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The Pirelli Cinturato Adventure is a quality all-round gravel tyre that is great on the road and perfectly capable on looser surfaces, making it a good bikepacking option.
I tested the Gravel RC version of these tyres a couple of months ago and really enjoyed using them – they were good on the road and performed just as well on looser surfaces, while being comfortable and gripping well.
The main differences between the two tyres are in their grip patterns and the compounds used, as well as the price. The Gravel RC tyres boast a SpeedGrip compound in the tread and Techwall on the walls – the Adventures feature a ProCompound Gravel tread and Pirelli's new Pro WallGravel tubeless-ready casing sidewalls.
The Adventure has a much shallower pattern across the central band of the tread and smaller knobs on the shoulders, for its greater focus on bikepacking, puncture resistance and endurance, with the Gravel RC designed more for off-road grip and speed.
As you would expect from those aims, the Adventures work best on the road and compacted gravel surfaces, and if you venture off road they're not as fast as the Gravel RCs. While they did prove perfectly capable off road, in wetter conditions they lacked the grip of tyres designed primarily for off-road use. On well-worn gravel tracks I had no problems, and though there were no major issues once I hit the mud, there was definitely less grip and they didn't shed mud as well as the Gravel RCs, particularly on the shoulder knobs.
Rolling resistance is good on the road, which is no surprise given the tread patterns and a compound that is more focused on multi-surface use. Given the tyre's bikepacking ambitions, there is a greater focus on durability both in terms of its lifespan and puncture resistance. The review period is obviously limited in judging their longer-term prospects, but I didn't see any signs of degradation during testing. I suffered no punctures with either these or the Gravel RCs, so I think's it's safe to say that both compounds appear to work well in preventing punctures.
Pirelli hasn't just added puncture protection to the tops, but has also included ProWall compound on the sidewalls, which is designed to give better protection against lateral cuts. This offers 60tpi (threads per inch) protection, compared with the 120tpi offered by the higher-spec Gravel RCs – but seemed to offer a similar protection for the kind of the riding I was doing.
One of the reasons for the lack of punctures may be that these were set up as tubeless, which both decreases the likelihood of punctures, and reduces the chances of noticing a small puncture, which will automatically be sealed by the sealant.
They were also pleasingly easy to set up too – they were easy to seat on the rim without requiring a blast from a tubeless-specific pump, which is always a bonus. I haven't noticed any sealant leakages and after the first ride, where the sealant was spread around the inside of the tyre, air loss has been minimal.
Their 595g weight compares with 520g for the Gravel RCs, which is unsurprising given their extra size and the added focus on durability. They're also heavier than similar tyres such as the Bontrager GR2 Team Issue TLR Gravel, which are just 414g each. Vredestein's Aventuras also carry less weight, coming in at 430g. That said, much of the extra weight of the Pirellis comes from their extra puncture protection and the additional sidewall reinforcement.
The Adventures may be heavier than the Bontrager GR2 Team Issue TLR Gravel Tyre that Vecchiojo rated very highly, but the Pirellis do come in around a tenner cheaper, which I think is a pretty reasonable price for tyres with this level of technology and performance.
And while not technically a gravel tyre in spite of its name, Hollis reckoned that the TLC Panaracer GravelKing Slick TLC excelled in on-road/bad road scenarios, which is some of the same ground the Pirellis are designed to tackle.
I was impressed by the Pirelli Adventures. They don't offer quite the same level of performance or speed as the Gravel RCs, but overall and for the sort of cycling they're designed for, they're hard to fault. There is a weight disadvantage compared with similar tyres, but to be honest, if I was going on an adventure holiday, I'd rather carry a little extra weight if it reduces the chance of puncturing.
A good all-rounder tyre for adventuring and bikepacking
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pirelli Cinturato Adventure gravel tyres
Size tested: 700x45
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Cinturato Adventure is a designed for your bikepacking adventure; the tread is lighter on the central part and more aggressive on the shoulder, being the knobs derived from off-road design oriented to promote rider support off-road. The Cinturato Adventure features the new ProWall Gravel, a 60tpi tubeless-ready casing with added side wall reinforcement to prevent lateral cuts while the ProCompound Gravel, thanks to its formulation made of a mix of polymers, provides an enhanced milage. The Cinturato Adventure is a tyre able to provide you traction and grip on various surfaces
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
MODEL Cinturato™ Adventure
CASING ProWALL Gravel
COMPOUND PROCompound Gravel
Well-made tyres with a nice choice of compound combined with impressive puncture protection.
Not as good as the absolute top-end models off road, but for adventure rides, they coped admirably with every type of surface I tried them on.
Loads of puncture protection all around the tyre and a tough compound make for tyres that are likely to last.
All that additional protection does come with a weight penalty – but for bikepacking or adventure trips, weight isn't the most important matter on the agenda.
The 45s can create a big old cushion but despite the thick walls they still feel surprisingly supple.
About where I would expect for this kind of do-it-all tyre.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, they spin up well on the road, offer decent grip off the tarmac and keep punctures at bay – what's not to like?
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The lower rolling resistance while not world-leading is good enough that I would happily use these on a bikepacking trip
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Die-hard weight weenies would probably want something a bit lighter.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Adventures are reasonably priced at £42, which is about what I'd expect for tyres with this level of technology, but without hitting the very top performance levels. The Vredestein Aventura are lighter and perform a little better in the really rough stuff and are a little dearer at £49, but they don't have anything like the same level of puncture protection. The Bontrager GR2 Team Issue TLRs are lighter and have decent off-road credentials, but are £10.99 more expensive at £52.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A good all-rounder tyre for bike-packing or adventure trips – they aren't at the same performance level as the higher end Gravel RCs, but then again neither is the price.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.