Winter is coming, time to test some tyres.
I don’t do cyclocross racing, but my Genesis CdF is a cyclocross bike which I use for anything, except downhill MTB, which I think is fair.
The CdF has plenty of clearance in forks and stays so width was not an issue for my purposes. This is my go to bike for most rides I do, as it is a good all rounder.
The idea was to put these Vittoria Cross XN Pro on and see if they performed better compared to the Vittoria Corsa G+. Well really it was no comparison, as the Corsa G+ was a road tyre and the Cross XN Pro was a cyclocross tyre. To be a bit more specific these Cross XN Pro is more suited to gravel rides than full on British muddy paths.
The contruction of these tyres are high quality and they are fairly lightweight tyres too. The tread is more a series of small rigid spikes with blocks on the side of the tread run, presumably to help clear any mud it picks up.
I got the 700x31c width as I had Continental Cyclocross Race at 700x35c width before and found those to be rather tiring when used on the roads. So the 31mm width should be interesting to use on both the roads and off road.
The tyres fitted on very well and easily, they look like 28mm width. Meaning they look slimmer than expected and the tread is looking really good and useful.
During the winter I will try to test over many terrain and surfaces and see how they perform.
I went out to give a nice road test, did over 10 miles mainly on roads, in the morning to afternoon, riding around town and a little into the country lanes. On the road they performed well, gave good grip in the late Autumnal day with moisture on the road. Did a few bunny hops to see if the tyres would just slip away under me, but they didn’t notice anything.
The 31mm width was a joy to ride, definitely alot quicker than the 35mm I had on the Continentals, felt almost as quick as the 28mm Continental Gatorskins I used for a while previously.
I rode over some short country paths, gravel path these tyres were very reassuring, flicked stones off quickly, dug into the light gravel to gain traction, they were nice. On packed mud it was grippy too, but on wetter mud I was less assured with the amount of traction. But that could be me being overly cautious.
Overall, I like these tyres, I am sure there are better cyclocross tyres made for bigger purpose, but for my winter purpose, riding around town, occasional off road paths, long road rides, these Vittoria Cross XN Pro seems pretty perfect for these purpose. Will post later with more of testing.