The Fortezza Senso Xtreme Weather tyres are Vredestein's solution to wet and cold conditions and they work well, offering decent levels of grip, wear rates and puncture proofing, and the rolling resistance doesn't feel too bad either.
Tricomp technology is used on the majority of Vredestein's road tyres and it basically means it uses differing compositions of rubber dependent on what job it's got to do. The central section that sees the majority of the work is harder and durable, while the edges are softer to provide better cornering grip.
The Fortezzas use Vredestein's XWS compound which feels to be a rubber grade that remains supple enough even once the temperature starts to drop below freezing.
The carcass is 120TPI (threads per inch) which is quite low considering how supple they feel, and the rolling resistance isn't too bad. Out in the real world, the difference in average speed compared to a lighter summer tyre is barely noticeable, with just a little more drag maybe under acceleration. Weight-wise things are pretty good, too, at 279g, especially considering they have a full polyamide fabric casing running from bead to bead for full puncture protection.
Vredestein has stiffened the shoulders to what it calls Curve Control System; this means the tyres hold their shape under hard cornering, resulting in you remaining on the correct compound for longer. From this, you get great grip in the corners and roundabouts, allowing you to bank the bike over steeply with full confidence. Even in the wet the grip levels change very little, and while you're not likely to be carrying the same speeds into the bends, the Xtreme Weathers feel surefooted; if they do break traction they do it very slowly, allowing you to adjust your line or centre of gravity.
They're comfortable, too, thanks to the supple carcass, and as far as durability goes, they are yet to pick up a single cut or puncture.
The Fortezzas aren't tubeless ready so your only real option is using them with an inner tube. I found fitting them to a couple of rims absolutely no issue at all. I could pop them on with just thumb pressure, and when inflated you can see and hear the bead snap securely to the rim.
Size-wise there are a few options available, with the narrowest at 23mm – I know, how old school! But you can also get 25s and these 28s, all with the same TPI make-up. The 28s do have lower minimum and maximum pressure recommendations though: 6-8 bar, as opposed to 8-12 bar of the narrower versions.
Looking at value, the Fortezzas are around the same price as many similar tyres – and undercut others.
The Michelin Power All Season shares many of the same characteristics and costs £47.99.
Another option could be the Pirelli P-Zero Velo 4S, which has a price of £45.99, but although it sounds quicker than the Vredesteins in terms of rolling resistance, it doesn't offer the same amount of puncture protection.
They are cheaper than similar offerings from Continental, though, with its Grand Prix 4 Season having an rrp about a tenner higher.
Overall, the Fortezza Senso Xtreme Weather tyres are solid all-rounders for your quick winter bike or long distance commuter, as they'll deal with pretty much whatever the weather can throw at them.
Durable and reliable tyres for your winter race bike
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vredestein Fortezza Senso Xtreme Weather tyre
Size tested: 700x28
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?
Vredestein says, "High-performance tyre for cold and wet conditions providing maximum grip and puncture protection"
They certainly offer plenty of grip in all sorts of conditions.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Vredestein lists these features:
Competition tyre for extremely cold and wet weather conditions
*XWS compound, applied using our TriComp Technology®.
*Low rolling resistance and outstanding grip, even in wet and cold weather conditions.
*The Curve Control System® guarantees durability and an exceptional ride quality, even in corners.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very good grip levels in both the wet and dry.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The durability and puncture protection take away a little of the speed.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Pricing is on a par with options from Pirelli and Michelin as I mention in the review, but they are cheaper than similar offerings from Continental, for instance, with its Grand Prix 4 Season having an rrp about a tenner higher.
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 overall score
Really good dependable tyres for winter use, offering plenty of grip and puncture protection at a reasonable price, with the only slight downside being that you sacrifice a little bit of speed.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!