Vittoria finally launches the new Corsa Pro and Corsa Pro Control tyres
We first spotted these new tyres way back in December last year, where they were insufficiently blurred out in some Jumbo-Visma promo shots of the team's new equipment. Since then we’ve been speculating about them, with more info added as we saw them in actual competition use, but now the official line is out. The new Vittoria Corsa Pro, and Pro Control tyres (that we haven’t seen until now) are the usual mix of faster and more grippy, but also with better puncture resistance.
These are the most well-adopted set of tyres amongst the World Tour peloton, and with so many of us amateurs trying to emulate what the pros do there’s a strong chance that you’ll consider stumping up the sizeable wedge of cash to get rolling on a set, so let's dive in and see if these look to have what it takes to join the ranks of the best road bike tyres on the market.
Same materials, new construction
The outgoing Corsa was constructed in the same manner as almost all other ‘traditional’ cotton-cased tyres (see the Challenge Gravel Grinder or Getaway for a larger example), in that the rubber tread is physically bonded onto the cotton casing. With the new Corsa Pro and Pro Control, Vittoria instead incorporates the 320tpi casing into the overall construction during the vulcanisation of the rubber tread itself, effectively creating a seamless, glueless bond. This not only looks to rectify a major criticism that consumers often have with cotton tyres, in that over time the tread can lift away from the casing at the edges. If you’re curious about what TPI is and why it matters we have an explainer for that.
Aesthetics and longevity aside, this glue layer is less supple than the rubber and cotton that it is sticking together, and as such is claimed to have a detrimental impact on the overall suppleness of the tyre. As such, removing it improves the ability of the tyre to deform, thus apparently making it faster. Also the edges of the tread, where it meets the cotton, now feature a smoother join that is claimed to offer secondary aerodynamic benefits too, though this would only be over the outgoing model as competitor tyres that aren't cotton wouldn’t suffer from the issue in the first place. As you may have gathered from the spy shots, these are, as nearly all top-end tyres are now, tubeless ready, though will still come in a tubular version too.
Aside from a new method of construction the tread pattern and rubber compound, featuring a tried and tested graphene and silica formula, remains the same on the Corsa Pro as it is on the outgoing Corsa. The tread on the Corsa Pro Control however is new, with a herringbone textured shoulder tread and more sipes than previously to improve grip on suboptimal surfaces. The tread itself on the Pro Control is thicker, too, to aid puncture protection. Both models have a puncture protection belt, which the outgoing models did not.
While you may not give much thought to the tyre bead itself, it seems Vittoria has. Given the propensity for many of the best road bike wheels to be hookless nowadays, Vittoria has opted for a new, square profile bead in these new models to better mate with the hookless walls and aid tyre retention. There are also road-sized tyre inserts available that also claim to aid tyre retention in the event of a blowout, something that has been the cause of much debate amongst the pros and commentators alike in the wake of some high-profile tyre issues at Paris-Roubaix.
The key figures, and the price tag
These are a performance tyre, so it would be remiss of both Vittoria to not include some quantification of how the tyre actually performs against the competition. Do bear in mind that these are Vittoria’s own numbers though.
Versus the outgoing models, the Corsa Pro is 12% faster, with 18% better puncture protection and 4% lighter in the tubeless model, or 14%, 7% and, 4% in tubular. For the Corsa Pro Control, the speed increase is 2%, with a 19% improvement in puncture protection and a 2% weight reduction. The Control is tubeless only, so no need for a second set of numbers here.
Versus an unnamed, but heavily implied competitor that rhymes with Shmontinental PP5000, the Corsas are apparently as fast, with better puncture protection, better comfort and grip, but are heavier.
For sizes, the Pro is available in 24c up to 32c in tubeless ready, and 23c to 28c in tub format. The Control is available in 26c to a plump, cyclocross UCI illegal, 34c.
If you do want to kit yourselves out with a set you can expect to pay €95 per tyre. Global pricing is yet to be forthcoming, but that puts them in the region of £85 or $105 per tyre.
We did attend a launch event for these tyres in Italy, but to be perfectly honest with you the test conditions were not conducive to getting a decent understanding of how these tyres perform, and as such we aren’t bringing you a first ride review. We do however have our paws on a set of both the Pro and Pro Controls, and are in the process of seeing how they fare in the real world alongside the competitors.