Are Pirelli’s Cinturato Gravel S tyres made for soft rides?
While the S in Pirelli’s Cinturato Gravel S tyres stands for soft, that’s conditions, not ride!
The Cinturato Gravel S tyre completes Pirelli’s range of gravel tyres. There is now a tyre for everyone, as far as the Italian manufacturer is concerned. There are now four tyres in the gravel range; RC, H, M and S. The RC is for racing, the M for mixed terrain, H for hard, dry surfaces and finally the S for soft terrain.
The Cinturato Gravel S comes in three sizes (40, 45 and 50 mm) for 700c wheels and two colours. it uses Pirelli’s SpeedGRIP compound, developed from their World Rally Cross experience. This same experience produced the SmartGRIP compound used in their MTB tyres. This was tweaked a little for better speed over grip.
The carcass uses Pirelli’s Techwall Gravel casing. They’ve combined materials from their road and MTB specific products to produce a gravel specific one. Pirelli thought that while on-road most punctures come through the tread, off-road side-wall cuts are common. So Techwall’s special fabric and strategically placed thicker rubber sections will hopefully deal with gravel’s demands. The Techwall casing is a bead-to-bead casing, wrapping the tyre in a 120 thread per inch belt.
Another take from the MTB world is the tread pattern. This was based on their Scorpion S tyres. The designers adapted the design for gravel’s demands; grip off-road, speed on-road. Balancing those two conflicting demands is no easy task and it will be interesting to see how they cope.
The Cinturato Gravel S is, of course, a tubeless tyre, who is still riding off-road on inner-tubes? Pirelli say their tyre is “easy to ride, durable and sturdy, ideal on wet, damp, muddy ground and perfect for the upcoming fall season”. Well, we’ll try them out on our Sussex trails, which have recently turned very “soft”! Full review to follow.