Review of the Vittoria Open Corsa CX tires

logo_vittoria1By far Vittoria tires have been my favorite tires. I have tried many brands with varying degrees of success and failure. I would recommend the Vittoria Open Corsa EVO CX tires for high performance clincher applications.

Don’t get me wrong I have had other tires that I really liked for clinchers but either they wore out faster, were prone to sidewall cuts or were insanely difficult to mount. Regardless if you’re a casual rider, serious event rider or racer Vittoria has a great tire for your application. Many event riders and racers will have 2 sets of wheels for their bikes, one to race on and one to train on. This is done for all kinds of reasons. I rode heavier wheels to train on and used an inexpensive set of Vittoria Rubino Pros and Diamante Pros, as they in theory won’t wear out as fast.

This current off-season found me with a new bike and my race wheels and set of Open Corsa tires. Through rain, cinder, fallen limbs and the occasional gravel wash the tires did not get any cuts or cause any pinch flats all winter long. I must admit that I could have gotten more mileage out of them if I had rotated the rear tire to the front but I knew I was replacing my beloved red stripe Corsas with a new set this spring. Current claims in other reviews and forums showed that cyclists were able to get 1500 miles out of the rear and 2000 out of the front tire. I managed 2000 miles out of the rear tire before squaring it off. My Front tire has almost 1500 miles and still look very usable. This will be kept as an emergency spare.

So I replaced my 2009/2010 Vittoria Open Corsa CX tires with a new set of the 2011 Vittoria Open Corsa CX tires. Quite a bit has changed IMG_02301-300x288with the Open Corsa tires since the last redesign when they changed how they laid in their color stripes from a dual stripe on the outer section of tread to an single inner stripe. Vittoria also upped their thread count in their cotton casings from 290 TPI to 320 TPI with the addition of a puncture resistant belting layer for cut protection.

I have my guesses as to why they did this but can only share my personal experience with the 2009 Open Corsas. In a Criterium race I managed to strike a curb hard damaging my rear wheel and causing the color section of the tire to delaminate. While I do not think that this would have happened in normal use it was disappointing to say the least when I had to replace the tire.

I should note that my Corsa tires were mismatched. My rear tire was the older 290 TPI model and front is the newer 320 TPI model. Most of the reviews you will find on forums that talk about the tires wearing out fast and getting frequent sidewall cuts are from the older 290 TPI versions of the Corsas.

So the 2011 Open Corsa EVO CX tires come in several popular sizes and color choices. The traditional 700-wheel size comes in tire widths of 20c, 23c and 25c. The 650-wheel size used primarily by triathletes only comes in the 20c size. The 650 20c only comes in black but the 700 23c comes in black, blue, yellow and my 2 favorites red and white. The 700 20c and 25c only come in black.

Why do I like the Open Corsa’s so much? They are light and roll like a dream and corner on rails! I know this sounds like great marketing speak but let me explain. When I first started racing I was not comfortable cornering at speed. I often felt like I was a hair’s width away from skidding or having a wheel slide out. Years ago I had a rock-climbing instructor tell me to succeed as a sport climber you have to trust your gear. I just didn’t trust my tires. This all changed when I switched to Vittoria Open Corsa tires. These tires truly are meant for racing and that special group ride where you really want to out hammer the other club riders. The tires are not cheap. I have seen them go for as high as 89.00 a piece and as low as 59.00 a piece. If you’re lucky you may find a shop or big discounter closing them out at 39.00 a piece in colors that don’t sell as well.

Its been said that the reason that the newer design wears better and does not get cut as frequently is because of the 320 TPI (Threads Per Inch) casing and the new Kevlar® SiO2 compound. While I could tell no difference between the older 290 TPI and the newer 320 TPI.

So what else is special about the 20111 Vittoria Open Corsa EVO CX clincher tires. Vittoria uses the following technical designations for the new tires:

Corespun 320 TPI – This is the fore mentioned cotton casing that uses a 320 Threads Per Inch. This is where the comfort and road dampening come from.

Kevlar® SiO2 – This is the tread compound that uses silica and microscopic Kevlar particles. The Kevlar silica compound is what Vittoria claims is what gives the Open Corsa its low rolling resistance and improved traction on wet roads.

Twin Tread – The tread at the crown is harder as this is where the tire is ridden most often and the shoulder of the tire is made of softer compound to further improve cornering.

PRB 2.0 – Is the puncture resistant belting layered under the tread made up of new aramidic fibers. While Vittoria makes claims the belt is not made of Kevlar like so many other puncture resistant tires. This seems strange because that’s what aramid is, Kevlar.

The recommended tires pressures will vary based on the weight of the rider but are comparable to other high TPI count clinchers. I found that in race conditions the recommended pressure is a few PSI to high for my taste. I find it a bit skittish especially on the front tire.

Likes: Hand made, light, smooth rolling, cornering confidence inducing, easy to mount, wears well for a performance tire

Dislikes: Expensive – But what can you expect, they are handmade!

There you go another review. If you haven’t figured this out about my reviews I only review those items in my cycling experiences that I feel have made a positive impact on my performance. I have had several disastrous results with other tires and other products for that matter. Why don’t I review them and give the manufacturer in question a written Black Eye? I have been tempted but as the name implies, I am trying to keep it positive.

Enjoy your ride

Coach Rob

8 Comments on “Review of the Vittoria Open Corsa CX tires”

  1. I’m an avid rider that has been logging 1500-3500 miles/per year for 20+ years. In 2011, I bought a new carbon fiber bike that had Vittoria Open Corsa CX tires. These are BY FAR the worst tires I have ever had on a bike. I had more flats (10-15) with these tires in one season of road riding in Upstate NY (Rochester/Finger Lakes area)than any tire I ever bought. These have been replaced with Vittoria Rubino’s.

  2. Hi Rick,

    Sorry to hear that you had such horrible luck with the Corsas. The Open Corsa CX tires are meant for Competitive Applications and not day to day to riding. I have however had decent luck with them on training rides. The Rubino Pro is a much better tire for everyday riding and the feel of the Rubinos has improved greatly over the last several seasons. Thanks for reading the review!

    Coach Rob

  3. I have found that people who get that many flats are running the incorrct psi for their weight.Its a fine line between comfort-rolling resistence and no flats.

  4. I would agree. I also find to many people running the recommended manufactures pressure which maybe to much or not enough depending on the riders weight and riding conditions.

  5. Been riding Open Corsa’s about 5 years. Racing only. I’m 160 lbs with 100 PSI. Luv the ride but they don’t last. 500 – 1,000 miles. From experience, once first small glass/metal/gravel puncture occurs( large puncture is understandable and ok), I switch. Plus they have always been hard to install. I’m told its the cotton structure that stretches and thus made tight. I’ve used on Williams wheels and broken tire iron. I may not be the most adept mech, but others have had very tough time with new tire. Tried using hair dryer to no avail.
    I have 2 , 320 TPI tires and am very frustrated getting them on wheel. Will probably switch once these are worn.

  6. Hi Dave,

    Sorry to hear that you have had fitting problems with your Corsa’s. This is one issue I have never had with them. I have had this issue with several brands, especially Contis. It could possibly be the rims themselves. I have had Corsas on all kinds of different wheels and one set of rims I had were a bit tougher to stretch over. I have been able to get as much as 2500 miles out of a pair of Corsas. I would not however have raced on them after 2000 miles as they were getting a bit flat on top. Great tires but spendy compared to some alternatives. I have been training on some Michelin Lithion 2s this season and they felt pretty harsh on some Mavic Open Pros but when I moved them over to some open mold Carbon Clinchers they felt much better. Probably due to the wider rim bed, 23mm vs. 19mm. I have been racing on Corsa Cx Tubulars almost exclusively this season. While gluing can be a real pain the feel and the performance make up for it!

  7. Could be Williams wheels. Others have said “no problem” with Williams so could be I got a dud set. BTW, I only buy these expensive tires when my club or shop runs special. Not sure if wheels can be checked or perhaps rims can be trimmed?

  8. I am the same way. I only buy mine if there is a deal to be had! Not sure what you mean by checking wheels? I can say that now wheel should ever be physically altered!

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