Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC in review

The Cinturato Gravel RC is Pirelli’s answer to gravel racing. With this tire, the Italian brand claim to have created the perfect race all-rounder. But how does it perform in our gruelling real-world and laboratory tests, and how does it compare to the fastest tires in the test field?

Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC | 532 g | € 74,90 | Manufacturer’s website

Like the Cinturato H, the Cinturato RC looks the part, though with a significantly more pronounced tread. Nevertheless, the tire retains the Cinturato style of combining a tightly arranged central tread pattern with more aggressive shoulder knobs.
As with the Cinturato H, fitting it presents certain challenges. To get the Cinturato RC to seal properly, you’ll need a low-viscosity sealant that goes into all the gaps between the rim and the tire.

RC stands for racing – Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC

The more aggressive RC surprised our jury with a performance that’s slightly better than the Cinturato H in almost every respect. With 16.1 W rolling resistance, it plays in the same league in terms of rolling efficiency, though it fares significantly better off-road thanks to increased grip. The agile tire also copes well with occasional excursions on easy trails, and thanks to its good self-cleaning characteristics it deals well with muddy conditions, too. This is achieved through a slightly softer rubber compound, and, simply, due to a better tread pattern. It’s thanks to this that the RC also outperforms the H in terms of compliance.
Unsurprisingly, the puncture protection is better, too. The pinch resistance of the Cinturato RC is above average, though it’s midfield with regard to punctures. Overall, the Cinturato RC consistently outperforms the Cinturato H.

Tire Characteristics

intended use

  1. asphalt/hard pack
  2. trail

rolling resistance

  1. slow
  2. quick

pinch protection

  1. low
  2. high

puncture protection

  1. low
  2. high

handling in wet conditions

  1. slippery
  2. grippy


Pirelli’s description of the Cinturato RC as a race all-rounder is spot on. Thanks to decent efficiency and sufficient grip, even when heading off-road, it’s an attractive all-rounder, while also serving the racers among us. In a head to head comparison with the Cinturato H, it proved to be superior in most ways. It’s only in extremely dry conditions and hardpack terrain that the H is the better choice.


  • good efficiency for an all-rounder
  • lots of traction on gravel and forest dirt
  • sleek racing look


  • tubeless setup is somewhat tricky

Made in France | Tested size 40-622 | Tire widht in mm¹ 41,1 | Tire height in mm¹ 34,98 | Tire height + Test rim in mm² 82,64 | Weight 532,2 g | Price € 80,3
1 measured dimension with 2,5 Bar, 2 Test rim: ZIPP 303s 622 x 20.3C (Rim height 45,32 mm)

For more information head to:

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: Challenge Getaway (Click for review) | Challenge Gravel Grinder (Click for review) | Continental Terra Speed (Click for review) | Continental Terra Trail (Click for review) | Maxxis Rambler (Click for review) | Maxxis Receptor (Click for review) | Panaracer Gravelking (Click for review) | Panaracer Gravelking Slick Plus+ (Click for review) | Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H (Click for review) | Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC | Schwalbe G-One Allround (Click for review) | Schwalbe G-One R (Click for review) | Schwalbe G-One RS (Click for review) | Schwalbe G-One Ultrabite (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Pathfinder (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Tracer (Click for review) | Vittoria Terreno Dry (Click for review) | Vittoria Terreno Mix (Click for review) | WTB Riddler (Click for review) | WTB Byway (Click for review)

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Words: czajac Photos: Jan Richter