Pirelli Cycl-e WT: new eco-friendly winter tyre optimised for cold and wet urban riding

The new tyre is rated for e-bikes and designed to be used at temperatures below freezing and even on snow

The Pirelli Cycl-e WT comes with a compound designed to “grip reliably even in freezing conditions due to its lower warm-up time.” Even dustings of snow are within the new urban tyre’s remit: it features a tread pattern with “lamellar notches” – an armour plating-like arrangement – which Pirelli claims guarantee grip at maximum levels, even on snowflakes.

Pirelli Cycl-e

Pirelli has incorporated technologies developed from its winter car tyres in its latest cycling tyres. The Cycl-e range is intended for urban use on both traditional and electric bikes and takes into account the specific demands of city riding including painted road markings, rails, and broken surfaces.

Beyond the performance aspect, Pirelli has had an eye to the environment, taking “crumb rubber from end-of-life car tyres” then regenerating and reusing this in the polymer matrix of the bike tyres. Special attention is also said to have been paid to maximising the use of natural rubber, a raw material coming from a renewable source.

As we’ve seen with other new releases from Pirelli, the range of tyres sizes is quite limited. There will be three sizes of tyre on offer: 700c x 37mm, 700c x 42mm, and 650b x 50 mm. Pirelli claims weights vary between 780g and 1,110g, depending on which size you opt for. Pricing and availability has yet to be confirmed.

Two-layer construction

The tyre uses a two-layer construction, with a “cap” which is the part in contact with the road surface providing the grip, and a “base” which is designed to prevent punctures. The thickness of the base varies between 3 and 3.5mm – dependent on tyre size – and is designed to not only form a physical barrier but also to “incorporate sharp objects, in this way preventing perforation of the tyre.”

It’s only been three years since Pirelli jumped back into the cycling market, but its tyres have continually impressed, with the Pirelli PZero Velo road tyre featuring in Editor’s Choice in 2018.