Vittoria Barzo MTB Tyre
Graphene is here and Vittoria has grabbed the bull by the horns. They’ve developed some great tyres to support this game changing innovations.
Among the crop of new products is the Barzo, with a medium block pattern across the tread width, helping the rider to handle and tackle the more technical and the more loamy trails. As an XC / trail rider in the main, I’m always looking for something with a balance between speed and the ability to hold the bike firmly planted in the looser corners and on skittish tracks.
Thankfully the Barzo seems to do both well, with excellent rolling resistance when playing against its ability to hold the line. We’ve tested it on mixed trails on the Yorkshire Moors, in woodland, damp and dark bridleways and the damper areas of the high moorlands, and the Barzo has cut its way through, shedding water and muck whilst holding firm on the rocky gravelled tracks, moving man and machine along at a fair lick.
On a particularly technical descent near Todmorden recently, the confidence given by the grippy tread pattern allowed me the freedom to swing the bike around as the line changed and twisted and dropped down to 19% sections of sweet singletrack. Definitely a god test in anyone’s book. In fact it held the ground so well that Phil and I rode up again, with the Barzo climbing superbly, then tackled it once more. Yes, the Barzo eats up steep technical descents.
So how does the Barzo do it?
The tread pattern has been well thought out across a wide carcass, with a good spread of knobs to the sides that simply eat into the terrain when the bike is leaned over. After a short ride your confidence is quickly increased meaning that you feel more able to tackle and manoeuvre the bike instinctively through the rough stuff. The design of the pattern is such that on the fast fire roads, the tyre allows you to race on in safety, gripping when an where it’s needed and retaining a sense of adventure for the rider – now that’s what we all want isn’t it!
Yet the extra grip doesn’t seem to get in the way of swift movement. It rides well and twists and turns at the crucial moments, with a sense of confidence that transfers to the rider. On soggy moorland tracks and on skittish loose and rocky trails, this tyre does the business. Yes, it seems a wide tyre, but it’s about right for what it does. It’s fundamentally a trail tyre that’ll do okay on pure XC routes, and do extremely well in keeping the rider planted – and that’s what counts.
The graphene makes it as solid as a rock, and even though I’ve gone out of my way in Wharfdale to add some real zing, nothing has dented its exterior. It’s a rough and tough tyre that will last. Weight is about right and it goes on and off easily; I’ve been swapping it around on bikes with ease and popping it on without levers.
Vittoria has done a great job with graphene and this tyre. If you ride on wild and natural trails, get out to the local bike shop and get yourself a set. It’s a real winner in our book, so well done to those clever guys in Italy once again!