While tubeless continues to make inroads into pro racing, the new Pirelli P Zero Race Tub SL tire shows that there’s still performance to be gained from gluing on tubulars. Combining Pirelli’s latest SmartEvo rubber compound and a new TPU tube inside, Pirelli claims significant weight savings that will help their World Tour pros over the big mountain climbs in the upcoming Giro d’Italia…
Pirelli P Zero Race Tub SL tubular road race tire
It’s been three years since Pirelli first debuted the tubular version of the P Zero road racing tires. And now the pros are getting the tech updates we saw with the P Zero Race TLR tubeless road tires last summer, plus a little bit extra. The new rubber promises more speed better grip combining the Race TLR SL & Race TLR treads, plus a new lighter tube inside that helps drop 10% of the weight compared to the original tubulars.
The new Pirelli P Zero Race Tub SL road tubulars share the same 320tpi Corespun nylon construction as before, with its Aramid fiber anti-puncture layer under the tread. But now the tubulars use the top-level soft & sticky version of the latest Pirelli SmartEVO rubber compound family, said to improve wet & dry grip, without sacrificing on rolling resistance.
The new rubber also gets a new tread pattern with two thin longitudinal sipes for straightline speed and redesigned shoulder lightning bolts for predictable deformation during high-speed cornering.
Inside, it’s the new thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) inner tube – a type of thermoplastic elastomer like we’ve seen from companies like Tubolito – that combines the low internal friction & puncture-resistance of latex tubes, with significantly lower weight & better air pressure retention.
Down from 310g for the previous 25mm or 330g for the old 28mm, the new tubulars are 26mm only at a claimed weight of 275g per tire. Pirelli is calling that “almost 100g saved” per bike.
Pirelli P Zero Race Tub SL – road tubular availability & pricing
Pirelli recognizes that road race tubulars remain a small niche, and that “the future is tubeless, in all respects“. But like many professionals, a number of performance-focused amateur racers still trust light sew-ups for race day. So Pirelli still saw fit to not only develop the new tires for the pros, but for the consumer market as well. The new Pirelli P Zero Race Tub SL 26mm road tubular will be available later this spring for 120€ per tire.
Pirelli says it will “be the ace up the sleeve of Pirelli’s World Tour teams at the Giro
d’Italia: Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves for Team BikeExchange, Nibali’s Trek-Segafredo
and AG2R Citröen.”