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.
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.
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).