Choosing new bike tyres isn’t easy. Without going out and actually test-riding a specific tyre, you don’t know exactly how it will perform. Of course, you can use road.cc reviews to inform your choice but, often, your best bet is to go with a tyre manufacturer that you trust.
So, what kind of qualities should you look for in a tyre manufacturer you can trust?
The first is to find a brand who can control the production process intimately by making its own tyres in its own factory. The second is a brand with experience of cycling at the highest level. And the third is a brand who can push bike tyre technology with its experience of making high-performance tyres for demanding applications outside of cycling.
When you put all of those elements together, there’s one name that stands above all others: Pirelli.
With decades of experience supplying tyres to the most demanding of cyclists – including current World Tour squads such as Lidl-Trek, AG2R Citroën, and elite mountain bike teams such as Wilier Triestina-Pirelli and Canyon CLLCTV-Pirelli – Pirelli has complete knowledge of bike tyres.
As the sole supplier of tyres to Formula 1, and with P ZERO tyres being the first choice for countless supercar and superbike brands, Pirelli brings unmatched expertise in exploring tyre technology at the very peak of high-speed performance from outside of cycling.
And now, with the renovation of its own factory in Bollate, Milan – just a metaphorical stone’s throw from Pirelli’s headquarters and R&D department in Bicocca, Milan – the quality of Pirelli’s P ZERO Race TLR tubeless tyres has entered a new era of ultimate performance.
We’ll look at those tyres in a moment but first a quick word about the factory because, with it, Pirelli can justifiable lay claim to one of the most advanced tyre manufacturing plants in Europe, if not the world.
First opened in 1962, the Bollate factory has recently undergone an extensive modernisation process that makes it truly unique in this sector.
Its process automation guarantees extremely high production quality reliability and geometrical precision – which is even more important for bike tyres, given their small size and light weight. Allied with Pirelli’s unique extrusion system and proprietary tyre compounds, it guarantees the kind of quality that Pirelli believes makes its newest P ZERO Race TLR tyres an industry benchmark.
So let’s see those benchmark products in finer detail.
The first option from Pirelli’s trio of P ZERO Race tubeless excellence is the P ZERO Race TLR SL.
Developed in close cooperation with professional World Tour riders for pure speed in dry races or time trials, the P ZERO Race TLR SL uses a unique slick tread and Pirelli’s new lightweight TechWALL casing construction to create the company’s fastest tubeless-ready road tyre for dry conditions – ever!
For road cyclists who want to feel what it is like to ride on the ultimate light and fast race-day tyre, here’s your answer.
(Please note: the P ZERO Race TLR SL is not made in Pirelli’s Bollate factory)
Sizes and prices
Pirelli’s new P ZERO Race TLR is the launch product to benefit from the enhanced made-in-Italy status and represents a new flagship model for the legendary Italian manufacturer.
Essentially an all-new, fit-and-forget performance tyre, the move to in-house production has allowed Pirelli to maximise its proprietary innovation and introduce its new SpeedCore technology in the P ZERO Race TLR’s 120tpi casing. This features a layer of compound mixed with aramid that covers the inner layer of the tyre, providing a significant improvement to both rolling efficiency and puncture protection.
SpeedCore is used in addition to Pirelli’s proven SmartEVO compound technology, derived from the company’s first-hand experience of world motorsport. Only available on P ZERO tyres, the SmartEVO compound offers superb grip in any weather thanks to its unique blend of three polymers, each chosen for their specific performance characteristics.
And if you need even more proof that this is probably all the performance tyre you’ll ever need: the P ZERO Race TLR is the first choice for Mads Pedersen and Pirelli’s other sponsored Tour de France riders.
Sizes and prices
The P ZERO Race TLR also comes in a 'Classic' version with classy tan sidewall. It is available in the following versions:
The P ZERO Race TLR is a fantastic tyre that will stand up to most conditions, but what if you need just a little bit more all-weather grip and puncture protection? The answer is Pirelli’s P ZERO Race TLR 4S.
The P ZERO Race TLR 4S retains all of the speed-associated talents of the standard P ZERO Race TLR, including the SpeedCore casing construction, but adds in the additional capabilities of Pirelli’s SMARTNET Silica, which provides the best formulation for chemical grip on wet roads.
Make no mistake, this is no jumped up commuting tyre: it’s a performance tyre through and through – whether that performance is needed for tight and twisty crit races or damp early-morning training rides.
In short, if you are an all-year-round British cyclist who doesn’t want to compromise on speed or grip, it’s the perfect option.
Sizes and prices
Of course, due to its unheralded levels of technological and production quality, the P ZERO TLR tubeless range does command premium prices. However, if tubeless isn’t your first choice, Pirelli’s existing range of World Tour-proven P ZERO road bike clincher tyres – including the P ZERO Race, P ZERO Race 4S, P ZERO Race Classic and P ZERO – are all still available.
To see the full line-up, visit www.pirelli.com.