Vittoria Terreno XC 2.1″ Tires: Getting Rolling

Vittoria Terreno XC 2.1″ Tires: Getting Rolling – by Guitar Ted

Here at Riding Gravel we understand that there are more bikes being used for ‘gravel’ riding than just the typical ‘road bike morphed into gravel bike‘ type rigs. Mountain bikes, the so-called ‘adventure drop bar bikes’ and more which can take wider tires are also being used on gravel. In that vein we have been looking at tires for such bikes, starting with our Hutchinson Kraken tire review, and now, with this Vittoria Terreno XC tire review. We have yet another tire coming soon to add to this series. Stay tuned for that soon. Let’s take a look at the Terreno XC for now.

Detail shot of the Terreno XC
The Vittoria Terreno XC 29 X 2.1″

What It Is: The Terreno XC continues in a line of tires Vittoria introduced a few years back. The Terreno family range started out with the 40mm sizes of the Dry, Wet, and Mix versions which we tested two of here and here. The main calling card on these tires is the addition of Graphene, which is an allotrope of carbon characterized by a hexagonal, two dimensional form. Vittoria pays homage to this by using a hexagonal, ‘scale’ look to the tread design on several of the Terreno series tires. Graphene is several times stronger than steel, but it also has far less density than steel. Vittoria uses it in its compounds to give their tires strength, longevity, and to retain light weights. Now in the 2.0 versions, Vittoria is able to enhance certain characteristics desirable for each tire model, whereas before it was a blanket improvement of all characteristics.

Folded Tereno XC ties on a table with objects

The Terreno XC tires purchased by Riding Gravel have characteristics which are designed to increase puncture resistance, lower rolling resistance, and keep overall weight in check. Grip is also said to have been enhanced. Designed primarily for hard pack, loose, and mixed terrains, the Terreno XC should prove to be a great gravel road and smooth dirt tire.

The Terreno XC’s we are testing weighed in at 612/620 grams each. They are tubeless ready, have a 120TPI casing, Vittoria’s lightest design, and the Graphene 2.0 compound, of course. Here’s what Vittoria has to say on their webpage for this tire:

Aggressive file tread, or super low-profile knob design? The Terreno Dry bridges the gap between file treads, and traditional all-conditions treads. The key to this is the unique angled “fish scale” design, that allows the center tread to roll extremely fast, yet offer traction when loaded in cornering and braking. Add the transitional height mid and side tread, and the Terreno Dry transitions as smoothly as it rolls. From gravel grinding to medium conditions cross racing, the Terreno Dry offers consistent performance.

Blue bicycle against a fence
The Terreno XC’s mounted to the author’s Pofahl Signature Custom single speed.

First Impressions: The tires feel light and pliable in the hand. The sidewalls on these are a bit more brown than tan, but the tires look handsome none the less. The resemblance to the Terreno Dry 40mm tires is unmistakable. This bodes well, in my opinion, because those tires are some of my favorites in that size class.

Tubeless mounting and airing up on an older set of Bontrager Duster rims went as expected. No drama. I aired these up to 40psi, took an hour test ride, and returned to measure them out at 52.2mm in width. Not quite 2,1 inches, but close, and I am willing to bet these stretch out that little bit more to achieve that width before long. I’ll come back to that in my next post on these.

Riding the tires was revealing in that there was that expected free rolling characteristic, but going into gritty corners on a dirt surface did not give me feelings that the tire was slipping out at all. That Graphene stuff in tires is an odd thing, as it allows for you to do more than the tread would lead you to believe you could do. I’m not at the point where I want to test the limits……yet. Give me some time there.

The other thing I noted was how smooth the tires felt, even at 40psi, which I feel is a high pressure setting for myself and these tires. That is another thing I will be experimenting with. This leads me to…….

Detail of folded terreno XC tires

So Far…… These tires have some attributes and claims which seem pretty heady. These are things I’ll be paying attention to as I get these tires out on the gravel. Do they roll as well as I thought at first? Is there more traction here than meets the eye? How damped and vibration smoothing are these tires?

Right now all I can say is that these are handsome looking tires which feel fast and supple so far on my test route, which is a mix of paved, dirt, and finer gravel road surfaces. I’ll be back soon with an update from the crushed rock roads of Iowa soon.

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

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Guitar Ted

Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004, he 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 backroad events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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1 thought on “Vittoria Terreno XC 2.1″ Tires: Getting Rolling

  1. Love them on Rondo Bogan. They seem to have endless grip on hard surface and are doing well pretty much everywhere I had a chance to ride them.

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