Pirelli paves the way for a new era in the world of cycling tires, this time not for the best car or motorbike but for the best machine ever created: man. Pirelli has developed a new patent dedicated to the cycling world: SmartNet Silica™, a new generation high-tech molecule which delivers maximum performance, balanced on all fronts, conceived exclusively by Pirelli’s chemistry labs.
Pirelli’s bicycle tires are the product of more than two years of in-depth research, development, market analysis, lab and road testing. As with its well-known car namesake, PZero Velo tires draw extensively from Pirelli technology and its 110-year expertise in sports competition, taking advantage of invaluable know-how, tests, patents and technologies designed by the Italian company since its foundation in 1872.
The SMART Tire
Composed of more than seventeen elements, the Pirelli compound was synthesized at the company’s Milan Bicocca Technology & Innovation Centre. The researchers who worked on this project are the same ones who worked on the F1 P Zero compound, currently the only tire used in F1 racing.
SmartNet Silica™ is a silicate-based molecule whose configuration differs from traditional silicates: it has no spherical shape but is an elongated stick. The molecule demonstrates a natural self-sorting tendency instead of being randomly positioned within the matrix. Such configuration assures numerous benefits in terms of performance: its longitudinal position positively affects the tire smoothness allowing highly directional performance, thanks also to its high elasticity leading to decreased heat generation and rolling resistance. A further advantage of SmartNet Silica™ is its anti-cluster ability; it spreads evenly and fully within the matrix: this property added to the natural chemical affinity with water, results in outstanding wet performance.
Further characteristics of SmartNet Silica™ is its ability to create a genuine particular matrix that binds other compound elements to it. The stability of the molecular weaving is vital for providing reliable performance and contributes to natural puncture protection without adding weight to the tire structure and prolonging its longevity over time.
one name for three different models aimed at the three main road uses and color coded like the P Zero used in F1 motor-racing.
The silver label showcases the PZero Velo, aimed at road racing. It is light and the most versatile of the three as it provides speed and handling along with dry and wet grip meaning top cycling safety. It is ideal for competitions or training on any type of surface.
Pirelli’s SmartNET™ Silica grants both rolling efficiency and wet grip FGD and ICS Technologies-powered tread design provides sensational handling confidence and performance
SmartNET™ Silica and the special aramid fiber puncture resistance belt allow you to enjoy extensive mileage and long-term reliability The red label denotes PZero Velo TT, the fastest and lightest of the whole range. Designed for breathtaking speed, it features great handling as well as top wet behavior.
Pirelli’s SmartNET™ Silica technology grants high wet grip to this fast, super light tire SmartNET™ Silica also contributes to puncture resistance, even without a puncture resistance belt, keeping weight low and rolling efficiency high.
The blue label, in conclusion, showcases the all-season tires. PZero Velo 4S tires are ideal during autumn and winter. They offer high puncture protection and an outstanding wet grip guaranteeing, at the same time, rolling, comfort and mileage.
Pirelli’s SmartNET™ Silica grants both rolling efficiency and wet grip, delivering an all-season tire with outstanding performance. Tread design developed with FGD and ICS technologies provides great handling and water drainage, even in harsh weather conditions.
Overall increased SmartNET™ Silica tread pattern thickness in addition to an aramid fiber puncture-resistant belt ensure extensive mileage and reliability in bad weather and cold temperatures
Balanced all-around performance:
“Perfect Balance” is one of the key characteristics of Pirelli’s new bicycle tires: tires with optimal and
balanced performance in terms of rolling resistance, wet and dry grip, handling behavior, puncture protection and longevity (intended not only as time duration but especially as performance reliability over time).
To meet such design requirements, Pirelli researchers worked on three fronts – the tire shape and construction, the tread pattern and tread compound – developing F1 and World SSP-inspired technologies as in the case of the pattern or conceiving exclusive and groundbreaking patents like the compound.
For the contour and construction of the new PZero Velo tires, Pirelli made use of ICS (Ideal Contour Shaping) technology working on the shape of the tire contour. The use of CAD software, along with a subsequent analysis of the finite elements (FEM), helped optimize the construction parameters of the tire contour and repeatedly simulate performance. Hence PZero Velo provides the best and most efficient footprint conferring grip, stability as well as a reactive and controlled response to every type of surface (straights, descents or bends).
To fine-tune the tread pattern of PZero Velo and PZero Velo 4S (the TT model is 100% slick), Pirelli relied on the motorsport-inspired FGD technology (Functional Groove Design). The tread pattern, which does not have an aesthetic function, takes inspiration from one of Pirelli’s best SSP tires (SuperSport class of the World SuperBike racing competition): Diablo Supercorsa. Tread pattern angles, depths and distances were researched to maximize performance in terms of water outflow, dry and wet grip, mileage, tire response as well as comfort and handling. The tread pattern recalls a “flash” and features extremely tight angles down the middle area with a definite lateral opening so as to facilitate water drainage, smoothness and even the tire usage. Moreover, the tread pattern has been designed to be progressively deeper to enhance resilience and give the tire great reactiveness and response even on extreme bends.
The position of the pattern creates a different number of contact points between the tread and the ground. PZero Velo has three major footprint areas: a central slick ribbon, for high tire smoothness, two extra-grooved intermediate bands, which help to negotiate bends and heat the tire, and semi-slick edges providing high tire responsiveness at bend apex. This result is optimum contact whenever the tire is required to supply maximum ground power transfer and safety in any set of conditions.
Pinarello and Pirelli Join Forces
For its top-of-the-range bikes, Pinarello has chosen Pirelli’s new PZero Velo tires, entering into a partnership that is a natural point of arrival for the two brands, as well as a new point of departure.
In recent months, Pinarello has put the PZero Velo to the acid test, carrying out extensive road tests over many miles in the harshest conditions. Pirelli tires invariably delivered outstanding performances, with optimal results in each and every respect – rolling resistance, grip on wet and dry surfaces, ease of handling, resistance to punctures and durability – clearly showing that they can fully meet the high-performance requirements of the Dogma F10 bike.
Even in the world of cycling, Pirelli confirms its standing as the go-to partner for those seeking optimal performances. Just a few months after its debut on the bicycle market, Pirelli signs an OEM agreement of excellence: the beginning of a journey with Pinarello that will lead to interesting product developments in the not too distant future.
“It is with the greatest pleasure that we announce this OEM agreement with one of the world’s most prestigious bike makers – says Antonella Lauriola, COO Business Unit Velo Pirelli – Pirelli has always been the partner of choice for the best, and this partnership with Pinarello makes us proud!”
“The tires are the final and pivotal link between the bike and the asphalted surface… fitting the wrong tires amounts to nullifying our work and compromising the performance of our bikes – points out Fausto Pinarello, President and CEO of Pinarello – Pirelli PZero is an extraordinary name on the world scene of tires, nevertheless we had to make sure that their work and their product was right for our Dogma F10. Today we announce this partnership with the certainty that we have equipped our Dogma F10 bikes with the best tires currently available on the market.”