Vittoria Terreno XC 2.1″ Tires: At The Finish

Vittoria Terreno XC 2.1″ Tires: At The Finish – by Guitar Ted

The time has come to give my final verdict on these tires. This is one tire of three I am taking a look at for those of you who are using mountain bikes, or bicycles like the Fargo or Cutthroat as your preferred gravel bicycle. My previous post on this particular tire can be found here. The other two tires I am taking a look at are the Teravail Ehline and the Hutchinson Kraken.

A bicycle with Terreno XC tires mounted
Guitar Ted’s Pofahl Signature Custom bike with Vittoria Terreno XC tires.

In my last update, I said the following, “The Vittoria Terreno XC is a fast rolling tire which has enough suppleness to tame coarse gravel and still rolls well on harder surfaces. ” That’s still my best description of this tire. After hundreds of miles of gravel, deteriorated gravel, pea gravel, dirt, and broken up pavement and chip seal, these are the tires I would gravitate toward here for what I do.

That said, I don’t mix single track, burly fire roads, or really steep, long grades in my riding here. That would change my preferences if I had those sorts of riding opportunities. If I lived in the Southwest, for instance, I know the roads in the back country there might move me in another direction for tires entirely. So, this is why tires like the Kraken and the Ehline have their place.

Close up of the Terreno XC tire
These tires show little wear after the test period, which is impressive.

The Vittoria Terreno XC masters the gravel we have here, does really well on hard dirt, and if your rides have paved sections, well then this tire is probably top of the list as far as a choice for your MTB/adventure drop bar bike. The width is spot on, and the way the casing works allows anyone to dial in a nice, cushy ride experience.

In many ways this Terreno XC reminds me of the Terrene Honali. That is another tire I found to be really good in similar ways as the Terreno XC. The Terreno XC does have a little better coarse/loose crushed rock performance, and not as good a puncture protection feature. The Honali weighs about 80-ish grams more per tire and doesn’t ride as nicely as the Terreno XC does. Trade-offs. Use the Honali for loaded adventures, or where a tougher tire is a benefit. Use the Terreno XC for faster, lighter needs.

Close up of Terreno XC

At The Finish: I liked these tires enough that I am probably going to run them out on this bike they are on. They aren’t as aggressively treaded as the other two models are that I am testing and with the varying conditions we see on gravel here, I feel the Terreno XC fits my needs best.

However; if I had to use this custom bike I have the Terreno XC’s mounted to as my mountain bike, I would choose one of the other two tires. I just don’t have the confidence in the Terreno XC for things like hard cornering on dirt, traversing rocks, (big rocks), and for braking and climbing on dirt here that I would have with a more MTB-like tread design. So, horses for courses. But if your riding is similar to mine where I live, this Terreno XC should be high on your list of tires for gravel and back-road use.

NOTE: These tires were purchased by Riding Gravel and we are not being paid, nor bribed for this review. In fact, Vittoria Tires did not even know we were doing this review. We always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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7 thoughts on “Vittoria Terreno XC 2.1″ Tires: At The Finish

  1. I wish they made these tires in 27.5. The 2.25 is exactly what I’m looking for for my Gorilla Monsoon.

    1. @Boudin I’ve tried 6-8 different tires on my Gorilla Monsoon and really only like anything over 2″. Right now my current favorite is Thunder burt in 2.1″ If these came in a 2.25 like you stated I’d be all over them also.

      1. Both the Thunder Burt and the Terreno xc are available in 2.1 AND 2.25…in 29… But the Thunder Burt is also available for 27.5 in 2.1 and 2.25… and @Boudin , I second Jacob for the Thunder Burt if you want something fast and fun to ride… I presently have them in 2.25 on my Cutthroat but I am planing of changing for the Honali or Terrene xc for a couple of reason. 1) I want to move to something a little narrower than 2.25 just to tame a little the feeling you can get on hardpack or pavement with a more balloon shape tire… so I want to move from 2.25 to 2.1 (baby steps… :-))…2) I want something even a little faster on pavement since all my ride imply a fait amount on it…3) I’m sure Guitar Ted will identify to this one: I just want to try something new ! 🙂 But anyway, like I said, the Thunder are really nice tires…

  2. @Melissa – I have not ridden Rene Herse tires and have no current plans to do so. However; I do know that in terms of construction the two tires you want compared here are of very different construction and have completely different rubber compounds.

    I’m sure both have their good and bad points, but seeing as to how differently they are one from another, I would expect very different ride characteristics.

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