As usual, I've spent long hours doing my research to find the perfect tire for my gravel bike. A gazillion of searches and reviews led me to select the winner: Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M. An all-round gravel tire, loved by many... Here's my quick review after just a few weeks using the 700x40, tanned Cinturato Gravel M on my bike.
Tubeless tires can be troublesome, but not with Cinturatos. I managed to fit them all in about 1.5 hours, and I've only fitted 3 tubeless tires myself before – not a bad result, I'd say! Fitting them on the rim was super easy – didn't even need soapy water, just a little push with levers did the job. Pumping it was easy too. I don't own a track pump (which apparently helps a lot), but a quick series of strokes with a floor pump did the trick. I'll give 5/5 for ease of installation.
2. Off-road performance
Compared to previously owned WTB Riddler, Raddlers, and Goodyear Connector Ultimate, I place Cinturato like two levels above them. They are simply awesome. I rode them on the sand, slippery mud, grassy-boggy trails, and gravel, and they performed better than anything I had on my wheels before. They bring confidence in maneuvering technical trails and provide a lot of grip so climbing steep technical sections is an absolute pleasure. 5/5 for off-road performance.
3. On-road performance
I thought the knobby thread would make them slow on tarmac... I was wrong. The center line is packed well enough to provide a smooth fast rolling experience. Again, compared to previously used tires, Cinturato Gravel M is a winner. One thing I've noticed though is a bit of a weird feeling when cornering at speed... probably just me not getting used to it, but it feels like the traction changes rapidly when leaning aside. It's hard to describe, but I think it's just something I need to get used to and find the limits of the tire. 4.5/5 for on-road performance.
4. Puncture resistance
I can't really judge this after just a few rides, but I'll be back with updates in a few months!
If you're looking to upgrade your gravel bike this winter to be able to ride in British winter conditions – don't think twice. It's definitely one of the best tires on the market. Fabulous performance, great look, and quite a few size/design options to choose from.