Nanographyte – Vittoria’s Wonder Material
Vittoria claims that Nanographyte is the answer to ending leaky latex and producing reliable tuebless bicycle tyres.
Vittoria has opened a new factory in Thailand where it will produce tyres and tubes utilising a new wonder material called Nanographyte.
Nanographyte was developed by a company called Directa Plus and is composed primarily of ultra-fine particles (97.5% carbon) that can be used as a coating and will allow Vittoria to produce air tight latex inner tubes and new tyre compounds with improved air-tightness, lower rolling resistance and better grip.
As we all know latex inner tubes are great. They are lighter than a normal butyl tube and have the ability to stretch up to 7 times their original length; standard butyl tubes will only stretch 1.5 times. This ‘stretchiness’ also allows them to resist punctures by stretching around whatever is trying to pierce your tube.
They are, however, porous, leaking air slowly so you will have to top up before every ride and the nature of latex manufacture means they aren’t of a consistent thickness, which can make them susceptible to abrasion.
An old trick when installing latex tubes is to lay your rim tape, which is cotton, of course, over the valve hole in your rims. Then pierce the hole, this avoids the tube coming into contact with the sharp edge of the valve hole. And never inflate them outside of the tyre, that inconsistent thickness could lead to an unexpected blow-out.
To combat the problem of air-loss, you can get latex tubes with a butyl coating, solving the problem but adding a little weight. The new Nanographyte coating will not only make the new tubes 100% airtight, they will also reduce the weight down to a claimed 30g. Good news all round.
Vittoria aim to introduce some key products with the new Nanographyte material in mid-2014 for the 2015 season.
As well as aiming to use Nanographyte in it’s top line tyres, CEO Rudi Campagne said, “It could even be possible to bring all bicycle tyres to tubeless levels, as Nanographyte is the much needed breakthrough in bicycle tyres.” With Vittoria’s excellent casings combined with Nanographyte coatings, tubeless tyres could be about to take a big step up in quality.
Vittoria have also produced a clever phone app that will allow you to set the ideal tyre pressure.
Here’s a Vittoria promotional video featuring a couple of Italian legends.