Specialized S-works turbo cotton tested to destruction.
As I lament the passing of my favoured tyre the Vittoria open corsa sc, I would have to say I fell into a rut. I was trying to find a replacement to the look, sound and feel and in all honesty, the off white new corsa just wasn’t ticking all the boxes. Yes it looks ok but just not that classic wow, they feel great and roll well but I know this is going to seem an odd consideration due to the new tread they just don’t sound the same.
Sound and smell have just as strong a link to memory and emotion as sight, so you can tell I got a little excited when I saw the Specialized turbo cotton tyre. It looks from a distance to be the same as the corsa sc, with that golden yellow side wall and a small red logo on the side of the tread, very classy. Now I have been told that these are made in the same place as the aforementioned sc, on specialized own production line where Specialized's Gripton rubber tread is fitted. Now the tread pattern is not too dissimilar to the old sc and when fitted I have to say the sound is the same. Talking about fitting these come in 24mm, 26mm and now 28mm flavours but when on my chosen rim the H Plus Son archetype the 24mm measure just over 25mm wide, the same as a 23mm sc.
So like a pig rolling in muck I set of to test these to destruction. What you have to remember is these are a race tyre, designed with what you need for racing such as light weight, grip and great road feel so I am not expecting them to last to long. Unlike a black side walled tyre these will begin to look a bit old after a few wet rides especially if you don’t wash the bike down after but to help with this Specialize do make an S-works turbo tyre that is all black if that’s more your cup of tea. Now I did swap them over to balance out the wear and why not it makes sense, but I did get just over 1,500 miles, but it was 1,500 miles of joy. The gripton rubber did as it promised, in the wet as well as the dry I never had any concerns with loss of traction unless on we want to talk about a steep wet road with green moss covering it but even with that it came back when I put my weight back in the saddle.
The most surprising fact is that in the time I used them only one puncture was sent my way and that was on my way to a club ride when I failed to notice a smashed beer bottle in the road. This was the last day this set of tyres stayed on the bike, as I inspected them for damage I realised that in a couple of places I had just started to wear through the tread. Was this just luck? Well I have fitted another set now and not just to make sure, £116 for a set of race tyre's may seem like a lot but life is too short to use bad rubber.
Casing 320 tpi pollycotton
Blackbelt puncture protection
Weight for 28mm 266g