Pirelli launch a brand new range of gravity race tires designed with DH legend Fabien Barel

Pirelli Scorpion Race Tire
(Image credit: Pirelli)

Pirelli first gave us a sneak peak at a prototype from their new Scorpion Race tire range at the Core Bike Show earlier this year. Promising more grip, increased support and better puncture protection than their existing MTB tires, the new Scorpion Race range is designed specifically with gravity racing in mind and looks to challenge the best MTB tires currently available.

Designed in conjunction with Fabien Barel, the Scorpion Race tires come in four new 'race-orientated' tread patterns, two casing options and three rubber compound options across three different tire models which come in either DH or Enduro builds, plus a DH-specific Scorpion Race Mud version.

The Scorpion Race M is designed to the best all-round tire, the Scorpion Race T is the high traction version and sports the most aggro tread, while the Scorpion Race S is made for soft and loose terrain in drier conditions. 

The downhill-specific tires come with a rigid bead and 60tpi DH casing (which Pirelli call DualWall+), while the enduro versions have a folding bead and slightly lighter, 120tpi casing (known as DualWall). All the tires come in a 2.5-inch width, bar the Mud version which is 2.4.

Weight-wise, Pirelli say the DH tires come in at 1450g and 1380g for 29-inch and 27.5 respectively, except the Mud version which is lighter at 1360g and 1310g. The Enduro versions weigh 1260g and 1210g.

Pirelli Scorpion Race Tire breakdown

The full Pirelli Scorpion Race range (Image credit: Pirelli)

On his involvement in developing the new tires, Fabien Barel said: "Having access to Pirelli's extensive know-how and research and development capabilities is what attracted me to the project from the very beginning. The company's testing tools, and commitment allowed me to explore new solutions, I would say almost limitless. Pirelli's approach is 'Design, Prototype, Test, Repeat', which meant hours and hours of 3D modelling to develop and produce several prototypes of a single tire model.

Fabien Barel in action

French DH legend Fabien Barel riding on the tires he helped design (Image credit: Pirelli)

"After the theory phase, there was the testing phase, carried out both in indoor labs and in the field with the Canyon CLLCTV Pirelli DH team. It was long and painstaking work, but I am proud of the results. In gravity, even a small performance improvement can change the ranking and take a rider from an anonymous placing to a win. I like to think that the work done with Pirelli can serve to get an athlete, whether professional or amateur, onto the podium. It will be a bit like being there myself. Again."

Pirelli Scorpion Race tire availability and pricing

Availability of the Pirelli Scorpion Race tires will be late 2022 or early 2023. RRP is $99.90 / £76.99 / AUD 149.90.

We're already testing samples of the new tires, so will have reviews on the various options very soon. For more information, head over to pirelli.com

Richard Owen
Editor, Bike Perfect

Rich is the editor of the Bikeperfect.com team. He has worked as a print and internet journalist for over 24 years and has been riding mountain bikes for over 30. Rich mostly likes hitting flowy yet technical trails that point downhill. A jack of many trades, he has competed in cross-country, enduro and long distance MTB races. A resident of North Devon, Rich can mostly be found pedaling furiously around his local trails, or slightly further afield in the Quantocks, the Mendips or Exmoor. 

Current rides: Merida One-Forty 6000, Banshee Paradox

Height: 175cm

Weight: 68kg