Built for mixed terrain, the more aggressive tread of Pirelli’s Cinturato Gravel ‘M’ tyre tackles both muddy trails and smoother roads. Perhaps a more versatile option than its ‘H’ hardpack tread.
With brilliant puncture protection too, this tyre proves to be a real favourite.
Widely spaced angular, ramped knobs make up the tread, with the central line more tightly placed to give a smoother contact patch down the middle.
There are five widths to choose from across the two wheel sizes, which should suit most clearances and applications. Choose from tan sidewalls or black.
The sidewalls and tread are reinforced with a woven layer that stretches from bead to bead for added puncture protection.
Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M performance
The Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M tyres took a little more effort than most to set up tubeless, with three canisters of compressed air to seat the first tyre onto the rim.
Once inflated, they measured up a little wider than the 40mm claimed at 41.7mm, worth bearing in mind if you’re tight for frame clearance. A little bonus perhaps, if that isn’t the case.
I’ve spent a while deliberating exactly why these tyres have been such a joy to ride.
First, no issues, even after over 400km of loaded riding: not a single loss of pressure or puncture.
Rolling along the road and less technical hardpack sections, the closely spaced central knobs give a smooth ride, although not quite as drag-free as low profile gravel tyres optimised purely for dry conditions.
Then when you hit the inevitable sloppy sections, the wider-spaced, deep mid-tread and shoulder knobs really get to work.
These cut through the top layer of mud to find grip underneath: here I felt a brief sliding sensation before they really took hold. This pattern also sheds mud really well.
At lower pressures, these tyres didn’t feel squirmy in the corners or result in any rim dings, which I can only attribute to a sturdier sidewall casing which helps the tyre maintain rigidity.
Having said this, they still give a fantastic ride feel, perhaps due to Pirelli’s ‘SpeedGRIP’ rubber compound, the same polymer it uses for its MTB tyres.
Roots, rocks, mud, hardpack and loose gravel, these tyres really live up to their ‘mixed terrain’ name.
Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M bottom line
Building on Pirelli’s stellar reputation from other industries, like motorcycle tyres, the Cinturato Gravel M is an impressive all-rounder, which I’d happily employ year-round.
You pay a little extra for these compared to most gravel tyres, but they’re good value given the high quality.
How we tested
Tyre choice has a fundamental impact on how your gravel bike rides, so we put seven of the latest and best-selling gravel tyres to the test to find out which offers the best grip, speed and puncture protection over the rough stuff.
Keeping things consistent, all of the testing was done on the same bike – a steel, custom-built Mercredi – and on the same wheelset, WTB’s new carbon CZR i23 gravel wheelset featuring 23mm internal rim widths.
The criteria for selecting the tyres to test was a wheel size of 700c and a tyre width between 38mm and 45mm.
Tyres were set up using a track pump and Schwalbe Tire Booster, before heading out onto a local testing loop as well as various gravel races and events.
The local testing loop around Bristol included a real mix of terrain, from gravel tracks to hardpack dirt, grassy banks, rooty singletrack and tarmac, and each set of tyres was tested in wet and dry conditions.
For more tyre recommendations, check out our list of the best gravel bike tyres tried and tested by the BikeRadar team.
Also on test
- Michelin Power Gravel
- Panaracer GravelKing SK TLC
- Teravail Cannonball Light and Supple
- Vittoria Terreno Dry TLR
- WTB Byway SG2
- WTB Riddler SG2
|Price||AUD $107.00EUR €63.00GBP £55.00USD $77.00|
|Weight||500g (700c x 40mm)|
|Features||Available sizes: 700c x 35, 40, 45mm and 650b x 45, 50mm
Colours: Black or tan sidewall (classic) options
Tread: Mid-height and spacing tread for mixed conditions
Tyre: Tubeless compatible
|Puncture protection||Bead to bead puncture protection insert|