Editor’s Note: This review was written by Road Bike Review guest writer, Aaron Faupell
Review: Pirelli Cinturato Mixed 40mm
Pirelli is known more for car tires, but they have been making road bike tires for a while now. The Cinturato Gravel represents their first foray into the land of off-road bicycles. There are two tires in the gravel line, the Hard which is for more road or hardpack gravel, and the Mixed, which is what I had a chance to mount up and review. It is targeted toward more loose and variable terrain while also covering road riding.
Pirelli Cinturato M Highlights
- The continuous center tread rolls fast on gravel and pavement sectors.
- Integrated bead to bead fabric reinforcement for puncture protection.
- Wide spaced cornering knobs offer solid mud-shedding capabilities.
- Excellent transition to the shoulder knobs for cornering stability.
- Sizes: 700×40 (tested) 700×35, 700×45, 650×45, 650×50
- Weight: 500 grams
Rating: 5 out of 5
The M (Mixed) features a bead to bead fabric reinforcement and a single Speedgrip compound tread and of course a kevlar bead. The tire weight came in at 500g each, which is a little heavier than many gravel tires, but keep in mind the reinforced casing here. Width measured right in line with the specs at 40mm on my 19mm inner width rims. You can also get this tire in 35 and 45c widths for 700c or 45 and 50c versions for 650b.
The first thing you notice about this tire is the nearly continuous center tread and beefy but widely spaced shoulder and corner knobs. This tread is what I tend to look for in a gravel tire given that I like to take my gravel bike on the occasional singletrack but still need to log some pavement miles to get there
I mounted up a set of Cinturato M on my Stigmata the night before a big mixed terrain race which included long stretches of loose gravel, dirt trails, and a sprinkling of road segments. While you likely won’t mistake this tire for a road slick when on the pavement, it does get remarkably close, especially compared to many tires with this much grip. Moreover, when the going gets rough, and the terrain gets loose, the lateral grip is there to save you. With an excellent transition to the shoulder knobs and good tread depth, this tire hooks up when you lean the bike over.
Going into the big race day blind and on new tires, I had no idea what to expect, but this setup was a joy to ride on and tackled the wide variety of terrain with confidence. Lateral grip is there in spades, and rolling resistance is good. Braking grip on loose terrain is probably the weakest link on this tire but is still quite acceptable. Climbing traction was quite excellent, which is somewhat unexpected given the spacing in the center tread. Overall this seems like a solid entry into the gravel market for Pirelli and these tires are my new go-to for mixed-terrain rides