Vittoria Randonneur 700x 32c Black Steel Bead Folding Road Bike Tire Review
Price Paid: $34 each including shipping/Ebay
Art. cod: 111.3R126.96.36.199TG
Carolyn’s 2010 Jamis Aurora (actually bought new in 2012) came with Vittoria Randonneur 700x 32c tires and they seemed fairly decent for an oem tire. They have a narrow smooth-rolling center and a gentle tread pattern to help channel away water. Carol used these tires on multiple self-supported tours as well as daily rides around town for the past year and a half. Routine tire pressures were around 90-100PSI even though they are rated at 60-80PSI. Carol seemed to like the ride quality better at higher pressure, and we regularly carry heavy loads.
Somewhere along our 2013 Ohio to Erie Trail tour, I began to notice a thin red stripe down the middle of Carol’s back tire (I generally follow her unless we are taking turns drafting in a headwind). Hmmm. Was that some sort of wear indicator?
Indeed it was! I did much searching about it, however, and found next to nothing, but it sure seemed an obvious sign that the tire was worn out. Carol began complaining about a “squirrelly” feeling, even riding in a straight line. And on that tour, she got two very rare flats. Up until that point, we couldn’t really recall her ever having one. The tires had approximately 2500-3000 miles on them. At this point it was clear that she needed new tires. I went looking.
(On the May 2012 tour we rode 800 miles without a single flat. Carol rode the rest of the season flat free. The first flat happened about 850 miles into the May 2013 tour. Carol)
For us, one of the most important things, if not THE most important, is flat resistance. My research indicated the Continental Gatorskin, a Schwalbe touring tire, and… the Vittoria Randonneur! I was surprised at how highly rated this tire consistently was, especially for its flat resistance.
I really wanted to get the Shwalbes, but I had spent enough time (days!) researching tires and Carol really needed them- NOW! Everytime we rode she felt like she had a flat, or in her words, like “I am riding on gummie bears!”
I pulled the trigger on the Randos, as they were already a known entity.
A few words about buying tires: Vittoria sells an unknowable variety of “Randonneur” tires. With a reflective stripe, without, plain Randonneur, Randonneur Pro, E-Randonneur, Randonneur Trail…. AAAGH! It was difficult at best for me to just find the exact same replacement tire. Not to mention that they are listed under URBAN tires on the website then under the sub category of Trekking, not Touring. A lot of other manufacturers are guilty of this too. Maybe it’s me, but it shouldn’t be that hard. One tire line, version A, B, or C.
I think it’s me;-P
Anyway, the tires showed up and were a cinch to install. The new tires, like the old tires went off and on the rim easier than most, at least in my experience. These are foldable tires and that may help account for that. Carolyn immediately noticed a HUGE improvement in stability and acceleration, especially in turns.
Grip: pretty darn good. 4.25/5 on everything but sand or deep gravel
Durability: 2500 miles under heavy use/loads. Could be better 3.5/5
Weight Capacity: Excellent 5/5
Flat resistance: Good to excellent 4.5/5
Ease of On/Off: Good! 4/5
Price: A pretty good value overall. 4/5
Total: 25.25/30 85% Rating
NOTE: As of 9/13 – Apparently, this EXACT tire is no longer in production by the Art. cod: 111.3R188.8.131.52TG. It appears that the nearest equivalent is now Art. cod: 111.3RP.20.32.111BX