After spending a year riding the comfortable but not-particularly-fast Challenge Almanzo’s, I was in need of a new set of tires for my Cannondale SuperX which I use for both cyclocross and road riding. I wanted something a little more practical for mostly-road riding, versus the gravel riding I was doing when I first got the Almanzo’s. Having spent many years riding skinny 700x23s and 25s, I was looking for something faster than the Almanzo’s but definitely more comfortable than the skinnier tires. Since I do not hesitate to take my “road” bike off road, durability was also a must.
Vittoria came out with their Graphene tires summer of 2016, or at least that’s when I started to hear about them. I had heard great things about the tires from Nick and also some other riding friends, so I decided to give them a go. I chose the Corsa G+ 28mm wide tires, for maximum balance of comfort and speed, with tan sidewalls for maximum style.
I installed the tires right before a trip to Georgia in early March. I was a little hesitant to break them in on that trip, since I didn’t know exactly how they would hold up on unknown road conditions. I had never ridden the roads I would ride so I had no idea if they would be smooth as buttah or full of potholes and general road debris. But my Almanzo’s had seen better days so I didn’t really have a choice.
From my very first ride on them, I was surprised at how comfortable they were yet fast. I guess you’ll feel the difference switching from 33mm wide tires to 28s, but I didn’t feel like I was sacrificing comfort at all. The roads that I rode on in Georgia were somewhere between “smooth as buttah” and “full o’ potholes’, so I felt like it was a good test, and they passed!
One thing I really love about these tires is that I can HEAR them gripping when I’m cornering. I haven’t participated in a criterium in a couple of years, but I would definitely race on these tires if I ever feel the itch to get back into it.
Now, Nick will tell you that these tires have to be pumped up to the “perfect” PSI for them to feel good, and if they’re any lower- even 5psi off, it will not be a good ride. I am admittedly kind of lazy about pumping up my tires, so most of the time I am running on the low side. Even still, I don’t feel like the ride quality is compromised with low tire pressure. Someone else’s experience might err on Nick’s side of the equation.
The Corsa’s have been holding up very well since the Georgia trip. I have put in over 500 miles on the tires so far. There are some visible cuts but I’m also not very careful about avoiding road debris; I did get one flat recently from a puncture but the tire still has plenty of life in it. Considering what I have ridden through and on though, these tires are holding up very well. Based on the current wear of both tires, I think I can get a lot more mileage before I have to consider replacing them.
Check out the benefits of Graphene on Vittoria’s site here.
Vittoria Corsa G+’s are in stock at Belgianwerkx for $69.99.