Pirelli, the Italian tyre manufacturer has recently entered the cycle market with a range of new tires. Founded in 1872, Pirelli began manufacturing rubber products, but very shortly after got into tires. They are now one of the biggest tire manufacturers in the world and are heavily involved in motor racing, and are the sole supplier of formula one tires.
Pirelli announced three cycling tyres in 2017, the PZero Velo (an all-round tyre), PZero Velo TT (super lightweight time trial), and the PZero Velo 4s (wet weather tire). They have since added a tubeless option (Cinturato), tubular version of the PZero Velo, and a range of mountain bike tires.
Which tyre is right for you?
- Road Racers – P Zero Velo – The ulimate do it all racing tyre
- Time Trial or Speed Demons – P Zero Velo TT – Light as a feather and slick as oil, you’ll be perpetually smashing strava segments on these!
- Adventurers – P Zero Velo 4S – Forged for harsh conditions, if you love riding when and where others won’t, this is the tyre for you!
Pirelli has used its knowledge of tyres and compounds to create ‘SmartNet Silica”. This
compound is used in its range of cycling tires and allows the tire to maintain good puncture resistance whilst having a low rolling resistance and decent grip. The compound features microscopic rod-like particles that are arranged symmetrically, this allows the tyre to remain supple whilst still remaining tough in the direction of rolling.
PZero Velo has an aramid fibre belt to offer abrasion and cut resistance.
The Velo TT does away with this puncture protection, tread pattern, and is an all-out speed tire, weighing in at 165grams. I have been using the Velo TT tire in my triathlon races, and despite New Zealand’s rough roads, the tyres are holding up really well. Doing away with the belt also improves rolling resistance, which has it as one of the fastest rolling clincher tires available.
I am yet to try the 4s version of the tire. It is designed to perform better in cold and wet conditions than their other tires, by using different rubber compounds. It also has a tread pattern designed to shed water from the tyre.
The tubular version, which is a derivative of the clincher P Zero Velo, offers a 320tpi casing. This is at the higher end available currently and allows a very supple ride.
Pirelli is moving quickly with their cycling tires, and having so much experience in the tire industry I am super excited to see their next developments.