Pirelli follows up their broad, logical mountain bike tire range debut last year, with an all new Scorpion XC RC tire developed 100% for cross-country racing. Building on the hard & mixed terrain all-rounder Scorpion tires, this new XC RC narrows its focus towards winning modern XCO World Cup races. That means the tire has to still manage performance on a mix of terrain and both natural & artificial surfaces. But in the end, speed is what wins races!
Pirelli Scorpion XC RC mountain bike cross-country race tire
Designed to optimize lightness and speed, the new tire was developed together with the Trek-Pirelli MTB team racers. And had racing not all been put on hold until the fall, we would have surely already seen them fighting for XCO podiums on the new tread.
The Scorpion XC RC joins the four MTB general singletrack/trail riding tires introduced a year ago – H for hard, M for mixed, S for soft terrain & R for rear-specific. (Those Scorpion MTB tires now get rebranded as Scorpion XC, opening up for Trail & Enduro ranges.) The new tread is not front/rear specific and is not focused on a single type of terrain.
Instead the XC RC hones in on the specific mixed-surface needs of elite cross-country racing, where World Cup racers will ride wet & dry sections on the same course, climb gravel roads & rooty singletrack, fly through massive rock gardens and over built-up man-made elements, before finishing on asphalt sprints. The result must be a lightweight all-rounder that rolls fast in almost all conditions.
XC RC – Tech Details
The XC RC tread design itself blends Hard & Mixed elements from previous Scorpion trail tires – with low & continuous center blocks for faster rolling, then transitioning to more angular shoulder knobs for increased bite through progressively steeper corners
The Scorpion XC RC features a supple 120tpi nylon construction and is tubeless-ready. Designed to be mounted to a 25mm internal rim, the 29er only race tire comes in a single 29″ x 2.2″ width. Two versions are available – the lighter 610g Lite tire without any extra protection & a 660g ProWall version with additional sidewall reinforcement for rockier race courses. The Lite tires are said to be faster and offer a more supple ride, while the ProWall version is of course more durable, but also with increased support when cornering.
Both casings share the same new SmartGrip rubber compound that promises to deliver at once, both high mechanical and chemical grip. Pirelli says the rubber is highly cut & wear resistant, while also maintaining excellent grip in wet conditions. It’s not a multi-compound rubber like we’re used to seeing it race-spec tires, but a more advanced rubber composition that Pirelli says will deliver full performance from day one until you wear it down to the threads.
Pirelli Scorpion XC RC – Pricing & availability
European XC champ Vlad Dascalu calls it “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”.
All versions of the new Pirelli Scorpion XC RC cross-country race tires sell for the same $70 / 60€. And both Lite & ProWall versions are available in standard silver logos, or team-edition yellow. The new XC race tire is available now through premium bike shops.