Vittoria's New 4C Tire Compound - Interbike 2015

Sep 15, 2015
by Mike Kazimer  
Vittoria 2016

Standing around discussing tire rubber compounds is a sure sign that you've entered the world of full-blown bike geekdom, but I've long since accepted the fact that I'm a nerd, which is how I found myself in the Nevada desert talking about the latest tire technology from Vittoria.

Vittoria has a well respected name on the road side of cycling, and now the company is turning their attention on expanding and improving their line of mountain bike tires. To that end they've gone ahead and invested in a massive new extrusion machine for their Thailand manufacturing plant. The machine measures 100 yards long from end to end, and wasn't cheap, but it does allow for the production of tires that have four separate rubber compounds.

The concept of constructing a tire using multiple rubber compounds isn't new, but up until this point most manufacturers used three compounds, typically using a harder base rubber, and then two different durometers of rubber above it, with a softer compound on the side knobs for better cornering traction and a harder, more resilient rubber on the center knobs for better longevity.

Vittoria 2016
Vittoria 2016
Vittoria's Mezcal (left) and Morsa (right) will both be available with the new 4C G+ Isotech compound.

What's the benefit of a 4C tire? Vittoria's process lets them choose the best base and surface compounds for a tire's side knobs, as well as for the center portion of the tread, giving them greater control over how the tire will perform on the trail. For instance, stiffer side knobs with a softer durometer top layer can provide grip and support in the corners, while a softer base compound combined with a more durable top layer in the center of the tire can improve braking traction without sacrificing durability.

To go along with this four compound design, Vittoria is also using Graphene in their rubber mixture. Graphene is a very, very thin sheet of carbon that Vittoria says helps improve rolling speed, grip, and decrease the likelihood that knobs will fold and tear. Those are mighty impressive claims, which is why we'll be getting a set of tires constructed with the 4C G+ Isotech compound to evaluate their performance in the real world.

Vittoria's Mezcal and Morsa tires will be the first models available with the new compound. The Mezcal is aimed at cross-country riders with a low profile, fast rolling tread pattern. There are 27.5” and 29” versions in either 2.1” or 2.25” widths for $69.99 USD. The Morsa is the more aggressive of the two tires, aimed at enduro and DH racers, and comes in 27.5” and 29” versions in a 2.3” or 2.5” width for $71.99.


www.vittoria.com

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97 Comments

  • + 82
 They put carbon in tires and they still MSRP for less than schwalbe? -_-
  • + 15
 Its Zee Germans!
  • + 19
 Yet zee Schvalbees are the cheapest tire in Germany.
  • + 13
 If you buy Schwalbe locally, you're a fool. They are literally 1/3 the MSRP from German websites.
  • + 24
 Carbon in penciles too
  • + 4
 Yup. You can order a single Schwalbe tire from Germany, pay shipping and duty and it's still 30$ less than buying it or anything comparable locally.
  • + 6
 @Alias530 Can you tell us what German sites you are ordering the Schwalbes from? Danke...
  • + 9
 bike-discount.com, bike-components.de , bike24.com
  • + 2
 Conti's are pretty economic and made in Deutschland.
  • + 48
 I am German,the company is 50 km away,but I never ride Schwalbe Smile
I ride Maxxis and Hutchinson. Why want everybody a Schwalbe???
They are not better than others and heavy too!
So go ahead and give me a lot of minus,cause that´s how it works every time if somebody writes serious!!!
Sorry for my bad english Wink ride on...
  • + 24
 +100 for the bad english guy!!!
  • + 4
 What can any Schwalbe tire do that 1/3 of a price Minion or Highroller can't?
  • + 9
 @kopaczus : speak German?
  • + 1
 They're all sold out now through the DE sites
  • + 1
 @Mattin: not if I can help it
Oh and www.hibike.de is also pretty good, I got my Reverb from there for pennies, at least compared to my local prices.
  • + 1
 or the german bike forum with bikemarket bikemarkt.mtb-news.de
  • + 2
 There's a reason so many racers, who are often sponsored by other manufacturers, run Schalbes. They are light, strong and tacky. Throw a Magic Mary on the front of your trail bike, lower your pressure and you'll see what I mean. I know Maxxis makes a great tire but Schwalbe is very competitive.
  • + 2
 @ryan83 - yeah... I'm surprised the other guy said they were heavy. In their class (i.e. don't compare a skinwall Maxxis to a Super Gravity Schwalbe) they are light. Part of why they don't last super long, as I presume the lightness is a result of a less dense lighter grippier rubber.
  • + 2
 Schwalbe tires are overpriced, especially when compared to Continental tires, which are made in Germany. From what I've heard, the Hans Dampf tire grips well but wears fast: 2 months as a rear tire out in the desert. At $90+ a pop here in the US, that is a lot of money unless you are using them striclty for racing.
  • + 0
 Conti mountain tires are shit though. That's like saying McDonald's is better than Morton's because it's cheaper.

And again, if you pay $90 you're a fool, they can be found for $30-40 online.
  • + 3
 Graphene, seriously? They are actually claiming to have layered a one atom thick sheet of carbon into a tire? Graphene is ridiculously difficult to manufacture, specifically at volume. Yes it's true that any kid out there can scratch their #2 pencil on paper for a while and a few bits might be present, but this is a far cry from claiming to use graphene as a structural element in any product.
  • + 1
 @Alias530 are the $30-40 ones the Evolution or Performance line? Where online?
  • + 1
 @jdendy :
JDMEH (11 hours ago)
bike-discount.com, bike-components.de , bike24.com

kopaczus (4 hours ago)
@Mattin: not if I can help it
Oh and www.hibike.de is also pretty good, I got my Reverb from there for pennies, at least compared to my local prices.

evolution line. limited/no stock on the margy (magic mary) in 27.5s though... popular tire this year.
  • + 1
 @jdendy - evo line... performance line is peasant shit. Powderturns already said where.
  • + 2
 Had muddy marry's on my old DH bike. They practically disintegrated in a month. My buddy runs magic marry's on his glory and hes had 6 pinch flats in 2 months even after our LBS thoroughly examined his rims for any other possible culprit. Schwalbe are garbage tires. Just buy a maxxis for DH and WTB for trail and you cant go wrong.
  • + 2
 Durability wise, I have had good luck with Specialized and Geax/Vittoria tires. Arizona's hard rocky trails destroy tires so I cannot afford weak expensive tires.
  • + 1
 They aren't expensive though. $30-40 vs. $55 for Specialized or $60 for Specialized GRID. Hell, Specialized DH tires are $80!!

Schwalbe isn't weak either. They wear out fast, but that's the price you pay for grippy soft rubber but they aren't any more slice or pinch-flat prone than comparable tires.
  • + 1
 @MTBCAM Pinch flats have nearly nothing to do with the brand of your tires... If you ride smooth and if you're not a fat ass, you ll nearly never have any pinch flat (6 could be due to bad pressure choice).
Imo, the only real complaint you can adress to schwalbe tires, is that the "SnakeSkin sidewall" is quitte fragile in comparison to maxxis exo protection. I never tried soft compound from maxxis, but trailstar and vertstar from Schwalbe are really more grippy than every maxxis and Michelin tires I have tried.
  • + 1
 @zede Not true, check out mtbr forums, the magic marry's are notorious for shredding tubes. something to do with the bead slashing the tires. I shouldn't have used the terminology "pinch flat", I'm sorry. And like I said, my muddy marry's sucked ass. They only gripped when there was slightly damp dirt. Here in Utah where its almost always loose and rocky all summer long the muddy's were absolute shit. I run Minion DH on my glory and they are ok. By far the best tire i've used in all terrain types is the WTB vigilante. Although they don't make them in a DH casing yet, I use them for freeride/trail and they blow me away. Perfect tire IMO.
  • + 2
 @Bikeordie1, admittedly i don't know the first thing about graphene, but i have wondered if something similar to carbon (ideally less brittle and sharp) can be used to reinforce the 3-D structure of a tire's carcass to some degree -- such that air pressure could be run lower without much weight penalty? That guy who was trying to find an industry investor / partner for those airless tires seemed like he might have some ideas.
And if they'd make a ***26"*** for the lighter/shorter riders who still want a playful, flickable bike, then we'd really have something!
  • + 2
 @MTBCAM I'm not sure what you mean, you're saying that they seem to cause abrasion on the tube? If so, I noticed that my tubes wear faster these days, but I thought it was just bad tubes. But still, the thing is that I had a minion (front) when my bike was stock, and the only good thing I can say about it, is that I was easily able to lock my front Wheel without falling... I never used muddy mary, and wtb vigilante seems interesting but is very expensive in europe so i cant compare.
  • + 0
 @zede Yes exactly, when he pulls his tubes out they are shredded not just punctured. And he did some research and a lot of people running magics say its happening to them too. And it happens in odd situations, like something as simple as railing a berm. And its a damn shame you cant get cheap vigilantes in Austria, my dad just bought like six sets of those babies for like $30 a piece on sale.
  • + 1
 I don't mean to be telling you how to do your business but...tubes? I can't see any circumstance on a trail bike where tubes hold an advantage. If you are running a DH bike maybe...
  • + 0
 @ryan83 I assume youre talking about me? I dont run tubes on either of my bikes. I was talking about a buddy. His bike is 95% OEM and it came with tubes in the tires
  • + 2
 I do ride with tubes. Since I nearly never have puncture (pinch or classic), I don't see the point of using tubeless. Tubes are easy to fix, they don't require "specific" tires, and I don't need any chemical to seal the stuff (so nature is happy and my hands are clean).
  • + 35
 But ours goes to 11...

See, 4C is one more than 3C, isn't it?
  • + 6
 Ya know, because 3c just wasn't enough...
  • + 15
 MY GAWD! the quote is: "these go to eleven" how do you people keep f*cking this up.
  • + 7
 it goes one more
  • + 26
 I'm holding out for 5C. Like 6 minute abs.
  • + 4
 Step into my office!
  • + 15
 Let me know when its got wifi. I aint got time for this, I want innovation.
  • + 2
 Reminds me of growing up watching shaving adverts. First the two blade, then the Mach 3, then a fourth, then a fifth blade. Now an extra blade on the other side, etc.
  • + 2
 "Its one stickier. See, 4 is one stickier than 3"

"But couldn't you just make 3 stickier, like make the third compound stickier?"

"These go to 4."
  • + 22
 I'll wait for the LTE technology.. Way faster than crappy 4C!
  • + 16
 What happened to 26" tires?
  • + 8
 is it really that hard to make a tire in a slightly smaller diameter that will make it fit the wheels that something like 2/3 of us are still running, based on pinkbike polls?
  • + 10
 It looks like they are making a 26" version. There's one listed on their website at least.
  • + 5
 huzzah!
  • + 8
 Despite stinking a bit of incremental evolution, the concept does actually make sense. Rather than saying 4 is better than 3, what the real idea needs to be pitched as is that the compound needs of the side knobs versus the center ones are distinctly different, and both base and outer compounds should be tailored to each.
  • + 12
 What about the transition knobs? Won't they feel discriminated against when they realize that it should have been 6C?!
  • + 5
 Pinkbike just did an article on 6D's new helmet. Is that better or worse than 6C?!
  • + 3
 except trying to put a cap atop a base compound only leads to the knobs getting hacked away in the middle like a tree. softer isn't always better
  • + 11
 I just tried the Vittoria Morsa's and the Goma's on the shore and Whistler Bike Park and they are awesome!! Stoked on em!
  • + 3
 I wouldn't recommend a Goma on the front, the sideknobs have less bite than a newborn...
  • + 6
 Vittoria used to be called Geax. I found them to be excellent.Currently running Saguaros, tubeless. Anyway, just thought I'd mention that....
  • + 2
 Geax is gone?
  • + 6
 Are far as I understand it, they used the name Vittoria for road tires and Geax for MTB. Recently, they dropped the name Geax and now simply use Vittoria. Vittoria website has all the Geax tires there. Yeah, I know, it's not that important, but here in Thailand there's not a lot of choice for tires but Vittoria/Geax are in most shops because they have a factory in Bangkok somewhere.
  • + 1
 I was pretty stoked on the Geax AKA until I flatted it tubeless after 35 miles on the tire. Back to Maxxis Ikons, 2500 miles and no flats so far!
  • + 1
 The Barro Mountain 2.3 is a fantastic tyre,and I have run Gato's for XC runs as well.And those are great too. People need to realise there are other more quality tyres outside the big three. I have ran Maxxis,Schwalbe and Conti's and will never go back to any of them. The only tyre with pass marks from those three are Minion DHF's
  • + 1
 Try the wtb vigilante...or micheling wild gripr. Sickness...
  • + 1
 Good call on the both of those actually.
I have heard good things about them,and one of the guys at the local trail runs the Wild Gripr.
The Vigi's look like they could rip a new trail in Tarmac Big Grin
  • + 6
 Of course I'm left out again because of my wimpy 26errs. She Looks pretty tho said the short little dude in the corner.
  • + 2
 Gonna put it out there. I ride Geax Neuron and Deah, which is now Vittoria. Never thought I would ride a tyre that would never puncture or inspire such confidence on its side. A great tyre, a good company that should be kept in mind.
  • + 1
 Hitchhiker:
Think about it. You walk into a video store, you see 8-Minute Abs sittin' there, there's 7-Minute Abs right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?

Ted:
I would go for the 7.

Hitchhiker:
Bingo, man, bingo. 7-Minute Abs. And we guarantee just as good a workout as the 8-minute folk.
  • + 3
 ....until someone comes out with 6-minute abs
  • + 1
 I've not seen a tire from any other company fit into a category so well;

Inexpensive, long lasting, compliant, competitive weight.....

So far my favorite from this company are:

Datura: 26" Gravity tire, good for muddy to loose conditions ( this is a killer park tire, marathon like durability )

Goma 27.5" Full range tire for all round conditions ( fast rolling, great for trail / XC riding )

Pit Stop sealant for tubes / no tubes very long lasting ammonia free and extremely sticky!!

Peyote 26", 27.5", 29" small block fast rolling tire Hard pack / dry

Barzo 26", 27.5", 29" Small block fast rolling tire Hard pack / dry

None of these tires cost more than 50$ retail ( that's in a bike store for you online shoppers )
  • + 2
 The total lack of grip in any weather or terrain in the UK from the geax gomas I had fitted had put me off ever buying the make again. OK as a rear, bloody leathal as a front.
  • + 3
 when do we graphene on stanchions? harder and slicker than any other material, right?
  • + 3
 Unicorns destillatio is said to kill friction
  • + 1
 Right, but it is more believable of we call it graphene, and more accurate if we call it gimic. I'm still surprised we haven't seen it yet.
  • + 0
 Being able to get pro deals from Vittoria has been nice. (I like my Gomas), I'll give these a try at some point as well. Work in the industry and get those deals you scabs, That way you don't have to complain about the prices just like me!
  • + 3
 morsa looks like a HR2? Anyone?
  • + 2
 Much closer to the Mavic Charge.
  • + 2
 which looks like a Mavic Charge...
  • + 2
 Just smaller knobs in the middle.
  • + 3
 What about the weight, nobody has mentioned they are heavy as hell
  • + 1
 I can't believe no one mentioned that the new Mezcal looks like a WTB Nano knock-off.
  • + 2
 Tyres should be cheaper
  • + 3
 if the wifey ever finds out I paid more for those Schwalbe tubeless marathons than I did for the tires on her car.... blue balls will be ringing again.. ouch
  • + 0
 Graphene isn't the safest material. I hope they thought about the environment on this one.
  • + 1
 How so? The production process I'm assuming? I know its a single molecule layer of pure carbon organized in a linear sheet. I knew it had potential within computer processing, I was surprised to see it here as an additive into tires
  • + 1
 For the same reason that you shouldn't touch broken carbon parts, but instead of it being a splinter in your hand it can be a splinter in your cells.
  • + 1
 I meant about the environment comment
  • + 0
 Mezcal on front Morsa out back? I would like to give them a try, looks promising.
  • + 5
 I would do it the other way round... something with some bite on the front, and the better rolling mezcal on the back
  • + 1
 Too square for a front I think. I also like wide knobs on the rear for the tech climbs. Different strokes!
  • + 1
 That's a good point, the mescal does look like it would spin out fairly easily on tech climbs
  • + 1
 I need feminism because I ride a fat bike
  • + 2
 No 26? Sad
  • + 0
 i think tread patterns are just about beat to death. 4 compounds of rubber? i just ride eternal, shiny and chrome.
  • + 1
 Not plus or fat tires for life!
  • + 1
 @fercho25 it's such a fine line between stupid and clever...
  • + 0
 lets find a machine that measures 100 yards long and make 26" tires
  • + 1
 I want to try
  • + 1
 # Black Tires Matter.
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