Vittoria was founded in 1953 and, unlike many other companies in the bicycle gear industry, has remained focused on one thing. Vittoria claims they produce 7 million tires per year. This is a remarkable figure. Vittoria is synonymous with professional racing tires because they are designed for speed and handling. Vittoria tires have a reputation for being expensive and prone to wear. Vittoria racing tires, which are top-of the line, are fast and agile, but they can also be skittish. There are some nice surprises at the other end of Vittoria’s product range that will be both comfortable on your bike as well as affordable for your wallet.
We will be highlighting the Vittoria lineup below. The Vittoria lineup has been stable over the last few years. This review is for triathlon bikes (aka time trial) as well as road bike tires. Vittoria also makes tires for mountain, comfort, hybrid and mountain bikes. However, we will be focusing on the tires most commonly used triathletes.
Vittoria’s highest-end racing tire line, the Corsa Series, features 11 models. All of them feature Vittoria’s 320TPI casing material for maximum handling and flexibility. The Corsa models are the Corsa standard, Corsa speed and Corsa tubular. There is also the Triathlon speed version. All of these are made from advanced materials and specifically designed for competition. Due to the unpredictable road conditions that are part of a triathlon, the Triathlon Speed tire is slightly more puncture-resistant. Vittoria refers to the Corsa Speed as the “world’s fastest tire” while the standard Corsa is the “world’s best
All Corsa series tires have a lightweight design; the Corsa models weigh 250g to 220g, while the Speed is a light 165g. The clincher version costs $75, while the tubular version is about $100. You can also find the Continental Grand Prix 4000 clinchers, the Vredestein Fortezza Tricomp, and the Michelin Pro4 for as low as $50. However, none of these tires have the Corsa’s high tread count or race-proven reputation.
Corsa tires are preferred by pro racers. However, amateur riders find the tires to too finicky to justify the extra cost. Vittoria claims their new casing has a puncture-resistant belt which reduces flat rate by 40% compared to earlier models. However, it is clear that these tires are still designed for speed and not durability. These tires are expensive at the beginning, so replacing them frequently only increases the cost of owning a renowned brand.
The Diamante reducesthe casing material’s thread count to 220TPI, resulting in a tire that is suitable for “real-world racing.” The Diamante Pro features a smooth center tread and a subtle tread pattern at its shoulders. The Pro Light is completely slick. Both are clinchers, and each retails for approximately $50
Vittoria’s Diamante Pro Radiale has Vittoria’s radial casing construction. This allows the tire to have a lower rolling resistance than bias-ply tires, and also makes it more flexible. Radial tires are a bit more flexible than traditional bias-ply tires, which can cause some riders to feel a little unsteady in corners.
Diamante tires are similar to Corsa tires in that they sacrifice durability for weight, grip, and handling. While riders complain about the tire’s wear and susceptibility to flats, other riders claim that the ride of Diamante tires makes up for this lack of durability.
Rubino tires are not for real-world racing. The Diamante tires were made for real-world racing. Rubino tires can withstand more harsh conditions and wear better than Vittoria’s racing tires. This makes them more suitable for riders who require more than speed.
Three flavors of Rubino tires are available: Rubino Pro Slick, Rubino Pro Tech and Rubino Pro Pro Slick. These Pro models have a 150 TPI casing, and can be folded. There are two versions of the Rubino Slick: the basic Rubino with a 60 TPI rigid casing and the Rubino Slick, which can be folded. The Rubino Pro is an all around tire with a technical tread pattern. The Slick is for smooth, clean pavement. The Rubino Tech is a bad weather tire that features a technical tread pattern, grippier tread compound, and reinforced sidewalls.
The Rubino tires are far more durable than Vittoria’s racing tires due to their heavier casings. Durability is what we value. We don’t want to spend fixing roads. Although they are more expensive than similar tires made by other manufacturers, their reliable performance makes it easier to swallow the higher price. These tires are a standard on midrange roadbikes today, and they often come paired with a Shimano wheelet as stock equipment.
Vittoria’s low end series of training tires has the same model categories that the Rubino series: a basic, slick and all-weather model. The Zaffiro foldable models have a 60-tpi casing and the rigid models have a 26-tpi casing. The Zaffiro tread pattern, which is a combination of cross-hatch grooves and pebble texture, is the same in the Zaffiro PRO and Zaffiro Tech models. However, the Tech model has reinforced sidewalls as well as the company’s proprietary wet-grip tread compound.
The Zaffiro series isn’t as expensive as its more expensive cousins. The Zaffiro Pro sells for between $20 and $255. The tire is praised by riders for its durability and resistance to flats.
All Vittoria tires listed above can be found here with technical specifications and pricing.