The Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli are one of the oldest tyre brands. They began an experimental tyre production-run for velocipede tyres in 1890 – just two years after John Dunlop had invented the pneumatic tyre.
Their first patented tyre was the Tipo Milano which sold well and was joined in 1899 by a racing specific version. Pirelli were at the forefront of bike racing, just as it began, this included the very first Tour of Italy (Giro D’Italia) in 1909. Italy was at the centre of the new cycling world in the first half of the 20th century. Early bike brands, Bianchi and Wilier would be joined by Campagnolo, Colnago, DeRosa, Cinelli and a host of others. Italy was producing the bulk of great riders of the world too. These greats included Gino Bartalli and Fausto Coppi.
As with many of the World’s major bike tyre brands, Pirelli also manufactured tyres for cars and motorbikes. However, mass-affordable transport across the world was the bicycle, up until motorbikes and cars became cheaper (1960 – 70’s in many European countries). Bicycle tyres were the all-important market and producing tyres which won bike races was great advertising.
Return to the Peloton
In 2017 Pirelli returned to cycling with the P Zero Velo range, however much of the construction was outsourced to rival tyre brands. Within a few years Pirelli had developed its own full production lines in their factory near Milan. The P Zero Race 4S – tyre proudly displaying ‘Made in Italy’ on its sidewall. Top World Tour teams, Mitchelton Scott and Trek Segafredo have used Pirelli tyres and provided valuable, high level feedback in terms of performance and reliability across the brand’s road range.
Pirelli offer a comprehensive road tyre range for all types of riding conditions, with clincher, tubeless and tubular fitment options. Pirelli’s Cinturato gravel range includes Hard or Mixed terrain tyres to match your usual type of riding. There is also a diverse range of Scorpion MTB tyres specifically designed for all types of riding, including the extra rigours of electric mountain bike riding in 27.5 and 29″ alternatives.
Pirelli Smart inner tubes feature lightweight and tough TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) instead of regular butyl. This enables a significant weight saving of around 70% over Butyl, with 700 X 25-32mm tubes weighing only 35 grams. Gravel and Cross sized tubes 700 X 33-45mm tubes only 49 grams. These tubes also pack up much smaller than regular butyl innertubes too, great for carrying a spare.