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Vittoria’s New Sea Otter Tech

Fresh tires and inserts from the Italian Brand

Air-Liners--$85

Vittoria’s Air-Liners retail for $85 each and are available in small, medium, large and extra large widths. As you can guess, they’re for small, medium, large and … wait for it … whoa ohh ohhh big ol’ jet air-liners, don’t carry me too far away … extra large tires--up to 4 inches in width.

The EVA foam liners arrive in one long length and then can be cut, zip tied and taped together with the included materials to fit the appropriate rim diameter. The channel running the outside circumference of the Air-Liner provides a progressive feel to impacts--by striking an angled corner, the force is dissipated in an exponential manner. Vittoria claims the inside channel allows compatibility with all valve types. Air-Liners are waterproof and won’t corrode or deteriorate in tire sealant, protecting rims and allowing very low tire pressure while acting as a bottom out. The size small insert weighs 140 grams and Vittoria claims Air-Liners are incredibly easy to install when compared to the competition. Air-Liners will be available in June.

2 Fold Casing (not pictured)--price yet to be finalized

To fold, or not to fold--enduro riders seeking supportive tires will have options from Vittoria starting in August. 2 Fold wraps two layers of 120-tpi (the supple stuff) casing from bead to bead, then adds APF (acronym time: Anti Pinch Flat) inserts right around the bead area. The casing is very similar to what WTB does with TCS Tough and Maxxis with Double Down casings. 2 Fold casings will make their way to Morsa, Martello and Mota tires, which will be available in 2.3- (Morsa), 2.35- (Martello and Mota), 2.6- and 2.8-inch (27.5 only) widths. Additionally, all will (and currently) feature Graphene, active ingredient: Magic. Graphene reduces rolling resistance, increases traction, reduces wear, reduces weight and amplifies your social persona. Ok fine, the last one isn’t true--but lofty and seemingly contradicting as those previous claims are, Vittoria firmly contends they’re true and they have non-endemic science-y journal reviews that reportedly back up their assertions. We shall have to test these magical tires … do they contain a motor too? Are they ill tempered at least?

Morsa – $69-$74 TNT and rTNT casing, 2 Fold prices yet to be finalized

There is a quite a big channel moving from central tread to outer knobs, pointing to a speedy tire that prefers either upright positioning or forceful leaning.

The Morsa features heavily ramped central knobs to create a low-rolling-resistance tire combined with taller, more aggressive cornering knobs. While you could run this tire in the front, it screams rear tire to me. The thinner belt of central knobs extend a little further toward the side knobs, perhaps helping a bit with an intermediate lean, but this tire has quite a lot of space where others have intermediate knobs, giving the look of a very speedy, on/off (upright or cornering) ride feel. A Morsa in 27.5×2.3 TNT (one 120-tpi layer with APF inserts) weighs 890 grams as per Vittoria’s website, so expect an increase for 2 Fold.

Martello--$69-$74 TNT and rTNT, 2 Fold prices yet to be finalized

The Martello is intended to be Vittoria’s most versatile tire with very even tread spacing and mid-height blocks with plenty of siping. The pitch looks open enough to still clear some muck, the blocks themselves big enough to hopefully not squirm in hard conditions. There is less of a defined cornering channel, so this would be an interesting tire to ride to see the effect of the intermediate side knobs--if there is any washout when pushing hard from upright to pitched over as weight would be dispersed over many blocks in the intermediate lean position. Some tires with lots of intermediate knobs do this, others don’t, so we’d have to ride it to find out. Current Martello 27.5×2.35-inch TNT tires reportedly weighing 920 grams as per Vittoria’s website.

Mota--$69 TNT & rTNT, 2 Fold prices yet to be finalized

The Mota is billed as a DH mud tire and the open spacing and menacing blocks definitely seem to back this up, but the not-too-tall central tread and cut, pyramid-like side knobs look as though this could be a fun tire in conditions other than slop. With the Mota, Martello and Morsa, Vittoria hopes to allow interchangeability so that riders can mix and match tires--pair an aggressive Mota in the front, a slightly faster Martello in the back. Looking at the Mota and Martello, the two do look complementary, particularly both sporting progressive siping. A 27.5×2.3 TNT Mota according to Vittoria weighs 940 grams for comparative purposes.

Another interesting feature is that Vittoria uses two tread compounds per block: a harder compound at the base for stability and a softer top for extra grip. Now, before we get too excited, most tires do have use a harder base rubber to act as a foundation for tread, but Vittoria’s approach on each block, and having separate base block compounds for central versus side tread is definitely compelling. Quite a lot going on.

Vittoria USA