Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

review

Pirelli P Zero Race

9
£54.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Great balance of grip, speed and durability in a race-ready clincher tyre
Good balance of speed, grip and durability
Premium price
Weight: 
235g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The Pirelli P Zero Race sits at the top of the firm's clincher range, and is designed as a 'race ready all-rounder.' Out in the real world, it feels fast, proves grippy for twisty criterium races, and is a competitive weight.

On test we have the 28mm width, but the P Zero Race is also available in 26mm and 30mm. These 28mm versions have a claimed weight of 225g, although we found them slightly heavier at 235g a piece. That's still very competitive for a 28mm tyre, though, and roughly the same as a Continental GP5000 (they often come in a little lighter than their 250g claimed weight).

> Find your nearest dealer here

The P Zero Race is the direct replacement for the P Zero Velo tyre we tested back in 2017. Those thoroughly impressed us with performance both in the dry and wet, and proved quick enough to race on – yet were more durable than most tyres of the same weight.

2021 Pirelli P Zero Race mounted 1.jpg

The new P Zero Race has lived up to expectations on my summer Roval Rapide CLXs, during both racing and training for a solid six weeks.

Fitting the tyres proved little hassle on both old and new wheels, and Pirelli provides a very comprehensive table of what width your tyres will actually measure on different rims – and what pressures it recommends too. On the pictured 19mm (internal width) Synchros rims the tyres measured exactly 28mm, just as promised.

2021 Pirelli P Zero Race mounted 2.jpg

Chucking the tyres straight in at the deep end, I headed off to a midweek crit. This particular circuit features a hairpin corner with no camber which proved the perfect opportunity to test dry weather performance.

Now, I am more than aware that cornering speed is far more dependent on confidence than grip, but for me this confidence is largely based tyre feel. I was quickly able to trust the Pirellis, and after a few pedal strikes and watching a few people sliding out in front of me, I was thoroughly impressed – and a few BC points richer.

2021 Pirelli P Zero Race mounted 3.jpg

The next few weeks seemed to contain endless wet training rides. When Matt tested the cheaper P Zero Road he was left wanting when conditions got damp, but the softer SmartEVO compound of this Race version grips well, even on slick tarmac. It's on a par with other top offerings I've used, such as the Goodyear Eagle F1 and Conti GP5000.

Value

At £54.99 these are at the premium end of the market, but perform very well. It's a shame they're a full £15 more than their £40 predecessors, but they still manage to undercut the GP5000 (£59.99) while matching them for performance. The Goodyear Eagle F1, however, is usefully cheaper at £45, if a little bit prone to punctures.

With a 127 threads-per-inch carcass, the P Zero Race's road feel is extremely similar to the Goodyear and Conti options mentioned above. That's to say it's good, but not quite on the same level as the very best out there such, as the Vittoria Corsa Speed (which I reserve for racing only).

Overall

Pirelli has found a good balance between speed, grip, durability and puncture protection with the P Zero Race, which results in a tyre that's fit and forget for the summer season at least. I was more than happy both training and racing on these, as they don't feel fragile yet compromise very little in terms of speed or grip.

Verdict

Great balance of grip, speed and durability in a race-ready clincher tyre

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Pirelli P Zero Race

Size tested: 700x28

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Pirelli says, 'P ZERO Race synthetizes the advantages of the tubetype technology in an all-rounder cycling tyre for high-intensity training sessions and races."

I found them excellent to both race and train on, and a good balance between grip, speed and durability.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Pirelli:

Available in 26, 28, 30mm

28mm - 225g

127tpi

TechBelt Road Carcass

SmartEvo Compound

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10

Good but not phenomenal; 127tpi is decent but not class leading, though these are quite durable because of it.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Quite durable for a 'race' tyre, so better than many competitors in this area.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well: grip is good both dry and wet, road feel is also good and I didn't get any punctures. It fitted with ease, and Pirelli's mountain of charts for sizing and pressures are very useful.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

They don't feel fragile but are still fast and grippy, which means I can fit and forget rather than swapping tyres for racing and training.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Not a lot to dislike. They're £15 more expensive than the P Zero Velo they replace, though.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

As mentioned in the review, they are at the expensive end of the market, but on par with similar performers. The Continental GP5000s are only slightly more, though the Goodyear Eagle F1s are usefully cheaper.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

These offer great performance and compromise very little in any of the key areas: grip, durability, puncture protection and rolling speed.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 23  Height: 6ft  Weight: 74kg

I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

Latest Comments