The Morsa is a highly durable all-around tire that climbs well, and offers predictable traction going downhill.

The Morsa is a highly durable all-around tire that climbs well, and offers predictable traction going downhill (click to enlarge).​

Editor's Note: This article is courtesy of the team at Art's Cyclery and was written by Scotty Ender. The original post can be found here.

Lowdown: Vittoria Morsa G+ 29er Tire

Over the last two years, Vittoria's tire technology has progressed dramatically, led by the introduction of their Graphene rubber compound. This rubber, denoted by the G+ nomenclature, has received acclaim from cyclists across all platforms for its superb durability. Having already been impressed by Vittoria's pre-Graphene Barzo tire, we were excited to see how the more-aggressive tread and the supposed miracle compound worked together in the Morsa G+.

Size: 29x2.3"Sidewall: TNT all mountain
Weight: 927 gramsBead: Tubeless readyTPI: 120MSRP: $60
Casing width: 2.37" on 23mm internal rim widthRating:
4 Flamin' Chili Peppers
4 out of 5
Tread width: 2.27" on 23mm internal rim width
Stat Box
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[TR]


Pluses

Minuses
  • Durable tread
  • Not super light
  • Tubeless ready
  • Shallow knobs not great in loose-over-hard
  • Great traction
  • Predictable breakaway
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Climbs well
  • Easy tubeless set-up

Review: Vittoria Morsa G+ 29er Tire

Let's start with the basics. This tire weighs in a 927 grams. Is that heavy? That depends on who you ask, but my answer is "No." Since I live in San Luis Obispo, California, (where sharp rocks abound) and since my riding is typically gravity-oriented, I tend to shoot for tires in the 800-1000 gram range.


Vittoria's Morsa tire punches perfectly in its weight class. The TNT reinforced casing and extra width add some grams, but also provide noticeable support, durability, and traction.

During testing, I punctured the front tire near the center tread. The hole immediately self-healed thanks to tubeless sealant in the tire, and a post-ride session with the needle, glue, and scissors of a tubeless repair kit fixed it right up-but puncturing was a bummer nonetheless. After fixing that hole, I enjoyed hassle-free traction from there on out.

While running the Morsa both front and rear for 320+ miles, I had no issues with cornering knobs ripping or cutting, and the tires performed flawlessly (with the exception of that one unfortunate puncture).

Continue to page 2 for more of our Vittoria Morsa G+ 29er tire review »


With an open transition zone between the center and side knobs, the Morsa is designed to break free predictably before finding the cornering knobs and hooking up again. Photo courtesy of Art's Cyclery

With an open transition zone between the center and side knobs, the Morsa is designed to break free predictably before finding the cornering knobs and hooking up again (click to enlarge). Photo courtesy of Art's Cyclery​

Vittoria's Graphene compound also did not disappoint, as the Morsa offered predictable handling and traction on all of my rides. With an open transition zone between the center and side knobs, the Morsa is designed to break free predictably before finding the cornering knobs and hooking up again.

It always let me know exactly what it was doing throughout its lean, and never left me wondering if and when it would hook up-it always did. Control-wise, these tires shined. Angled siping on the cornering knobs and directional center tread allowed the knobs to work wonders in keeping me pointed exactly where I wanted to go. The Morsa G+ made an especially confidence-inspiring rear tire.

Despite the semi-shallow center tread, the Morsa had good traction in loose climbs. That same tread also contributed to fast climbing (for a big tire) on hardpack thanks to the inherently lower rolling resistance.

The knobs, both shoulder and center, are not as chunky as most other tires sharing this tread design, and as a result, the Morsa lost a little bit in loose-over-hardpack and loose rock conditions. Photo courtesy of Art's Cyclery

The knobs, both shoulder and center, are not as chunky as most other tires sharing this tread design, and as a result, the Morsa lost a little bit in loose-over-hardpack and loose rock conditions (click to enlarge). Photo courtesy of Art's Cyclery​

The knobs, both shoulder and center, are not as chunky as most other tires sharing this tread design, and as a result, the Morsa lost a little bit in loose-over-hardpack and loose rock conditions. Climbing, of course, is where you realize the benefits of the shallower knobs, as the Morsa is a notable ascender for its class.

In loam or soft to semi-soft dirt, the Morsa shredded, its predictable drift inspiring some serious grins while I was throwing my bike into the turns.

Bottom line, Vittoria's Morsa G+ tire is surprisingly versatile. Not only is the directional tread very predictable, the TNT beads seated easily, while the reinforced casing really pulled its weight in helping avoid flats and deep cuts in the sharp stuff. In terms of traction in the loosest conditions, though, I was left wanting more rubber in the knobs to dig through the scree. Climbing, even in the loose stuff, was never a problem, and traction soft and semi-soft dirt was superb.

For more info visit www.artscyclery.com.