While there are plenty of 40mm or larger gravel tires, slowly but surely, companies are answering the non-UCI-racing cyclocrossers' prayers for higher volume tires that better meet the needs of mixed terrain riding and cyclocrossers facing bumpy courses.
Two companies in particular have been leading the movement that we've long called for. We first saw it with the high-volume 35mm Ritchey Shield spotted five years ago at Sea Otter, followed by the 35mm WTB Cross Boss, the 37mm WTB Riddler and then the 38mm Ritchey Megabite. Even CST and Maxxis have recently gotten into the game, with the 38mm CST Pika and 40mm Maxxis Ravager we saw at Interbike.
Now as of the 2017 Sea Otter Classic, Vittoria has thrown its name into the high-volume cyclocross tire ring, blowing up its three new tubular treads to a whopping 40mm and vulcanizing them to a TNT tubeless casing and bead.
The Terreno treads come in Dry, Mix and Wet options. The Dry fish scale-like tread was first unveiled last year at Sea Otter 2016 under the XS name, but now Vittoria has renamed the whole cyclocross line to Terreno, and it appears likely that the two-lettered models (XN, XG, XL and already-discontinued XM) will roll quietly into our virtual tire museum in the near future.
The three new 40mm tires (and narrower options) feature 120 tpi casing, sidewall protection, three different rubber compounds, will retail for $54 and should be coming to market before cyclocross season. While the Dry conditions tire looks to be a compelling option also for gravel, the company already has the burly Adventure Trail 38/40mm tire we tested last season. Gravel cyclists aren't the only ones who crave volume, however, and Vittoria's Mix and Wet conditions treads have proven in our initial rides to be versatile options for cyclocross racing and mixed conditions out on the trail.
The tubular Terreno versions were quietly launched last season, with Cyclocross Magazine receiving one of the first sets of tubulars for testing (but was asked to hold off on publicly reviewing), and racers like Adam Myerson and Robert Marion racing the tubulars in UCI events and at Nationals.
Now each Terreno tread will be available in five different versions, with 31mm and 33mm 320tpi Corespun cotton tubular options, and 31mm, 33mm and 40mm TNT tubeless versions.
It's interesting to see the 31mm options that buck the trend of everyone opting for higher volume tires, but lighter racers and racers light on tire clearance may appreciate the smaller size, while UCI racers with wide rims might appreciate the 31mm TNT version. Also, in slippery-over-hard conditions, a narrow tire might dig in better for traction.
Vittoria added some unique features to the new Terreno treads, with differing knob heights, a rigidity ribbon, and self-cleaning designs. Have a look in the gallery below, and stay tuned for our full review.
See our ever-growing stream of new cyclocross and gravel-oriented bikes, wheels, tires, components and cycling gear from 2017 Sea Otter here.
More info: vittoria.com