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If you aren't bothered about going tubeless and want a really supple tyre that you can ride at high pressures then take a look at the Vredestein Fortezza Senso Superiore, a handmade 'open tubular' that is grippy, rolls like there is no resistance whatsoever, and is looking to be durable across a range of weather conditions. It ain't cheap, though.
I've been at this game for a while now, and those of you who have read my reviews over the last 12 years will know that, against all modern thinking, I like to run my road tyre pressures high, and I haven't felt the need to ditch the inner tubes.
Tubeless is great, don't get me wrong; I've embraced it on my gravel bike, where the terrain poses more of a threat and I can run lower pressures. But on the road I'm happy with a firm tyre; I like the connectivity it gives you with the frameset, and I very rarely suffer punctures... about one every ten thousand miles, I reckon.
I don't mind a bit of suppleness as well as that connection, and this is where tyres like the Fortezza come in.
If you're a young 'un, you might not know what a tubular tyre is. Basically, it's a tyre with an inner tube fitted, then the tyre is sewn together to create a fully enclosed unit which you then glue or tape to the rim.
Yes, it's a faff, and a nightmare if you get a puncture, but oh my god, do they ever ride nicely.
Well, handmade tyres like the Senso ride just like them, but without the faff.
With a 320 TPI (threads per inch) casing, these feel very supple; even at 100psi these 28mm wide tyres soak up a lot of the vibration and just give a great ride feel.
The All Weather Silica TriComp compound feels sticky to the touch, and that translates to great grip levels on the road.
These tyres are just great in the bends, really confidence-inspiring in the way they just mould to the road surface and let you take the bends at speed.
They give a lot of feedback, too. Some tyres with a harder compound or lower thread count casing can feel quite dead, but these don't. They transfer everything back to you as a rider.
Grip and low resistance usually come at the expense of durability, but I'm about 500 miles in so far and the rear still looks pretty much brand new. From experience, if you are just using these in the dry weather or on your best bike, they are going to do a decent amount of service.
Wet weather grip is good as well. They are quite thin tyres, though, and while I have had no issues with punctures, this isn't the type of tyre you are likely to use year-round.
There are three sizes available: 23mm (yes, it's still a thing), 25mm and 28mm, in either black or tan sidewalls.
When it comes to price, £64.99 a tyre ain't cheap. In fact it's a fiver more than both the Continental GP 5000, which has become pretty much the benchmark for fast road tyres when it comes to rolling resistance and grip, and Vittoria's Corsa G2.0, which has crept up to £59.99 since Liam reviewed it back in 2020.
I guess it just shows that for a quality tyre you need to pay.
Overall, these aren't cheap tyres but they're not massively expensive either when you look at the competition. If you aren't fussed about the tubeless revolution and want a tubed tyre that feels great when running high pressures, these Vredesteins fit the bill.
Beautifully supple clincher tyre with excellent grip levels, wet or dry
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vredestein Fortezza Senso Superiore
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, "Handmade high-performance tyre offering maximum grip, low rolling resistance and high comfort"
Couldn't put it better myself.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
All Weather Silica (AWS) TriComp compound
320 TPI handmade cotton casing
Polycotton anti-puncture layer
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They are superfast road tyres with loads of grip.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great feedback levels at high pressures.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I would say the price, but that isn't isolated to just these tyres.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are a bit more expensive than some very good tyres which are mentioned in the review.
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
Quality bike tyres are pricey and the Fortezzas don't escape that, but not much more than the opposition, so when it comes down to performance alone, I think these tyres are great. Loads of grip, plenty of feedback at high pressures and very little in the way of rolling resistance.
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!