Van Bikeradar: The Vittoria Corsa N.EXT promises the ride feel of cotton with a nylon casing

The Vittoria Corsa N.EXT is a new road bike tyre said to offer the performance of the brand’s cotton tyres, but in a cheaper and more durable package.

While Vittoria Corsa tyres have traditionally been built around a 320 TPI (threads per inch) Corespun cotton casing, with the tread glued on by hand, the Corsa N.EXT is vulcanised and constructed using a 100 TPI nylon casing.

This puts it more in line with most of the current best tubeless road bike tyres, such as the Continental GP5000S TR and Schwalbe Pro One TLE, a majority of which use nylon casings.

Vittoria also claims a new tread compound, created by combining rubber with graphene and silica, offers ”improved rolling efficiency, grip and longer wear-life” than the Rubino Pro – Vittoria’s previous top-performing nylon tyre.

N.EXT step

The Corsa N.EXT is an addition to the Corsa range, rather than a replacement for the Corespun cotton range (which also includes the Corsa Control and Corsa Speed, one of our favourite time trial tyres).

Vittoria says the Corsa N.EXT slots in between the high-end Corsa range (those made from Corespun cotton) and the intermediate Rubino Pro range (which are made from nylon).

The Corsa range is designed for “pro competition”, while the Corsa N.EXT is for “competition” and “enthusiast cyclists” who want a performance-focused tyre but “don’t want to compromise on durability and puncture resistance”.

The Vittoria Corsa N.EXT is the first nylon tyre in the Corsa range.

The Corsa N.EXT’s tread design is based on that of the more expensive Corsa range, with differing rubber compounds on the centre and side of the tread, and an identical directional tread pattern.

The centre of the tread uses more widely spaced grooves for “rolling efficiency and speed”, while the more tightly spaced grooves on the sides are claimed to offer “enhanced grip and handling”.

Vittoria says this design is “proven” by “the most winning athletes and teams in the WorldTour”.

While Vittoria hasn’t elaborated on the precise differences in performance between the Corsa N.EXT and Corsa tyres, it did offer some (slightly vague) comparisons to a couple of unidentified competitor tyres (although it was heavily implied the two tyres are the Continental GP5000S TR and Schwalbe Pro One TLE).

Vittoria says the Corsa N.EXT offers performance comparable to its two benchmark competitors.

According to the table Vittoria shared, the Corsa N.EXT is competitive with the two reference tyres in key areas such as weight, rolling resistance, puncture resistance, wet grip and comfort.

Vittoria says the data was gathered through internal and external lab testing, as well as field testing by “expert riders”.

The ride quality of cotton with the price of nylon?

Vittoria claims the Corsa N.EXT retains the smooth ride quality of Corsa tyres with Corespun cotton casings.

Corespun cotton, Vittoria says, is a yarn made from a blend of cotton and aramid fibres.

While the aramid fibres are claimed to improve strength, the lower weight and increased flexibility of cotton is said to “allow the tyre to conform closer to the road’s surface, providing a smoother ride, easier rolling and better grip.”

Vittoria says it has worked hard to ensure the Corsa N.EXT retains the ride feel of cotton Corsa tyres.

Indeed, these are all qualities we found in our review of the Vittoria Corsa TLR tyre, although we also noted it isn’t the most durable tyre available.

In contrast, Vittoria says, nylon is “not as supple as cotton” and while it is “strong and durable”, a nylon casing “is not as flexible and lightweight as the cotton one.”

Nevertheless, Vittoria states the Corsa N.EXT achieves “racing inspired speed and feel, with the everyday durability of nylon construction.”

In terms of price, the Corsa N.EXT is £10 cheaper at RRP than a cotton Corsa.

While cotton Corsa tyres are for “pro competition”, the Corsa N.EXT is aimed more at enthusiast riders.

Vittoria Corsa N.EXT pricing, specifications and availability

The Vittoria Corsa N.EXT is available in both clincher and tubeless-ready (TLR) forms.

Clincher versions cost £54.99 / €59.95 / $74.99 and the TLR versions cost £64.99 / €69.95 / $84.99. As already mentioned, that’s £10 cheaper at RRP compared to cotton Corsa TLR or clincher tyres (perhaps unsurprisingly, the Corsa N.EXT range doesn’t contain any tubular tyres).

The Corsa N.Ext will be available in sizes 700 x 24c to 700 x 34c.

Claimed weight for a 700 x 28c (28-622) Corsa N.EXT TLR tyre is 300g, with clincher equivalents coming in a little lighter at 201g per tyre.

Our test set of 700 x 28c (28-622) Corsa N.EXT TLR tyres came in at 299g and 305g, for an average of 302g per tyre – pretty much spot on the claimed weight.

The Corsa N.EXT TLR is compatible with hookless rims (in size 700 x 28-34c), up to a maximum inflation pressure of 72 PSI / 5 BAR.

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