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The Vittoria Urbano tyres come in a large range of sizes and are as tough as old boots. The ride quality is good, as is the rolling resistance for a tyre of this ilk, though they are a bit on the portly side and it's a bit of a chore to get them up to speed.
At 1,030g each (size 38mm), which is nearly 100g heavier than Vittoria claims, the Urbanos are heavier than most by quite a margin. For instance, the Goodyear Transit Tour S5 tyre I tested a couple of years back is just 610g. Admittedly that's for a 35mm width, but I can't see 3mm adding over 400g!
This makes the Urbanos feel sluggish when getting them up to speed. I'm not suggesting that these should perform like a lightweight race tyre, but 2kg of rubber can become a bit of a chore especially in an urban environment with lots of stopping and starting.
Once they are spinning, though, things are much better. Rolling resistance is pretty good and the rubber compound feels softer than that used on some of tyres of this type.
Grip levels are confidence-inspiring in the wet and the dry. Like many tyre brands, Vittoria says that the tread pattern increases wet weather performance, but it doesn't. You are never going to aquaplane at cycling speeds, so you're generally better off with a slick tread as there will be more rubber in contact with the road. If your route does take you away from the road and onto canal paths or gravel byways, it might help a bit, though.
The Urbanos gave me no issues at all on the puncture front. Vittoria doesn't mention any specific protection used in the construction, and slicing the tyre open to see what's going on inside shows an overall thickness from the top of the tread to the bottom of the carcass to be around 5.5mm.
Under the outer tread there is a pliable red breaker layer which covers the section of tyre that will see contact with the road, but nothing protecting the sidewalls.
The construction is finished off with a steel bead for mounting.
I fitted the Urbanos to a set of wheels with a 21mm internal width and it took a little bit of tyre lever action to get the bead over the rim. Not a major issue, though, and I'd be confident that I'd be able to repair a puncture at the side of the road.
Durability is key on a tyre like this; I've had them for a couple of months and while I have only covered about 250mm miles of urban riding they still look brand new, with the little 'spikes' from being removed from the mould yet to wear off, which gives a good indication of their durability.
One highlight is the reflective band which runs around the sidewall. It works very well, really bouncing the light back and should make you noticeable to drivers at junctions and roundabouts.
The Duranos are available in sizes from 28mm up to 45mm in 700C size, 1.75in in 26in, and 1.75in for 27.5in wheels.
All sizes are priced at £29.99, which is a bit cheaper than those Goodyear Transit Tours I mentioned earlier, which are now £33.
Kenda's Kwick Journey KS Plus tyre is similar in design and was £30 when we tested it in 2020. It now costs £25, but don't get excited as it doesn't look as though stock is going to be available until October.
Overall, these Urbanos aren't the lightest tyres available, but once you get moving they roll well enough, offer good durability and should help get you seen in the dark.
Good rolling resistance considering their weight, and will take all sorts of abuse
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vittoria Urbano Tyres
Size tested: 700x38c
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, "The Urbano blends time-proven tread design concepts with a modern elegance, enhancing both performance and style. The timeless v-groove increases grip when leaned, while improving wet weather performance, and reducing rolling resistance. Designed for longevity, Urbano provides dependability for the long haul. Offered in a range of widths, there is sure to be an Urbano that is right for you."
Weighty and a bit sluggish, but hugely reliable and offer a good ride quality.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Interlocking groove pattern
Designed for long life and dependability
Modern urban style
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Reliable tyres for running around town, with good rolling resistance considering their weight.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Reflective sidewalls are very noticable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are similarly priced to the Kenda Kwick Journey KS Plus and a bit cheaper than the Goodyear Transit Tour S5.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, mostly for the durability.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Heavier than most, but they ride surprisingly well and durability is great.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!