The new P ZERO Road tyre was developed by Pirelli to provide the perfect solution for riders looking for a training tyre with the most balanced performance. New features such as the Evo compound and TechBELT casing technology have been added to give the tyre great puncture protection, reliability and comfort at lightweight.
When given the P ZERO Road tyres to review, I decided not to look at any reviews about them, and rather just go out on the bike to get some unbiased first impressions. Now to be honest, not being familiar with the Pirelli lineup, or riding any of their tyres before, I thought I had been given their top of the line P ZERO Race tyres to test out. So, I finished my first ride thinking that they were spongy racing tyres that felt like they rolled along on the local rural roads quite well. It wasn’t until the following day that I received the ‘tech sheet’ and realised that the tyres I had been given were in fact Pirelli’s training tyres.
First impressions (after figuring out that they were training tyres) were positive. The ride quality was excellent on the punishing rough-chipped rural roads of Pukekohe, thanks to the 28mm width allowing a lower pressure to be run. Rolling resistance was supreme, and the puncture resistance while riding over broken beer bottles discarded by bogans the previous weekend was pleasantly surprising, mainly because I didn’t take any spare tubes with me.
Pirelli’s tech sheet shows the characteristics of the tyre, along with its intended use.
To get a comprehensive review, I decided to take the tyres way out of their outlined ‘comfort zones’. First I took them for a ride on some gravel and they performed well. With no cuts in the tyres or punctures, I’d say they pass that test. Taking them off-piste involved taking both my bike and myself out of our comfort zones too. The local mountain bike track. I usually hit this on my road bike whenever Auckland goes into lockdown (frequently) and we’re told to stay local, but I’ve had a few pinch flat punctures going over tree roots in the past. The P ZERO Road tyres got through unscathed. Another tick.
Pirelli says that the Evo compound is a “high-tech formulation that provides excellent grip and low rolling resistance at the same time while offering a great balance of mileage and all-round performances”. The low rolling resistance is noticeable compared to competitors’ training tyres, they really provided a sense of effortless speed both on the rough-chip and smooth tarmac. Another aspect I was surprised about was the rate of wear on the tyres; they still look new after 700+ kilometres.
The increased puncture protection is down to the high performing casing structure and an additional layer of highly cut-resistant fabric beneath the tread. Coupled with the low-wearing qualities of the Evo compound, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get a glimpse of the TechBELT until you’ve ridden a few thousand kilometres.
One downside I did find with the tyre was the performance in the wet. Pirelli does outline that the grip isn’t excellent and that the tyre is better suited to the drier months of the year, but I still found this tyre sliding out on me on the most gradual of wet corners, along with the rear wheel locking up under a lot less brake pressure than I’m used to on other training tyres, which was quite concerning. This is after taking the recommended 5psi out for riding in the wet.
Overall, the Pirelli P ZERO Road tyre is a reasonably fast bulletproof tyre, I am yet to puncture and have only a couple of small cuts in the rear tyre after 700+ kilometres of riding over various terrain. I did need a few new sets of bib shorts after riding in the wet though. This tyre is at home on both rural and urban roads, it feels solid on light gravel and can take a beating at the local mountain bike track. Just don’t go for a downhill Strava segment in the wet.
Words: Liam Cappel
Images: Liam Cappel / Pirelli
Distributor: FE Sports