The new Scorpion MTB tyres look to subvert the current paradigms by offering performance for each individual terrain type, with different solutions for every riding style. The innovative SmartGRIP Compound and technological heart of the new tyres ensures mechanical advantage and grip in dry and wet conditions.
The characterising concept of the new Pirelli MTB tyres is the proposal of a range of models designed for a variety of terrains, based on their consistency, from the hard to the softer ones. Easily understandable and developed for each specific need, Scorpion MTB is accompanied by dedicated engineering for each individual size and version.
The tyres offer every consumer the most suitable tyre for his/her riding habits, whatever the terrain, style and rims type. The result is a line of tyres that guarantees top-level performance in each size or version, regardless of weather conditions.
The Pirelli off-road tyre is called, not surprisingly, Scorpion MTB (company trademark). As was the case for the PZero Velo, Pirelli road tyres that saw the return of the company in the bike field, its MTB tyres required a meaningful name. Scorpion, in fact, is the name of the historical motocross tyres of the company, that can boast over 70 world titles in MX.
Like all other Pirelli bike tyres, the new MTB range was also developed in the cantre 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 tyres.
The SmartGRIP Compound, the heart of the new MTB tyres, was produced in Pirelli’s Racing factories, where the engineering of the well-known F1 tyre compounds takes place.
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 tyre 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 tyres on all types of terrain and in different weather conditions to ensure success.
Tyres for every terrain and climate
Over time, the concept of the 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 tyre.
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 tyres 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 MTB-dedicated Pirelli range consists of four models, defined by a self-explanatory name and color code, which immediately identifies the terrain for which the tyre 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.
The heart of Pirelli MTB tyre 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 tyres 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 tyres, 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 tyres profile are mechanically stressed in a much higher way than those of any road tyre. 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 tyres.
Each tyre 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 tyre footprint on the different specific terrains.
By basing the new tyres’ 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 tyre sizes.
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.
The first Pirelli Scorpion MTB tyres will arrive in Australia from March, 2019.