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Pirelli expands its presence to the off-road world: the company presents Scorpion MTB, its first line of tires dedicated to mountain bikes.
The new Scorpion MTB tires subvert the current paradigms by offering performance tires for each individual terrain type, with different solutions for every riding style. The innovative SmartGRIP Compound, the technological heart of the new tires, ensures mechanical advantage and grip on dry and wet conditions.
Like all other Pirelli bike tires, the new MTB range was also developed in the center of Pirelli innovation, the R&D laboratories of Milano Bicocca: the main location among 11 Pirelli research centers in the world, with over 1,000 dedicated researchers and that allocates around 200 million euros each year for the development and innovation of its tires.
For its tests, prototype development and field testing, the company relied on its proven Field Testing department in Sicily, a key component in more than 35 years in the Motorbike field. Eight dedicated testers carried out over 450 tests on different surfaces and 40 data recording sessions, performing checks, measurements and assemblies on more than 800 different tire prototypes and 7 different rim sizes. Pirelli Testing Department managed over 30,000 km with 95,000 m of total difference in height, testing and stressing the new MTB Scorpion tires on all types of terrain and in different weather conditions to ensure success.
Tires for Every Terrain and Climate
Over time, the concept of “all terrain bike” has moved in favor of a definite classification of the bike types. From XC to Enduro or Trail: each bike was more and more specific. The same happened with the tire.
Today, attention and trends return to the origins: simplicity. The current bikes are increasingly capable and efficient, both uphill and downhill, making the traditional classifications less important and shifting the focus on the rider’s riding style and no longer on the bike they use. Pirelli, in line with its consumer centric approach, also focused on the way one rides a bike on different terrains and not on the bike itself.
Pirelli started from here to create a line of tires that would be suitable for each type of terrain. The range had to be understandable, clear and simple: where simplicity, as often happens when the essence is reached, encompasses great complexity of development and high technology.
The Pirelli range dedicated to the mountain bikes consists of four models, defined by a name that is self-explanatory and by a color code, which immediately identifies the terrain for which the tire is designed.
- The Scorpion H (Hard Terrain – red) are dedicated to hard terrains, compact surfaces and with embedded rocks.
- The Scorpion M (Mixed Terrain – yellow) are ideal on mixed terrains, where changes can also be unpredictable or sudden, from hard-packs to sand, pebbles and roots.
- The Scorpion S (Soft Terrain – light blue) give the best on soft surfaces.
- The Scorpion R (Rear Specific – green) offer more traction to the rear wheel and are also dedicated to mixed terrains.
SmartGRIP Compound: On Dry and Wet, Without Losing Performance
The heart of Pirelli MTB tire technology is the innovative SmartGRIP Compound. Thanks to this specific compound, the variable of climate or temperature does not affect the performance of the new tires at all. This means they have been designed to offer grip and handling with all atmospheric conditions.
As was the case for the SmartNET Silica, which solved the tradeoff between rolling resistance and wet grip on the PZero Velo road tires, so is the SmartGRIP Compound, which in the Scorpion MTB closes the gap between tear resistance and wet grip.
In the off-road application, the knobs of the tires profile are mechanically stressed in a much higher way than those of any road tire. The grip properties, therefore, must always be guaranteed, without compromising the rubber’s resistance to tearing.
With an incomparable expertise acquired in the formulation of compounds in over 110 years of competition at the highest levels, Pirelli has solved this critical point, thanks to the new SmartGRIP compound. At the same time, the engineers also customized the properties of the compound, from the static ones (hardness and breaking strength) to the dynamic ones (damping and dynamic stiffness) for each model and size.
This is to date, the first “Tailored Development” in the field of bicycle tires.
Each Tires Size Earned a Dedicated Development Process
The great experience gained by Pirelli in years of presence in the motocross field has been put to good use in defining the tread patterns of the Scorpion MTB range: shape and height of the knobs, distance, cross-links and angles, have been studied for the maximum efficiency of the tire footprint on the different specific terrains.
By basing the new tires’ design on the consistency of each terrain, Pirelli engineers also had to take into account many other variables: from the rider’s riding style to the most recent developments in terms of profiles and rim sizes. Therefore, in the new Scorpion MTB, the construction technology is not the same for all tire sizes: each size earned benefits from a dedicated development.
The combination and interaction of structures, reinforcements, static and dynamic properties of the compound, sizing and different designs for the various terrains, has been a technical area of innovation for Pirelli, in terms of approach to product development.
As from Pirelli DNA, which develops all its products by focusing on the specific consumer’s needs, the Scorpion MTB range allows riders to freely choose the type that best suits their riding style, without fear of compromising the tire performance.
For more information visit www.amazon.com/pirelli.
The first Pirelli Scorpion MTB products will arrive on the EMEA, NAFTA & APAC markets starting in March.