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Vittoria Corsa Control tyre review

4 Jun 2018
Verdict:

Vittoria has added a heavier-duty alternative to its hugely popular Corsa tyres. How do the Corsa Control tyres compare?

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£55 each
For 
• A lot more durable than regular Corsas • Bigger sizes available • Grip and suppleness aren’t noticeably affected by increased durability
Against 
• Not really any more puncture protective than regular Corsas

The Vittoria Corsa tyre has always been a favourite choice among pros and amateurs alike for its supple ride quality, low rolling resistance and grip, but when the Italian company timed a refresh of the design with the re-emergence of the tan wall tyre trend a couple of years ago its popularity exploded.

Now Vittoria’s distinct pale tan tyre is almost as common a sight in the pro peloton as Continental’s Pro Ltd tyre: many top-end bikes currently available to buy come with them specced as standard and there is a huge aftermarket demand for them too.

Despite that they are still seen as a ‘summer best’ option due to their relatively high price, wear rate and comparatively scant puncture protection.

Buy the Vittoria Corsa Control tyres from Pro Bike Kit now

Vittoria sought to address this perception with the release of the Vittoria Corsa Control tyre, a heavier duty option that claims to provide extra protection and durability so you can enjoy the joys of tan walls all year round.

Vittoria developed a great recipe for the regular Corsa (although the efficacy of the included of ‘graphene technology’ has been hard to quantify) so the Corsa Control tyress aren’t hugely different.

A great explanation of the technology included in the Corsa design can be found here.

The tread compound is exactly the same, as is the casing design, and at 280g apiece they weigh only 10g more each than the regular Corsas, which is because the tread is thicker by 0.4mm.

The marquee change is the incorporation of a chevron pattern on the tread that extends further down the sidewalls.

As you would expect for a design not drastically different to its alternative, performance isn’t drastically different either, but that is in no way a bad thing - I was unable to perceive any difference in rolling resistance, grip or ride feel, so I’d say the tyres are essentially just as fast, grippy and comfortable as the normal Corsa design.

That does mean they are no more protective though too. I followed a three month intermittent spell (from autumn through early winter) on Vittoria’s regular Corsas with a three month intermittent spell (from late winter into spring) on the Corsa Controls.

I punctured once on the normal Corsas and twice on the Corsa Controls.

This could suggest I may have got lucky on the Corsas but given the similar timescales and similar conditions I’d say puncture protection remains similar between the two designs, which isn’t surprising given that they share broadly the same construction.

That isn’t to say though they suffer from an overly fragile design - they are no worse than comparable tyres from other manufacturers - Continental’s GP4000 S II for example, or Schwalbe’s One design.

To actually stand an improved chance against a puncture, a tyre needs to include dedicated and substantial anti-puncture measures.

As performance tyres, the ride quality and rolling resistance of Corsas, GP4000s, Ones and similar tyres would be too greatly compromised for them to include such features, relying on the protection that is already inherent in covering a carcass with a rubber tread.

Where the Vittoria Corsa Control tyres did differentiate themselves from their racier Corsa siblings was in their durability: that extra rubber definitely made them more resistant to wear.

Buy the Vittoria Corsa Control tyres from Pro Bike Kit now

While I never rode either set to exhaustion, I’d confidently suggest that the owners of Corsa Control tyres will enjoy more miles on them compared to regular Corsas as there was noticeably less wear on them after similar mileage.

When you consider this extra durability doesn’t perceptibly come at the expense of speed or ride quality, the Vittoria Corsa Control tyres become a compelling proposition and a genuine harder-working alternative to the regular Corsas.

For me, they justify the high price that little bit more.

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