Pirelli Scorpion tyre grows wider

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Wide, light, but with adequate sidewall protection against rocks and roots (Photo: Pirelli)
Wide, light, but with adequate sidewall protection against rocks and roots (Photo: Pirelli)
  • Pirelli has expanded its XC RC Cross country tyre range with 29x2.4" models
  • The wider 2.4-inch tyre comes with a minimal 40g weight penalty
  • This particular tread pattern has been well proven by the Trek-Pirelli XC team

Pirelli is no stranger to making tyres. For many years they have been developing the rubber to keep the world’s fastest cars on the road and are currently the sole tyre supplier to Formula One.

Pirelli’s foray into bicycle tyres is a fairly recent one, returning to manufacturing bicycle tyres in 2017. Last year the Italian manufacturer expanded their Scorpion MTB tyre range to include a high-performance cross-country tyre dubbed the XC RC.

Now that tyre has been revised with new casings and widths. Developed in conjunction with the Trek Pirelli team, the Scorpion XC RC Cross-Country tyre arrives just in time for the upcoming Olympic games.

Initially only produced in a 29x2.2” size, the new version is available in a wider 2.4” casing.

The new size will be offered in a Lite version, for those that prioritise weight, and in a Prowall version for riders that prefer greater cornering stability and increased puncture protection. Pirelli’s Team version of the XC RC is equipped with yellow logos, just like Formula Ones medium compound tyres.

The wider casing is in reaction to the increasing popularity of wider XC rims and is built around a 30mm internal rim width. Added width is ideal for the increasingly technical nature of XC courses that feature high-speed descents and rough terrain. Weighing only 40g more than the 2.2-inch models, the weight penalty is minimal.

This mono-compound is said to offer excellent stability, durability and optimal grip across a variety of terrain despite its increased smoothness.

mountain bike tyre
The trend in fast-rolling XC mountain bike tyres, is to wider. And Pirelli as done just that (Photo: Pirelli)

Fast but grippy

The tread design incorporates characteristics from the Scorpion XC H (hard) and Scorpion XC M (mixed), in a way that offers more direct and precise handling.

A profile with aggressive sides and a smooth centre makes the XC RC perfect for modern cross-country courses. The tread in the centre clearly resembles that of the XC H but is slimmed down to improve rolling resistance on flat trail sections.

The half-fold and lateral blocks feature the shape and sharp angle of Pirelli’s Scorpion XC M profile, with revisions to maximise grip at different lean angles.

Pirelli claims that the 2.9x2.4” Lite weighs a mere 650g, while the Prowall is only 50g heavier. All tyres are 120TPI, with the generous thread count giving these new Pirellis a supple feel – and the ability to run at very low pressure

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