Still a relative newcomer to bikes, there’s no questioning Pirelli’s place in the overall tire world. As one of the most renowned global tire manufacturers, their treads are synonymous with speed on the track. And It hasn’t taken long for that renown to carry over into road, gravel and mountain biking. The Pirelli P Zero Race TLR 30c tires finally arrived for extensive testing this spring and have since that first mile have become the road racing tires to beat.
Pirelli P Zero Race TLR 30c Road Tire Features:
- SmartEVO Compound optimizes speed, grip and rolling resistance
- Great in any weather condition
- SpeedCore is Pirelli’s first tubeless tire made entirely in Italy
- Hookless rim compatible (see your wheel manufacturer to be sure)
- 127 TPI casing
- Weight: 330 grams (actual)
- MSRP: $99.90
Classic P Zero in road racing form
When it comes to tires for motorsports, the P Zero has long been the standard. Now, in the bike world, Pirelli has garnered attention and praise of the top cycling teams in the world and competitive riders as well. Mounted up to the Zipp 353 NSW Wheelset, the Pirelli P Zero Race TLR tires have been a dream since day one. I have also exclusively tested that combination aboard the Fezzari Veyo SL throughout the entire summer.
With every tire manufacturer now offering tubeless versions, there’s never been an easier time to switch from those old, clunky tubes to the smooth and comfortable experience of road tubeless. While it has taken some time to establish road tubeless standards, for the most part, all major tires are compatible with all the major brands. The biggest exception to this is when inner rim widths are 25mm or wider, sometimes those narrow 28’s just aren’t going to fit. As mentioned, the P Zero Race TLR’s were mounted up on the Zipp 353’s — all without any levers or trickery. They seated right up with a floor pump without using any trickery or four-letter words. I have an abundance of WTB Tubeless Tire Sealant, so that’s what I used (3 oz front/rear) and the combo has been fantastic. That sealant is a little thick, so you have to pour it into the tire before installation instead of through the valve.
As a reminder, the Zipp 353’s measure 25mm internal. With that width, the 30c P Zero Race TLR’s filled out to a whopping 33mm! I’m not complaining one bit about that extra width. In fact, my back is still singing praises to that wheel/tire combo because it provides endurance bike-level comfort on a racy bike like the Fezzari Veyo SL.
With a round tire shape and all-weather treads, the Pirelli P Zero Race TLR’s have made an outstanding partner on the curviest of mountain descents and around town alike. Tubeless allows me to run 55/60 psi. on these tires and not only is my lower-back stoked, but my inner Tour de France descender is too.
Rolling around the local roads, these tires are downright fast. I’m talking wicked-fast. The SmartEVO compound just dances over pavement — carrying speed for days. There’s just something special about this compound that makes me feel like a superhero. When it comes to fast, mountain descents, I can confidently angulate in and out of the sharpest turns with the utmost confidence because these tires simply GRIP the road.
After 500+ miles of snappy riding, these tires are just barely broken in and show no significant signs of wear. I haven’t been shy about rolling through some rough shoulders, potholes, choppy roads and even gravel. Throughout all that, I haven’t had a single flat, or even so much as a thorn or nail puncture (knock on wood). That latter fact is astounding because I’m notorious for nails or thorns in my road tubeless setups. In addition, this tire/wheel combo holds air quite well, without significant air loss after a week hanging in the garage.
As expected, dry conditions are a dream with the P Zero Race TLR’s. I haven’t had a ton of rain to ride in, but wet roads have yielded excellent grip in all my testing so far. These aren’t a 4-season tire specifically (check out the P Zero Race TLR 4S for that), but do hold their own on wet road and offer a level of suppleness that blows my mind every time.
Note: After publishing this review, Pirelli did issue a full recall of their 28c tires. That doesn’t apply to their 30c tires tested here.
Setup details: Tested entirely on the Zipp 353 NSW Wheelset aboard the Fezzari Veyo SL, my 173 lb. weight was happy with 55 psi front and 60 psi rear. I used 3 oz of WTB sealant in each tire.
- Roll very fast — arguably the best rolling resistance I’ve tested
- Fill to a rounded profile for supreme grip
- Easy tubeless setup
- Holds air well between rides
- Made entirely in Italy
- Little signs of wear so far
- Pricey… very pricey
The Bottom Line: Pirelli P Zero Race TLR Tires
So far, I’ve got nothing but praises for these fast-rolling, easy-going tubeless tires. The SmartEVO compound seems to have found the Holy Grail of tire materials for sure. I’ve found them to be reliable, durable and easy to live with. The extreme comfort offered by the 30c width can’t be overlooked either — I’m sold on this tire width as the standard for all my road bikes.
Buy Now: Available from REI