15 Nov, 2017
Australia – “A performance tire that is as comfortable on the tarmac as it is exploring gravel roads off the beaten track” – Jack Thompson (Ultra Endurance Adventure Cyclist)
Most avid road cyclists will now be familiar with Vittoria’s latest road offering, the Corsa G+, a road tire that recently received a 4.5-star rating on bikeradar.com.
What sets the Corsa G+ tyre apart from the competition is the inclusion of a product that is relatively new to the cycling world, ‘Graphene,’ a super light compound that enhances wear, improves rolling resistance and boosts grip whilst cornering.
You’re probably asking, ‘What has the Corsa G+ tyre got in common with Vittoria’s touring specific tyre, the Randonneur Tech?’ Well the answer lies with the magic ‘G’ word…’Graphene’.
Earlier this year I explored the Chinese Himalayas, an Adventure that took me from Chengdu in central China, down through the Himalayas and into Laos, some 1,900km with a whopping 89,000m of elevation spread across both tarmac and gravel.
Leading into a trip of this magnitude, I was obviously concerned whether I had made all the right equipment choices. In the middle of remote China, it’s difficult to roll into your local bike shop and pick up spare parts should something break. Most importantly, when it came to tire choice, I needed to ensure that I was making the right choice.
Having used Vittoria’s Rubino Pro tires in the lead up to the trip and being impressed with both their performance and longevity, I had no troubles choosing which tire manufacturer I was going to run with. The answer was simple, Vittoria. I contacted Vittoria and explained what road conditions the trip would likely have me encountering. We discussed a few different options and eventually agreed that the Randonneur Tech in 35mm was going to be the perfect choice.
I had never used a ‘touring/commuting’ tire before and so I was nervous that once set up on the bike and out on the open road they would feel sluggish. I was pleasantly surprised… Had I been blindfolded (not smart when riding a bike) and given two different sets of wheels to ride, one with the Rubino Pro’s and the other with the Randonneur Tech’s, I would have struggled to tell the difference. The Randonneur Tech tires roll, and they roll and they keep on rolling.
When it comes to tires, in particular endurance/adventure specific tires, performance is only one part of the puzzle, grip and puncture resistance are just as important.
I’ve now ridden these tires over 7,000km and not had one puncture…Seriously impressive!!
In terms of grip, in both China and my latest adventure in Japan I was forced to ride down wet dirt roads that were so steep and so rough, that even had I been on a mountain bike, I would have felt out of place. The Randonneur Tech tires took these roads in their stride and enabled me to ride safely down and back onto more ‘reasonable’ terrain. I don’t know if it’s the Graphene, the extra width, or a combination of both, but these tires just stick to the road like nothing I’ve ridden before.
The other thing I love about this tire is the reflective strip around the sidewall. Not only does this look unreal (think white wall tires on a kombi van…) but it provides additional safety when riding at low light, something that as an adventure cyclist, we do all too often.
With sizes ranging from 28mm to 48mm along with a 27.5inch mountain bike offering, there is an option for almost everyone.
After 7,000km on the Randonneur Tech, exploring the Chinese Himalayas and the length of Japan and with not one puncture or complaint, I can confidently say that this is the best tire I have ridden, period.
Would I ride these tires when training around home on my local roads? YES. Would I ride these tires through the darkest days of winter, be it rain, hail or shine? YES.
The Randonneur Tech, although touted as a ‘Commuting/Touring Tyre’ is far from it…It’s a brilliant year-round tire and will be my new ‘Go To’ set of rubber.
Follow Jack’s adventures on Instagram.