Vittoria is the only company to use four rubber compounds for the tread of its tyres, and the Barzo XC tyre is no exception.
Its compound is formulated using the wonder material dubbed Graphene 2.0. Vittoria claims using graphene leads to unparalleled grip in loose and mixed conditions, and keeps on gripping in the wet.
- Using as a front or rear tyre
- Wetter conditions and more technical trails
- Pairing with a lighter weight rear tyre for improved speed
Vittoria Barzo TNT 29 x 2.25in details
The Vittoria Barzo is aimed at XC racers wanting a lightweight tyre suitable for technical cross-country courses and terrain that can still offer fast rolling speed from the carefully aligned centre blocks.
The blocks are arranged in a v-formation to further improve rolling speed, with larger angled shoulder blocks for confidence in the corners.
It comes in a plethora of size options, including 26in, 27.5in and 29in, and up to 2.6in widths, as well as with rigid beads if you’re on a budget or tubeless-ready options using a nylon 120TPI casing that cost a little more. You can also choose black or tan sidewalls.
The 29 x 2.25in TNT tested here weighs 676g.
Vittoria Barzo TNT 29 x 2.25in performance
All the technical wizardry in the graphene-infused tread compound along with the tread pattern design translates to a very aggressive XC tyre that suits demanding and technical courses.
The continuous crown down the centre, formed by the alternating angled blocks, gives these tyres a great turn of speed when you get on the gas out of corners and rip up a climb.
However, they’re not the fastest rolling tyre compared to something more XC race-orientated, such as a Crossmark II or Racing Ralph, but when paired with a faster rolling rear tyre like the Vittoria’s own Mezcal there are increases in speed potential.
Chuck the bike into the corners and the arrangement of side blocks gives you plenty of feel to help you blast your way past the apex with plenty of reassurance.
The open design of the tread pattern helps the Barzo shed and clear mud quickly, so you’re not carrying extra weight around an XC course. The pattern offers better grip in the wet compared to the previous Barzo, and confidence is improved when dealing with slippery rocks and roots.
Away from the XC course, the sturdiness of the tubeless-ready casing means they’re suitable for more aggressive trail riding as well, while maintaining the low weight and rolling resistance benefits of an XC tyre.
These tyres provide a lot of control on technical trails compared to really lightweight XC tyres, but this is at the expense of a little rolling speed on faster and less technical trails.
They can be used front and rear, or front with a low profile rear tyre for dry conditions paired with a faster rolling rear tyre. They inflated easily onto my DT Swiss XR1501 control wheels.
Vittoria Barzo 29 x 2.25in tyre bottom line
An XC tyre that is aggressive enough for trail riding and technically demanding trails, but compromises on all-out speed. The high grip levels and supple casing don’t feel fragile and make for a good performer.
How we tested
We pitted 10 of the best cross-country-style tyres against each other to find out which we think is worth your time and money.
- Bontrager XR2 Team Issue TLR tyre
- Continental Race King BlackChili Protection tyre
- Maxxis Ardent EXO TR 29 x 2.25in
- Maxxis Crossmark II EXO TR
- Schwalbe Racing Ralph Evo TLE 29 x 2.25in
- Schwalbe Rocket Ron Super Ground SpeedGrip
- Schwalbe Racing Ray Addix Speed 29 x 2.25i
- Specialized Ground Control
- WTB Ranger TCS Light Fast Rolling