcal with four separate graphene-enhanced compounds: two higher-rebound knobs at the base to reduce rolling resistance, and two softer ones on top to increase grip.
According to Vittoria, this yields outstanding traction across a wide range of ground types but with minimal knob squirm and supposedly far better wear rates than similarly grippy options from mainstream competitors that normally start to tear at the base of the knobs.
The vittoria morsa is an aggressive enduro/trail tire that supposedly offers outstanding grip but also excellent wear characteristics, too:
The Vittoria Morsa is an aggressive enduro/trail tire that supposedly offers outstanding grip but also excellent wear characteristics
The Morsa features a wide-open tread layout with big, aggressive knobs and a squared-off profile said to work well in slippery and/or loose conditions. 2.3in-wide options are available in 26 (835g), 27.5 (890g), and 29in (940g) diameters while 2.5in sizes will be offered for 26 (1,250g) and 27.5in (1,300g) wheels only, all with tubeless-ready casings.
The Mezcal’s pattern uses shorter blocks that are spaced more closely together for a faster roll. 2.1in widths are offered in 26, 27.5, and 29in diameters (560-640g), and a 2.25in width for 27.5in wheels only (820g), all with tubeless-ready casings.
Retail price for both is around US$70 (international prices were TBC at time of writing).
With a supple 320TPI cotton casing, a paper-thin single-compound semi-slick tread (reinforced with graphene), and a tubeless-ready design, Vittoria says the new Corsa Speed open tubular is the fastest tire ever tested by the folks at Wheel Energy in Nastola, Finland. At least for now, it’ll only be available in a 700x23c size but with a stellar claimed weight (for a tubeless tire) of just 205g. Even if bigger sizes are released later, don’t count on using these for training; Vittoria suggests they be restricted solely to time trials.
The new Corsa open tubular, however, is designed for everyday performance with a more durable quad-compound tread cap and slightly more reinforced casing. Vittoria will also offer the Corsa in 23, 25, and 28mm-wide sizes with claimed weights of 235, 240, and 265g, respectively.
Vittoria is using up to four different rubber compounds per tire for 2016:
Vittoria is using up to four different rubber compounds per tire for 2016
Retail prices for both the Corsa Speed and Corsa are to be confirmed.
Even the humble Rubino training tire get the graphene treatment for 2016 with a triple-compound tread plus a tougher 60TPI nylon casing and 23, 25, and 28mm width options. Claimed weights range from 320 to 360g; retail price is just US$32.
…and graphene for the town
Finally, perhaps the most interesting graphene-infused tire of Vittoria’s new range is the Revolution. Despite the dense array of tiny, ultra-closely packed knobs and thick tread cap, Vittoria says the Revolution is actually faster than an equivalent slick since the unique pattern allows the casing to flex more easily as you roll across the ground. Meanwhile, all those biting edges supposedly also yield improved grip on looser surfaces than a slick could ever hope for.
Vittoria will offer the Revolution in 700×28, 32, 35, and 38c sizes (550-680g, claimed) for street use, and in a bigger 2.0in width for “mixed terrain” in 26, 27.5, and 29in diameters (780-860g, claimed).