Video: Pirelli is Developing a Gravity Tire Line with Fabien Barel

Apr 14, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  

Three-time downhill World Champion Fabien Barel has announced a new partnership with Pirelli and is helping the Italian tire company develop a new line of gravity-oriented mountain bike tires.


Although Pirelli has long been involved with motorsports, the brand released its first mountain bike tires just two years ago with the Scorpion MTB line. Now, Barel is working to expand the Scorpion line through R&D work alongside some e-enduro racing, though he officially retired from racing in 2015.


bigquotesPirelli's involvement in the world of MTB Gravity racing is a great opportunity for everyone… There's already a solid line of Pirelli mountain bike tires on the market, my job is to help complete it with models dedicated to racing, which will hopefully lead to the successes that the company has already achieved in many other sports… The clear objective of these new tires is to reach the top of the podiums.Fabien Barel


The tires are currently in the prototyping stage and will start showing up on EWS and World Cup DH racers' bikes this season.


47 Comments

  • 72 0
 "Bono my tires are gone"

*Proceeds to beat the KOM by 10 seconds*
  • 26 5
 I really wanted to come here and make a comment about how every single driver in Formula 1/2/3 hate the Pirelli tyres, but are bound by essentially a gagging order to not insult them.

However. Your comment is funnier and better. Kudos, Sir.
  • 24 0
 I’m sure they would still take the Pirelli over any F1 tire Maxxis would produce. Have high hopes for something good here.
  • 13 0
 @jamesdunford: I think their "problem" in F1 is being the only supplier, they don't really have to innovate or go crazy with development. Fortunately it's not the case in mountain biking and they actually have to make a good product if they want to succeed, and I believe they have the means to do it, it just depends on how much effort they're willing to put into it.
  • 30 0
 F1 tires are the way they are by design. F1 wants more tire related drama, larger differences between the compounds, etc. They are not designing the tires to suit the drivers, they are designing the tires to suit F1 executives.
  • 6 0
 @dirktanzarian: Agreed. FIA is more interested in leveling the field than in "best performance".
  • 2 0
 @mybaben: especially after what happened in Indianapolis in 2005, which I believe is the reason for the single tire supplier rule
  • 2 0
 @crashtor: I didn't hear about it. I follow F1 on and off, so wasn't following that year. Bad crash? 2021 is one of my "on" years though. Looking forward to this weekend.
  • 5 1
 @mybaben: Michelin brought tires that couldn't handle the high speed, banking, and unexpectedly abrasive surface, and the teams + FiA couldn't come to an agreement on a rule-bend that would make it safe. So the Michelin users withdrew from the race leaving only the Bridgestone teams - 6 of the original 20 cars.
  • 2 0
 @Preachey: Oh man, that sucks. Thanks mate.
  • 1 0
 @dirktanzarian: I wish every race was a 2 or 3 stop. So I do not want to see a tire improvement for F1. I will take a better bike tire any day though. I do love Magic Mary.
  • 2 0
 @dirktanzarian: To an extent, yes, but they could still achieve the same result by building tyres that drivers actually like. They have such a narrow operating window and you're basically driving cautiously the entire time to manage the wear. The big issue is that they simply can't push hard even when they're new, and it's the way they degrade that's really... poor.

Michelin on the other hand.. They make excellent racing tyres which can still achieve the same result, but by actually being fun to drive.

Anyway, back to bikes. Yeeeeow.
  • 28 6
 Perfect person to get to grips with it- The Pirelli Barelli
  • 7 2
 Fabian, not Yoann.
  • 9 0
 @mammal: cette the same zing
  • 18 0
 warm up tires to 80 degrees for best traction
  • 5 0
 LOL!! Will the World Cup guys get to take a formation lap?
  • 10 2
 I bet it looks a ......
  • 10 2
 Minion DHR 2
  • 15 2
 an ass guy
  • 12 5
 session oh wait--
  • 2 0
 Always nice to see Fabien Barel riding full gas, but it would be a nice change to see some manufacturer promote their tires with a video of riding in wet conditions, preferably on a trail littered with roots, rocks and mud. THEN I would be more convinced. Sure dry and dusty conditions can be super slippery and tricky, but that's not a problem around here 90% of time...
  • 6 0
 please more Fabien vid's
  • 2 0
 Would really like to purchase a couple of sets of Trail scorpions..... if only were available, Pirelli what's wrong with your ditributors? (living in you native town doesn't help either)
  • 4 1
 The positive thing is, they can't get any worse than their current scorpion line up.
  • 3 0
 If these are Pirelli tires, developed by Fabien Barel, and if they Call It 'Barelli', then I'll buy it.
  • 5 0
 But what would Yoann say about it?
  • 4 0
 Can they make it around Silverstone?
  • 1 0
 Seems like Barel has a Midas touch with design and Pirelli has some seriously deep pockets. If they're both committed to making this work I don't see any reason they won't churn out some seriously good rubbers.
  • 1 0
 Yes every time I go for a ride I think to my self, “ I wish it felt like I was running”.... or not really, LOL! Must be an Italian thing. Anyways, hopefully these turn out to be noteworthy tires. Good luck Pirelli!
  • 1 0
 ive been running pirelli scorpion tires for the past few months now and i can say i like them a lot! worth the try if you're looking to try something other than maxxis.
  • 2 0
 Fabien knows his shit so I'll give them a chance.
  • 1 0
 "Have you ever wish to feel the ground riding the same way you are running"
  • 2 0
 I dig Pirelli sport bike tires. Hope they make something sweet for mtb.
  • 1 0
 Wondered whither or not this was a shoe advert?
Why not make a tyre that only lasts 20 laps & costs $2700 like F1?
  • 1 0
 will they be made by vittoria like their trail cum XC tires?
  • 5 5
 Who is Pirelli? Do they make tires?
  • 3 2
 Hey downvoters, I WAS KIDDING!! Ever hear of Formula 1 racing? SMH.
  • 4 4
 Looks like a session.
  • 4 6
 Like all the shoe companies unable to beat five ten grip I'd say no tyre company can beat maxxis grip/ability.
  • 9 0
 Depends on surface type and riding style. I hate the on/off feel when transitioning from upright to cornering on Minions and, on soft underground, far prefer the more rounded performance of a Magic Mary. Other people prefer Continental or Michelin tires. It's only the PB comments section where everything has to be a Minion.
  • 2 0
 @Mac1987: I can relate to that on/off feeling after moving from an Assegai to a DHF. The Assegai feels a lot more predictable at different lean angles to me. I'd love to try a Magic Mary.
  • 5 0
 Michelin dh22 and dh34 are sticky and grippy. Hands down more grip than anything maxxis makes. Rolling resistance is also more grippy.
  • 1 0
 Big tyre companies like Michelin, Pirelli and Continental are basically the founders of the modern tyre on vehicles. They have been supplying car manufacturers, motorcyle manufacturers, competed in the highest level of motorsport for years. When the Michelin brothers created their first tyre for bikes Maxxis was non existant.I presume big tyre companies dont have a hard time creating better tyres than Maxxis
  • 1 2
 pog
  • 2 5
 Session
  • 1 4
 Fabio wibmer?

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