We all have favourite bits of kit, shoes, wheels, helmets. Whatever the item is, we trust it and are loath to change it. So a product has to be good to replace an old favourite. The Pirelli P Zero Velo has become one of those new items that replace an old and trusted one for Josh, read on to find out why.
One of the most important parts of a review is defining the criteria. Everybody has different needs, and it’s important to figure out how to judge something. When it comes to tyres, there are two important criteria for me. Flat protection is what I really care about, and in the pursuit of that, I’m willing to allow some degradation of my second criteria, road feel.
I’ve ridden race day tires that feel amazing but get flats constantly. For me, it’s not worth it. And after trying a few different options, I decided I wasn’t going to review tyres anymore. I was happy enough with the Michelin Pro4 Endurance that I wasn’t willing to take a chance on new tires. The Michelin’s are cheap, they last forever, and the road feel is decent.
When the Pirelli P Zero Velo first came on the market, I noticed, but I didn’t pay much attention. Then I started to hear a bit more about them, and I became more curious. Bad experiences have a way of falling away over time, so when the opportunity to review the Pirelli P Zero Velo came up, I decided to take a leap of faith. Pirelli is a company with history on their side, and I’d heard from friends in the industry they were pretty good.
My first impression of the Pirelli P Zero Velo was that they had fantastic road feel. They really felt fantastic, but I wondered if this would come at the expense of flat protection. Flat protection is a bit more tricky to figure out than road feel. There’s always a certain amount of luck, good or bad, involved in how many flats you end up getting on a particular set of tyres.
After just under 1500 miles ridden all over the Western United States, I’ve gotten two flats. Both of those flats came in the rear tire as it began to show signs that it was time for replacement. I’d call that good flat protection, and given how good the road feel is, I’d call that a stellar performance.
It does bring up another evaluation criteria, though. Tyre life isn’t actually something I worry too much about, but around 1500 miles seems a bit low to me. If that’s a concern for you, then it might be worth noting that the Pirelli P Zero Velo isn’t the longest lasting tyre I’ve ridden. It’s also not the cheapest, but with pricing around $55 per tyre, it’s far from the most expensive.
Although I always start by defining the criteria that I’m going to evaluate, there are times when something I never looked for is so good that it becomes a part of future reviews. In the case of the Pirelli P Zero Velo tyres, this happened the first time I had to change a flat on one of the tyres. Getting the bead on and off the rim was so easy, I decided right away that these were the tyres I was going to be using for the foreseeable future.
Obviously, a tyre coming off the rim is generally not a good thing, but I’ve never felt The Pirelli P Zero moving around while mounted up. They seem to be just tight enough to avoid any issues while at the same time, they are a complete joy when you do have to change a tyre on the side of the road. I’ve never experienced another tyre that is so easy to get on and off, and while it wasn’t part of my initial criteria, it’ll definitely be something I pay attention to in the future. Pirelli has set the bar high enough with the P Zero Velo that I’ve switched my personal tyre choice, and that’s high praise for me!