Today Vittoria is officially releasing the Mazza, a mountain bike tire the brand describes as an “enduro tire for mixed terrain.” I’ve been testing the Mazza on my local trails for the past couple of months, and here’s what I’ve learned about this new tire.
Vittoria offers the Mazza in 27.5 and 29″ diameters, 2.4 and 2.6-inch widths, and with either an enduro or lighter weight trail casing. I tested the 29er, trail version with a 2.6-inch-wide tire up front, and a 2.4 in the rear.
Like other tires in the Vittoria line, the Mazza utilizes four distinct rubber compounds in the tread. The softest compound is used on the outside of the side knobs for maximum grip, while a slightly longer-wearing (but still soft and grippy) compound is used on the center knobs. The side and center knobs each get a unique base compound that’s more firm to ensure a durable and stable foundation.
Mazza tires uses Graphene 2.0 as a rubber additive, which the brand says “interacts with rubber by filling the space in between the rubber molecules, which has been verified to increase all positive performance metrics.” The material is basically a carbon molecule that on its own is incredibly strong, yet lightweight.
I was able to mount the Vittoria Mazza tires without tubes using a basic floor pump. They fit tight and haven’t developed any leaks.
Looking at the tread pattern, the Mazza features large, thick knobs spaced fairly far apart. Like the Maxxis Minion, Vee Snap, and Teravail Kessel. Two distinct pairs of center treads alternate around the tire, while two pairs of side knobs repeat in similar fashion. The Mazza’s use of siping on each knob stands out among other similar tires, allowing each knob to flex and conform to the terrain in a specific way. On the side knobs in particular, Vittoria adds three sipes of varying lengths and widths.
The 2.6-inch 29er tire I tested weighs 1114g, while the 2.4-inch version weighs 141g less at 973g.
On the trail
I’ve been running the Mazzas on my hardtail in a variety of conditions. For starters, the tire feels stout, with firm sidewalls that don’t feel overly floppy at low pressures.
That stiff sidewall comes in handy when cornering, where the Mazza really excels. The side knobs hook up well in loose conditions, digging in tight and holding firm. I was quickly able to find consistent grip through turns without much of a learning curve.
On hardpack and even pavement the Mazza seems to roll easily enough. Surprisingly it’s not a very loud, buzzy tire. In wet conditions the tire clears well overall, with only the sipes and channels holding onto fine dirt. When braking the tire keeps its composure, standing ground and bringing the bike to a controlled stop.
I found the Mazza tires climb great, providing excellent grip even over tricky rocks and roots. The 2.4-inch width in the rear gives the tire a bit more bite, while the 2.6 up front allows the fork to float more.
Vittoria designed the Mazza to excel in mixed terrain, and I have to say it delivers. This is a tire I could run all season, or maybe even all year without feeling like I was missing much. Sure, there are probably extremes like a hard packed XC race course where I might want a lighter/faster rolling tire, or a fast, chunky descent where a burlier, knobbier tire could come in handy. But for riding — or even racing — in the middle, the Mazza seems like a solid choice.
If I had to come up with one criticism of this tire, it would be the gray sidewall. To be fair, it’s part of the Vittoria signature look, but to me it gives the tire a faded, two-piece look from the side.
The Vittoria Mazza is available for purchase for $69.99USD and €62.95.