Mountain Gear

Vittoria Mazza Graphene 2.0 MTB tire review

The Mazza takes the grip and durability of Vittoria's Martello, and offers a new tread design to tackle a wider variety of terrain.

Review Rating


Basics

Graphene 2.0 compound; distinct center tread for lower rolling resistance; progressive siping on knobs to help create more grip while cornering


Pros

Super grippy in corners without feeling like a collapsing sidewall; excellent grip in just about all conditons

Cons

None so far.


Our Thoughts

the Mazza shines in corners of all kinds: loose, loamy, and rocky. The progressive siping seems to work as advertised, allowing the side knobs to bite into the trail without feeling like a gobby mess of shifting rubber. The Mazza offers do-it-all capabilities and two different casings for trail and enduro riders. This is one excellent tire.


Size Reviewed

29 x 2.4

Price

$70

Brand

Vitoria


Last year I spent most of the summer riding Vittoria’s Martello tire and I declared that I had no intention of taking it off my bike. Well, I was wrong. I did take it off — to put on the Vittoria Mazza tire, an enduro/trail tire intended for mixed terrain. The aggressive tread pattern means business, and it sure looks intimidating. But don’t let that scare you from putting it on your trail bike. I did, and I regret nothing.

Related: 

Is the Mazza trail or enduro?

Yes. There are two different casings available for the Mazza, one for trail riders and one for enduro riders. The casing on the trail tire is a bit lighter, while the enduro casing is beefed up for big hits and rowdy terrain. Vittoria took a similar approach to the Martello tire, offering it in both casings to accommodate riders of varying gnar.

Vittoria Mazza

The Mazza, foreground, and the Agarro, background, make an ideal trail combo. Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com

That said, the tire’s tread remains the same between the trail and enduro versions, and the Mazza is a grippy one. And like the Martello, the Mazza features progressive siping on the knobs to allow flex in corners, thereby providing a grippy hooked-in feel while you’re cornering.

What’s the difference, then, between the Mazza and the Martello? The Martello is ideal for hardpack conditions and rocky trails, while the Mazza is made to excel in loose conditions and varied terrain. The two tires look fairly similar, though the Mazza looks a bit more aggressive and grippier. The Mazza’s side knobs extend slightly further outward than those on the Martellos, and the center tread on the Mazza is far more open than the Martello’s somewhat tightly-packed center knobs.

The Mazza’s ramped center tread features plenty of space between knobs, presumably to aid in mud-shedding and to make it roll more quickly. Cornering grip comes from the aggressive side knobs and the siping that allows those treads to really bite into the terrain.

And like the Martello tires, the Mazza tires also take advantage of Vittoria’s Graphene 2.0 compound. As I mentioned in my Martello review, Graphene is an allotrope (a different physical form) of carbon, and it basically fills in the gaps within the tire’s compound to create a stronger tire. Graphene 2.0 improves upon Vittoria’s initial Graphene compounds by pinpointing exactly where the graphene needs to be within the different materials in the compound, thereby improving rolling resistance, grip, and durability.

Testing the Mazza

siped side knobs

Progressive siping allows the treads to flex as they dig into corners. Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com

My home trails happen to be the perfect testing grounds for a tire that touts itself as a ‘varied terrain’ master. While the trails largely turn to loose dust by late summer, they can range from tacky to rocky, to loose and dusty, and back to tacky all within seconds on one trail. I rode the trail version of the Mazza tires at North Table Mountain and White Ranch Park, both of which offer plenty of loose rock and dust, with the occasional foray into shaded, almost-loamy sections.

I rode the Mazza as a front tire on my Revel Rascal, and out back I paired the Mazza with Vittoria’s Agarro tire. Going into testing, I was mostly curious how the Mazza would feel differently from the Martello, which I have been riding for months now (and which has become a favorite of mine since testing).

Vittoria Mazza

Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com

Ultimately, the two tires feel very similar, though the Mazza does seem to hook up a bit more confidently when the terrain gets really loose. Over rocky sections of trail, the two tires felt nearly indistinguishable and I would be happy to be riding either one. But as the summer wears on and the trails get dustier, I’m willing to bet the Mazza will show itself as the true champ for dry conditions.

I rode the Mazza on two different sets of carbon wheels over the course of my testing, and in both instances, the Mazza’s confident bite while cornering was noticeable. I was able to push harder into loose turns than I would have otherwise; in tackier conditions, the Mazza felt like pure velcro. I loved the Martellos for cornering stability; the Mazzas seem to take that grip a step further, which made it fun to test the cornering limits of the tire.

open tread design

The center tread helps lower rolling resistance while still offering plenty of grip for varied terrain conditions. Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com

While I’m sure that has a lot to do with the side knobs and the siping, I also think the sidewall plays a big part here. It’s not uncommon to find that some trail tires tend to collapse in on themselves in hard cornering, especially at lower tire pressures. This is, in fact, one of the main benefits of tire liners like Cushcore: The liner can help reinforce the sidewalls under load. That didn’t feel necessary with the Mazza; even the trail casing felt as though it held its structure well enough to allow the side knobs do to their jobs without deforming into a mushy, vague feel the harder I pushed.

After multiple rides, none of the treads seem to be showing major signs of wear, so despite the grippiness of the compound, the Mazzas do seem to be holding up exceptionally well. If that changes over time, I’ll be sure to update this review.

Verdict

Martello and Mazza

The Martello, left, has a tighter tread pattern pattern than the Mazza, right.  Both tires feature progressive siping, though in different formations. Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com

I swore I wouldn’t take the Martello off my trail bike, but perhaps I can eat a little bit of crow here. The Mazza seems to be ideal for the mostly-loose but occasionally-tacky conditions on the rocky trails here in Colorado. The performance differences the Martellos and the Mazzas are a subtle ones, and I would be absolutely happy rolling either one. The Martello’s tighter tread pattern makes it a better choice if mud won’t be entering the equation, and if you need extra grip on things like slickrock or harder trails.  If you intend to spend most of your time on hardpack trails — loamy or rocky — the Martello is probably your best bet for the additional center grip.

For everything else, the Mazza bites into just about everything, but in no way feels like a slow tire. The center tread with plenty of spacing between lugs keeps it rolling fast and allows for mud shedding, while the side knobs that extend further outward off the corners of the tire than the Martellos make for incredible cornering capabilities.  Either tire offers excellent traction, but for the constantly loose conditions here in Colorado, the Mazza seems like the best choice. I may even toss the Martello on the rear and the Mazza on the front to see how that combo works out. Regardless, adding the Mazza to Vittoria’s lineup makes for an impressive trail/enduro brand offering to counter its big-name competitors like Maxxis and Schwalbe.