World champ Annemiek van Vleuten got off to a good start winning cobbled Classic Omloop Het Nieuwsblad over the weekend in her first race outing in the rainbow stripes, on the
still unreleased now available Pirelli P Zero Velo tubular road tires. But her training bike reveals a bit more, the upcoming P Zero Velo tubeless road race tires that Pirelli says are in the “final tuning” stage of development with Mitchelton-Scott.
Pirelli P ZERO Velo tubeless road race tires
When Pirelli reentered the bicycle tire fray back in the summer of 2017 with the road racing P Zero Velo clincher range, we thought they were limiting their target audience. Already then, many amateur road riders were looking to gain the performance benefits of road tubeless, while the pro racers still demanded tubulars. A year later the tubulars were ready, at least for their sponsored Mitchelton-Scott team (
even though they’ve still not made it to market and are actually available now, but quite hidden on Pirelli’s website) and the endurance Cinturato tubeless road tires made their debut. But the actual road race P ZERO Velo tubeless was still missing.
Now as Pirelli re-ups their development & sponsorship partnership with both the women’s & men’s Mitchelton-Scott squads, we spot that missing tubeless road race tire on Annemiek van Vleuten’s training bike.
What’s new in the tubeless version of the Pirelli P ZERO Velo?
What we know about the tubeless tire remains thin. Pirelli confirmed that is getting close to final, but wouldn’t put a date on it. The upcoming P ZERO Velo tubeless tire does look to get an all new tread design, based on the lightning bolt design of the original P Zero, but with a simple sipe in between each bolt.
The new tire also adds some different sizes, van Vleuten’s bike features a 26mm tire, that also appears to get a lower suggested pressure range that the clincher tire (min 5bar/72psi & max 7.5bar/109psi).
Adding up the new tread design, the tubeless valve nut on these carbon Dura-Ace wheels, and the fact that the valves are aligned with the silver tire label, it all comes together to suggest this is in fact the long awaited tubeless tire. (Pirelli P Zero Velo tubulars have typically used yellow labels without model names, visible cotton base tape, and with size & pressure data molded into the tread not the sidewall; and all tubulars we’ve seen have valves located 45° away from the hot stamp for some reason.)
For a full breakdown of van Vleuten’s custom painted Scott Addict RC, check out our coverage of the bike back in January.
Now we just have to wait until Pirelli makes these long awaited road tubeless race tires available to us too, and to see when they also make a racing debut…