Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H Tires: At The Finish

Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H Tires: At The Finish – by Guitar Ted

The Cinturato Gravel H tires are reaching the end of the review cycle here at Riding Gravel. You know what that means: It is time for me to give you my final thoughts on this lesser known option for gravel tires. That’s what that means. So, if you’ve missed the previous two posts on this tire, check out the mid-term review here and the introduction on the Cinturato Gravel H can be found here. Now without further delay, let’s get to the matter at hand here.

Close up of the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H on a rural road.
As you can see here, the wear characteristics of the Cinturato Gravel H are excellent.

Ride Performance: Leading up to this final part of the review, I did several rides out on gravel ranging in conditions from buff, smooth hard pack, normal crushed rock, (for where I live), and heavy, deep, loose crushed rock roads. There were several commutes done on multi-surface roads and trails. This included streets, bicycle paths, crushed rock lined single track, dirt single track, and even some grass fields. Essentially, all the surfaces I could find at hand were where I tested this tire out. The only thing consistent in this varied menu of surfaces was that all of them were ridden in dry conditions. As I mentioned in the mid-term report- “….The Cintuarto Gravel H is NOT a mud tire!

What I found was that I could rely on solid grip characteristics, a smooth ride feel, and anything waiting along the way that might damage my Cinturato Gravel H tires wasn’t going to slow me down. This led to the proverbial reviewer’s line about “forgetting about the part you are reviewing“. I know it is a well-worn turn of phrase, but what it means is that you just don’t worry about these tires and that they are going to do what you ask of them- within reason– of course.

Close up shot of the Cinturato Gravel H

At The Finish: There is, therefore, a lot to like about the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H tires. I like the way the profile of these tires also allows me to be more stable in looser gravel. The wear characteristics seem better than normal. It just is a pretty remarkable tire in many ways. I even went as far as to say this in my mid-term report”….but the Cinturato seems well on its way to achieving high marks in this test.” I still feel that this tire achieves those high marks.

The one problem I do have is that these tires weigh quite a bit for what they are. For ‘general purpose’ gravel, dirt road, and rough paved roads, I like a lighter tire. Now if the Cinturato was a tire featuring an aggressive tread and leaned more into the MTB-lite territory, well then, that sort of weight (580+ grams) would make sense. You’d have those weight inducing knobs there, but the Cinturato Gravel H is not that tire. It’s got lowered tread knobs and is speedy on smoother surfaces, the sort of place where you’d want a lighter tire than a MTB tire.

So, when I compare these to the Teravail Rutland 700c X 47mm tires at just a bit over 500 grams each, it makes the Cinturato’s look portly. The Rutlands are perhaps slower in terms of rolling resistance by a small amount, but the Rutland does have some knobs there, and that makes them a bit more versatile on the MTB-lite side of the ledger. Don’t need knobs? Well, the WTB Riddler has a smoother center tread area and our test set went 30 grams a piece lighter than the Cinturato tires. Of course, neither the Rutland nor the Riddler were armored like the Cinturato tires are.

Scene of a bike laying on the deck of an old steel gabled bridge in a rural setting.
While the Cinturato is a tad heavy, it is perhaps because of its mass that it displays toughness and excellent air retention qualities.

So, who is this tire for? My take is that these are for the rider who doesn’t care that much about tire weight because they are looking for an all-around tire that will be fast, tough, and ride well. They are the kind of rider that wants a bullet-proof, easy tubeless set up, a tire that doesn’t require baby-sitting in terms of air pressure retention, and a tire that wears well. That is a tough combination to get right, but I believe that Pirelli did get this right with the Cinturato Gravel H tires. Pirelli says in their tagline for these tires that they have “Unstoppable Performance“. They just may be right on with that.

You can check out the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H on the web here: https://velo.pirelli.com/en/uk/product/cinturato-gravel-hard-terrain/700x45c/red

Note: Riding Gravel purchased these Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H tires for test and review. We are not being paid, nor bribed for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

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Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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14 thoughts on “Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H Tires: At The Finish

  1. I’m OK with the weight. These tires are a little larger than they’re marked and I expect 700C tires to weigh more than 650B tires. I’m not aware of anything that size with any tread which would save more than 50 g per tire. That would be significant for racing but I’m not fast enough to notice the difference.

    1. @Eric – My answer is that “Actual Width” will vary depending upon several factors, such as air pressures used, width of the inner rim the Cinturato is mounted to, and what any particular set of Cinturatos might have for stretching characteristics. A read through of this three part review should help give you an indication of what to expect, but it simply cannot tell you what YOUR experiences will be.

      A review of anything is going to be subjective and will only be good for guidance. What outcomes a particular person has with anything reviewed may not be the same as the reviewer’s experience. We- as reviewers – can only hope that we get close to the mark of whatever “Actually” is for anyone else.

  2. Thanks, Ted, for this review! And could you please compare this tire to what might be a similar tire, the rock and road?

    At 43 mm, the rock and road seems to be in a similar range of tire clearance for frames that might fit 43-45 mm tires, but not much wider.

    I was hoping to get a sense of how the pirelli would perform in terms of cushion and durability in comparison to the rock and road. Thank you!

    1. @Frank – Thanks for checking out the review! Actually, I am currently riding Rock & Road tires for another project I am working on. Of course, Rock & Road tires were originally not meant to be tubeless, and that is the type I have.

      So, making a comparison between the R&R’s and the Cinturatos is really like comparing apples and oranges. The Cinturatos are far burlier, weigh more, and roll faster than the R&R’s do. Add in the tubeless design and for touring, general purpose riding, and gravel that is rougher and looser, the Cinturato is head and shoulders above the R&R tires, which were designed for a different purpose in a different time.

      I think the tubed R&R’s can ride smoothly, but you will need a non-standard tube to get there. (More on that after I finish this project) If you choose to run the R&R tubeless, then it should ride smoother as it has a less stiff sidewall construction. But I am not sure that the R&R is rated for tubeless or that it has been redesigned to be tubeless.

  3. Hi Ted.

    How do you like the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel Hard vs the Hutchinson Touareg in the same 700x45c size?

    I am currently riding a pair of Cinturato Gravel Mixed, but I plan to change the rear tyre for one of the options mentioned above to reduce the drag.

    Kind regards.

    1. @Adrian: That is a tough question. First of all, I don’t think you can go wrong with either one of these tires. I would give an edge to the Cinturato if I had sections of pavement on my rides. I would give the edge to the Touareg if my rides consisted mainly of hard packed dirt roads and medium to light crushed rock. Deeper crushed rock and places with softer dirt and maybe mud might make me choose the Cinturato, although neither tire does well in soft terrain and especially in mud.

      Hope that helps.

      1. Thank you, Ted.

        One more question please: Which of them would you think might perform better in dry sandy – dusty terrain?

        Greetings.

  4. @ Carlos Adrian vera – Well, that depends on the actual consistency of the sand and if there is a solid base or not. Really, I would say either tires is really good. But if you said “Choose one!” I’d then go with the Cinturato.

    1. Thanks for the reply, Ted.

      And what about the Vittoria Terreno Dry? would you still choose the Pirelli Cinturato Hard or the Touareg in a dry, sandy – dusty terrain?

      Regards.

      1. @Adrian – How many tires are you going to ask me about? (Just kidding……a little) Really- those all are great tires. I could make things work with any of the three you list. The differences are splitting hairs. I gave good reviews on all three of those models, so I feel confident that they all will work quite nicely.

        Are there minor performance differences between all of those tires? Yes, and they are going to affect the ride and performance slightly depending upon the situation, but overall? We are nit-picking here. I still have all three sets of those tires and would use them pretty much interchangeably.

        Get one of those sets and ride. Focus on the riding. Have fun……

        1. Don’t worry, only those tyres by the moment haha. By the way, thanks for the fast response.

          I think I will use the Touareg in the rear wheel and the Pirelli Mixed Terrain in the front wheel and see how that goes.

          Regards.

  5. Thanks for this review. Was torn between these and several other models for a newly assembled flat bar gravel/randoneur by Cinelli (Gazetta Della Strada). Came with crappy components that I can upgrade in time but I had had to swap in lighter wheels/tires. Went with Hunt and these Pirelli’s having had great affection for the Cintaurato M’s on my drop bar gravel bike. They went through shallow mud and stream with ease, single tracked wherever I pointed but stayed fast rolling on pavement. They were a bit harder to set up than the M’s but by the next morning after attempted fitting the night before, they had warmed and cooperated. Seating Pirelli’s has been the easiest of any TL tire I have tried (to include Vittoria, Panaracer, Surly, WTB on HED, Race Face, DT Swiss, and GRX rims). I did need to redo the front rim the next morning b/c I did not seat it correctly and it deflated. Simple use of soapy sponge, deflating and reinflating got it to snap in place. Grateful for sites like this to help riders compare shop prior to plunging into purchase. Happy riding!

  6. just a little 2 cents after riding these pirelli (in 35) for 2 months compared to gravel king, maxxis rambler, spec pathfinder. i bought these to get good hardpack speed for ‘racing’ / riding fast at some competitive gravel rides/races. these are the fastest tires i’ve used yet. they also seem pretty tough on some looser/thicker gravel stuff that i ride a lot. these are my new #1 for hardpack and any combo of road (rough or not). if going long/ all day they also rode very well at slightly lower pressures. if you find something that beats these for hardpack – well i’ll be curious!

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