Editor's Note: This sponsored content is courtesy of Vittoria.

Tires have a legacy with riders and it takes years, even decades for someone to switch. Heck, a lot of people are still emotional about their old Panaracer Fire XC or Kenda Nevegals. Mountain bikers get attached to these legendary tires and it's not easy to move on to new ones.

But there is a disturbance in the force, as a new name has been emerging as a legitimate contender. Vittoria has all the materials and technology with their experience and infrastructure in road tires. And in the past few years, they have quietly improved their product, outreach, and athlete support to give mountain bikers a viable, legitimate new option.

Listen to these top riders explain why they switched to Vittoria.

The skeptic in us will retort that, "They switched because someone else is sponsoring them." But listen closely to their words and you hear insightful and genuine responses. Choosing tires is a big deal and racers at the top level of the sport cannot simply choose a brand that's paying the most. Not if they want to win, anyway.

For a deeper understanding of the Vittoria story, we turn to U.S.-based VP of Marketing and Product Ken Avery to find out how they've been getting athletes and consumers to switch to Vittoria.

"The quick answer is that we are in a constant evolution to better our product, with the end goal to provide the top performance, without the typical set-backs," explains Avery. "We call this the 'no compromise' approach."

Teal Stetson-Lee

Pro XC, enduro, and 'cross racer Teal Stetson-Lee doesn't take her tire choices lightly.​

As an example, Avery points to the fact that most soft-compound race tires roll slowly and wear quickly. "That's why Vittoria pioneered the use of Graphene compounds to solve this," he adds. "Now these compounds roll faster, and wear longer, yet still provide World Championship winning performance."

For more info, head over to www.vittoria.com.