Trek and Pirelli deepen relationship for 2020

Trek-Pirelli MTB team bike
Pirelli proved the toughness of its Scorpion tyres by rolling to podium at the 2019 Cape Epic (Image credit: Pirelli)

Pirelli has bolstered its commitment to mountain biking with an entrenched pro team relationship for the 2020 racing season.

The Italian tyre brand understands the value that professional rider feedback can make to an R&D effort and product development programme.

Partnering with Marco Trentin’s team again, the Trek-Pirelli outfit will be enjoying even more technical support for its 2020 campaign.

Team riders Michele Casagrande, Gioele De Cosmo, Damiano Ferraro, Samuele Porro and Fabian Rabensteiner will all be on Pirelli’s Scorpion mountain bike tyres.

Last year Pirelli distinguished itself by having achieved a third-place finish at arguably the most testing of all multiday mountain bike races - the Cape Epic. Damiano Ferraro and Samuele Porro rolled their Pirelli Scorpion-shod bikes to a podium placing at the Cape Epic, which challenges the technical properties of any mountain bike tyre like no other.

The Cape Epic route totals some terrifying riding distances, which means that rotation tyre weight can become horribly fatiguing. It also has some of the sharpest shale strewn trails, garnished with a collection of African-sized thorns at the edges. Any lightweight cross-country mountain bike tyre would be severely puncture tested at the Cape Epic, yet Pirelli’s pro team riders managed to complete their Cape Epic campaign without a single puncture.

For 2020, Pirelli markets the Scorpion range with a great diversity of options for nearly every conceivable trail type. Riders will have the option of choosing four different compounds.

The H-compound is designed for hardpack trails, M is a blended grip formulation and S is a highly grippy compound, for looser, more technical trails. Pirelli also offer a dedicated R-compound tyre, which works best on the rear. It has a hard compound and is excellent for the durability required of a rear wheel, which can otherwise wear more quickly due to its power transfer duties.

Pirelli’s pro team riders will be using both the Scorpion’s 29er size variations (2.2 and 2.4) throughout the 2020 season. Depending on potential puncture risk or rolling resistance requirements, the Trek-Pirelli team riders will use either a Scorpion in LITE or reinforced casing.  

Team bikes tally Trek’s dual-suspension 29ers, the Supercaliber (60mm) and Top Fuel (115mm), with riders alternating depending on event type, terrain technicality and climbing profile. 

As has always been the case with any higher grade Pirelli tyre, the pro team’s rubber will proudly have yellow sidewall lettering, showing its premium product distinction.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.