VITTORIA VOYAGER HYPER TYRE
428g (700x35c as tested) £34.99 each
Vittoria Voyager Hyper Tyre is what you’d get if pedigree road and buxom touring rubber “Got it on”. Inheriting most of the pro series technology, it performs beautifully in most contexts but think traffic light grand-prix, not globetrotter.
It comes in three diameters; 32, 35 and 38 mm. According to my Vernier, our 35 mm were genuinely so, which is particularly helpful when clearances are at a premium. My fixed gear winter/trainer’s rear triangle is a prime example. Thankfully, I was able to shoe-horn the 35s in without tickling anything, though we’re talking tighter than a hipster’s trousers.
428g is pretty competitive. Kevlar beads and 120 TPI casings certainly help and they’ll fold nigh on pancake flat. However, this means they’re initially shapeless, requiring a “kneading dough” technique and tyre lever backup before seating properly. Given a hundred miles, they’d cultivated graceful curves and were effortlessly re/mounted by hand.
Being a premium model, the hyper are packed with puncture repelling technology. Soft 3d aramid compounds with “aqua flow” water dispersing channels are reinforced by a “double shielding” membrane.
Predictably there’s no dynamo track, though reflective sidewalls are very effective. In any case, these aren’t intended for Hammerite ’n’ P-clip town hacks, or beasts of burden.
The first hundred miles were ridden with a 60tpi favourite on the rear. I’d wanted a comparator and heard rumours the hyper were so-so in the wet. Maybe this strikes in their old age but no signs to date. When run at 65, 75 and their 90 PSI maximum; those supple compounds just hugged tighter.
Greasy backwaters littered with dung couldn’t fox them either, although I have succumbed to two flats. Both fifteen miles from home, caused by thorns embedded in slimy gloop. Otherwise, shards of glass have left some superficial slits and pock-marking but nothing more serious a year or so on.
Weaving through sedentary traffic, cones, around opening car doors etc is intoxicating and completely predictable-I’ve grounded a pedal long before they’ve threatened to lose traction at roundabouts.
At the other extreme, dry trail and towpath is doable, dropping pressures to 60 offered the best balance of traction and comfort. This technique is best on winter mornings when roads look clear but ice often lurks in shady sections. Over longer distances, their compliant nature makes a big difference to rider fatigue, gliding over the bumps, while a playful, engaging persona keeps the tempo and morale high.
A penny shy of £35 isn’t outlandish for this level of specification but ultimately, emphasis is on speed. Excellent choices for tarmac bound crossers, their 32mm counterparts look a good choice for Audax and where frame clearances are less generous. That said; beyond weekend touring we would opt for something beefier.