Pirelli carry some pretty heavy clout when it comes to making tyres, being the supplier for Formula 1. We've been fans of everything they've done in the mountain biking space since their return in 2019, and they've just launched their latest MTB line: the Scorpion XC RC tyre. Developed with the Trek Pirelli XC team, the Scorpion XC RC is designed 100% for racing.
"Developed at the specific request of TREK PIRELLI athletes, the new tyre is a 100% racing product. It’s created to meet the high performance needs of riders of the caliber of Vlad Dascalu, a European Champion, World Champion and World Cup winner XCO U23, and Samuele Porro, an Italian National Champion, silver medal at the European Championships and bronze at the World Championships in the XCM category.
Samuele Porro had asked Pirelli engineers for a new tyre more oriented towards the Olympic Cross- Country races but also with excellent performance in the XCM events. The company technicians have therefore developed a racing product of the highest profile, capable of offering lightness, super smoothness and good grip. Thus, the Scorpion XC RC was born.
A VERY FAST RUBBER, FOR RACES
A few months later, in October 2019, Samuele Porro and his teammates received the first prototypes. The new tyres with the "Prototype" label were tested during the team's training camp in Calpe (Spain). Porro also tested them in a training session on the track of the grueling Cape Epic in South Africa. The baptism of the tyres took place in the first calendar races, including the Mediterranean Epic and the Andalucia Bike Race.
From a technical point of view, the new XC RCs are Tubeless Ready tyres with a 120 TPI Nylon casing construction. Available in LITE and ProWALL versions, for increased puncture protection, they combine Pirelli's proprietary technologies already found in the Scorpion MTB range, starting with the innovative SmartGRIP Compound. Derived from Pirelli's experience in Motorsport, SmartGRIP Compound is a mono-compound with high mechanical strength which, despite the increased smoothness and lightness of the new XC RC tyres, offers excellent stability, long life and, above all, optimal grip on all terrain. Pirelli paid particular attention to the tread design, which incorporates characteristics deriving from both the Scorpion XC H (Hard) and the Scorpion XC M (Mixed), re-engineered to have more direct and precise handling. The blocks in the center of the tread clearly resemble the Scorpion XC H profile but are lower and closer to improve the smoothness on straight sections. And the half-fold and lateral blocks have the shape and sharp angle of the Scorpion XC M profile. These revisions were made to maximize grip at different lean angles. The profile with more aggressive sides and a smoother center makes the Scorpion XC RC the perfect weapon to conquer the modern Olympic Cross-Country tracks that are very technical.
This is Vlad Dascalu’s comment on the new tyres: “the Scorpion XC RC is perfect for me, because it is designed for the most modern XC courses, where the alternation of natural trails and artificial sections is increasingly common, in addition to an increased racing average speed that’s augmenting year by year. Thanks to the new design I know exactly where I can put the tyre, I can follow the most difficult lines and I can set the curves with more aggression, but also save energy, thanks to the improved smoothness and lightness (of the tyre - editor's note) ".
“Scorpion XC RC is a perfect tyre for XC competitions - commented Samuele Porro - Smooth and precise in high speed corners. The new, higher, side block ensures optimal grip when driving to the limit "
The new Scorpion XC RC is already available in the best cycling shops, in the 29”x 2.2 version, also in the “Team” color variant (with yellow logos)."