As many of you may know I really love my Vittoria tyres. The positives outweigh any negatives in my book. I seem to fare well on them and they suit my riding style. I’m always up for trying new tyres so I fitted a set of the Fotezza Tri Comps to my bike.
Vredestein not only share the same Capital letter as Vittoria but also the fact that they are both made outside their original countries of origin. Both made the switch to the far east some years ago, and to be honest neither have really suffered from the change. The Fortezza looks very similar to the CX tyres,which for me is what all others are judged by.
Fitting them to the rim presents no major problems and compared to the Vittorias they are a little tighter, which just means that you might need to use a tyre lever to get the last bit on. The tread isn’t directional so you can’t really fit it the wrong way around. So to the ride.
Out of the box they have that slippy just out of the mould feel, so it takes a few miles to scrub that surface off. Once this surface has gone the grip in corners is unleashed. I always think that how a tyre takes a corner is one of the truest tests it can take. Straight line speed is a much of muchness, some are slightly quicker than others, but if it’s crap at hitting a turn with speed you will lose any benefits of any straight line speed that you may have gained. Weight of a tyre is often heralded as being really important, and to an extent this is true as it is rolling weight and it saves energy especially going uphill, but when the tyre becomes unreliable and a puncture problem you may end up wishing you’d had another 10-30g to evade the cyclists nemesis.
I have found the tyre to be really engaging and you get a lot of feedback through the tyres. Adjusting tyre pressure to suit road surfaces by as little as 10-20psi changes the comfort level of how they perform massively. I settled on 115psi front and back as this offered the best balance between comfort/speed which may seem high but you need to bear in mind that they can go up to 145psi (but check your rims first) which is very high on a clincher tyre. I have enjoyed the way that they corner offering a lot of grip when turning hard and fast into an apex. Climbing is great and is massively helped by the light weight, so no complaints there.
I decided to ride them at the Tour of Flanders in 2010, forgoing my favourite Vittoria Pave. I didn’t have any issues with the puncture proofness of the tyres as I’d not had any punctures at all, but I had some reservations due to the lack of volume compared to the Pavé. On paper it’s only a 1mm difference, but in practice it offers more cushioning and more comfort and traction over the pavé. Only once on the ride did I want my Pavés back on and that was when I climbed the Muur as I lost some traction on the steepest point. But on a positive note I had no puctures and my body was left fresh from the ride.
I’ve enjoyed the performance of the tyres so much that I’ve kept a set on one of my bikes. Overall the tyres feel quick in a straight line, turn on a sixpence and have proven to be great value for money. There’s a whole wealth of colours to choose from, which means if you’d like to add some pizazz to your machine you shouldn’t find too many problems. I’d really recomend them come Spring as they make a great all weather tyre, but if you want something for this time of the year check out Quatro TriComp as it’s been beefed up a bit and the diamond tread pattern on the outer edges adds some extra grip over slippy surfaces.