Pirelli, one of the big players car tyre industry, has been making bicycle tyres for a few years now. And, with off-road riding becoming more and more popular, it makes sense that we’d start to see some rubber aimed at gravel riders. Not mucking around they’ve dropped are two tyres in the gravel line, the Hard which is for more road or hardpack gravel, and the Mixed, which is what I had a chance to mount up and review. It is targeted toward more loose and variable terrain while also covering road riding.
These have been laced up to a few of our rigs, but mainly the mule that’s been in the stable for a while now; Santa Cruz Stigmata. We’ve been running the 650x45c variant of these tyres. They come in a variety of sizes from 700x35c, 700x40c 700x45c, 650x45c and 650x 50c so there’s a broad spectrum to lace onto on your wheels. The M (Mixed) features a bead to bead fabric reinforcement and a single Speedgrip compound tread and of course a kevlar bead. It isn’t light and weighs in at just over 500g each, which is a lil’ heavier than other gravel tyres, but keep in mind the reinforced casing here. And, for me, I’d rather have the added protection of the reinforcing over saving some measly grams. Especially when venturing off into remote gravel roads. One thing that’s noticeable is continuous center tread and beefy but widely spaced shoulder and corner knobs.
These have performed well in most terrains thrown in front em’. As sealed road turns to gravel and eventually singletrack, the rougher and rowdier the better for these tyres. They eat up loose terrain with the lateral grip is there to save you. And, tilt the bike into any corner, this tyre hooks up, the the transition to the shoulder knobs and good tread depth is on-point. The versatility of the thread really good, being able to transition from one terrain to another. Underload, with bikepacking bag on, skittering across loose terrain, the braking power is what probably lets em’ down. On the ascents and under slipping rocks they has excellent traction. I’ve been impressed by these tyres on the road, they’re not road tyres by any means, but they hold speed well. Overall, they’re robust, well, we’ve only manged to shred one tyre in the past four months, but it was on rough flint rock, but they really hold their own in a variety of mixed-terrain.
RRP: From $99
Distributor: FE Sport
Words: Liam Friary
Images: Marcus Enno