Pirelli P ZERO Race TLR RS Tyre Review [Clincher/TLR]

Pirelli P ZERO Race TLR RS ReviewPirelli P ZERO Race TLR RS Review

This is a review of Pirelli’s latest performance bike tyre, the Pirelli P ZERO Race TLR RS, released on 14 May 2024.


What is it?

  • Road racing and performance cycling
  • For TTs get the TT version!

It’s a high-end performance tyre, pretty much at the top end of Pirelli’s range. It can be seen as a race version of the earlier P ZERO Race TLR (non-RS version) and offers a tad more protection than the P ZERO Race TT from 2023 which is lighter, and more fragile but probably faster.

TLR means TubeLess Ready, so you can use it in your tubeless setup or you can use an inner tube made from butyl, latex or TPU (like Pirelli’s P-Zero SmarTube). You might call it a clincher. The 28mm and larger sizes are compatible with hookless-rimmed wheels.

RS means Racing Speed. Now you know.

Pirelli P ZERO Race TLR RS Review

What’s New?

The new, SmartEVO2 compound is used and the Speedcore casing material is also lighter and updated in construction.

The bead has been improved to support hookless rims and improve air retention on tubeless setups

Improved tread pattern and grip are claimed.

Compared to the previous non-RS model, Pirelli further claims an 8% reduction in weight and a 16% reduction in rolling resistance. Weights vary depending on the tyre size (270g to 345g per tyre) and the rolling resistance is not stated but I deduce/guess it is about 9w based on other Pirelli tyres on bicyclerollingresistance.com

What are the sizes and their suitability for your wheel?

Interestingly, the smallest available size is 26mm and the largest is 32mm, fitting in with recent trends towards wider tyres. The accepted mantra seems to be that ‘wider is better’.

Before getting the widest available, ensure your frame has enough clearance. For example, my Cervelo P5six is a fairly old, high-end TT bike limited to 26mm tyres.

Next, check what your wheel manufacturer recommends rather than taking advice from media sites. If you have a thin wheel and a super wide tyre you may reduce rolling resistance but create more drag and introduce handling issues.

Also, closely consider your internal rim width. As the internal rim width increases from one wheel to another, identical tyres will measure and behave more widely when fitted to larger internal rim widths.

I am putting these tyres on HUNT’s 36 UD Carbon Spoke wheelset which has a 19mm internal rim width (26mm external). Whilst these particular wheels are suitable for 23-45mm tyres, the most aero ones will be between 25mm and 28mm, with the former being more aero (Source: Hunt). These will be ideal for my road bike (Cervelo R5). I went for the Pirelli 700x26c over the 28mm but only because the 28mm wouldn’t fit my TT bike on those super-windy days when I would need to use this wheel/tyre combo. That said the measured width is 27.5mm, so it’s going to be tight!

Pirelli P ZERO Race TLR RS specs

What is the optimal tyre pressure?

Modern trends are also for lower tyre pressures. Simplistically at lower pressures, there will be fewer micro-bumps where the wheel leaves the road plus factors like lower hysteresis. Rather than going down rabbit holes to understand that (and more) it’s easiest to check with some people who’ve already done the rabbit holeing for you. Again see what your wheel manufacturer recommends, see Pirelli’s recommendations (below), check the Silca tyre pressure calculator, and check Fast Fitness Tips.


You might be surprised that, in 2024, Pirelli recommends up to 88psi for my weight, whereas Silca’s more refined tool recommends a front|rear split of 81|83psi when I use a 27.5mm measured tyre width.

NB: 1mm of extra, measured width could make a 5psi difference


Pirelli P ZERO Race TLR RS – Ride Experience

I’ve also used my Pirelli P ZERO Race TLR TT tyres a lot this year and I can just about notice a difference to the TLR RS. The new RS feels a bit less fragile, more solid and not quite as compliant. Maybe I’m imagining those differences? They both feel pretty quick and similar to my GP5000’s. The Pirelli TT’s feel the fastest of this bunch but, again, I’m probably imagining that as well despite some good Strava times.

I’ve completed an extended London to Brighton return ride (120 miles), a few 50-mile and 50-km sorties with the RS tyres, and some 8-minute intervals. They’re perfectly fine. Excellent performance tyres that were perhaps not best suited for some of the sub-optimal roads I used them on. I’m a straight-line speed kinda person and they were certainly quick in that scenario. Still, it’s impossible to discern any minimal watt improvement over other performance tyres I use and I didn’t test them anywhere close to their cornering limit.

With low 80’s PSI pressures, they weren’t quite as comfy as I’d expected but comfy nevertheless.

Over a 20minute (ish) route that I often take these tyres on my road bike were about 30-50 seconds slower than the Pirelli TT tyres on a TT bike (obviously different ride position). That difference is probably ‘about right’ all things non-scientifically considered, based on experience as I’ve done that segment over a thousand of times!

Pirelli P ZERO Race TLR RS – specs

  • Sizes: Available in four sizes: 700x26c, 700x28c, 700x30c, and 700x32c.
  • Weight:
    • 700x26c – 270g per tyre
    • 700x28c – 295g per tyre
    • 700x30c – 320g per tyre
    • 700x32c – 345g per tyre
  • Casing: 120 TPI (threads per inch)
  • Colour: Black
  • Compatibility:
    • Normal, hooked rims
    • Hookless rims for the 28mm and above tyres


Q: Do the pros use it?

A: Yes. Pirelli-sponsored riders at the 2024 Paris-Roubaix used prototype versions and the tyre claims 71 podiums and 27 victories at the time of writing (Jun 2024)

Q: Should I use with tubes?

A: Yes. I can’t see any meaningful weight saving when the weight of sealant is compared to the weight of a decent latex or TPU tube. Perhaps there’s a race-day benefit where a self-sealed puncture saves the race for you. IMHO, tubeless is not worth the mess and hassle. It’s your call though.

Q: What competitor alternatives could I consider?

A: Officially the answer in the press release is “Continental GP5000 TT TR and Vittoria Corsa Pro Speed TLR” but Pirelli’s TT version probably better competes with those. It’s really a competitor to GP5000 S TR and Vittoria Corsa Pro.

Q: Can the tyre be installed/removed with tyre levers

A: Yes they’re not too bad to get on or off the Hunt wheels. The RS is a slightly tighter fit than the TT version but I’ve had to work with FAR worse. Two tyre levers relatively easily do the job. Your wheels could well have different size tolerances…

Pirelli P ZERO Race TLR RS


FYI: Pirelli Gift, unpaid

Pirelli P ZERO Race TLR RS Review Summary

I find tyre selection a confusing process. What is the best race tyre? Do we get Corsa N.EXT or PRO, or do we get GP5000? and if it’s Gp5000 then which particular GP5000 model? Similarly, with Pirelli’s P-Zero, how can the RS be the fastest tyre when the TT is also recommended for PROs? Or do we get the RACE 4S, the RACE SL, or the P7 Sport instead? And that’s not even considering tyre width, clearance, aero performance on your wheelset, and tyre pressure.

ANSWER: As of June 2024, RACE TLR RS is the Pirelli tyre you’ll probably want as a performance cyclist and I reckon you should use latex or TPU tubes.

ANSWER: Your tyre is part of an overall system. To get the fastest size/pressure setup, assess factors specific to you and the conditions on race day.

Whilst these are great race tyres, no one will suggest you bin your GP5000s tomorrow but P-ZERO RACE is worth considering when you buy a replacement.

Pirelli’s burgeoning bike tyre range strongly suggests it’s in the market for the long haul and they’re aiming to be seen as a real alternative to the top-end brands we already know.


Price & Availability

Cost: RRP €89.90 but I’ve seen them for GBP53, although that might have been a listing error.

Buy: Amazon

Buy: Direct from Pirelli


Pirelli P ZERO Race TLR RS comparison gp5000





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