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Since 2000, Vittoria major investments focused on research and development of innovative technologies. These efforts have allowed Vittoria to develop products that are now at the forefront of the cycling industry. Some of the most innovative technologies Vittoria has developed to date include: cotton casing tires, latex inner tubes and the combination of 4 different compounds, known as 4C, all in the same tire. In addition to this, Vittoria’s most important development is the incorporation of the revolutionary material, Graphene, in Vittoria’s tires and wheels.
Graphene is a material which has exceptional characteristics that make Vittoria products advantageous for many different purposes and uses; it derives from carbon, more precisely from graphite. Graphene has exceptional properties: although its structure is extremely thin (molecules are as thin as an atom – 1/1,000,000,000th of a meter), one gram of Graphene can cover a 2.630 square-meters surface; Graphene is 200 times stronger than steel and 6 times more flexible.
It is inevitable that Graphene offers enormous product advantages, but the challenge for Vittoria was to build Graphene products, and so to integrate this material with rubber. After research and testing, Graphene proved to interact with rubber by filling the space in between the rubber molecules. In practice, Graphene works like a magnet: its molecules are so thin that can fill the holes that separate rubber molecules making them more unite and close one another. In this way, the overall structure of the rubber is strengthened by the presence of Graphene, delivering performances never seen before.
Prior to the advanced development of Graphene, there was always the requirement of choosing between optimizing, or aiming at, speed, grip, durability and puncture protection. Effectively, the introduction of Graphene in tires, allows for natural material barriers of rubber to be removed. This means that there is no longer the need for such compromises between speed, grip, durability and puncture resistance.
The application of Graphene into wheels proved to work too. Similarly to tyres, when applied to wheels, Graphene filled the holes in between the carbon molecules bonding with them. As a consequence, results displayed that carbon wheels increased lateral stiffness, improved resistance, became lighter and boosted heat dissipation. Moreover, one of the key findings was that Graphene-enhanced carbon wheels for tubeless tires are now able to be used at higher air pressures and experience enhanced braking in all conditions.
Coming back to tires, the casing, together with the tread compound, determines how well it holds on the road. Vittoria tirelessly researches new compounds to give riders tires with even better performance, grip and long life, in all conditions. This is where 4C compounds come in. 4C is exclusively developed by Vittoria to achieve performance products without compromise. Vittoria 4C is a layering process, using 4 separate compounds in the same tread. The 4C process offers unmatched versatility, by allowing for separate base and surface compounds, in both the center and side areas of the tread, allowing softer compounds for improved grip and harder compounds to enhance speed all in one tire.
Initially, Vittoria graphene products encompassed top-of-the-range tires and wheels only; as of today, nearly all Vittoria products come Powered by Graphene. Vittoria’s mission is to become one of the most important companies worldwide for the implementation and development of this material. Vittoria is the first company for Graphene usage globally, and it was the first one to use the purest form of Graphene – called “pristine” – in mass production.
The performance benefits of Graphene are applicable across segments within the range of tires, including e-bikes. This compound enables a very smooth rolling experience for electric assisted bikes, that helps to prolong battery life as well. When applied to the electric motor-equipped mountain bikes it is ultimately suitable to deal with the increased acceleration torque and delivers much greater strength exactly where it is needed: at the knob base, where torque damage is most likely to occur.