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A tire’s compound, together with its casing, determines how well is the grip on the road. Vittoria tirelessly researches new compounds to give riders tires with even better performance, grip and longevity, in all conditions.
But what does “compound” stand for when talking about bicycle tires? It describes a mixture made up by the combination of different materials. Vittoria uses over 100 components for the manufacturing of compounds, such as natural rubber, synthetic rubber, carbon black, graphene and process oils. That said, Vittoria succeeded as only bicycle tire manufacturer in using four compounds for the construction of a single tire tread: Vittoria invested in view of future performance demand in the only 4C extruder in the bicycle tire industry, able to process four different compounds in a single tire tread: the several million-dollars’ worth machine can process hundreds of types of rubber to fine-tune each tire tread according to the special demand, as thin as 0.3 mm thickness.
For all of this – along with Graphene technology – Vittoria 4C is the ultimate technology concerning compounds developed for bicycle tires. Exclusively developed by Vittoria to achieve performance products without compromise, Vittoria 4C is an extrusion process using up to 4 different compounds in the same tread. The 4C process offers unmatched versatility, by allowing for different base and surface compounds, in both the centre and side areas of the tread. Benefiting from the different properties of each compound, including Graphene compounds, their distribution is extensively tested to deliver the best products imaginable.
The way in which the 4 compounds are implemented is based on the specific purpose each tire is designed for. As road tires designed for competitions have completely different requirements compared to mountain bike tires for Enduro, Vittoria has perfected the extrusion process in order to match each tire’s necessities.
Taking our most popular road tire into consideration – the Corsa, the central layer of the tread offers tremendous longevity and great speed through a harder compound – this is because the tire rolls on that part of the tread for nearly 80% of the time in a normal ride. The two compounds on the sides are designed for offering low rolling resistance and comfort as well as high grip even in wet conditions. Finally, a super grippy compound is placed in proximity of the sidewalls for extreme cornering.
Similarly, Vittoria’s best mountain bike tires – such as Barzo and Martello - benefit from the 4C technology. Independent testers and professionals alike referred to the (wet) grip as impressive and confidence-inspiring, even in heavy rain or difficult terrain. Some even called it a tire engineering masterpiece.
When applied to mountain bike tires, 4C is developed in this way: the two compounds on the base of the tread are harder, as they are designed for offering stability, puncture protection and cut resistance in corners. Instead, the layers on the surface provide unmatched climbing and braking traction in the central part, and world class cornering grip - even in wet conditions – on the sides.
Vittoria developed also 3C compounds. This technology is applied by Vittoria to deliver All-Round products – the Rubino range – without compromise. Vittoria 3C is a layering process, using 3 separate compounds in the same tread. The different properties of each compound, including Graphene, allow for the improved experience in all circumstances.