B E S T N W A R E A R T I R E E V E R ? Vittoria’s e-Martello
The Mojo crew always searches for better performance. No matter how much we like a given product, we always test new items to ensure that you have the best performance for our unique local trail conditions. This is how we began testing Vittoria’s mtb tire offerings. If you ride the road, you’re likely to know that Vittoria makes some of the best road tires out there with their Zaffiro Pro V Tire & Rubino Pro Tires. They’re tough & they roll fast. Recently, several bike manufacturers have opted for Vittoria tires as their factory option. We reasoned: “O.K. We need to test these tires.
Research on the brand reveals that they really know how rubber durometers affect performance. (Remember: durometer refers to rubber’s relative firmness or softness.) Their tires have numerous durometer offerings, but the one Mojo likes & sells is their softest. Traditionally, we only advocate that gravity racers use super soft tires, because softer rubber tends to roll slower. However, Vittoria has found a way to let riders have their cake & eat it too. Enter graphene.
A discussion regarding graphene gets very “sciencey” immediately. Here’s a quick description of what this material is & why it’s amazing when added to tire rubber:
Graphene is a single, thin layer of graphite — the soft, flaky material used in pencil lead...Interestingly, when graphene is isolated from graphite it takes on miraculous properties. It is a mere one-atom thick, the first two-dimensional material ever discovered. Despite this, graphene is also one of the strongest materials in the known universe. With a tensile strength of 130 GPa (gigapascals), it is more than 100 times stronger than steel. Graphene’s incredible strength despite being so thin is…amazing, however, its unique properties do not end there. It is also flexible. (https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/what-is-graphene/)
The addition of graphene to Vittoria’s rubber allows their tires to have low durometers, but to roll fast & also last as long as any other tires. For NWA mountain bikers, this means that we can have tires with extreme grip in the corners & in the loose chat. It also means that unlike other tires that grip well on our trails, Vittoria’s tires are long lasting.
I tested the e-Martello on the rear of my Orbea Wild. At first glance, it looks like the Maxxis Aggressor. But the sidewalls are much thicker. This tire has a race heritage & is built for abuse. I was worried that this tough, yet soft, tire would roll slowly. I was wrong. It rolls faster than the Maxxis. In fact, it rolls so much better that I can even tell on my e-bike. Seriously. Ripping descents, it tracks well. Climbing is great because of the e-Martello’s exceptional grip. Pushing into loose corners, it grips & is reliable in its consistent performance. The down-side of having a tire with low durometer rubber is that it gets “snotty” in wet conditions. The softness of the rubber causes the tire to break & spin or slide faster than harder treaded tires. That said, if you are aware of this, you can ride in ways to mitigate these factors. Besides, most NWA riding is done on drier trails.
The e-Martello merits a solid “A” rating for its performance. It’s easily one of the best tires that I’ve ever used. I’ll continue to use it. Many of the folks I ride with are adopting the Vittoria tires on their bikes. If you’re looking for a new level of performance – & to save a bit of $$$ in the process – try the Vittoria e-Martello on your bike. I’m positive that you’ll like it as much as I do. – Dave