Four years after the launch of the original P Zero Velo (opens in new tab), the clincher that marked the Italian company’s return to cycling, Pirelli has unveiled a new range of clincher tyres (opens in new tab) that will replace the current one.
There are two tyres in the new range: the Pirelli P Zero Race, which the brand says is designed for pure performance, and the P Zero Road, which is an all-round clincher more oriented towards durability. The 4S and TT versions of the original P Zero Velo are not continuing, with Pirelli appearing to have assimilated those tyres’ particular characteristics into the two new ones.
Arriving chronologically after the P Zero Race TLR and Race TLR SL, for reasons of market demand, according to Pirelli, which is now moving towards the tubeless option, the brand says its aim with these two new clincher tyres is to offer improved grip, smoothness and comfort, as well as bringing them into line with the new standards in the sector.
Pirelli P Zero Race
According to Pirelli, after three years of development work with racers at the WorldTour level, including the male and female 2019 world champions, it designed this new tubetype tyre with the new SmartEVO compound and TechBelt casing technology to provide its professional riders, as well as all cycling enthusiasts, with a superior product.
The P Zero Race is, it says, crafted to pack all the benefits of tubetype technology into a race-ready all-rounder which outperforms all tubetype tyres it has created before, tubulars included.
Pirelli says it developed a ternary blend of functionalised polymers with "intelligent" behavioural characteristics, which are the basis of the exceptional properties of SmartEVO. Each of the three polymers provides specific performance, ensuring a perfect balance of opposing characteristics, such as grip and rolling, with the result being better grip on dry and wet surfaces and very low rolling resistance, resulting in smoothness and driveability. Pirelli says the compound has already been tested by the WorldTour teams it partners – Ag2R Citroen, Trek-Segafredo and Team BikeExchange.
Completely new for the P Zero Race clincher is the construction of the casing. Made from 120tpi Nylon and designed for use with an inner tube this tyre has, says Pirelli, been adapted to the new, wider ETRTO 19c rim standards. As a result, each size of the P Zero Race has a wider tread than the corresponding P Zero Velo: a wider and more elongated footprint that Pirelli claims improves rolling performance, puncture protection and cornering control.
The carcass also features a wider protective belt. Called TechBelt Road, this is an additional layer of Aramid fabric underneath the compound.
The P Zero Race is available in 24, 26, 28 and 30mm sizes, in black or with tan sidewalls (Classic). Pirelli plans to make it available in a Colour Edition version too (yellow, red or white).
The 26c version weighs a claimed 205g. As for its seasonal range, Pirelli says from spring to late autumn.
The P Zero Race will be priced at £54.99, quite a bit higher than the outgoing £39.99 P Zero Velo.
Pirelli P Zero Road
The Pirelli P Zero Road clincher is oriented towards durability, without compromising smoothness and comfort according to Pirelli. Specifically developed as a multi-purpose tyre, this all-round rubber is, like the P Zero Race, also built to fit modern, wider rims.
The P Zero Road also uses a 120tpi casing but differs from the Race version in its tread pattern design, with closer and longer grooves, and in its compound: the more durable EVOCompound makes it a more versatile tyre, according to Pirelli.
Pirelli claims low rolling resistance, excellent grip, high comfort and durability for the P Zero Road.
The P Zero Road is available in black, in sizes 24, 26 and 28mm. Weight is 235g for the 26mm version and the price will be £37.99, which is £2 less than the outgoing P Zero.
We have samples of both the P Zero Race and P Zero Road, so keep an eye out for our review. We included the original Pirelli P Zero in our Editor's Choice selection of 2020 – will the new tyres be even better?
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism.
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Mercian Classic fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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