Sunday, March 19, 2017

Holy Moly...Vittoria Corsa Speed TLR

Since their introduction, there's been a lot of "buzz" about the newest Vittoria tires which incorporate Graphene into their tread compounds. In particular, the Corsa Speed model has been touted in various locations as the fastest tire. Despite being only offered in one size (23C), it's intriguing in that it's the first "Tubeless Ready" tire on the market that utilizes the "open tubular" type of construction, with a flexible cotton-casing and a separately glued-on tread. I finally acquired a set of the Corsa Speed tires and put them to the rollers. So...are the fast? The answer to that is an emphatic "YES!"

To cut to the chase...I tested the Corsa Speed in 3 ways:

  1. First, on my standard test wheel (Mavic Open Pro) with a latex tube inside, 120psi.
  2. Next, on a Jet6+ wheel with a latex tube, 100psi
  3. Lastly, on the Jet6+ wheel set up tubeless, with 40ml of Orange Seal.
As I've described in the past, I've found that the 120psi results on the Open Pro rim match the 100psi results on the Jet6+ rim, and this way I could confirm that once again while having a result (on the Open Pro) that can be more directly compared to the majority of tire test conditions in my spreadsheet. Here's the results:

Vittoria Corsa Speed TLR 23C, latex tube, Open Pro (120 psi)  = .0025, 23W for pair @ 40 kph
Vittoria Corsa Speed TLR 23C, latex tube, Hed Jet6+ (100 psi) = .0025, 24W for pair @ 40 kph
Vittoria Corsa Speed TLR 23C, tubeless, Hed Jet6+ (100 psi)    = .0025, 24W for pair @ 40 kph

As you can see, the results are basically identical, with rounding differences in the 5th decimal place of the Crr estimate accounting for the 23W vs. 24W values in the estimated power for a pair of tires.

The Corsa Speeds are the new champs on my list...and not by a small amount, but by a fairly significant jump! The next closest new tires are a full 3W behind for a pair at 40kph.

As I described above, the Corsa Speeds are built in a traditional Vittoria Corsa manner, with a cotton-based casing and a separate tread. One of the things that's different about this particular tire is that there is a grey, flexible coating (feels to be a latex-based coating to the hand) not only on the sidewalls of the tire, but also on the majority of the inner surface as well. This most likely is done to help enhance the air sealing capabilities of the tire...and it seems that this particular construction for tubeless road tires might require more sealant being used on initial installation. I found that the air loss for the tire was unacceptable until I had inserted ~50-60ml of sealant. After that, the tire has held air perfectly fine.

Coating inside casing. Appears to be same as sidewall coating

This is a thin tire, and I'm not sure if it has any type of puncture breaker under the tread...and so most would be concerned about it's durability. To test that out, I've been running it as a rear tire on my road bike and have currently ~500 miles in "not so pristine" road conditions. We've had a good amount of rain this winter in Southern California, and the road shoulders are littered with debris right now. So far the only mishap has been a small staple that was picked up by the tire. I noticed the staple prior to a ride, and hadn't spun the tire before pulling it out. That was a mistake in that it took me a bit to get the sealant to work on the very small hole...but, eventually it held and the sealant has formed a nice plug in that area that is holding just fine.

So far so good...I'm really liking this tire. I've also recently discovered a tubeless repair technique that I think will dramatically alter the "hassle factor" of dealing with a hole large enough for sealant to have a hard time plugging. I'll be going over that technique in a future blog post.

There you go...a new "top dog" has been confirmed.


  1. I am less concerned about the durability and more interested in your experience mounting this tire on the various rims. Also curious about the measured with of the tire after being inflated.

    Thanks for testing!

  2. It was no more difficult to mount on the old Open Pro than any other tire, despite the thick cotton rim tape I have on there. It also wasn't overly difficult on the Jet6+ rim, which with its tubeless-ready rim isn't the easiest to mount tires on at times. Measured widths are in the spreadsheet: 23.7mm on the Open Pro at 120psi and 26.9mm on the 21mm internal width Jet6+ at 100psi.

  3. Would you say these tires are faster than the Continental Supersonic? Im looking for a race day tire that will do well on a smooth road up a mountain climb, and will fit properly on my Dura Ace C24 clincher wheels...

    1. Their Crr is significantly lower...unknown is the aerodynamics on a particular wheel as compared to an SS, and if any differences there overcome the Crr differences. But, if you're talking about a mt. climb, then the aero is going to be a lower, go with the lower Crr :-)

    2. The other thing to take into account is the weight, with the Supersonics coming in at a staggering 150g per tire, a full 75g lighter per tire vs. the Corsa Speed. Do you think the lower Crr of the Corsa Speed outweighs the weight benefits of the SS (pun intended)? Now you've got me leaning towards getting the Corsa Speed. It also seems like it likely offers much better puncture protection and wear vs. the SS. But dont forget, the tires will be used on primarily on long mountain climbs, so weight is a factor...

    3. If you do the math (I have) you'll quickly see that tire mass is not even a performance parameter even worth considering. That's mostly why I don't even bother weighing the tires I test. It's not going to be a determining factor in any tire choice I make.

  4. How hard are these tires to mount onto the Jet+ rim on a scale of 1-10 with a 23mm GP4000S II being a 5 and an IRC roadlite tubeless being a 9?

    1. Somewhere between the 2...when putting it on tubeless, I've found it's best to end at the valve, since it's not possible to push the seated valve up into the tire to create room like you can with a tube.

  5. You are correct, this tire rips! I did find them a bear to install with a latex tube on my Bullet Ultras however. A narrow butyl tube was much easier. But...once on I loved them.

  6. You are correct, this tire rips! I did find them a bear to install with a latex tube on my Bullet Ultras however. A narrow butyl tube was much easier. But...once on I loved them.