The gravel bike tire field has quickly become as wide as the conditions on which gravel bikes are ridden. On one end, there are tires for rough and rocky gravel rides, like the Specialized Rhombus. Then, there are tires that are a catch-all for most conditions, like the Maxxis Rambler. On the other end, there are tires like the Vittoria Terreno Dry, for when you’ve got naturally smooth dirt roads and hardpack trails and want to maintain all the speed you can.
About the Vittoria Terreno Dry gravel bike tire
Vittoria’s Terreno Dry is a tire for — you guessed it — dry conditions. Vittoria gave the tire a “fish scale”/low-profile knob design. The tire is made to roll fast but similar to a semi-slick mountain bike tire, the knobs get higher toward the side wall for cornering and braking.
Brushed one way, like a fish scale, the tires roll smooth, but the knobs “stand up” when they are pushed into corners for added grip.
Vittoria offers a ton of options for the Terreno dry. In a 700×38 for example, the size I tested, the tire comes in a Tubeless TLR, Tubeless TNT, Foldable, or Rigid Casing. The Tubeless TLR is Vittoria’s “lightest and fastest casing option” while the TNT beefs up the bead and sidewalls. The TLR is 450g in the 38c and the TNT adds 100g. These tires sell for $61, but there are other Foldable and Rigid options for less.
The 700c wheel size options are available in 31, 33, 35, 38, 45, 47, 50, and 54 widths, though many of them are only in certain casings. For 650b riders, they come only in a 47 width.
I’ve been riding the Vittoria Terreno Dry tires with the TLR casing in a handful of spring conditions this year. While I’ve been able to try some hefty gravel tires like the Rhombus, sometimes I need a tire I can spin up quickly, put a ton of miles on, and give me an edge when trying to keep up with friends.
Coming from the Rhombus, I was satisfied with how quickly these Terreno Drys roll. On smooth dirt, they grip well and let you get up to speed as fast as your capability allows.
Cornering can leave you in suspense for a brief moment as the tires find their edge. It does take some confidence in the tire and as a rider to know that when you lean the tire over, the side knobs are going to have your back, but they catch as expected in the proper conditions.
For the Terreno Dry, the scope of riding is pretty limited, so it takes some calculated planning when considering this tire. I found the limits of the tire pretty quickly on a gravel ride with some loose over hard conditions. On a lightly graveled dirt road that pitched down, I fishtailed almost immediately when I squeezed the brake. Cornering in loose-over-hard conditions requires even more trust.
Also as expected, these tires don’t handle mud well. The Terreno Drys quickly pack up and lose their composure in the mud. They shed fairly quickly again on dry dirt.
Pros and cons of the Vittoria Terreno Dry gravel tire
- Fast rolling gravel tire for specific conditions
- Relatively lightweight
- Fairly smooth transition to corner knobs
- Doesn’t take a lot of gravel to lose purchase or brake bite
The Vittoria Terreno Dry gravel bike tires are a great tire for speed over dry hardpack and gravel and occasional bits of loose rock if you’re on your toes.