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Review: The new Pirelli P ZERO™ Velo Road tyre

Patrick 05. September 2017

After more than two decades, Pirelli has returned to cycling with three road tyres. I mounted the new pneus without hesitation and discovered its multiple talents.

What are my expectations for a tyre that I intend to use for training and racing, rain or shine? Apart from excellent rolling qualities and puncture protection, I am looking for grip to ensure good cornering to stay in my line while in a tight peloton during a race. After many seasons and tens of thousands of miles on Continental’s award-winning tyres, I was excited to try something new.

Pirelli P ZERO™ Velo

Application Road
Type Folding Tyre - Clincher
Tubeless System none
Rubber Compound SmartNET Silica®
Carcass 127 tpi
Casing Nylon
Puncture Protection Aramid Belt
Weight 210 g (25 mm)
On the race track, you can easily reach speeds of 90 km/h and more.

On the race track, you can easily reach speeds of 90 km/h and more.

Into the mix – race tested

I received the tyres about an hour before this year’s 24 hours of Rad am Ring race. With my head already focused on what lay ahead of me, this was not ideal. But then the occasion was perfect. The chance to ride the new Pirelli tyre on the smooth surface of a Formula 1 track would not present itself again and so I mounted the tyres without hesitation and dove straight into the competition with more than 2000 other athletes.

Unboxing the P Zero, the packaging is certainly noteworthy.

Unboxing the P Zero, the packaging is certainly noteworthy.

Mounting the tyre was hassle free.

Mounting the tyre was hassle free.

This is what Pirelli tyres look like on a road bike wheel..

This is what Pirelli tyres look like on a road bike wheel..

During my first lap, I stayed with the pack without thinking twice and the tyres did the opposite of holding me back on the Formula 1 track’s perfectly smooth asphalt. Never mind the 90+ km/h descents and fast turns. The Pirelli ZEROs gave me reassurance and formed a great connection between my wheels and the road.

The positive impression of the first lap was confirmed during the following 150+ kilometres of racing, which I did as part of a team. The 25 mm version offered great rolling performance without compromising on comfort.

The tyre is very reliable and makes for great handling.

The tyre is very reliable and makes for great handling.

Training rides – rain or shine

After this initial test under dry conditions and on smooth surface, I used the Pirelli to take on more mundane tasks like my daily training rides that made it impossible to avoid the occasional rain and grime found on commuter routes. The result was the same, a reliable companion that feels great no matter what the road throws at it. Its handling on wet surfaces is very precise, without sudden surprises.

I can only imagine what additional safety margins the Pirelli P ZERO 4S version holds in store. 4S stands for 4 seasons and the tyre has a softer rubber mix and more puncture protection, which is specifically made to perform in the rain and at lower temperatures.

And then there is the P ZERO TT for the fight against the clock. It offers even less rolling resistance, but compromises on comfort, durability and puncture protection to win extra tenths of seconds. It’s also only available in 23 mm.

Pirelli P  ZERO™ Velo, tested on the Nürburg Ring Formula 1 race track.

Pirelli P ZERO™ Velo, tested on the Nürburg Ring Formula 1 race track.

My verdict

Great to have Pirelli back! Their undisputed tyre expertise from the motor sport world is clearly for cycling’s benefit. The P ZERO Velo has won me over. It’s a “well-rounded” tyre that lives up to my expectations. It performs well under changing conditions and on different surfaces, wet or dry, smooth or rough. It will be interesting to see how it fares on the long run. The rubber mix appears to be on the soft side, so maybe it won’t last as many miles. However, it’s a price worth paying for such great performance.

Don’t hesitate to post any questions about the new P Zeros in the comment section below and I will get back to you shortly.

Patrick

Patrick

Blog comments are published with first name and first letter of surname.
Blog comments are published with first name and first letter of surname.