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The updated Vittoria Corsa G2.0 tyre is more evolution than revolution. The small changes create a refined tyre with a fast, supple feel, plenty of cornering grip and noticeably improved wear rate. The tan sidewalls will still stain, though you can keep them clean.
A few years ago, Vittoria introduced graphene into the tyre world, promising many benefits to rolling resistance, grip and wear. This 2.0 version is still bold in its claims. The new tyres aim to provide '40% reduced rolling resistance, 30% improved grip and 40% improved durability'. That's the stats and there are plenty more. David Arthur went through everything when these were announced. Without a lab to test that stuff, let's get to how they ride.
These tyres were a straight swap for some Specialized S-Works Turbo Cotton tyres that I had on previously. Both feature a 320TPI core spun cotton casing, both have a slick central tread and both are designed for road racing.
Like the S-Works, the Corsa G2.0 comes in several forms, with clincher, tubeless and tubular versions in 23mm to 30mm widths. Which one you choose will depend on where you're riding, but I'm becoming a big fan of wider road tyres, even if I'm still not sold on tubeless.
Mounting up these clinchers is super-simple, and such a supple tyre can easily be done without the aid of levers. I popped 80psi in the Continental Race 28 inner tubes and off I went for a few months of racing and general riding.
I'm very impressed by the Corsa G2.0. They feel incredibly fast in a straight line, the graphine compound working perfectly to hold speed. They're not quite as fast as the Corsa Speeds that I tested last year, but they're certainly suitable for fast riding.
The soft sidewalls and soft compound would usually make me think of punctures, but I've experienced no flats, and it's not like I've been overly careful with where I ride. Road races usually descend into a fair bit of moving up in the gutter, hardly where you find the best tarmac, and these have not let me down yet.
One ride highlighted perfectly the tyre's ability in fast riding conditions. Chasing local racers down an unfamiliar mountain in a French stage race demanded quite a bit from the tyres (as well as courage from me). Thankfully, in both wet and dry conditions these felt planted and surefooted – a marked improvement in wet-weather performance.
One of the big downsides to buying tan wall tyres is their tendency to stain. Mix brake pad dust, road grime and rainwater and you've got a paste that is great at leaving a black line all the way around your sidewalls. The S-Works Turbo Cotton is still the best at resisting staining. To give them their due, the Corsa G2.0s clean up pretty well, just not as well as those S-Works tyres, and they're just not as fresh looking as they once were.
The wear rate is pretty good for a race tyre, and they look to be in better condition than the S-Works that they replaced. That will be partly down to the luck of what I rode over while using each tyre, but it seems that Vittoria's claims about wear rate are valid.
Weight is a respectable but not amazing 257g (25mm). That's 17g more than the S-Works Turbo Cotton (26mm), and a more noticeable 37g over a Continental GP5000. Lightness isn't the be all and end all that it once was, though, and I wouldn't suggest that you avoid these tyres because of a marginal weight penalty. It's certainly not holding them back on the hills.
In terms of value, the price is a bit lower than the S-Works Turbo Cotton, and you can get them for £40 at the moment. It's also a fiver less than the Continental GP5000s. It's still an investment, though.
Overall, you're getting a fast tyre with improved wet weather grip and wear rate, at a price that's lower than its main rival. The sidewall is a little susceptible to staining, but seeing as these will mostly be going on summer rides that's not a huge issue.
Fast, with improved wet weather grip and durability, but bear in mind the sidewalls are prone to staining
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vittoria Corsa Fold G2.0 tyre
Size tested: 25mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Vittoria says: "The Corsa has been the race-day choice of pros for years, and is now better than ever with 4C Graphene compound technology! The latest Corsa is an evolution of the brand, and brings multiple industry-first technologies to market. Starting with our supple yet durable 320 TPI Corespun-K reinforced casing, and adding a proprietary mix of 4 different Graphene compounds, the new Corsa achieves the holy grail of performance: speed, suppleness, durability, and reliability. Whether winning a Grand Tour, or a local crit, the Corsa family delivers world class performance.
"Tire choice of professional riders in the peloton. Winner of Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España, Classics, World Championships, European Championships and Olympic Games."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Premium cotton casing conforms closer to the road's surface, providing a smoother ride, easier rolling, and better grip.
Functionalized GRAPHENE 2.0 compound allows for higher speed.
4 compounds in the tread (4C) for increased wear life, lower resistance and improved grip on the sides.
A very well made tyre, which is what we've come to expect from Vittoria.
Very fast and very grippy.
Sidewalls will stain, but the rubber compound is very resistant to wear.
It's a fiver less than the Continental GP5000 (£59.99) and £6 less than the S-Works Turbo Cotton (£61).
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A fast race tyre that has huge amounts of grip in the dry.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The wet weather grip has really improved from the previous iteration.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The sidewall is prone to staining, which is annoying as it spoils the look.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe, though I'd probably stick with the S-Works for being less prone to staining.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
They're very good, with much improved grip in the wet over the previous version, though the sidewalls' tendency to stain rather spoils the look.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!