2021 XC Race Tire Thread

Which version of the Vittoria are you running?

Sorry, XC/Trail casing

I feel the Barzo is overkill. I use 2.35 Mezcal F/R and for the Midwest it’s plenty of grip as long as your tire pressure is low enough (17-18 front and 18-19 rear , +/-). I use this from dry and loose, sandy and wet with roots. Love these tires!

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You’re probably right about that. I have more than enough get on the front with the Barzo and could use some more straight line speed as I tend to pull away from those around me in twisty technical sections, but don’t quite have the horsepower for the pedaly bits yet.

I think I’m out of touch with Vittoria. I didn’t even realize they had come out with a version 3! I’m definitely on some G2.0s. Admittedly I get bored with one set of tires and want to try something new just to see what all is out there. Ideally I suppose I would buy 6 or 8 and ride them back to back, select my favorites and sell the rest, but that’s expensive, so I’m working through the xc category slowly and hadn’t even looked at vittoria this year.

Is the race casing really that much faster than the trail casing? I always just hear about minimal weight differences and didn’t think it would affect speed that much.

I don’t think they have a G3. Their website still only mentions G2.0.

You are right, I had my numbers mixed up. It’s that its the Mezcal III (3) G2.0. Third version of the Mezcal but 2nd iteration of the graphene.

Deleted the previous post.

The Race casing is faster and wears faster than the trail casing, along with being lighter.

Btw, from Vittoria’s website:

Enjoy 20% Off W/ Code & Free Shipping:


I was running Mezcal 2.25 front and back here in Northern Nevada, but found a mezcal in the front made for weak corning. I switched it out for a 2.25 barzo and never looked back. I thought this was a winning combo, but I have gotten 6-7 sidewall tears on the mezcal over the past year, so they don’t hold up well for me. If they didnt keep ripping, I would keep running this combination. I was running the TNT casing. I am going to start testing a Kenda Regolith front and Booster rear here really soon, both in the 2.4 flavors.

I keep reading older posts about the Barzo running relatively narrow, i.e. the 2.35" is actually more like a 2.25" in other brands. Is this still the case with recent production batches? I’m planning to replace 2.25" Pacestar Nobby Nics with the Barzo, but I’m not sure which size to go for. If the 2.35" runs true, it might rub my frame, but if it is undersized in terms of width, the 2.25" might be too narrow for me (and in that case, the 2.35" would probably fit fine in the rear too). My Nobby Nics measure just over 56mm on a 22.5 mm internal rim (so pretty much true to ETRTO size), which is kind of in between the listed ETRTO widths for the Barzos.

I hope not! I’ve just ordered a set of 2.6 Vittoria’s for a winter race reconnaissance weekend in a few months. I’d be a bit disappointed if that were the case.

Interested to hear from other purchasers. I’ll report back when mine arrive.

Looked through the posts here and I don’t see this question addressed. I currently have a set of Schwalbe Ray/Ralph in both the Ground and Race performance levels, running with PTN inserts on the Ground set and Tubolight inserts on the Race set.

My question for those of you with more experience…do you run your race tire/insert setup for training? I can see pro’s and con’s to both - switching to a different tire compound/build, even if it is the same tread pattern, for a race seems like a bad idea; benefit also would be getting used to the required line choice for your race tires (vs banging into everything with a tougher tire in training), but durability concerns do come into play for the lighter/race construction.

Thoughts? Thanks!

Depending on the race and course conditions I swap between 2.25 Ikons and Aspens. For Leadville (I know not considered a XC) 2.25 Rocket Ron F/R. No inserts… yet…

I run the same setup for race and training. I want to know exactly how the tire will perform in all conditions, pressures and speeds. Hard to dial that in if you’re constantly swapping out setups. Plus tires ware in so a new tire that gets little use (races) may feel/perform differently than your everyday tire.


Knowing how your setup runs and feels is so important! Well said.

Awesome, appreciate your response!

Not sure how XC this is but I’ve got a few rides with my Bontrager XR3 in the back of my FUEL EX. Seems to move notably faster than the old XR4 for the same effort. I know the XR3 is more of an in-between tire (center tread of XR2, side knobs of XR4) but could make a good front tire for more aggressive XC potentially paired with a lighter duty rear like an XR2.

Honestly, if its the same tread pattern, I run a longer wearing tread in training.

I do so many miles on the road in between trail systems that I’d go broke running softer race casings for training.

Is it ideal? No.

But it’s not my job, I’m not sponsored, and running race compounds wear nearly twice as fast for me :money_mouth_face:

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Good perspective, thanks!

I also love that mental gain from new rubber. I put my race tyres on just before race day.