Luckily for those of us with 29+ bikes, new tire offereings continue to trickle in. This year at FrostBike, Vittoria joined the 29+ club and unveiled a new 29×3.0 tire called the Bomboloni (Italian for filled doughnut). Vittoria? Mountain bike tires? Yep. Vittoria, the parent company of Geax, has decided to consolidate their MTB line under the Vittoria banner and eliminate the Geax name to avoid any confusion. A pair of these minty fresh 29+ tires* recently made its way to the Fat-Bike.com HQ and being the owner of a steed capable of running such a meaty tire, I offered up my services as TestPilot to give them a proper shakedown.
The fit and finish of the tire is top notch both inside and out. The casing is built around Vittoria’s TNT (Tube-No Tube) technology, which offers ease of tubeless setup and reinforced 120 TPI sidewalls for cut/abrasion resistance. The sidewalls are much more robust than the Surly Knard and are very similar to the Bontrager Chupacabra. Additionally, the rubber compound feels more supple/sticky than the Knard. Of course, since these are tubeless ready, the beads are well constructed and even – all the way around the tire.
Weight is a respectable 955 g/964 g, which is lighter than both the Knard and Maxxis Chronicle but heavier than the Chupacabra. Bead to bead measurement on the Bomboloni comes in at 172 mm (measured with the tire laid flat), which is approximately 10 mm narrower than the Knard, Chronicle, and Chupacabra. This results in the Bomboloni being slightly shorter than the aforementioned tires but not by much. Outside knob to knob measurement was 76 mm with the tire mounted tubeless at 15 psi on a Rabbit Hole. For reference, the Knard is 80 mm, Chupacabra 77 mm, and Chronicle 76 mm so the Bomboloni is about the same width (outside knob to outside knob) as other existing 29+ offerings.
The tread pattern, which is ramped and directional, is very similar to the Chupacabra with the Bomboloni having more closely spaced center knobs (so there are more of them) and edge knobs that are noticeably taller. There is also ample sipping on all of the tread (more than the Chupacabra). Compared to the Knard, the Bomboloni has a bit more squared off edge profile due to the larger and higher placed edge knobs (the Knard’s edge knobs are located so far down the sidewall that they are almost useless). The placement of these edge knobs, combined with the slightly narrower casing, make the Bomboloni less bulbous than the Knard.
Tubeless setup on my Rabbit Holes (1 wrap of Tyvek tape to seal the rim. 1 wrap of Gorilla tape to build up the bead seat area) could not have been easier. The tires immediately seated into place with a series of reassuring pops. Two scoops of sealant per tire immediately sealed things up with almost no sealant dance. There was absolutely zero sidewall or bead weeping. They have held strong since and have not lost any air. I couldn’t be more pleased with how easy these tires set up tubeless.
My time on the Bombolonis so far has consisted of gravel and they have been great. The lower profile center knobs make for a very fast rolling tire and the large edge knobs make for confident cornering. With spring trying to shake winter off its back in my part of the world, I hope to get these out on some dirt soon and report back later on their off road performance.
* Vittoria is also planning a 26×4.0 and 27.5×3.0 version of this tire.
For more info, visit Vittoria’s website at www.vittoria.com