Vittoria Releases New Peyote & Mezcal XC Race Tires

Apr 16, 2024 at 16:27
by Mike Kazimer  

Vittoria has expanded their XC tire lineup with the addition of the Peyote, a low-profile option designed to excel in hardpacked to fine, loose conditions. They've also updated the construction of the race-proven Mezcal in order to increase the grip, durability, and level of suppleness.

Vittoria Peyote


The new Peyote slots in between the Terreno, Vittoria's hardpack specialist, and the mixed-terrain oriented Mezcal. The center tread consists of longer, thin 'ribbons' that are angled towards the taller side knobs to form a V-shaped pattern.

Initially, the Peyote will be available in a 29 x 2.4” version, with either black or brown sidewalls. A narrower, 2.25” version will be released in early 2025. No matter the model, all of the Peyote tires use Vittoria's new XC Race construction.

Actual weight: 718 grams (2.4” / brown sidewall). MSRP: $99.99 USD

Vitorria Mezcal


The Mezcal's proven tread pattern remains unchanged, but it's now available in a 2.4" width, and uses the new XC Race construction with either a black or brown sidewall. A 2.25" version will be available later this summer. Actual weight: 740 grams (29 x 2.4", brown sidewall). MSRP: $99.99.


New XC Race Construction

Vittoria has long touted their 4 compound (4C) rubber, but they've headed in a different direction with the new XC Race construction. A mix of graphene and silica has been added to a single rubber compound, resulting in what Vittoria says is better grip, durability, and suppleness – the compound is 17% softer than the previous 4C version.

On paper, it's a similar concept to what Maxxis does with their MaxxSpeed compound, which also uses one rubber compound with silica added for the entire tread. Of course, just because the ingredients are sort of similar doesn't mean that the final product will be the same, but it is interesting to see the convergence on a single compound design.

According to Vittoria, their in-house testing of the old vs new Mezcal showed that the new construction resulted in a tire that was 3% faster, offered 11% more grip, and was 10% more puncture resistant at the tread.

Interestingly, the XC Race construction uses a 60 TPI casing, rather than the higher thread count that other tire manufacturers use to increase suppleness. In order to achieve the ride feel they were after, Vittoria went with a softer tread compound and slightly reinforced the sidewall in order to create a more uniform flex pattern.

Another change is the switch to a darker brown sidewall color. That was done to help keep the tires looking fresh for longer – it turns out the that lighter tan color used before started looking dingy after a few dirty rides.

I have a set of the new tires freshly mounted up and ready for testing - look for a full review once I get in enough XC miles in on them.

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mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,743 articles

  • 59 0
 Given the kind of tracks XC racers are riding on these kind of tires, it makes me think I am over-tired and thus end up over tired while pedaling. Its definitely not a lack of fitness on my part, too much tread is the problem, and when I descend, its a lack of grip. All my excuse bases are covered.
  • 28 0
 I always carry a spare set of double down tires and a small compressor so I can change to the right tire before starting my descent. You don't?
  • 15 0
 @hardtailpunter: I always carry a second set of wheels/tire combination with me and change them between the airtime and landing.
  • 9 0
 @OzzyTrek: flight attendant, but for wheels
  • 7 0
 Also, wimpier tires make your brakes more powerful. BAM! You’re skidding.
  • 3 0
 @OzzyTrek: Amateurs. Carry an entire spare bike or you'll find yourself perpetually in second place.
  • 1 0
 Ha, yea I think many folks are over-tired and over tired. I love how my one riding buddy always says "you need an assagai!!" Every time someone slips on an icy root or slides out in a 6" deep mud hole. As if that tire would have fixed everything.
  • 2 0
 Once you ride xc tires it's amazing how capable they are, and you start to realise how far you can push even chunkier trail tires.
  • 1 0
 @yupstate: That's the kind of thing one says when they feel embarrassed for their friend.....
  • 20 0
 Having tested both, the Mezcal is basically just a better version of the Ardent Race.(the original ardent is hot garbage and should be removed from Maxxis lineup) It has way more grip on Tap but still rolls very very well, and surprising longevity. Well done Vittoria.
  • 1 10
flag Becciu FL (Apr 18, 2024 at 6:18) (Below Threshold)
 Why such hate on the og Ardent? I used it once on the rear of an old enduro bike. It was destroyed in 1/2 lap on rocky terrain, but grip (in the right terrain) was more than ok
  • 10 0
  • 8 1
 @Becciu: its the only tire I've ever used which is capable of a complete sideways drift - but only when you're trying to go forwards, and not trying to drift. Had several crashes due to it.
  • 5 2
 @Becciu: Fellow former user of Ardents here.

• 2.6" DH: Tight, short and stiff centre lugs were best on hardpack, while tall, thin, and flexible side lugs would fold on hardpack.
• 2.25" XC: Heavier, more rolling resistance, and less cornering traction than several other models in the Maxxis line.

Anything the Ardent could do, at least a couple other Maxxis tires could do better. If "the right terrain" is maximum traction loam, then yes, the Ardent was good in such conditions, but was nearly every tire ever made.
  • 6 0
 Agarro front, Mezcal rear is such a fast, fun drifty trail combo.
  • 1 1
 The Ardent Race 2.35 has been my tire of choice for my XC hardtail. Might give the new Mezcal a go, I'm liking those side knobs.
  • 4 1
 I'm not sure what to make of this comparison because the Ardent Race is possibly the worst tire ever created. Its single redeeming quality is that it lasts a long time. Grip? 2/10 Fast rolling? 4/10 Predictability? 0/10 They somehow made a tire that isn't that fast, has somewhat large knobs on it, and tries to throw your bike on the ground with lack of grip and inconsistency.
  • 2 0
 @The-Wheel: well, the ardent race was a huge step up from the ardent, and the mezcal is a huge step from the ardent race. It's only getting better.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: I used to use the 2.4 Ardent as a rear tire here in SoCal. The front slot was always filled by the MinionDHF.
  • 1 0
 @brookscurran: can confirm. Lived to tell about it.
  • 7 0
 The Mezcals are amazing tires, definitely punch above their weight in terms of grip, speed, and durability (at least the grey ones)! I rode the Black Canyon Trail in AZ as part of a larger bikepacking trip with those tires, and they never faltered in that loose rocky tech.
  • 7 1
 Well, it looks like they're stepping back from the mahoosive red hot patches.
I know that it's subjective and vain but the red just clashes with the colors on most modern bikes. I've personally had great luck with Vittoria trail, gravel, and and road tires but it's *such* a competitive market. All else being equal most customers want the tires that look better on the bike (even more so when buying a single replacement) and while customers might always come out and say so Vittoria's Bold New Graphics can make the tires a hard sell.
  • 5 2
 Vittoria and Maxxis have the worst hot patches. They put so much garbage on their sidewalls. The red from Vittoria seems to have been tamed, but still too much. At least they got rid of the grey wall. Maxxis has a full on novel written on their sidewalls.
  • 4 0
 @petemacmtb: You might want to skip the Michelin line.
  • 4 0
 They should have also made a larger Barzo to pair on the front with the Mezcal. The 2.35 Barzo was already narrower than the 2.35 Mezcal.

I'll be curious to see how the wet grip on these really are. I had the anthracite (I liked that color) XC trail Barzo/Mezcal and they didn't seem to like damp roots or rocks. I do a lot of my riding after the sun goes down and when dew starts forming I had to adjust.
  • 3 0
 +1 please @vittoria bring a better gripping compound barzo.
  • 3 0
 @dtheio: I am a die-hard Barzo/Mezcal fan. G1, G2 and I'll give these new Mezcal's a try for sure.

I always tell people....the roll very fast, they are extremely durable, they mount up tubeless easily, they have decent suppleness, they can still be found for very affordable prices online...but middle of the pack. If ultimate grip is your goal, the Vittoria's are only average.

I wouldn't mind a better griping version of the Barzo to use up front.
  • 2 1
 Surprise, surprise. I had commented under the new Maxxis Aspen ST article that we should do a field test comparing it against Vittoria Mezcal and suddenly this article is being dropped about the new Mezcal. Or is all this part of PB‘s meticulous plan after all?
  • 1 0
 would be really interesting to see how the different concepts about tpi and tread pattern compare.
  • 1 0
 Interesting that almost everyone has moved towards single compound tires for many offerings... Even Maxxis with that newish "non-3C" MaxxSpeed. When will 3C MaxxTerra get replaced, so that it doesn't change characteristics sooo drastically as it wears? And they already offer the single-compound SuperTacky for some models, perhaps a new longer-lasting ST replaces 3C Max grip sooner than later?
  • 1 0
 Ran the barzo/mezcal combo and didn’t get on with them. Have yet to try Aspens, been on Schwalbe and enjoying them.

Starting to dry out more here in the Carolinas, so may change up to something different soon. The Wicked Wills have been doing great though.
  • 2 0
 i ride both. the wicked will / nobby nic (soft) is my favourite am/trail combo for the alps. mezcal / barzo (grey sidewall) is the gold standard for ultra racing.
  • 3 0
 10% more puncture resistant ... compared to which model? The Mezcal XCR or the Mezcal XC trail with TNT ?
  • 3 0
 Looking forward to giving these a try.
  • 1 0
 I got a set and need to get them on trail, but already on pavement, you can tell they are going to roll crazy fast. you can't feel any of the normal knobby vibration (peyote rear, mezcal front)
  • 3 0
 Bout to trip out on some peyote.
  • 1 0
 It would be interesting to show the ETRTO size which is more accurate than the 29 x 2....
(I have 57-622 Barzo/Mezcal XC-Trail which is accurate but supposed to be a 2.35)
  • 1 0
 Vittoria doing a Specialized: reusing names but totally different tire. The original Peyote was excellent; would have been perfect in 2.4.
  • 1 0
 The Peyote tread pattern looks like it would also make for a good gravel tire. Maybe one or two common gravel widths are coming in that tire?
  • 2 0
 Will I trip if I bite/eat one of these Mezcal knobs?
  • 2 0
 I recommend the Peyote for your use case
  • 1 0
 @VtVolk: I did I did! Would you think I would be so openly careless otherways?
  • 1 0
 @VtVolk: Ought it came late the proper joke.. it would be:

- Do they have Mezcaline in their compound?... If yes I expect they will have tons of grip in places like Sedona...
  • 1 0
 C'mon Vittoria!! We really want the Assegai knock off we have been seeing the Commencal I studios riders running!
  • 2 5
 I've got a set of Peyote & Mezcal from the previous gen. Used them on a XC bike: I had more flat in 30km than in a full year.
When I got my monster gravel built I used those tires because them might do the job and I had them laying around. Once again, flats again and again, even on large gravel road.
Never again Vittoria.
  • 16 0
 Weird, I've had the exact opposite experience. My mezcal was one of the most durable, long lasting tires I've owned. And used in the eastern side of the Canadian rockies with some seriously sharp rocks.
  • 7 0
 @ratedgg13: Same. Light enough, fast enough, tough enough. I keep coming back to this tire on my short-travel bike.
  • 1 0
 @Toutnoir, Which casing variant, and to what are you comparing them? For example, if you were to compare a Vittoria with the 60 TPI casing an no additional reinforcements to a Schwalbe Super Trail casing that has up to three additional layers, that wouldn't be a fair comparison.
  • 2 0
 I switched to Vittoria on two bikes now: Barzo/Mezcal on the XC bike, Mazza/Martello on the trail hardtail and I love them. Low rolling resistance, sufficient+predictable grip, not too heavy and they are very quit on hard surfaces. Also no punctures so far but I'm fairly light and admittedly not the hardest "ripper".
  • 1 0
 the tan walls aren't very tough but I have had pretty good luck on the mezcals ripping trail all over utah on my gravel bike.
  • 3 0
 The Mezcals are a really commonly used tire for bikepacking races, where durability and rolling resistance are more important than outright grip.
  • 1 1
 You’d have to be on peyote or drinking mescal to run those tires. Ulgh.
  • 1 2
 I thought XC courses were getting tougher…
  • 8 0
 But tyres are getting wider, so you get the same grip with smaller knobs while improving rolling resistance etc. I'd say that's the logic behind this.
  • 2 3
 shame XC audience won't get here... XD

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