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The Corsa Control G+ is the beefed-up version of Vittoria's well-respected Corsa G+. They're a great alternative to many winter-specific tyres, offering levels of rolling resistance and grip seen on your summer lightweights without compromising durability.
The Corsa G+ came out just over a year ago, designed for tackling greasy cobbles and rough roads according to Vittoria, while still offering low rolling resistance and therefore speed. It's become a firm favourite among the amateur ranks and pros alike for its performance and robustness.
The new Corsa Control G+ that we've got here has a few extra tweaks which makes this model even more appealing for the British weather and road conditions that we tend to endure, not just in the winter but all year round. I'll get to those in a minute.
The Corsa Control G+ uses the same 320tpi (threads per inch) Corespun-K casing as the Corsa G+, which gives a very supple tyre as the higher density (you'd normally expect somewhere between 60 and 150tpi for this kind of tyre) allows for more movement in the sidewall to absorb small road imperfections and reduce rolling resistance. This suppleness also lets the tyre transfer more information back through the bike to the rider, so you can better feel the levels of grip on offer.
You may have heard the word graphene being bandied about in the cycle industry over the past year or so, with various applications of this oft-touted wonder material being put into production. Graphene is a form of carbon fibre that is the thinnest and strongest material yet known to man. It's harder than a diamond, 300,000 times stronger than steel and extremely light. And it's just one atom thick.
Vittoria uses graphene called G+Isotech, which is two to eight atoms thin and developed with its technology partner Directa Plus. It's a powder that's added to the rubber and other materials to create the various compounds.
Vittoria says that by using graphene in its tyres they have lower rolling resistance, and increased grip, durability and wear resistance thanks to the material's properties. Whether this is true or not is difficult to quantify by riding on the road, but these Corsa Control G+ tyres really are very good right across the board.
Grip is up there with the best I've found, especially in the wet; riding on a damp surface didn't affect my levels of confidence in them at all. You can still put in some decent lean angles without fear of the tyres disappearing out from underneath you.
Vittoria uses four different compounds around the tyre and like virtually every other manufacturer its ingredients aren't something they are willing to share, other than the graphene, obviously.
The centre of the tread uses a harder compound for lower rolling resistance and durability. As your bike spends most of its life upright and travelling in a straight line, this means the tyre can cover more mileage and any effect on grip is minimal. Climbing steep, wet hills weren't afflicted with much in the way of wheelspin.
The Corsas roll very well, and offer the performance of many lightweight summer tyres I've ridden.
For the shoulders you get a softer setup which gives more grip – more grip than the herringbone pattern that has been added to the tread will bring to the mix. The standard Corsa G+ doesn't have this.
Being an 'open tubular' (the tyres are handmade and created just like a tubular, without being sewn up) the rubber compound is bonded to the casing and on these it is a little wider than on the original Corsas. This means when it is fitted to the wheel there is more coverage over the shoulders to give even more sidewall protection.
The actual rubber compound is thicker too, by 0.4mm, for added puncture protection, coupled with the breaker belt beneath the tread. This extra bit of depth does mean the Corsa Control G+ feels firmer to ride than the equivalent Corsa G+ model so you lose a little of the comfort. As I've already mentioned, though, the high tpi count still makes these tyres much more comfortable than many designed for poor conditions. And I've had no visits from the puncture fairy.
Durability does look to be pretty good too. It's been hedge cutting season during the test period, plus I've done loads of wet rides, and they haven't picked up any cuts or nicks (or punctures).
Cost-wise, these tyres are pretty expensive at £54.99 each, although if you look around online you'll find them much cheaper at £41.99 (see the 'buy this online' link above). At rrp they're in line with Continental's Grand Prix 4 Season (£54.99 rrp), but you can find the Contis for around £30.99 online, and they're a lot more expensive than Michelin's Power All Seasons at £32.99.
Weight is pretty similar to those two, coming in at 275g for the 25mm model, and they are also available in a 28mm width.
On the whole, the Corsa Control G+ tyres are really good all-rounders, ideal if you want a quick, grippy, hardwearing set of tyres for year-round use not just winter. Especially at a reduced price.
A tough winter tyre that can be ridden year-round thanks to its speed and grip credentials
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vittoria Corsa Control G+ Isotech foldable tyre
Size tested: 700 X 25C
Tell us what the product is for
Vittoria says, "The Corsa Control tackles greasy cobbles and rough roads with all the confidence of the classic Corsa. Sharing the same 320 TPI Corespun-K reinforced casing, and 4C Graphene G+ compound, the Corsa Control adds a textured shoulder tread. This pattern adds dynamic performance, allowing for increased grip on slippery surfaces, as well as added durability."
A more robust and durable version of the excellent Corsa G+.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Wear resistant tread with low rolling resistance
- PRB 2.0 breaker for excellent flat protection
- Foldable and rigid version available
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent grip levels regardless of the road conditions, and durability is impressive.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Wet weather grip.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pricey at full rrp.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if I could find them for a cheaper price.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
You can get cheaper but if you want a tyre that is robust, grippy in all weathers and still rolls like a summer racer then the Corsa Control G+ is a must. It's only the high rrp and slightly firm ride that stops these from getting full marks.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!