Pirelli is now also making off road tyres and has recently launched its first line of mountain bike tyres. They are called Scorpion MTB, just like its traditional motocross tyres, which have won over 70 MX world titles.
It is a range that has been talked about since its launch, because it subverts all current paradigms. Today mountain bikes are divided into disciplines and, over time, tyres have followed the same specialisation and division into families: for XC, for Trail, for Enduro and so on.
The new Pirelli range, on the other hand, takes into consideration not the type of bike but the type of terrain being pedalled on. Once one understands the consistency of the surface ridden, from the most compact to the softest, all the rider has to do is pick the most suitable tyre size. And that is not all. He or she no longer has to worry about wet or dry, mud or snow, because, regardless of the version chosen, Scorpion MTB tyres guarantee performance without compromise in any condition.
On snow, mud or sand
The exceptional features of these tyres, their grip on wet and dry terrain in any condition are due to the high technology SmartGRIP Compound, developed by Pirelli in its Milan Bicocca R&D laboratories. One hundred and ten years of sporting tradition at the top level is an exceptional background of expertise Pirelli has put to good use in the MTB. The new compound for each model and measurement involves specific engineering of its properties: from static (hardness and breaking load) to dynamics (damping and dynamic stiffness). Thanks to the SmartGRIP Compound the “weather” variable does not impact the performance of the new tyres, designed to provide the best grip on dry as well as wet ground.
When Pirelli engineers were designing the new tyres based on consistency of terrains, they naturally kept many variables in mind: from the steering style of the rider to more recent developments in terms of profiles and rim measurements. This is why in the new Scorpion MTB the construction technology is not the same for all tyre sizes: each size benefits from dedicated development. This is a real innovation and is in fact the first time tailored development has been used in the bike tyre industry.
4 tyres for every terrain
Simple in its conception, the range consists of four styles defined by a colour code and a self-explanatory letter of the surface type:
• Scorpion H (Hard Terrain - red) tyres for hard terrains, compact ground and ground with fixed rocks.
• Scorpion M (Mixed Terrain - yellow) tyres for mixed terrains where changes can be unexpected or abrupt, from hard-pack to sand, stones and roots.
• Scorpion S (Soft Terrain - light blue) tyres for soft ground.
• Scorpion R (Rear Specific - green) tyres provide greater traction at the back and are also suited for mixed terrains.
Innovation in numbers
Pirelli’s field testing department, based in Sicily, has been added value in the motorcycle field for over 35 years. This Pirelli crew has been assigned to testing and development of mountain bike tyres. Eight dedicated testers conducted over 450 tests on different surfaces and 40 data recording sessions and kept records and assemblies on over 140 prototypes and 7 different rims measurements making a total of over 800 measurements. Pirelli's Testing Department covered over 30,000 km and a total of 95,000 m of elevation gain, stressing the new Scorpion MTB tyres on every type of terrain and in different atmospheric conditions.
As said before, the Scorpion MTB tyres borrow their name from their brothers, the motocross tyres. The vast experience gained by Pirelli in this field has been put to good use in the tread, in the shape and height of blocks, in their distance, cross-link and angles. What is the goal? Like with the motocross bike, utmost efficiency depends on the type of grounds one pedals on.