BikeBible Review - Pirelli P Zero Velo 4S
Pirelli is usually a name that is associated with car tyres and Formula one, but has now taken on the likes of Continental and decided to release some for us mere human powered machines! Having tried several brands and versions of tyres over the last few years to little or no success, as in some tyres were good in some areas and bad in others was keen to see how the Pirelli P Zero Velo 4S shaped up!
When riding a bike your contact points are the most vital for both control and comfort, testing the Pirelli P Zero Velo 4S they have both in abundance! Fitting them is a breeze, no snapping leavers, no cutting fingers, blistered finger tips or loud shouts of expletives from the man cave, just fit and inflate!
Whist fitting concerns over the thickness of the tyre did arise, as the Pirelli P Zero Velo 4S do not seem to be very thick on the side walls which speaking from experience with other tyre brands that have the same can either lead to the tyre not being very stable when cornering or lots of punctures! Touch wood no such issues have arisen so far in the road testing!
Think like most of the cycling world that has reviewed these tyres we are also disappointed that the Pirelli brand logo has not made it onto the sidewalls of the tyres, and possibly something that they may want to consider for the future!
In all honesty that’s just a cosmetic feature and no point looking good if you don’t perform! This is where Pirelli have focused on – performance! Grip is outstanding and even in damp or wet conditions doesn’t make you feel like they are going to give way until you push them too far….and let’s face it if you are pushing them that hard you expect to come off!
This is down to the compounds of the tyres, something called Smartnet Silica compound – “Pirelli SmartNET™ Silica technology delivers high rolling efficiency, thanks to its natural anisotropic orientation, which reduces heating while increasing elasticity, to help minimise energy dissipation. Enjoy highly reliable wet grip.
The wide surface of the silica rod molecules enhances its natural water affinity, delivering confident handling on wet. Puncture resistance and extensive mileage. Pirelli’s SmartNET™ Silica compound features microscopic rod-shaped particles, that are arranged ystematically, rather than chaotically, creating a strong, long-lasting tyre.”. We tried to put that into our own words – but thought best to quote the people who make it and then try to translate that into how it works!
So in layman’s terms we think that his means that due to the compound and how its made there is more of the tyre in contact with the surface at any given time, that is better at repelling water, and offering more grip and longer lasting tyre. I may be wrong in the wording, but testing the items seams to suggest that this is the case!
So one thing to note is that the tyres although made to Pirelli own design, research and development and their specifications has been outsourced to another factory to keep costs down and I presume to speed up production, so you will see made in France on the side wall, rumor has it that Hutchinson’s are making them on behalf of Pirelli in their factories, but as far as I can see this has not been confirmed or denied!
The quality is clear in these tyres, they grip well and normally that leans itself to high rolling resistance which doesn’t seem to be the case with the 4s, they are lightweight yet offer lots of puncture protection which considering its their first cycling tyre in over 50 years id say it’s a dam good start!
Pro’s and Con’s – Well overall a very good tyre, offers lots of grip, comfort and puncture protection whist not hindering rolling resistance. Cons they are not the cheapest on the market, rivals such as the Continental GP4000s all though come in at a higher RRP are very often found for half that, and come in cheaper than the Pirelli’s, that being said give the retailers a few months and we will be seeing twin pack deals and price slashes across the board no doubt!
Like everything in life though you do get what you pay for and they are still cheaper than some of the top end tyres on the market that offer a lot less for your money. Long term testing will reveal more about the Pirelli P Zero Velo 4S, but they are hard wearing and are holding their own when it comes to longevity, which with the other pro’s on the list outweighs the little extra you would need to pay for them. Overall very impressed with them! So will be giving them a 5 out of 5 rating!
(5 out of 5)
By the Bike Bible Guru Chris Evans