It can be difficult to find a Mountain Bike tyre which is lightweight, has low rolling-resistance, but still grips well in a variety of conditions. In this article I will be explaining why I feel the Vittoria Barzo is the answer to that dilemma.
The Barzo is an aggressive XC tyre ready to take on technical terrain in wet and dry conditions. The central tread pattern minimizes rolling-resistance helping the Barzo to roll fast on most surfaces. It’s rounded profile and sharp side lugs really help to give the tyre excellent grip and predictable handling in the corners.
In this review, I was using the 27.5 x 2.25″ Folding Bead version as a front tyre. However, it’s available in many other different wheel sizes and volumes, please see the table below for the full list.
Speed and Grip
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, due to its central tread pattern this tyre rolls fast in most terrain. This is particularly noticeable when you have to ride on the road for any length of time to reach the trails. When comparing this tyre to the WTB Vigilante it replaced, the difference was night and day. However, this speed doesn’t mean that grip has been compromised in any way.
The rounded profile, aggressive tread pattern and square knobs provide excellent grip in corners. I also found they offer plenty of bite for climbing, whether that be seated or standing. The only time I felt a slight loss of grip was on very loose, dry corners, but even then it was controllable/predictable.
In wet, muddy terrain the open tread pattern clears debris very well, keeping traction as good as possible in such conditions. I’m running these tyres with tubes at around 35-40 PSI and I weigh about 92kg. So, if you are a lighter rider, then you could lower the PSI and gain some extra traction. It’s worth noting that the TNT version of these tyres are Tubeless Ready allowing you to run them at lower pressures providing even more grip.
Vittoria are also the first manufacturer in the industry to produce these tyres using four different compounds. This 4C technology allows them to use harder compounds in the centre and base of the tread for durability and puncture protection with softer compounds on the surface and sides for improved grip.
My folding, standard compound 27.5 x 2.25″ tyre weighs approximately 650g. Which I think for a full tread MTB tyre is very good and comparable to other tyres such as the Maxxis Ardent. I also felt the low weight, and minimal rolling-resistance really does help with acceleration and getting up steep climbs. You could also run one of these on the rear, potentially saving quite a lot of weight compared to something like a WTB Vigilante / Trail Boss setup.
I’ve been using this tyre on the front for about 12 months now (approx. 1000 miles) and there is still plenty of tread left. Also, I believe I’ve not had a single puncture in all that time. Which considering I’m running the tyre with tubes, riding some pretty rocky terrain and in winter conditions is pretty impressive.
The tyre has been ridden in various terrain including gravel tracks/fire roads, rocky singletrack, woodland singletrack and road with no signs of cuts or tears in the tread or sidewalls. Vittoria has also released the Graphene 2.0/G+ version which uses Graphene in the compound. This helps to further improve grip, durability and weight. See the table below for a listing of all the different versions of the tyre currently available.
Prices range from £9.99 to £45 depending on size, bead type, compound and year of release. The original Rigid/Folding bead versions will likely be older stock and that is reflected in the price. Whereas, the newer stock TNT and Graphene 2.0/G+ versions will be more expensive.
In the table below I’ve tried to put together all the different versions of the tyre on the market. At the time of writing, they are in stock and at the best price I could find. However, please bear in mind that prices and stock levels change all the time.
|Wheel Size||Width||Bead Type||Weight||Price|
|26"||2.1"||Folding||510g||click for current price (Amazon)|
|26"||2.1"||Tubeless Ready (TNT)||650g||click for current price (Amazon)|
|26"||2.25"||Tubeless Ready (TNT)||660g||click for current price (Amazon)|
|27.5"||2.1"||Rigid||790g||click for current price (Amazon)|
|27.5"||2.1"||Tubeless Ready (TNT)||670g||click for current price (Amazon)|
|27.5"||2.25"||Folding||635g||click for current price (Amazon)|
|27.5"||2.25"||Tubeless Ready (TNT)||680g||click for current price (Amazon)|
|27.5"||2.25"||TNT G+||680g||£32.19 (ProBikeKit)|
|27.5"||2.35"||TNT G+||700g||£32.19 (ProBikeKit)|
|27.5"||2.6"||Rigid||1050g||click for current price (Amazon)|
|27.5"||2.6"||TNT G+||805g||£32.99 (ProBikeKit)|
|29"||2.1"||Folding||658g||click for current price (Amazon)|
|29"||2.1"||TNT G2.0||650g||£40.51 (Chain Reaction Cycles)|
|29"||2.25"||Folding||660g||click for current price (Amazon)|
|29"||2.25"||TNT G2.0||660g||click for current price (Amazon)|
|29"||2.35"||TNT G2.0||735g||£49 (Evans Cycles)|
|29"||2.6"||TNT G2.0||890g||click for current price (Amazon)|
I hope you found this article helpful and understand why I think the Vittoria Barzo is the best all-round, all-season Mountain Bike tyre.