Pirelli’s tires are legendary and their entries into the bike market have garnered immediate attention. They were quick to offer a tubeless tire and I was quick to snatch some up for testing. The Pirelli Cinturato Velo 28 tubeless tires have been locked-and-loaded for a winter-full of worry-free miles.

Pirelli Cinturato Velo 28 TLR Tires Features:

  • Armour Tech™ construction for the ultimate protection
  • SmartNET™ Silica rubber compound for excellent grip
  • Full TLR bead (can run with tubes, if necessary)
  • Sizes: 26, 28, 32, and 35mm
  • Weight: 325 grams (28c – actual)
  • MSRP: $60.72 – $64.24
Pirelli Cinturato Velo TLR Tires Review

Bombproof Armour Tread keeps the Cinturato Velo’s running confidently.

Cinturato delivers ultimate puncture-resistance

In the fall and through the winter, I ride tubeless exclusively. And, much of the summer, I also continue to ride tubeless tires when I can. Their simplicity can’t be ignored and puncture-resistance is as good as it gets. Around here, we get goat heads galore in the fall and after two consecutive flat-ridden tires due to goat heads, I made the switch and never looked back.

Mounting up the Cinturato Velo’s was about on par with most modern tubeless road tires — it requires some patience, a few four-letter words, soapy water and strong hands. I was able to get them mounted aboard the Zipp 303 Firecrest Disc Tubeless wheels without tools, but I did employ all of the aforementioned tactics. I was then able to seat them up using the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger.

Trek Emonda Disc SLR - Pirelli Cinturato Velo Tires

Ride on road debris without worries with the Cinturato Velo’s.

Once seated, the question always comes to proper tire pressures. With a 21mm internal rim width and 28mm treads, running tubeless, I’ve settled on 80 psi rear and 75 psi in the front. I’m sure I could run lower, but that’s where I typically run 28mm tubeless tires for my 175 lb. weight.

The profile of the Cinturato Velo’s is a little conical — even with 21mm inner-width rims. Scwalbe Pro One and Zipp RT28’s both offer a much fuller, rounded profile in comparison. Much of that conical shape is due to the 3.7mm tread thickness at its peak. This is substantially thicker than other comparable tires on the market. But, in spite of that thickness, they still have a decent road feel. They aren’t best-in-class in that department, but they are better than all but the best tubeless tires I’ve tested.

Rolling-resistance is good and these measure out to just over 31mm, so keep that in mind if you have tight clearances. I’ve had them aboard the Trek Emonda SLR Disc without any issues at all.

At my chosen pressures (80/75psi), the Cinturato Velo rides comfortably and smooth. They do roll well, but again, are bested by some of the top tires on the market. Where these shine is overall grip and puncture resistance. I have had no issues in road trip over wet, dry and loose roads and no tubeless issues after the initial setup.

Note: Pirelli does state a 20mm internal rim width maximum for these tires. I’ve been running them on the Zipp 303’s, which are 21mm wide, without any issues, but they do state 20mm max. I’ll just leave it at that. 

The Good

  • Supreme puncture resistance
  • Great traction and handling
  • Set up is possible without tools
  • A great winter training tire
  • Sidewalls show zero wear

The Bad

  • Road feel is a little numb
  • Heaver than the leading TLR tires (but you get supreme puncture resistance)

The Bottom Line: Pirelli Cinturato Velo TLR

I love riding tubeless road tires — especially with today’s wider rims. Matched up with the Zipp 303’s, the Cinturato’s measured out to a good width (31.2mm) for added comfort and control. For winter training or extensive riding on terrible roads, the Pirelli Cinturato Velo TLR’s are a great choice.

Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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