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Vittoria Open Pave CG tyre



Superb traction and performance but high wear rate is a downside

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Is there any tyre more iconic than the Vittoria Pave CG? The green sidewall has been a common sight on bikes at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix for many years. The tyre is held in high regard and there's a very good reason for that: it's beautifully supple with fantastic grip, impressive cushioning and low rolling resistance, making it ideal whether you're tackling the cobblestones of northern France and Belgium, or gritty and damp British roads. It's an expensive investment and longevity isn't great, but the positives easily outweigh the negatives.

The tyre is available in a tubular - favoured by the pros - or open clincher version and, new this year, an all-black colour option. The Open Pave CG comes in two sizes: 25mm (tested here) and 27mm.

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It's constructed with a 320TPI casing - that means there are 320 threads per inch - with a core spun technique, which involves twisting cotton fibre around a central filament core. Vittoria's ISOgrip compound, with the trademark herringbone tread pattern, is laid over the top of this carcass, with a puncture breaker laid between.

The tyre provides astonishing levels of grip, offering dependable traction in the wet and dry. It's in poor conditions that the tyre really excels, though, and provides a level of confidence that few other tyres can match. When it's wet and slippery, this tyre lets you push on at speed. It feels secure and reliable on the cobbles when I've ridden Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, and it's equally adept at tackling my local roads – which give Belgian roads a run for their money in places. Its performance on muddy, greasy or dirty roads is good enough that you don't really need to hold back from charging.

It's a wonderful tyre to ride. It has a high level of flexibility and that allows the tyre to deform, providing a level of suppleness that few tyres can match. The tyre feel amazing when tackling rough surfaced descents and it's great through the corners – you can really lean on the tyre, and that makes it a good racing choice with the higher cornering speeds typically involved.

There's no doubt it's a fast tyre – when compared with others, it feels supremely quick with low rolling resistance – but rather than being the fastest outright, instead it gives a really good all-round balance of grip and speed. The flexibility of the carcass means there's plenty of cushioning as well, helping to iron out rough roads and providing a smoother ride on any wheelset or bike it's fitted to.

Check out our buyer's guide to road tyres here 

Puncture resistance is good, if not startling. Vittoria uses a PRB 2.0 breaker and the tyre does withstand punctures well, but it's not as impervious to flats as some tyres like Michelin's Pro4 to pick one example. Glass and flint, in particular, have occasionally been able to cut through the tyre and leave a mark - the test tyres have a few scars from where large objects have penetrated the carcass, but it's within acceptable limits.

If you're wondering what pressure I ran them at, I opted for about 80-85psi for my 67kg weight, varying it depending on conditions. The bigger tyre volume certainly adds to the comfort, and the lower pressures eke out more traction.

The wear rate is high – it won't last as long as many other tyres. This means that unless you can justify the price you're probably not going to want to ride them every day unless you're happy to continually replace them. That's a shame because the grip and comfort they provide makes them well suited to winter riding, when the roads are covered in crap.

If you can live with the high wear rate, though, and the fact that there are more puncture resistant choices, these are a brilliant tyre for tackling bad roads and conditions with outstanding performance.


Superb traction and performance but high wear rate is a downside test report

Make and model: Vittoria Open Pavé CG

Size tested: 25mm, black

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The clincher version of the Pavé CG tubular is hand-made and provides excellent grip and performance, thanks to the 'open tubular' construction. It's a tyre well suited for Autumn/Winter riding both in wet and dry conditions.

The family of cotton tyres benefits from casing with 320 TPI (threads-per-inch) that's one of a kind in terms of flexibility and lightness, from a tread that's the result of millions of km in races around the world and from new, even better performance lightweight puncture protection, offering 40% better than ever before.

The full range of cotton tyres features the new ISOgrip compound for yet more grip and safety. Vittoria has a long tradition of success: its tubulars and treads have won the greatest number of races in history.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Open Clincher only

TPI: 320

Use: Extreme conditions

Weight: varies from 240g - 280g

Compound: Isogrip

Series: Pro

Rate the product for quality of construction:

High quality construction with 320TPI thread count but could do with better puncture protection.

Rate the product for performance:

Best in class performance for riding the cobbles or wet British roads.

Rate the product for durability:

The wear rate is quite high and they're not the best at resisting punctures.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

Reasonably light at 240g for a 25mm width.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Super cushioning and suppleness makes them brilliantly comfortable.

Rate the product for value:

They're expensive, yes, but they offer a lot of performance for that price. And they are handmade.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Despite the high wear rate and susceptibility to thorns and glass, the traction these tyres offer makes them ideal for riding in the winter on roads covered in mud and water, plus the cushioning makes them very comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Lovely road feel from the flexible carcass and high grip levels.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

High wear rate and price tag is a deterrent.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Top level performance but high wear rate and puncture resistance prevents them from scoring more highly.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking


David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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Kevin TR | 8 years ago

I've run the 27s on 23mm rims for the last 9 months on my winter/night bike (only weekends and the odd weekday) and they're now in the bin.
Yes, they're fast, well planted and reassuringly grippy especially in the wet. I found them a harsh ride on my 853 steelie and the rear was wearing at a frightening rate ... but as a Michelin Pro-race fan that's not an issue.

They're in the bin because their p*ncture protection was truly dreadful as soon as the roads got wet. They cut-up badly (worst than my Pro Race) and resistance to flints was atrocious. After 4 flint induced p*nctures between Oxford and Henley en-route to London a few weeks back, they're toast.
I've subsequently fitted Conti 4 Seasons (first time I've tried them) and whilst they don't feel so sure footed, they're fast enough, more comfortable and much less cut-prone or p*ncture prone over the same roads in the same conditions.

I bought the Open Pave with great anticipation of being good winter tyres and for me they've been an expensive disaster.

Bassett replied to Kevin TR | 8 years ago

I do not find the grip in the wet anywhere near as good as most here I find gp4seasons ,gp4000s and pro 4s much better on my simple test on a local 25% incline they are though a nice supple ride and I don't find they are puncture prone anymore than anything else , I have also used the tubular sin 24mm and they are a lovely ride but I can get the rear to spin up when climbing steap stuff in the damp or wet.

hampstead_bandit | 8 years ago

I know I should have not commented yesterday!

did NW London to brighton today, and got my first puncture on the rear of this tire, nasty piece of sharp flint stuck straight out the tire top, somewhere near Gatwick

Looked the tire over, several other cuts with no debris, tire itself seems to be wearing well though

hampstead_bandit | 8 years ago

currently riding this tire after years of Conti GP4000 and 4-seasons

very impressed with the rolling speed and grip, and so far a few weeks in, durability and wear is good. come up just over 27mm width on my Defy Advanced Pro's disc rims (compared to GP4000II 28mm which was massive 31mm on same rim)

Had the S-Works Turbo "new" 26mm tires that Nadsta commented on, absolutely loved those tires but operating life was less than 6 weeks both tires completely shot with rear cut up / squared off and front thoroughly torn (peppered) from heavy front braking. Can see why they really said "race only".

jackdrew11 | 8 years ago

Rode the 27mm of these for Paris-Roubaix this year, no punctures for me or any of the three guys riding with the same that I know.

Commute daily through London and had one puncture since April.

Feel as they have bags of grip in all conditions

nadsta | 8 years ago

Run these as 24s then 25s on best bike through all seasons for 3 years. Rarely puncture at all. Only the 26mm new spesh turbo race clincher is their equal in my experience.

Maggers | 8 years ago

Great rolling resistance and grip etc. May just be unlucky but two punctures within a couple of hundred miles of commuting caused by some pretty small and innocuous bits of rubbish on the road.

Metjas | 8 years ago

used the 27mm version for 4 winter months, around 2500-3000km and while a great tyre in terms of grip and comfort, I got many punctures from grit and they do get cut up very easily; in my book not what you want from a winter tyre - should have kept them for summer!

madbaker | 8 years ago

Confidence inspiring in the wet, rear squared off after 1500 miles but we'll worth it for the levels of grip and comfort.

tom_w | 8 years ago

Love mine. Used to use them just for extra grip in the winter (and for Flanders), but after having three GP4000s get cut straight through (and having to bin them) I've switched to the Open Paves for all year round now. I'm on the 27's, they work really nicely on a 23mm wide rim.

fukawitribe replied to tom_w | 8 years ago
tom_w wrote:

Love mine. Used to use them just for extra grip in the winter (and for Flanders), but after having three GP4000s get cut straight through (and having to bin them) I've switched to the Open Paves for all year round now. I'm on the 27's, they work really nicely on a 23mm wide rim.

Hi Tom, mind if I ask what width the 27mm tyres come up at on the 23mm rims ? I was looking at maybe getting some when the 25s wear out (on 23mm external 622x17 rims), but don't have that much space to play with.

twoshots | 8 years ago

I tend to use two rears to each front but I'm relatively heavy. I got 2500km per rear and changed only as a precaution as they looked quite cut up (and they do cut up more than other tyres). Experience has shown me that they look worse than they are. I've tried Conti's and Vredstein but always buy these when I see them close to £30.

fukawitribe | 8 years ago

About 2,500 km on the front and the centre tread starting to go a little but still noticeable. Back centre tread was flattened by turbo stupidity one day so difficult to say what it would have faired otherwise. Side treads pretty much pristine with little cut-up (i'm pleasantly surprised at that as they do go off-tarmac a fair bit).

crikey | 8 years ago

1500 - 2000 miles killed mine, and I swapped front and rear when the rear got squared off.
Lovely lovely tyres, but they wear out relatively quickly.

Ogi | 8 years ago

can any of the guys comment the actual miles/kms that they did with this tyre before it was gone?

Yemble replied to Ogi | 8 years ago

I got about 3000 miles on my 24mm paves, including rotating front-back when the rear wore down some. They're still ridable, just a bit cut up now.

The fine tread pattern in the centre gets worn off fairly quickly - I don't consider that to be significant. Really nice tyres.

jslokoski replied to Ogi | 8 years ago

I'm on about 1500-1600km on my 25s since beginning of June (about half of it commuting in London). The ribbed bit in the middle on my rear tyre had gone almost slick whilst the front was pretty much ok so I have swapped them. More worryingly the rear one (now front) got a slash that went through the entire thread, which I tried fixing with patches from the inside but is still sticking out and looking a bit scary when at about 100psi so I'll probably have to replace soon before I get myself into an accident... Also I am almost 14 stone mind you. All in all, the comfort and performance I get from these have got me hooked so despite the unlucky slash I will probably keep running them in the drier months of the year.

southseabythesea | 8 years ago

Awesome tyres for grip and rolling speed, seen them for just over £30 though.

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