The Vittoria Terreno is as close as you will get to a slick tread for a mountain bike, giving a smooth, fast ride. The grip is better than you might expect, although slippery conditions are still best avoided, especially on the front. If the trails are dry and you want some speed, the Terreno is very quick.
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Vittoria Terreno tyres - the design
If the tread pattern looks familiar, consider the gravel version; the Terreno Dry, a gravel tyre available in a range of types and sizes but maxing out at 700x38mm. This MTB version goes much wider with two widths at 2.1" and the version on test at 2.25", both only available for 29-inch wheels. Both versions are tubeless with TLR technology and feature the XC Race casing. The casing is a single layer 120-TPI to create a lightweight tyre.
The tread features what Vittoria call Graphene 2.0 with 4 different compounds used within the tread. The tyres have a claimed weight of 650g, with one of our tyres on test exactly on claimed and a second just above at 672g. It makes them reasonably light at this weight, but they are not among the very lightest tyres available. Installation was simple, being easy to install onto the rim and also inflated without any trouble, and I have used tubeless at pressures between 20psi and 25psi, depending on the route or track.
The idea behind multiple compounds within a tyre is to create a firmer, more durable base with a softer compound to deliver more grip where the tread makes contact with the ground. A quick look at the tread, and you might think that grip is unlikely to be a word to describe the performance. Still, in a similar way to the gravel Terreno Dry version, the grip is quite effective in the right conditions. The scale pattern on the central area gives good traction, especially on climbs for the rear tyre. I found in dry conditions, the tyres worked extremely well. Braking traction for the rear is reasonable but not remarkable, and on looser tracks, dry or wet some care is needed to avoid braking too hard, especially if you use the tyre on the front and back.
Vittoria Terreno - how it rides
The conditions on the ground will be the biggest factor in the tyre's performance, and it is designed almost purely for dry conditions. If the terrain and course are dry and without too many technical or loose corners, using the front and rear is possible. Still, it is far more suited to use on the rear, and the reason is down to the cornering adhesion available with side knobs that are too small to provide much traction. The Terreno is not designed for mud or wet weather, and on the few sections that I had to ride through, it did suffer; both traction and cornering is limited.
When used as designed, the performance is very clear, and the tyre delivers an incredibly smooth, fast ride with a speed that is easy to notice. The Terreno delivers a supple ride with plenty of feedback from the ground that helped to manage power and traction on the climbs and through the bends. While the traction is limited compared to a more aggressive tyre, you can at least feel as a drift begins and adjust to compensate.
While there is no specific puncture resistance layer, I was fortunate not to suffer any punctures while testing despite riding on rougher terrain. However, after testing had finished and after removing the tyre, several thorns were within the carcass, with the tubeless sealant obviously doing its job.
Value and verdict
Overall, the weight and grip are good, although they are not the lightest tyres available, with the Wolfpack Speed tyres tested last year dipping below 600g. The Wolfpack Speed also delivers a little more in terms of grip, especially cornering traction while still being a fast overall tyre. The Terrano is priced at £55, which doesn't make it a cheap tyre but compared to other high-performance race-orientated tyres. It is very competitive, especially when compared with Schwalbe's Racing Ray Evo Super Race at £60 and the Maxxis Ikon 3C EXO at £70.
Suppose the perfect combination of dry weather, dry trails and reasonably smooth trails come together. In that case, the Vittoria Terreno is a tyre that delivers impressive speed and more traction on the climbs than you might expect. It works best as a rear tyre, where cornering grip is less of a concern, and it can be an effective XC race tyre with the scale pattern delivering more traction than you would expect, although it will struggle in mud. On the front, care needs to be taken through the bends and loose corners, particularly a challenge with a tendency to drift. When everything does come together, and you want speed above all else, the Terreno delivers one of the fastest rides that you will find for a mountain bike with a supple carcass and superb feedback.