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The new rubber, equipped with a special inner tube, guarantees a reduction in overall tire weight of more than 10%, while maintaining the same grip, smoothness and reliability characteristics. It will be the ace up the sleeve of Pirelli’s World Tour teams at the Giro d’Italia: Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves for Team BikeExchange, Nibali’s Trek-Segafredo and AG2R Citröen.
Milan, Italy, April 27, 2021- A little more than three years after returning to professional cycling, Pirelli is preparing to launch an innovation that will redefine the bicycle tubular tire.
At the Giro d’Italia 2021, and soon on the market, comes the P ZERO RACE Tub SL.
Pirelli is once again taking on a sacred monster of road cycling: the tubular. A tire that has seen very little innovation in its history, on which the benefits of one feature have usually been at the expense of others, that are equally important for performance. Very few tire manufacturers have recently taken an interest in improving the tubular, as this is a niche product, almost exclusively intended for professional cycling.
As with the elite sports in which it is a partner, on two and four wheels, in cycling Pirelli confirms its vocation for continuous product development and absolute performance in the world of racing, without necessarily having a significant commercial outcome. Although the future is tubeless, in all respects, Pirelli recognizes that most Pro teams still use tubular tires. Faithful to its DNA, Pirelli is not stopping the development of this tire, but rather raising the bar even higher for a product which, in the course of its history, has rarely seen major technical innovations.
DEVELOPED FOR AND WITH PROFESSIONAL CYCLISTS
P ZERO RACE Tub SL is a project that has seen two years of planned, meticulous and constant development. Working on the first tubular, launched in 2018 together with the Mitchelton-SCOTT team (now BikeExchange), Pirelli engineers took on board requests and suggestions for changes from the pros including, first and foremost, the one on weight reduction. In fact, today’s athletes find themselves racing on high-performance bicycles that do not always fall within the UCI weight limit: disc brakes, aerodynamic frames, power meters and electronic groups certainly have an impact on the final result on the scale.
Road testing of Pirelli’s new tubulars began with Mitchelton-SCOTT at the 2020 Tour of UAE and continued throughout the season, achieving notable results as early as the 2020 Tour de France, with Adam Yates in his yellow jersey stages and Richie Porte of the Trek- Segafredo team on the general classification podium.
LIGHT WEIGHT BUT WITHOUT COMPROMISE
The focal point of this Pirelli innovation is the weight, which is over 10% less than the already competitive P ZERO Velo Tub. A result that translates into just under 100g eliminated from the complete bike and, in particular, from a crucial component such as the wheels. Pirelli’s search for a lighter tubular was carried out without penalizing the already excellent performance of the tire: top-notch rolling, high grip even on wet roads, and great resistance to punctures.
At the heart of the P ZERO RACE Tub SL is a special inner tube made of a lightweight, completely airtight material and optimized specifically for use inside the handmade tubular. Instead of the traditional latex, which has been used in almost all Pro tubulars up to now, Pirelli has used TPU, or thermoplastic polyurethane, a cutting-edge material which is being applied to a tubular’s inner tube for the first time and which required a great deal of development before it gave the expected results. It offers the same speed performance and puncture protection typical of latex tubes, but with a significant weight reduction and complete airtightness, thus eliminating the chronic pressure loss of traditional tubulars.
The casing of P ZERO RACE Tub SL is made of Corespun with 320 TPI. The latest- generation SmartEVO Compound, which Pirelli has developed for the new P ZERO Race in clincher and tubeless-ready versions, is another feather in the cap of the Tub SL. In the road tests carried out by the teams, the new tire proved to improve the handling of the bike and the ascent speed, the famous VAM (Average Ascent Speed), offering excellent protection against punctures and greater control at high speeds.
All of Pirelli’s World Tour team partners were given the opportunity today to choose this version of tubular ahead of the big Tours. It is likely that riders aiming for the general classification will use them more often than others. Think Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves for BikeExchange or Vincenzo Nibali for Trek-Segafredo.
Comments from Kevin Tabotta, performance manager of the BikeExchange team: “This new Pirelli tire is a great way to reduce bike weight by 100g – which is quite a large improvement, and not normally easy to find in a top end race set up (…) Really impressed actually, we did some blind testing (…) The tires performed exactly as we hoped they would, but now lighter! (…) It’s hard to believe that you can make such a significant saving in weight for a high- performance all-round tire for road racing, but Pirelli did it.”
Esteban Chaves of the BikeExchange team added: “I was excited to see the large drop in weight per set of tires with the new tubulars. The main thing is the tires feel faster and handle well, like always – but now they are lighter as well. You feel that in the climbs. I’m already using them, but of course the Grand Tours’ will be a big target.”
The new Pirelli P ZERO RACE Tub SL will soon be on the market at the price of $ 149,90.-