The tyre-maker TUFO, founded in 1991, is highly regarded within the cyclo-cross community. TUFO’s victories are numerous. TUFO don’t just make CX tyres though, they have a wide portfolio of tyres for different disciplines.
I used the XC11 TR both at races as well as training rides. The embedded VECTRAN PUNCTURE BARRIER is supposed to be tough enough to give me more than a normal puncture protection, not only under the tread but more importantly the sidewalls – the most fragile part of the tyre. The first welcome surprise was that I mounted the tyres tubeless using a floor pump only.
The first 200 km were ridden without sealant. Only the front tyre needed to be pumped up occasionally, otherwise there was no leaking to be noticed. Obviously once I was riding them in competition, I filled them with Orange sealant. Under those conditions I didn’t want to provoke a sidewall rip on purpose. But there were plenty of occasions of “but-now-it-is-over” moments while hammering through sharp rocks.
Admittedly, the sidewall showed some markings and I had to double-check they were okay. The XC11 TR endured plenty of punctures, but courtesy of the Orange sealant and the robust sidewalls the tyre held the air on all occasions, despite visible spots of the Orange sealant coming out. But I had to be patient to experience the first side cut. The approx. 4mm big cut deflated the tyre almost completely, albeit slowly. However, I managed to remedy the situation. Or I should say the Orange sealant did it for me. It is hard to say how big the contribution of the VECTRAN PUNCTURE BARRIER was. I guess it’s been the blend of both. Granted, the cut was caused by a sharp steel pleat lying around somewhere on the track. There is no rubber out there that could prevent this damage.
Given the embedded VECTRAN PUNCTURE BARRIER I didn’t expect the XC11 TR to be supple enough. But that wasn’t the case. So, I consider them decently supple despite the added imbedded protection.
The tyre wear is on par with the market leaders. Meaning the mileage is fairly high. More abrasion is to be noticed when riding on pave and concrete roads. The XC11 TR’s forte comes to light on hard packs and small gravely roads, mostly under dry conditions. There its high speed advantage can be leveraged to the fullest. Only 2 occasions did I test it under rainy and muddy conditions. Although the XC11 TR wasn’t designed to deal with deep mud and slippery rocks and ruts its self-cleaning abilities are commendable
The tyre runs smoothly and silently on paved roads and hard pack tracks where speed is in high demand. For anything else TUFO has you covered with a plethora of other dedicated tyres to be found in its portfolio. VECTRAN PUNCTURE BARRIER lived up to its promise. Regardless of the above mentioned side wall cut which was out of ordinary the VECTRAN PUNCTURE BARRIER is sturdy enough to withstand bigger cuts too.
In case you are an ambitious racer or like a fast tyre for use on dry hard packed terrain, you are well served by TUFO’s XC11 TR.
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