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The Vittoria Zaffiro Pro V Graphene 2.0 is a reasonably priced tyre that has good durability and puncture resistance, making it an eminently suitable option for a winter/training tyre. It isn't very fast rolling and feedback from the road surface is minimal, but it delivers all the grip you might expect.
The Zaffiro has seen a slight change for 2021, with a different tread pattern to the previous version we tested. There are now just a few central grooves around the radius, and some slight shoulder texture, the tyre taking some design cues from both the Rubino and Corsa tyres within the Vittoria range.
Tested in a 700x30 size, the tyre is also available in 25, 28 and 32mm widths (all 700C), all with the same tread design and casing, with a folding bead and for use with tubes, rather than tubeless or tubular.
Installation was simple: the tyre didn't feel overly tight or loose and fitted onto the rims and inflated with no stress. When installed on a rim with a 21mm internal diameter, the tyre inflated to measure 31mm, so with a rim closer to 18/19mm I would expect it to measure to its advertised size.
For this 30mm version the recommended pressure range is 58-100psi, which should suit all preferences.
The Zaffiro is designed primarily as a durable high-mileage tyre, and in testing it has proved to be exactly that. To date the tyres have been ridden over 1,250km through the worst months of winter and have no noticeable wear and haven't suffered any punctures. There might be an element of luck involved, but this updated version has a thicker rubber casing than the previous one, which should help ward off potential flats.
This does come at the expensive of ride quality, though, with the firm 26TPI (threads per inch) carcass giving little feedback. They're not the most comfortable tyres, although running them at the lower end of the recommended pressure range does improve the ride. If you prefer to run your tyres at higher pressures you'll likely find these rather uncompromising.
The tyres' lack of feedback made me a bit tentative at first when it came to testing grip, but actually the Zaffiros are pretty good; even on the steepest, greenest and loosest road surfaces they impressed, getting up climbs where I have previously slipped out on far more expensive options, which you might expect to have a softer, grippier compound.
I have tested the Zaffiros through some abysmal weather – rain, snow, and sub-zero temperatures – and more typical damp roads, and they have been consistent and reliable throughout, throwing up no surprises.
Comfort isn't a strong point, which is hardly surprising for a more budget tyre, but the hard casing does hinder your speed, feeling slow compared with a more performance-orientated tyre; when ridden back to back the difference is quite obvious.
They're not exactly light, either, our tyres weighing in at 376g and 387g, on account of the extra rubber presumably.
One thing that definitely appeals about the Zaffiros is the price – retailing at £24.99 and available at discounted prices if you search around. Even at full rrp the tyre sits well among its competition, such as the Schwalbe Durano Performance at £32.99 – a similarly designed high-distance tyre. The Michelin Lithion 3 is closer at £26.99, but that is only available in two sizes, 23 and 25mm. The Lithion is lighter than the equivalent Zaffiro, on paper at least, with the 25mm Lithion we tested at 264g against a claimed weight of 310g for the Zaffiro.
Goodyear's Eagle Sport doesn't just match the Zaffiro's price but beats it by £5, and Neil was impressed when he tested it in 2020. It is also lighter, with the 28mm Goodyear at 287g verses 340g claimed for the Zaffiro.
The updated Vittoria Zaffiro continues the line-up with an impressive display of durability and, so far at least, has proved faultless in terms of puncture resistance. It isn't particularly fast or responsive, but could be perfect for long-distance riders and for winter training.
Great high-mileage option for riders who want a reliable tyre
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Graphene 2.0 700x30 tyre
Size tested: 700x30
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Vittoria says: 'Modern-looking performance tyre
'The industry standard in performance training tyres is back with a refreshed design, and increased performance! The subtle center grooves and shoulder texture retain the secure feel of the Zaffiros of the past, while streamlining the look and feel for the future. The alternating slick profile and Graphene compound mimic the feel of the Zaffiro's higher-end siblings, while adding durability, and a more approachable price point.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Vittoria lists these features:
Extremely durable tyres for performance training
Graphene 2.0 compound and folding bead increase performance
Modern tread design for long useful life
Size ETRTO Tire Bead Material Color Weight Art. Cod.
700x25c 25-622 Foldable Nylon 26 TPI Black 310g 11A00294
700x28c 28-622 Foldable Nylon 26 TPI Black 340g 11A00295
700x30c 30-622 Foldable Nylon 26 TPI Black 385g 11A00296
700x32c 32-622 Foldable Nylon 26 TPI Black 395g 11A00297
Basic construction with single compound and low 26TPI nylon thread.
Although far from fast, and lacking in feel, the Zaffiros do deliver on what they're designed to achieve, with good puncture protection and durable construction.
Really good. Likely to last a long time regardless of road conditions.
Quite heavy compared with other training tyres.
At lower pressures the comfort is reasonable but not supple; at higher pressures it's going to be quite a firm ride.
Very cheap, even when compared with other lower-end training tyres.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Zaffiro is designed to be a training and high-mileage tyre, and lived up to this perfectly with no noticeable wear even after more than 1,000km.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
No punctures, no wear showing. Exactly what I want in the wettest, coldest months of the year.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not supple, and as a result the feedback and feel from the tyre is limited. While grip is absolutely fine, it took me some time to trust the tyre.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's very reasonably priced and cheaper than many competitors, such as Schwalbe's Durano Performance at £32.99 and Michelin's Lithion 3 at £26.99, but Goodyear's Eagle Sport is a fiver less at £20.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Vittoria has designed this tyre to be a durable, high-mileage option, and it delivers. It is lacking in feel, and comfort comes more from being run at low pressures than the construction, but considering they have been used on poor road surfaces in the worst winter weather without any issues, I think they have met their main goal well.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding
Matt is an endurance nut who loves big rides and big events. He's a former full-time racer and 24hr event specialist, but now is also happy riding off-road on gravel bikes or XC mountain bikes and exploring the mountains and hills of Mid Wales.