The Pirelli Cinturato became a talking point in our lab test with its low rolling resistance. Can this Italian gravel tire also perform through corners and on loose gravel or is the Pirelli Cinturato happier as a lab rat?
Placing on the podium in the rolling resistance test and scoring highly for snakebite and puncture resistance, the Pirelli feels at home in the lab. However, how does it feel when it’s separated from the testing apparatus? When accelerating, this gravel tire turns out to be light-footed and easy to bring up to speed. Thanks to its stiff casing, the Cinturato offers progressive damping and doesn’t start to bob when riding on the road. On uphill terrain, the tire has some problems when obstacles like rocks or roots stand in its way. Due to its stiff construction, the Cinturato Gravel Hard Terrain doesn’t conform to rocks or roots and struggles to find grip. Cornering, the Pirelli loses traction relatively early but does so in a controllable manner, allowing you to adapt and react accordingly. However, if you’re looking for a tire that can be steered over the tilt while making use of its traction when leaned over, you’re not well served by the Cinturato Gravel H and its delicate shoulder knobs. Instead, you should take a closer look at its big brother, the Gravel M. While braking, you’ll also encounter the drawback of the fast-rolling tread when the tire slides over the top of the gravel rather than building up traction. In contrast, on asphalt the Pirelli brakes akin to a full-fledged road bike tire.
Acceleration, rolling resistance and damping – these are the three strengths of the Pirelli Cinturato. This is the perfect gravel tire for lactate fans, long roads and fine, hard gravel. Through corners and while braking some shortcomings become obvious, which keep this tire from rolling at the front of the pack.
- low rolling resistance
- good acceleration
- solid damping
- quickly loses traction in corners
- poor braking performance
Made in France | Tested size 40-622 | Tire width in mm¹ 39.8 | Tire height in mm¹ 37.2 | Tire height + test rim in mm² 61.2 | Weight 482 g | Price € 59.99
1 messured dimension with 2.5 bar. 2 Test rim: Stan’s NOTUBES Grail 622 x 20.3 C (Rim height 24.5 mm)
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In our introduction of the best gravel tire on test you can’t just find our most interesting findings and our overall conclusion, but a good view on all tires tested.
All tires on review: Continental Terra Speed (click for review) | Continental Terra Trail (click for review) | MAXXIS Rambler SilkShield TR (click for review) | Panaracer GravelKing SK (click for review) | Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H (click for review) | Schwalbe G-One Allround Evolution (click for review) | Schwalbe G-One Bite Evolution (click for review) | Specialized Pathfinder Pro (click for review) | Teravail Cannonball Light & Supple (click for review) | Vittoria Terreno Dry (click for review) | WTB Riddler TCS Light/Fast Rolling (click for review) | WTB Venture Road TCS (click for review)
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Words & Photos: Benjamin Topf, Philipp Schwab