VITTORIA STREET RUNNER TYRES
26x1.6 620g £17.99 each
Available in 1.2 or 1.6 inch, Vittoria Street Runner are fast rolling slicks for asphalt - going mountain bike/derivatives. Ours were the broader section, which actually measured 1.53 inches when checked with a digital Vernier. This is pretty academic in performance terms, though significant when accurately calibrating bar mounted computers.
They proved a surprisingly tight fit with fairly standard Mavic rims; not the most difficult pairing by any means but wrestling the final 30% home still required the combined efforts of crank brothers’ speedier lever, two standard resin types and nimble digits. This has improved over time, although I’ve still needed a single lever to coax the last bit aboard.
Detailing is something of a mixed bag too. Following the hard centre-strip and soft shoulder narrative, their surprisingly coarse 26tpi casings are fairly minimalist. No dynamo track or reflective sidewalls here. Thankfully, Kevlar belts redeem this slightly low-rent flavour.
On the plus side, the street runner delivers an extremely swift, compliant ride over smooth and neglected roads alike when run between 50 and 75psi. Narrower semi/slick rubber usually dictates a more closely spaced cassette.
Even with a 12-21, I spent proportionally more on the big ring and found it noticeably easier to keep pace with, and surprise a few riders on light tourers, Audax and training bikes. This theme continued through town, accelerating away from danger, or just stealing a march at the lights.
Their shallow tread pattern initially struck me as decorative/psychologically reassuring but seems to have some practical merit, judging by their wet weather performance, which encouraged spirited cornering/descending; 30mph with trailer en tow anyone?
Percy pot hole and friends were easily bunny-hopped without incident, although unavoidable encounters with ramps and other hazards weren’t unduly harsh. Raised ironworks, cellar doors and similar surfaces were a bit tricky, especially after fresh rains and/or contaminated with oil/diesel but well within acceptable limits.
Extended meanders along open roads and country lanes littered with slimy dung haven’t blunted their charms. Off road potential is limited to dry towpath cut-throughs- run them at 60psi if these feature in your commute. Long term use, through milder but mucky winters has seen two very sharp thorns and a similarly aggressive flint infiltrate the centre strip.
Having filled the cut with a generous slathering of superglue, I’ve had no problems 2,000 miles later. Brushing down and inspecting the casings following particularly wet, gritty rides is good practice. Ultimately, £17.99 isn’t much for a tyre and if you’re on a tight budget and want a rugged tyre, the street runners are well worth a closer look.
AND THE VITTORIA VOYAGER ...