Vittoria's Corsa tyre is a long-time favourite of ours, its super-supple corespun cotton casing and soft gummy rubber making it a great choice for high-grip in dry conditions. But its high price made it an event-day-only option.
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The Corsa G+ contains graphene, an extraordinarily light and strong form of carbon, which Vittoria says will enhance wear, improve rolling resistance and boost cornering grip.
Vittoria also claims that the qualities of the graphene-infused compounds change depending on how the tyre is loaded. When the tyre is rolling straight the rubber is at its hardest, but if you load it in another direction by braking, accelerating or leaning into a corner, the compound softens to offer significantly more grip.
Independent testing in Finland showed a 32-second advantage over the previous non-graphene Corsa at 50kph over 50km. If road-based experience backs up this sort of time saving, Vittoria could be on to a real winner.
Out on the tarmac it feels like the same old Corsa: soft, supple and grippy. The difference comes when cornering in the wet. The linear tread looks like it’ll be a disadvantage, as water isn’t going to be channelled away from the contact patch, but this Corsa feels like its spreading itself, gripping well even under the hardest cornering.
Our 25mm tyres felt much wider, to the extent where we checked we weren’t riding 28s by mistake. Their 257g weight doesn’t put them in the super-light category, and although there is a lighter ‘Speed’ version, we’ve had less success with that on the wear front.
Our Corsa G+ tyres are wearing evenly and the surfaces haven’t cut up — they also continue to offer grip far beyond any clincher we’ve previously tried. The downsides are the price and the lack of tubeless compatibility — you’ll have to go to the less-hardy Corsa Speed for that. Early signs on their hardiness are good, and we’ll report back later on their durability, but so far they’re up there with Continental’s GP4000S IIs.