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Vittoria Qurano 60 wheel and Corsa G tyre review

9 Jun 2016

We take a pair of Vittoria's Qurano 60 wheels and Corsa G tyres to ride the Strada Bianchi in Italy. And are suitably impressed.

Long story short, graphene is the new wonder material and you should be putting it in everything from your petrol tanks to your cereal, which is why Vittoria has put it in its new Qurano 60c wheels and Corsa G tyres.

I don’t fully understand (apparently it was discovered using a pencil and some Sellotape), but the idea is that graphene makes stuff lighter, stronger and betterer.

In the case of the Qurano 60s that means a set of 60mm-deep, 24.5mm wide, all-carbon hoops weighing a claimed 1,570g. Which is pretty darn good. Zipp’s latest NSW 404s, at 58mm, weigh 1,555g, and Bontrager’s Aeolus 7 D3s are 1,610g (although they’re 70mm deep, the 50mm Aeolus 5s are a claimed 1,440g). Also, in the grand scheme of high-end wheels, the Quranos are cheap - £1,600 compared to £2,150 for the Zipps and £2,200 for the Bontys.

Like those wheels, the Quaranos are fast, really coming into their own above 32kmh. It’s based on my Garmin-gazing anecdotal evidence, but past that speed the Quranos gave me between 2 and 5kmh for free, up until around 48kmh. That is, they were that much faster for the same pedalling effort as compared to similar weight shallow rims.

That’s not a trait unique to the Quranos – other deep-sections will pay similar dividends – however what was clear was just how quickly they accelerated and how well they performed in crosswinds. Big gusts were still something to be mindful of as per any high-sided wheelset, but in the main they were incredibly stable, handling themselves especially well on quick, windy descents. No wobbles, no wrestling with the controls.

Dry weather braking was excellent, and even wet weather braking was decent; not at the level of disc brakes or those with specially machined alloy braking surfaces, but predictable and progressive enough to feel safe. However, it was the Qurano’s sturdiness that impressed me the most, which leads me onto Vittoria’s new Corsa G tyres…

Hardnosed performance

I didn’t grow up with tubulars, and as a result I live in circumspect reverie of the infinite sausage. Tubs give us superb ride quality but they laugh at our puncture repair kits, wallets and impatient, ham-fisted gluing. Luckily, though, open tubular tyres (essentially unsewn tubs that function like clinchers) are on hand to provide near tub-like performance in an easy to install, repairable package. Yet there is a downside – open tubs are known to wear excessively. Until, reckons Vittoria, you mix in some graphene.

To test this idea I thought I’d take the Corsa Gs to ride the amateur Strade Bianche - 130km of punchy chalk climbs and unrelenting gravel roads. And just to make it fun, I figured I may as well put them on the Quranos.

At the start line I still had my reservations, but by the first sector of gravel I knew I’d made a good choice, and by the end of the race I wouldn’t have changed the setup for the world.

At 25mm wide, coming up something nearer 27mm mounted on the Quranos, I felt I could happily run the Corsas at 90psi without fear of pinch-flats, and so it proved to be. The lower pressure meant enhanced grip – not that the Corsas’ tread compound seems short of this anyway – and also a comfy ride. Well, as comfy as 40kmh over loose stones is ever going to be.

After the race I inspected the tyres carefully. Although I was puncture free, despite riding in a pretty unsympathetic manner, I was expecting to see signs of wear, the odd little cut, yet there wasn’t a mark on them. The tan sidewalls faired less well, darkening slightly having stained with wet dirt (grey-black walls are available), but other than this cosmetic flaw the Corsas looked virtually new. The Qurano wheels were a similar story. I reckoned on having given them some serious punishment, but they remained smooth and true.

So very close

Overall I find it incredibly hard to fault either the wheels or the tyres. For the money the Quranos are hard to beat, and for the overall performance coupled with longevity I’ve yet to come across a better tyre than the Corsa G. Still, there is room for improvement.

Even though the graphics are black on black, the indelible Vittoria logos are needlessly HUGE on the wheels and won’t suit all bikes. I’d always prefer either removable stickers or just plain black with a small logo – if you want to use me as an advertising hoarding, you should be paying me, not the other way around. And then there’s the small matter of the tubeless-ness.

The Quranos, bless their carbon socks, are tubeless ready, a trait which I am very fond of and I feel sure will catch on. Yet the Corsa Gs are not. Vittoria does do a tubeless version, the Speed G, but it’s an ultra-light (215g) time-trial purposed tyre that puts speed well ahead of longevity. Also as yet they’re only available in 23mm.

None of these things are deal-breakers of course, but I can’t help thinking just what an incredible set up this would be if the wheels were all black and Corsa Gs were tubeless. Still, as it is there’s a huge amount to write home about here, suggesting there might just be something to this graphene malarkey after all.

Wheelset £1,599

Tyres £55 (each)

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