PIRELLI SCORPION MTB MIXED – 29 X 2.4 TYRE
by Robert Thorpe, Executive Editor
by Robert Thorpe, Executive Editor
Mixed terrain – welcome to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There’s a wealth of trail options here in the hills of the north of England, from crunching gravel to sloppy peat single track and slippery roots. The trails are tough and technical and can change in an instant if the weather is feeling temperamental, meaning that tyre choice is vital. Thankfully, these Pirelli Scorpion MTB Mixed Terrain Tyres are just what’s required. Tested and developed alongside the world’s top teams, they’re made for days on the trail when you can expect the unexpected.
Taking a close look at the tyre, we used the 29 x 2.4 mm on a Yeti SB115 to give it a real life review, based on the most common trail types here in the U.K. and an absolute belter of bike. Setting it up tubeless was easy peasy and the tyre has given us no concern during our tests. We’ve used a variety of tyre pressures, based on the variable conditions and it’s a tyre that simply soaks up the trails and keeps you moving forward. It’s a useful point for all trail riders to check pressures for conditions. Trust us; it’ll make the world of difference to your riding. The tread pattern on the Scorpion Mixed is simply designed using the knowledge gained from working with the top riders, consisting of knobs with average height and spacing to guarantee excellent performance on a wide range of terrains. It allows speed and grip in equal measure.
Pirelli say that ‘the use of the special SmartGRIP Compound guarantees an elevated adaptability and at the same time resistance to tearing, offering elevated grip in all weather conditions, be they dry or wet: the best ally for your performance off-road.’ What that means in practice is that the tyre stays super firm when you need it to, with the knobs biting into the surface, and remaining strong, even when ridden at speed over the numerous natural rock gardens of Nidderdale and Wharfdale. It’s very much a confidence giving tyre, allowing you the freedom to open up, knowing that the tyre will do it’s best to stay firmly on the trail.
Now for some tech data I guess…
• 2.2: rip-resistant rubber compound with 120 tpi reinforcement of the sides to offer greater protection against puncturing and cutting without sacrificing performance
• 2.4: rip-resistant rubber compound, casing of robust 60 tpi nylon and additional 120 tpi reinforcement of the sides for greater protection against puncturing and cutting without sacrificing performance
Riding in autumn and winter on mixed terrain can be tricky. The rapid changes to conditions obviously affect grip at varying levels depending on the surface, but the Scorpion MTB Mixed simply eats things up, and you can literally hear it digging in and gripping the ground. Pirelli take grip seriously, as you’d expect. It’s why their tyres may cost more, but why they’re well worth it. Innovation isn’t cheap, and neither should your safety be taken lightly:
• Grip: the SmartGRIP rubber compound guarantees elevated grip on wet surfaces; weather is no longer an issue, no sacrificing grip for dry or wet conditions – and from our perspective it’s not just marketing, it actually works and will benefit the casual rider who wants a tyre that exudes confidence.
• Handling: the shape of the tyre has been optimised for modern rims made of aluminium or carbon with a wide internal groove. During our tests, it’s remained firm and stable on the bike in all conditions.
In terms of smoothness of ride, as mentioned earlier, we tested these Scorpions on a Yeti SB115, which is superbly engineered to take out the rigours of the tough test trails. However, we’ve used this ultimate trail bike when fitted with other brands, and it’s been far more skittish and bouncy than the dampening on the Scorpions. The 29 x 2.4mm helps, and it doesn’t feel like a huge tyre due to the optimised shaping mentioned earlier.
• 2.2: 120 tpi TUBELESS READY casing designed to dampen vibrations and make low pressure riding more stable with a wider footprint on the ground
• 2.4: robust 60 tpi TUBELESS READY Nylon casing, designed to dampen shocks and vibrations and make low pressure riding more stable with a wider footprint on the ground.
Yes, these tyres have been designed and developed around some of the world’s best riders, so you’d expect them to perform well in their hands. However, it’s when ridden in the hands of the ordinary everyday mountain biker that the true test comes. The trails here in Yorkshire don’t take prisoners and can be unforgiving, and throughout our testing period, the Pirelli Scorpion MTB Mixed has lived up to its name. It’s about as a good an all-rounder than you’ll find. In terms of speed, it’s a fast tyre too, as it allows you the confidence to open up. On climbs it simply chews the trail up and transfers your effort into upward motion, surpassing our expectations and becoming a trusted friend on the wide variety of mixed terrain on offer. Is it worth the investment – most definitely.