Review: Pirelli P Zero Race TLR tyre

Review: Pirelli P Zero Race TLR tyre

Cycle magazine's technical editor, Richard Hallett reviews the fast and grippy road bike tyre from motorsports brand Pirelli

Pirelli P Zero Race TLR tyre £56 at the time of writing

The latest additions to Pirelli’s burgeoning road bike tyre range are the tubeless-ready P Zero Race TLR and TLR SL. The latter is around 30g lighter for the same size thanks to a slightly thinner tread cap and the omission of an anti-puncture carcass belt. At 270g for the 26-622 model, the heavier Race TLR reviewed here is more of an all-rounder.

The P Zero Race TLR is offered in four 700C widths: 24-622, 26-622, 28-622 and 30-622. While the two wider tyres may be used, subject to pressure limitations, with the latest generation of hookless rims for tubeless tyres, the 24mm and 26mm versions must not. The Race TLR features Pirelli’s 120 TPI Techwall+ Road carcass and Smart EVO tread compound, which is said by the manufacturer to offer more grip on wet and dry asphalt than its previous compounds.

Installation on a pair of Hunt 4 Season Aero wheels was quick and easy, both tyres snapping into place with a satisfying pop. They held their pressure well even before the addition of sealant. With a minimalist tread pattern similar to that used on the firm’s P Zero Velo model, the Race TLR 26-622 inflated to 25.3mm on the Hunt rims. This is on the narrow side; 25-622 Continental GP5000 TL tyres measured 26.3mm on the same rims.

All else being equal, a smaller tyre is a lighter tyre, but also one with a smaller air chamber. Nevertheless, the tyres offered a pleasant, comfortable ride at 75/90psi front/rear pressures. (Tubeless tyres are designed to be run at lower pressures than their tubed brethren without risking a pinch flat.)

The Race TLRs were impressive in other respects, rolling fast, offering plenty of grip and stability on the cold, wet roads of the test period, and remaining cut- and puncture-free. Indeed, as an all-round, lightweight tubeless road tyre, there’s nothing obvious to criticise. This is a tyre well suited to anything from credit card touring and fast training to sportive riding and entry-level racing. Competition is fierce and getting more so in the lightweight road tubeless market sector; Pirelli’s newest offering compares well with any of its peers.

Verdict

Fast, comfortable, grippy in the wet and, on the available evidence, resistant to cuts and punctures, the Race TLR fulfils its demanding brief with aplomb.

Other options

Continental GP5000 TL £49.99 at the time of writing


Fast and durable tubeless tyre that can be tricky to fit on some tubeless rims e.g. Mavic. 

Schwalbe Pro One TLE £50 at the time of writing 


Highly-regarded tubeless road clincher available in a wide range of fittings. 

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