Highly regarded auto tire maker Pirelli is coming on strong in the road cycling world with the PZero Velo. It’s one name for three distinct models aimed at the three different uses. Each is color coded like the PZero used in F1 motor-racing. Highlighted here is the blue label PZero Velo 4S, an all-season tire meant for when riding conditions are ever changing and dependability is paramount.
They are claimed to offer high puncture protection against untimely flats and an outstanding wet grip tread that keeps the rubber glued to the pavement. To fine-tune the tread pattern of the PZero Velo 4S, Pirelli relied on the motorsport-inspired FGD technology (Functional Groove Design).
The tread pattern, which does not have an aesthetic function, takes inspiration from one of Pirelli’s best SSP tires (SuperSport class of the World SuperBike racing competition), the Diablo Supercorsa. Tread pattern angles, depths and distances were researched to maximize performance in terms of water outflow, dry and wet grip, mileage, tire response, and comfort and handling.
The tread pattern recalls a “flash” and features extremely tight angles down the middle area with a definite lateral opening to facilitate water drainage, smoothness, and even the tire wear. Moreover, the tread pattern has been designed to be progressively deeper to enhance resilience and give the tire greater reactiveness and response when cornering.
They also utilize Pirelli’s SmartNET Silica, which is said to enhance both rolling efficiency and wet grip. The overall increased SmartNET Silica tread patterned thickness along with an aramid fiber puncture-resistant belt ensure extensive mileage and reliability in bad weather and cold temperatures.
For the unvitiated, SmartNET is composed of more than 17 elements, and this exclusive Pirelli compound was synthesized at the company’s Milan Bicocca Technology and Innovation Center. Researchers who worked on this project are the same ones who worked on the F1 P Zero compound, currently the only tire used in F1 auto racing.
SmartNet Silica is a silicate-based molecule whose configuration differs from traditional silicates. It has no spherical shape but is an elongated stick. The molecule demonstrates a natural self-sorting tendency instead of being randomly positioned within the matrix. Such configuration assures numerous benefits in terms of performance. Its longitudinal position positively affects the tire smoothness allowing highly directional performance, thanks also to its high elasticity leading to decreased heat generation and rolling resistance.
A further advantage of SmartNet Silica is its anti-cluster ability, thus it spreads evenly and fully within the matrix. This property added to the natural chemical affinity with water, results in outstanding wet performance.
SmartNet Silica also has ability to create a particular matrix that binds other compound elements to it. The stability of the molecular weaving is vital for providing reliable performance and contributes to natural puncture protection without adding weight to the tire structure and prolonging its longevity over time. Claimed tire weights are 700x23c = 205g; 700x25c = 220g; 700x28c = 250g. Casing is 127tpi and price per tire is $65.
For more information, visit velo.pirelli.com.