Review: Vittoria Peyote and Barzo tires

Speed and grip are optimized in this duo

29er Cross Country Tires
Close up of the Peyote and Barzo combo.

Close up of the Peyote and Barzo combo (click to enlarge).

The Lowdown: Vittoria Peyote and Barzo tires

The Geax brand has been around a long time with their popular tires including the Sagauro and a host other mountain tires. But the brand has been underserved and it never fully reached its potential with U.S. consumers. More important, the reputation of its parent company, Vittoria was never fully conveyed to consumers.

So this year, the Geax brand is being absorbed by the Vittoria brand and a whole line of new tires and wheels is being introduced to the public. There is a powerful R&D, marketing, and support behind it to give the brand a good shot in the U.S. market. After all, Vittoria is know for quality and rubber technology and this should translate well to the ever-changing world of mountain bike tires. We’ve been riding the Peyote and Barzo for several months and we can confirm they’re off to a good start.

Stat Box
Tread: Symmetrical with self-cleaning channels Peyote Size Tested: 27.5 x 2.25”
Siping: Grooved or dimpled knobs increase grip Peyote Weight: 570 grams
Qualities: Fast and good for cornering Barzo Size Options: 29″ x 2.25”
TPI: 120 Barzo Weight: 2.25” – 600g
Bead: Kevlar Rating: 4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4.5 Chilis-out-of-5

Pluses
Minuses
  • Very fast tires
  • New to the marketplace
  • More grip than traditional XC racing tires
  • Armor casing for pinch flats could be beefier
  • Lots of higher grip tire pairing options available
  • Fast tire wear due to higher grip compounds
  • Many size and casing options
  • Easily seals tubeless
  • Excellent grip for speed and weight
  • Extremely light

Full Review: Vittoria Peyote and Barzo Tires

These tires looked fast and seemed like they would be perfect for our local trails in the Santa Cruz mountains. But we found ourselves in the Palm Springs-area desert for several days with the Peyote in the back and the Barzo in front. Palm Springs has lots of sand, rock and cactus, along with big climbs and rowdy descents such as the Palm Canyon Epic.

Descending on the Peyote and Barzo on rocks and sands.

Descending on the Peyote and Barzo on rocks and sand (click to enlarge).

We haven’t ridden tires as light as these or with knobs as small as these so we were a little tentative to take them out in this technical terrain. The tires were 2.25” but they were ridiculously light at 570 grams and 610 grams for the Peyote and Barzo respectively.

On this run, you can see the technical terrain we took the Vittoria Peyote, Barzo and Goma through.

The ride started out with some big, steep climbs and these tires displayed their sweet spot right away. They were fast. In the sand and in the rocks, they displayed grip, too, as they were never the weak link on the steepest climbs.

Cornering with the Peyote on the rear and Goma on the front.

Cornering with the Peyote on the rear and Goma on the front (click to enlarge).

Then the descents started and although we had very little experience riding in sandy terrain, it was not a problem. These tires were predictable and they held their line well. It was actually pretty remarkable what these tires could do as we attacked sandy turns and rock gardens with confidence.

On a big ride the next day, we replaced the Barzo up front with a huge Goma 2.4 tire. Grip was actually quite similar but we felt more secure slamming through rocks. Such is the advantage of the Vittoria line, as they now have the Jafaki and Goma to pair up with these tires to tackle whatever trail is on hand.

Peyote and Goma combination.

Peyote and Goma combination (click to enlarge).

We took the tires home to the Santa Cruz forest and continued to be impressed. If only we raced cross country, these tires could really show off their sweet spot. But our Strava files show that these tires are fast on the ups and downs.

The only downside is we got a tubeless flat right on the tread on a rock hit that wasn’t very hard. It seems that these tires are well protected on the sidewalls but not right under the knobs. Also, after a couple months of riding, these tires are looking more worn than we’re used to seeing. That may be more because of the Palm desert riding. But for the amount of grip we’ve gotten out of these light tires, we’re satisfied.

For more information visit www.vittoria.com


About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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