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Rapido. That's Italian for 'Fast.'
Vittoria's Corsa CX is easily one of the most popular tubulars for pro racers, so how was the Italian brand supposed to make it better? It was no small challenge, but Vittoria stepped up to the plate, adding an even faster rolling rubber compound, and calling it the Corsa SL Tubular Tire. And like the CX, you'll find a buttery-smooth 320 TPI cotton casing for fast rolling and light weight. So, when you need to go fast and you're done making excuses, this is your tire.
The Corsa SL builds on the heritage of Vittoria's perennial favorite, the Corsa CX. And while the CX is a longstanding favorite of both pros and amateurs alike, the SL employs a faster rolling compound down the centerline, making this the fastest rolling tire that Vittoria offers. As with the CX, the SL employs a dual compound tread, which balances the harder centerline with softer shoulders in order to boost grip. They're not quite as grippy as the CX, but the SL still provides plenty of traction for leaning into turns at high speeds without any reason to hesitate.
And now that we have your attention, let's dig into the SL's construction. Vittoria gave this tire a 320TPI casing composition, meaning that the sidewalls are comprised of 320 threads per inch. And if you're wondering why there are 'threads,' this is because the Corsa SL is a cotton tire. But, don't think that this decreases durability. In fact, Vittoria used a corespun, or 'polycore,' technique for the casing's construction. Essentially, this means that the casing fibers are made by twisting staple cotton fibers around a central filament core, creating one yarn from multiple fibers. As a result, the material is between 40 and 50% stronger than typically spun materials, while retaining a similar, if not lower, overall weight. Additionally, the 320TPI cotton casing provides the ideal stiffness-to-weight ratio for the SL. By this, we mean that the tire's weight hovers around 245 grams, depending on width, while still retaining a perfect level of flexibility for cornering.
Along these lines, you'll notice that the casing's high TPI equates to finer-grade fibers used in its composition. Accordingly, the fine fibers are more malleable than say, 220TPI casings, and this flexibility creates a more adaptable interface for the tire's rubber contact surface during cornering. So, this design provides a higher level of grip than rubber, which is why cotton casings are used on nearly every high-end tubular in the world. Additionally, the weave's density also absorbs a great deal of impact, while also contributing to a low-level of rolling resistance. This equates directly to both comfort and speed.
This is a tubular tire, meaning it's not compatible with clincher rims. However, it's available as a clincher under the name Corsa EVO SL Clincher.
The Vittoria Corsa SL Tubular Tire is available in a 22mm width and in the color black. Please note that this tire does not include adhesive.
- Item #VIT000A
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I got sold on the ride of tubular tires over 25 years ago, when I first started riding "seriously" ... there's something about the process of gluing up a set of tires that calms me. It's probably the fumes from the glue frying my brain cells, but whatever.
The fact remains that nothing rides quite like a tubular, and the downsides (expense, time to glue properly) are far outweighed by the upsides (ride quality, lighter wheel/tire combinations, handling).
I've always had the best luck with Vittoria tubulars from their low-end Rally training tubies to their high-end Corsa CX/SL offerings. Even on those rare occasions when I ride clincher tires, I'm riding Vittoria Open Corsas (the same casing & tread as the tubulars, but in a clincher format).