One question I am often asked is “What tyres for Winter”. An emotive subject that I have written about before and I must confess this time to being seduced by reviews and marketing hype I read about the Vittoria Corsa G+ with its Graphene additive.
I read endless reviews that seem to be written through rose tinted glasses, I do not have scientific data to back up or rebuff claims and I can only draw conclusions from my own use predominantly on the pretty tough road surfaces that are found in Hampshire’s lanes.
I have recently taken delivery of a pair of Vittoria Corsa G + folding Graphene tyres which we are led to beleive are preferred by some of the pro teams for poor surfaces, these boast a thin sheet of pure carbon for puncture protection and at 240g (25c) they are only 5g per tyre heavier than the GP4000s II I use in Summer but at £40 per tyre they are not cheap.
So how did they fare ?
The clincher tyres were easy to fit on my H Plus Son Archetype rims and a visual inspection gave me reassurance of a well constructed tyre. My first ride out was in dry cold conditions and the tyres rolled very well, they appeared very quick but that could of course be my enthusiasm on the day. They certainly cornered and held the road well and I was hopeful my quest for a Winter tyre had found a champion. Sadly my second ride was interrupted by a puncture, a small flint, ( a Hampshire Diamond to the counties cyclists ) had gone right through the tread. This was disappointing to say the least especially given all the puncture protection hype. On getting back home I cleaned and inspected the tyres removing several small flints from the surface tread.
The third ride, an 80 miler on dry roads was incident free but my fourth outing on wet roads gave me another puncture with another flint straight through the tread.
Two punctures in the first four rides is not a good recommendation and this layer of Graphene for added puncture protection seems from my perspective to be a case of “The Emperors New Clothes”. It hasn’t worked for me and my conclusion is that the tyres are light, roll well, hold the road and corner well but the claims of added puncture protection don’t seem on the evidence to be justified, small flints just went straight through the carcase.
These tyres for me are no better and on a par with Continental Gatorskins. My Winter choice to date has been Shwalbe Durano Plus, they are cheaper but heavier and the performance is not so good but that seems an acceptable trade-off to mending punctures on a wet winter afternoon in the lanes of Hampshire.
This is a copy of the manufacturers literature for the tyre, my verdict would be save your money, there are tyres of equal quality at a cheaper price. My quest for a Winter performance tyre continues.
Top Features of the Vittoria Corsa G+ Folding Graphene Tyre
G+ Isotech rubber compound
4 compounds for best speed, grip, durability and puncture protection
Kevlar reinforced 320TPI Corespun K casing for increased sidewall protection
Corespun K 320 TPI has a mixture of Kevlar® threads for casings where strength is of the essence
Technical benefits of Graphene?
Enormous surface area: 1 gram = around 2,630 m2 that can facilitate any chemical process
High mechanical resistance: approximately 200 times stronger than steel
High thermal conductibility: more than 2 times that of a diamond
Less density: is equal to half that of aluminium
High elasticity: equal to 6 times that of steel
High electrical conductibility, transparency, lightness, flexibility and mechanical resistance
EDIT : 26/12/2016 Make that 3 punctures in 6 rides, very disappointed with these tyres.
EDIT AGAIN: 30/12/2016 Make that 4 punctures in 7 rides, these tyres are off the bike now and are not fit for purpose.