Ingezonden

The Vittoria V100 (Courtesy)

After
three and a half decades in the cycling business with shoes, Vittoria is
jumping into the helmet market for 2013 with five models.

The
helmets range from $70 to $250, with the top-end V700 featuring a co-molded
design, structural carbon fiber, a rear dial closure, 25 vents and a rubberized
texture on the exterior for scratch resistance. A prototype V700 in size S/M weighs
270g.

Vittoria
Shoes’ experience with shoes goes deep. After retiring from professional
cycling, Celestino Vercelli founded the
company in 1976, but his family had been making shoes for generations before.

When it comes to making helmets, though, Vittoria did
not have experience, so they hired a few folks away from another company.

“We hired a couple people
from an Italian helmet manufacturer. I won’t say who because we’ll get in
trouble,” said Michael Musil, Vittoria’s US sales manager. “It’s not like we
just decided to make them on our own with no helmet knowledge.”

The
helmets will be shown at Interbike in September, and available for sale that
month. Two more helmets are in the works for a mid-2013 release.

Details
for the full range of helmets have yet to be finalized.

A prototype V700

New shoes, too

Unlike the helmets, which
will be outsourced for production, Vittoria makes all their shoes in Italy.

“All of the production is
done in one facility,” Masil said. “It allows us to do four different widths, and
a pair of shoes with two different lengths. We do women’s models in every
single one of our designs. The turnaround is 14 business days for a custom
shoe. Everything from multi-length, women-specific, low-volume, narrow, you
name it.”

The new Hora EVO cost $425,
and that includes any special modifications you may have, such as a 44.5 right
shoe and 45 right shote.

Musil said Vittoria is the
first company to use a cable tension closure, in 1992.

The company is pleased to be
featured in an
upcoming September episode
of the Science Channel TV show “How It’s
Made.”

A prototype V700

And what about tires?

Vittoria Shoes and Vittoria
Tires are both Italian cycling brands, but they share nothing beyond the name.

“Two weeks after Vittoria
Shoes was founded, Vittoria Tires started,” Musil said. “They started
originally as a Dutch company. We agreed not to get into tires, and they won’t
get into shoes.”

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