Pirelli Cinturato M Tires: Getting Rolling – by Guitar Ted
The grip of Winter is releasing here in the Mid-West and we have a couple pairs of new Pirelli Cinturato M tires which just hit the door. This can only mean one thing – ‘Review Season’ is here again! Only kidding just a little! While things warm up outdoors here, let’s take a look at these multi-conditions tires from Pirelli.
What It Is: The range of gravel tires that Pirelli offers all fall under the “Cinturato” naming scheme with each variation getting a letter designation which denotes their intended use. We reviewed the Cinturato H model in 2021 and gave it high marks. This was the “hard surfaces” tire meant for dry conditions. Pirelli wasn’t kidding either. That “H” meant what it meant and anything deep, loose, and wet was not met with much success. The Cinturato “M”, on the other hand, is promised to be more of an all-around specialist than the “H”. Here is a bit from Pirelli’s webpage on this tire:
“The Cinturato Gravel M (Mixed Terrain) is a gravel-specific tire designed for mixed terrain, where the surface varies between compact and unstable terrain and all intermediate types. The tread consists of knobs with average height and spacing to guarantee excellent performance on a wide range of terrains. SpeedGRIP Compound adds features of mechanical resistance and chemical grip without compromising the rolling efficiency.“
The Cinturato Gravel M is offered in several sizes and in a “Classic” version, which has a brownish sidewall, and in a standard black sidewall version which is simply called the Cinturato Gravel H. Sizes include 700 c X 35mm 40mm, and 45mm while the 650B sizes are 45mm and 50mm. We have the 700c 40mm and 45mm tires in the Classic sidewall in for this review.
The Cinturato M also features a bead-to-bead sidewall and tread puncture protection belt system Pirelli calls “TechwallGravel”. This consists of what Pirelli describes as “special fabric reinforcements and thicker layers of rubber in specific areas of the tyre.” This allows the tire to fend off sharper objects found typically on hard-surface rides but also to allow protection from sidewall cuts in off-pavement riding.
The compound used for the rubber is Pirelli’s SpeedGRIP compound which is “a gravel-specific rubber formulation born from the Pirelli experience in the World Rally Championship where the performances of speed and grip on and off-road are crucial.” Supposedly this is a compound which has grip off-pavement but gives up little on paved roads.
Our tires weighed in at 535/527 grams for the 40mm (510 grams claimed weight), while the 45mm ties came in at 650/633 grams. (630 claimed weight) Prices for the Cinturato Gravel M range from about $70 to $80 bucks depending on where you look online.
First Impressions/Tubeless Set-up: I had no clear idea of what a Cinturato Gravel M tire might look like, so out of the box my impression was that these tires have some large tread blocks for a gravel tire. They are not very deep though, only standing off the casings by a small amount. The brownish side wall is handsome. I noted that there is no traditional size designation on the hot patch or molded into the tire. I also noted that these tires are Made in France. Interesting…..
Mounting the tires was overall an okay tubeless experience. I used a set of WTB CZR’s for the 40mm Cinturato Gravel M’s and the 45’s went on a set of Spinergy GX wheels. I had a little bit of a struggle with the 45’s and their stiffer side walls but the 40’s went on without an issue. I would call the experience overall average for tubeless set ups in gravel now. Both sets were aired up to 40psi and both held air really well over a 24hr period. My measurements for the 45mm tires on a 24mm internal width rim came up at 46.0 and 46.4mm each. Both the 40mm tires measured 41.3mm on the 23mm internal width rims.
So Far… The windchill outdoors as I type this is in the single digits, so riding these will happen, but not until the weather warms a bit, which it is forecast to do very soon. Until then….
These are good looking tires with big, diagonally placed knobs and a center row which forms a solid ridge, more or less. The rubber feels softer to the touch than many other tires I’ve handled and the casings still have a modicum of flexibility despite the bead to bead puncture protection. The tires seem a touch heavy versus what is claimed for weight, but mounted width is a pleasant surprise as the tires seemed to be on the bigger side of what is claimed there. It will be interesting to see if they stretch even more.
Stay tuned for the “Checkpoint” post where I will be back with a report on how these multi-surface tires fare.
Note: Riding Gravel was sent these Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M 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.