So long latex | New Pirelli P Zero Race SL tubular tyres use thermoplastic polyurethane inner tube

New Pirelli P Zero Race SL tub with lightweight inner tube launched ahead of Giro d’Italia

Pirelli P Zero Race SL tubular tyre

Pirelli has launched a new SL version of its P Zero Race tubular tyre, which uses a thermoplastic polyurethane inner tube in place of traditional butyl rubber or latex tubes.

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The P Zero Race tubular drops a claimed 10 per cent in weight from the previous pro-level tub and will be used at the Giro d’Italia by Pirelli sponsored WorldTour pro teams Trek-Segafredo, Team BikeExchange and AG2R Citroën Team.

Pirelli positions the new P Zero Race SL tubular as something of a labour of love, rather than a tyre that will be commercially significant, with few amateurs likely to use them. However, with pro teams still wanting tubular tyres, it sees enhancing its offering as a significant input to their success.

The new P Zero Race SL tubular is claimed to have been in development for two years, including test riding at the 2020 UAE Tour and 2020 Tour de France.

Sewn into a 320 TPI corespun casing, the new tyre includes Aramid fibres for increased puncture protection and uses the same SmartEVO tread compound as found in the P Zero Race clincher tyre.

The new thermoplastic polyurethane inner tube, which replaces the traditional tubes usually sewn into tubular tyres, is claimed to be both lighter and more airtight than a latex tube, and is made of similar material to tubes from Tubolito and Schwalbe’s new Aerothan tubes.

At a claimed 275g each, Pirelli claims the new tyre is around 35g lighter than its previous generation P Zero Race tubular, shaving 70g off the weight of a pro bike and reducing rolling inertia – an incredibly small advantage for us mere mortals but, for those at the sharp end of competition, something that will be no doubt be welcomed.

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If you want to get your hands on a set of P Zero Race SL tubular tyres, Pirelli expects to have them on general sale later this year priced at £99.90 per tyre (international pricing TBC).