When I first opened the package from Vittoria, I waited for the superlatives to hit me. What do I see and feel with this product? The results were immediate. Class. Pride. Prestige. Honor. In a box of tires, you ask? Yes.
Complete with a full-color glitzy catalog, a CD-Rom, and wrapped up in top notch packaging, it’s obvious Vittoria means serious business in the tire world. In the first few pages of the catalog, a list of sponsored teams is written, along with an extensive list of their palmares. Let’s just say that, all told, it’s perhaps one of the most illustrious lists of all time.
Who’s riding these tires? Who’s ridden them? Hinault in ’80. Moser in ’84. Fassa Bortolo this year. And everybody, and I mean everybody in between. And after waiting for winter to subside, mounting the tires on my humble little Salsa, and giving them a run in a few early season races, I’m here to tell you that you, too, should be riding these babies.
Vittoria sent to me some of their top line road tires. But rest assured, the company makes quality tires for every need: road (clinchers and tubulars), ‘cross, touring, mountain, and city. Vittoria also can offer their new converts a full line of wheel related goodness: inner tubes, rim tape, tube repair kits, tire levers, valve cores, Co2 cartridges, and even Vittoria socks, which may even give our very own PEZ-Socks a run for their money!
To understand the depths to which Vittoria is committed to excellence, some tire education is in order. Things like casing technology (Threads per inch and such, ratings from 26 to 290!!) and tread technology (improving wear resistance and enhancing the ability to cope with different road conditions) are deeply discussed in their catalog. Vittoria utilizes extensive R&D in both disciplines, which result in their Kevlar SiO2 3D compounds (a high silica compound for “State of the art” long life performance tires). A trip to their website at www.vittoria.com is in order, for a full education on these matters. On to the review!
What snow? Dave takes a winter spin in Milwaukee.
Some tires are hand breakers. And anyone who’s put a pair of clinchers on is nodding their head affirmative right now. Well, the Vittoria’s are easy on, and easy off, simple as that. Sure, a little elbow grease is needed, but not as much as you’d expect. A nice facet indeed.
The 3 sets of tires I got have all been dreams – the Open Corso EVO CX, Open Corsa EVO KX, and the Open Corsa EVO KS. All three are top end road tires, and all had the SiO2 3D compound with added silica, for reduced rolling resistance and better grip in the wet.
The first pair I ran was the Open Corso EVO CX. Super high thread density with a very slight tread made these tires perfect road eaters. Away I went, and immediately noticed the comfort and grip, as I rode through the city streets out towards the open country. The puncture resistant belt was put to the test on my rear tire though, as I ran through a brush pile that had, get this, a broken bottle in it. The tire took the brunt of it as I could not avoid it, but Vittoria got me home, glass and all. I must have picked about 25 shards out of the casing. I fear an inferior tire would have flatted on the spot. These tires were winning me over, and quickly. The CX’s are offered in several colors, and run from 210 to 230 grams, and are in the $50 to $56 price range.
The second pair ran were the juicy Open Corsa EVO KX model. These babies came with the “grooviest” tread of the three, a diamond tread pattern that runs elongated in the rotation direction, serving the purpose of better ground contact. Like the others, the KX’s also have the new composite K 290 TPI casing with Polycotton and Kevlar threads. I have these mounted on my city road rims, and they are absolute gems in the wet. Here in the Midwest, you can, and will, go from 55F degrees and sunny to 32F degrees and snowing in the blink of an eye, and the KX is the tire best suited for the sloppy conditions. I have no fear cornering with cabs, or in corners of a local criterium in the wet with these guys. Again, several color choices (yellow, black, red, purple) and weights (210g-230g), and are in the $50 to $56 price range.
The final pair sent are the fastest. The bald wonders, the Open Corsa EVO KS. These slicks are the absolute fastest tires I have had the pleasure of riding. These have a 15% roughness tread in the middle, with 30% roughness tread on the sides for better cornering. They give you great off-the-line speed, and you can feel safe taking aggressive corners in the dry with these tires.
For the record, I used to be a loyal customer to another brand of tires, but now, the performance, durability, versatility, and reliability of Vittoria tires has won me over. No doubt about it. I know sometimes you readers tell us we don’t slam any product we review. I heard that and took it to heart, and believe me, I tried to find fault with these tires. I skidded them, curb hopped them, raced them, ran them through sharp stuff, through rain, snow, tar, city streets, country roads, and they took everything I threw at them and begged for more. Only the CX’s gave way, but any tire would with that much glass in it. The dang thing spit up enough shards to make a 12 oz. bottle with, but it still held air and got me the last few K home.
Get more info at the Vittoria Website: www.vittoria.com
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