Need proof that the Vittoria Corsa is one of the fastest tires in cycling? Sixty percent of WorldTour victories in 2021 were won on Corsas. The last three Tours de France were won on Corsas. In fact, the Corsa has been consistently winning races since the ‘80s. It’s the tire you need if you want to compete at the highest level.
But what if you’re “just” an average rider like me? Unfortunately, an all-out race tire isn’t very practical unless you have a team car full of spares following you. So to satisfy the everyday cyclist with a need for speed, Vittoria has released the brand new Corsa N.EXT tire. The Corsa N.EXT has a lot of the performace of the race-focused Corsa, but with more durability and a few features that make it better suited for regular riding. Here’s why you should consider running the Corsa N.EXT on your road bike.
Vittoria Corsa N.EXT key features
- A competition-level tire that fills the gap between race and training tires
- New Graphene-Silica rubber compound
- 3-layer 100 TPI nylon casing
- Puncture protection belt under the tread
- Chafer reinforcing guard around the bead
- Proven Corsa tread pattern
- Available in clincher and tubeless-ready versions
- Available in 26mm, 26mm, 28mm, 30mm, 32mm, and 34mm widths
- 28-34mm tubeless-ready tires are hookless compatible
What is the Vittoria Corsa N.EXT?
Jonas Vingegaard (in yellow) dominated this year's Tour de France on Vittoria Corsa tires. Photo: A.S.O./Pauline Ballet
The Vittoria Corsa, Corsa Speed, and Corsa Control are considered “pro competition” tires. They come in clincher, tubeless-ready, and tubular versions which all use handmade 320 TPI cotton casings that are extremely light and supple to minimize rolling resistance. The Corsa is the tire pro cyclists use in big races like the Tour de France. The downside is that they are less puncture-resistant and wear faster than standard “training” tires. It’s often best to save this type of tire for race days.
On the other hand, Vittoria’s high-end training tires, the Rubino and Rubino Pro, use a 60 TPI nylon casing that maximizes durability. The trade-off, as you might guess, is that these tires are heavier and slower.
Here’s the thing, many cyclists would actually prefer a tire that can split the difference between these two extremes. They don’t want to swap tires for race day but they also don’t want tires that slow them down on their fast weekend rides. Vittoria refers to this tire segment as “competition” tires, and it hasn’t offered a model that satisfies this need … until now. The Corsa N.EXT offers cotton Corsa-like performance combined with the durability cyclists need for everyday riding.
The “N” in the Corsa N.EXT name stands for nylon. It features a supple 3-layer 100 TPI nylon casing with an additional puncture protection belt under the tread. An extra layer of nylon, called a chafer, is wrapped around the bead for even more puncture protection. Vittoria claims the tubeless-ready version of the Corsa N.EXT is 30% more puncture resistant than the cotton Corsa (tested with a 1.6mm spike in a lab) and 23% faster and 8% lighter than the Rubino Pro. The 28mm tubeless ready version weighs in at 300 grams. The clincher version is 210 grams.
The Corsa N.EXT uses a new rubber compound that combines Vittoria's proven Graphene additives with Silica. This improves durability so you can get more miles out of a tire. It also reduces rolling resistance by 3% compared to Vittoria’s previous Graphene-only compound while boosting puncture resistance by 3% and wet weather grip by a massive 24%.
The Corsa N.EXT features the same tread pattern as the cotton Corsa with directional grooves that enhance grip in corners. The 28mm Corsa N.EXT uses a 25mm tread strip and a 14mm sidewall. Compared to the Rubino, the tread strip is 7mm narrower and the sidewall 7mm taller. This is one of the keys to the Corsa N.EXT’s performance. This design reduces weight and the taller sidewall is more pliable and provides more grip. Don’t worry about the tread strip being narrower because Vittoria has tested the tires at full lean and confirmed that no one can lean further than that tread strip without ending up on the ground.
Hookless rim compatible
Tubeless-ready Corsa N.EXT tires are hookless compatible in 28mm, 30mm, 32mm, and 34mm widths. The Corsa N.EXT uses a new Zylar bead that doesn’t stretch and has been designed specifically for tubeless-ready and hookless rims. They keep the tire securely seated and ensure a perfect fit so the tires are easy to install and remove.
Carbon neutral manufacturing
This isn’t related to performance, but the Corsa N.EXT is produced in the world’s first carbon-neutral tire manufacturing facility. Not only that, all Vittoria tires starting with the Corsa N.EXT will be packaged in boxes made with reusable paper pulp. The box is designed to be perfect for storing small parts and other knick knacks in your workshop.
Vittoria Corsa N.EXT ride review
The competition tire segment is pretty full, with models like the Continental GP5000, Schwalbe Pro One, Specialized S-Works Turbo, Michelin Power Cup, and Pirelli P Zero Race (all these use nylon casings). Over the last three years, I’ve spent a lot of time on the GP5000, Pro One, and S-Works Turbo. All have impressed me with their rolling speed, but the Pro One and S-Works Turbo have let me down several times with their durability. As a result, my go-to road tire for the past year has been the mega-popular GP5000. It’s the benchmark against which I compare every other tire. So is the Vittoria Corsa N.EXT able to dethrone it?
I’m not a machine, but I like to think I have an extremely sensitive butt. So here’s what my butt has to say. I think the Corsa N.EXT comes close to matching the GP5000 in terms of rolling resistance. If I had to pick, I’d say that the GP5000 rolls slightly faster, and I’d bet a lot of money that independent lab testing will confirm this. If I’m looking for marginal gains for my next race, I’ll probably mount GP5000s to my bike.
In terms of comfort and durability though, I think the Corsa N.EXT is the hands-down winner. The Corsa N.EXT absorbs bumps and vibrations better than the GP5000 at the same pressure, but that’s not the whole story. Vittoria’s engineers encouraged me to ride them at a lower pressure than usual. At 180 pounds, I ended up dropping my tire pressures from 70psi all the way down to 60psi. The tires still felt fast and supportive, without any extra bounce or squirm. As you’d expect, these low pressures made the tires extremely comfortable. In fact, I think the Corsa N.EXT might be the most comfortable nylon-casing road tire I’ve ever used.
I’ve been riding the 30mm tubeless ready version on my Specialized Allez Sprint, a bike notorious for being stiff and harsh, and the Corsa N.EXT is so comfortable that I’ve been venturing onto unpaved roads that I usually save for my gravel bike. To my surprise, they feel more comfortable than the wider 32mm GP5000s I was running previously.
A sample of my local dirt roads.
Here’s where durability comes in. I wouldn’t dare ride Pro Ones or S-Works Turbos on my local dirt roads and I have punctured one GP5000 here. It’s probably still too early to make a definitive judgment, but I have yet to puncture in the two and a half months I’ve been riding the Corsa N.EXT, and I’ve been riding them HARD. I charge into loose gravel with no fear, and that’s a pretty cool feeling on such a light and fast-rolling tire.
My 30mm Corsa N.EXT measures true to size on a 21mm internal rim. In comparison, I’ve found the GP5000 measures a bit larger. Even though I think the GP5000 is also marginally faster, the Corsa N.EXT is the tire that’s staying on my bike. The comfort and durability make them perfect for my daily rides which cover a huge variety of terrain. I’ve even jumped in a few crit races recently and didn’t feel like they held me back. On the Corsa N.EXT I feel confident training, racing, and exploring. To me, that makes it the ideal do-it-all road tire.