Vittoria is an Italian bicycle tire manufacturer, headquartered in Madone, Italy. Established in 1953, the company is one of the leading bicycle tire and tube manufacturers in the world, and produces around 5 million tires annually. We got the opportunity to test the Zaffiro Pro Training 700x25c tires and here is what I thought.
The Vittoria Zaffiro Pro which is celebrated as Vittoria’s benchmark training tire has been built with a strong nylon casing that promotes a secure grip and a long tread life and uses a mixed tread design that is optimized for all-round use in a range of training conditions. This makes it a reasonably good training tire at a budget price. For a relatively low priced training tire, it is lined with a lightweight, tear-resistant polymer weave that’s applied to the tire sidewall. This lining, even though not very durable, puts up a decent performance against road debris like small stones, glass shards, etc that one might generally find on most city roads.
The Zaffiro Pro has a theoretically less supple casing than most other tires in its segment with its 60 treads per inch (TPI), instead of 120 TPI or so. But the tire still feels as supple as the ones with a higher TPI.
The Zaffiro Pro is designed in such a way that even though it is not very fast, its comfort and endurance more than make up for what it misses in speed. This is a tire that will withstand a few thousand kms of training and is relatively maintenance-free. The 700x25C version that we tested came in a full black color and had a foldable bead, which makes it easy to fold and cram into a saddle bag or a handlebar bag to carry as a spare during long touring rides. The tire weighed around 280 grams, a bit light for a training tire, but at the same time, the light weight meant that the casing was also a bit thinner than most tires, making it more susceptible to wear and tear.
The cross-hatch pattern on the tire shoulders that has been incorporated to improve grip mostly serves only as a gauge to measure the amount of wear and tear on the tire. The tread on the center of the tire wears off sooner than the other parts of the tread, and this can sometimes be annoying as the grip of the tire on wet roads is not very effective once the tread is worn off. The rolling resistance of the tire is almost around 16.5 watts and the maximum tire pressure that can be set is 110 psi.
A durable and reasonably priced entry-level training tire that can take quite a beating, the Zaffiro Pro fares better than most in its segment. The only downside is that the puncture protection is not very impressive. However, this can be overcome by using an inner puncture liner between the tire and the tube. Even though we cannot expect much from a tire that costs as low as Rs. 1,290, it is still a reasonable performer for its price tag.