Low rolling resistance, long durability and maximum grip – this is the magic triad for road bike tires and Vittoria want to play it at the highest level with the new Corsa N.EXT. Our first test of the Vittoria Corsa N.EXT TLR in 700x26C shows whether the familiar profile in combination with a new rubber compound leads to the desired result.
With the Vittoria Corsa, the Italians have been offering an absolute performance tire for some time, which enjoys a firm place in the professional peloton. To close the gap to the cheaper training tires, Vittoria now present the Corsa N.EXT. It establishes the new Competition category below the Corsa. Unlike the Corsa, however, the Corsa N.EXT is not available as a tubular tire – the choice here is between clincher (€ 59.95) and tubeless models (€ 69.95). What the clincher and tubeless models have in common is that they should combine low rolling resistance with high durability and maximum grip. But how does the Vittoria Corsa N.EXT manage that?
The Vittoria Corsa N.EXT in detail
It’s all in the mixture! The Vittoria Corsa N.EXT combines graphene already known from other Vittoria tires with silica, a material that is intended to reduce wear and increase grip, especially in road tires. The puncture resistance is to be ensured by a nylon structure, which consists of three layers under the tread and of two layers on the sidewalls. In addition, there is an extra layer of a special puncture protection material directly under the tread. This makes the Corsa N.EXT the first tire of the Vittoria Corsa family, which relies on a nylon carcass.
The profile of the Vittoria Corsa N.EXT looks familiar, as it is identical to that of the Vittoria Corsa and relies on grooves along the direction of travel. Larger spacing of the grooves on the tread is intended to provide lower rolling resistance and higher speed when riding straight ahead due to a larger contact area. The smaller spacing of the grooves on the tire sidewall, on the other hand, is intended to increase grip in curves. Also a wear indicator is placed on the thread – it takes the form of a small dot. When it’s no longer visible, the tire should be replaced. By the way, the Corsa N.EXT has a neat feature, which is a simple QR code on the sidewall. When you scan it, you get video tutorials on mounting, information on air pressure, and recommendations for tubes and accessories. It also tells you where to find the nearest Vittoria dealer. Pretty cool. The Vittoria Corsa N.EXT is available in sizes from 700x24C to 700x34C both as clincher and tubeless ready. The tubeless ready tires from 700x28C upwards are compatible with hookless rims.
The Vittoria Corsa N.EXT TLR on test
We’ve already had the chance to test the Vittoria Corsa N.EXT TLR in 700x26C and since Vittoria also included tire inserts with our test package, we did not hesitate long and mounted it for the first time in our history on a road bike. To do this, we pulled the tire and installed the Vittoria Air-Liner Road on the ROSE RC SIXTY wheels with an inner width with 21 mm. With this combination, the tires sit very tight, and the assembly requires a lot of strength and skill – let’s just say that the tire inserts don’t make this undertaking any easier.
Once on the rim, an air compressor helps to get the tires inflated without the air escaping between the rim and tire. Despite the tight fit of the tire, and the inserts pressing the tire from the inside against the rim, the Vittoria Corsa N.EXT does not hold the air particularly well in the aforementioned test setup. It’s enough for a ride, but daily re-pumping is still required. However, it should be noted that each tire and wheel combination is different, and the tires may be easier to mount or hold their air better on other wheels.
The Vittoria Corsa N.EXT TLR in 700x26C turn out to be exactly 26 mm wide on the wheels with 21 mm inner width. Thanks to the tubeless setup and tire inserts, even in this narrow version they can be ridden with very low air pressures without the risk of punctures or damage to the rim. This also provides a pleasant level of vibration damping – even small impacts are noticeably smoothed out.
However, the more voluminous variants of the tire should logically offer significantly more reserves in terms of comfort. As far as the rolling resistance and cornering grip go, the tire makes a good impression, runs easily and powerfully on fine to somewhat coarser asphalt, it also generates a lot of confidence in corners. The long-term test will show how well the tire protects against punctures and how many kilometers can be covered on it.
Our conclusion on the Vittoria Corsa N.EXT
With the Corsa N.EXT, the Italians from Vittoria present a very solid performance tire, which is not quite as expensive as the absolute professional tires from their own house. The tire makes a good impression in terms of rolling resistance, grip and comfort. As for durability, however, we’ll have to wait for the long-term test. With widths up to 700x34C and without a tubular version, Vittoria follows the trend towards tubeless also in the performance area.
For more information on the Vittoria Corsa N.EXT visit vittoria.com
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Words: Photos: Thomas Weiß