Pirelli launches new P Zero Race and training tube-type tyres

Pirelli P Zero Race
(Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Pirelli has released two new tube type tyres, the P Zero Race and P Zero Road. These two new tyres see updates to the compound and casings, Pirelli claims these are the best road bike tyres it has ever produced with the Italian brand claiming they outperform all other clincher type tyres, including tubular, it produces.

Pirelli launched its first road bike tyre in 2017 and has since been refining its range to improve performance, these two new tyres are the first update to the genesis P Zero range. The P Zero Race is its fastest tyre, optimised for racing through a three-year development with Pirelli sponsored Worldtour teams BikeExchange, TREK Segafredo and AG2R Citroën. The P Zero Road is a more durable training tyre that prioritises protection and durability over out and out speed and grip.

The big update is the introduction of Pirelli's new SmartEvo compound which we have previously seen used on the P Zero tubeless race tyres Pirelli released last year. The new compound is claimed to give better grip in wet conditions whilst still maintaining low rolling resistance. The more endurance-focused P Zero road gets a harder wearing Evo compound to extend tyre life. The tread pattern on the Race version is the same compressed-Z-tread pattern as other race orientated Pirelli tyres whereas the Road iteration has a more condensed pattern. 

Both the Race and Road tyre get the same 120tpi casing uses Pirelli's TechBelt technology which adds a layer of high cut resistant fabric underneath the tread to fend off punctures.

Pirelli is offering the P Zero Race in 26mm, 28mm and 30mm sizes with colour options of red, yellow, white logos or a classic (tan wall) for the two smaller sizes. The road version doesn't get any colour matching or classic sidewall options and are sized in 24mm, 26mm and 28mm. For a race tyre, the sizing on offer is on the larger side however Pirelli provides the width (WAM) and outer diameter (RAM) of the tyres when fitted to 17c, 19c and 21c ETRTO rims so customers can check clearance. 

On the box Pirelli provides a very comprehensive list of recommended tyre pressures to run the P-Zero Race and road based on rider weight, rim width and tyre size. Pirelli also offers suggestions regarding fine-tuning the tyre pressure based on riding conditions and riding preferences so to achieve the best performance from the tyres.

The new P Zero Race in a 26mm tips the scales at a claimed 205g which is around a 5g saving over Pirelli's original P Zero in a 25mm. Our test samples in a 28mm, with a claimed weight of 225g, weigh in at 230g and 227g on our scales. Pirelli gives a stated weight of 345g for the P Zero Race in its largest 30mm size. The P Zero Road with its more durable compound has the claimed weights of 215g, 235g and 255g for the 24mm, 26mm and 28mm respectively. Again this marks roughly a 5g saving when compared to the current P Zero 4S all-weather tyre that Pirelli offers.

Pirelli has priced the P Zero Race at $69.90/ €59,90 / £TBC and the endurance focused P Zero Road at $49.90 / €39,90 / £TBC.

Tech Specs: Pirelli P ZERO Race tyre

  • Price: $69.90/ €59.90 / £54.99
  • Type: Tube type clincher
  • Size: 26mm, 28mm, 30mm
  • Weight (claimed): 205g, 225g, 245g
  • TPI: 120tpi

Tech Specs: Pirelli P ZERO Road tyre

  • Price: $49.90 / €39.90 / £37.99
  • Type: Tube type clincher
  • Size: 24mm, 26mm, 28mm
  • Weight (claimed): 215g, 235g, 255g
  • TPI: 120tpi

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Graham has been part of the Cyclingnews team since January 2020. He has mountain biking at his core and can mostly be found bikepacking around Scotland or exploring the steep trails around the Tweed Valley. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has gained a reputation for riding fixed gear bikes both too far and often in inappropriate places.