CX/Gravel Tire Test: Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC 40

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  • Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC 40
Performance compared to all other CX/Gravel tires
(100% is best)
Pro Members get 11-point radar charts

Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC 40 road bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

The Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC is a new addition to Pirelli's gravel bike tire lineup and, together with the Gravel M (Mixed terrain), slots right in between the Gravel H (Hard terrain) and Gravel S (Soft terrain). The main difference between the Gravel RC and Gravel M, which now cover the same "mixed-terrain" class, seems to be that the Gravel RC suits dry conditions better while the Gravel M is the better choice for wet conditions as its tread pattern is more optimized to clear mud.


The Cinturato Gravel RC has a tread pattern inspired by Pirelli's Scorpion XC RC mountain bike tire, and we can see it working well on gravel bikes as well. The RC also looks like a great addition to Pirelli's tire range, as there was quite a large gap between the (nearly slick) Gravel H and the Gravel M, which looks a bit rough for a mixed-terrain gravel bike tire.


We've already tested the Gravel H (read our review) and Gravel M (read our review) and found both tires to be strong performers with a relatively low rolling resistance, decent puncture resistance, and a compound that offers lots of wet grip. Technically, all Pirelli's gravel bike tires come with the same compound and construction, so we don't expect any big surprises from our test results.


Just like Pirelli's other gravel bike tires, all sizes of the Gravel RC are available with black or "classic" sidewalls. The available sizes are 35-622, 40-622, and 45-622, which probably covers 90% of the gravel bike tire market. This is a test of the 40-622 version, and we'll compare it to the 40-622 versions of the Gravel H and Gravel M and a range of similar tires from other brands.


Manufacturer Specifications


Manufacturer Specs
Brand Pirelli
Model Cinturato Gravel RC
Year 2022
Supplied By Bought in store
New or Used New
Mileage 0 km
Price Range High
Buy At
Manufacturer part number 4216200
EAN8019227421620
TPI 60
Compound SpeedGRIP
Bead Folding
ETRTO 40-622
Specified Weight 540 grams
Max Air Pressure (psi) 65
Made In Members Only
Available Sizes 35-622 (700x35c)
40-622 (700x40c)
45-622 (700x45c)

Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC 40 Test Results

Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC 40  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements


Size, Weight, and Thickness Measurements
Specified Weight 540 grams
Measured Weight 545 grams
Measured Width Casing 39 mm (un-round)
Measured Width Tread 41 mm
Measured Height 36 mm (un-round)
Measured Knob Height Center 1.3 mm
Measured Knob Height Edge 2.8 mm
Measured Total Thickness Center (excluding knobs) 2.30 mm
Measured Total Thickness Sidewall Members Only
All size measurements are taken at low air pressure on a 17.8 mm inner width rim.

Rolling Resistance Test Results


Rolling Resistance Test Results
Inner Tube None (30 ml sealant)

(current protocol)
Conti Cross28 (160 gr)

(test protocol)
Measured Width 39 mm 39 mm
Rolling Resistance
Real tire width in mm:
30-32 = 66 psi/4.6 bar
33-35 = 60 psi/4.1 bar
36-38 = 54 psi/3.7 bar
39-42 = 50 psi/3.4 bar
High Air Pressure

(50 psi / 3.4 bar)
Members OnlyMembers Only
Rolling Resistance
Real tire width in mm:
30-32 = 55 psi/3.8 bar
33-35 = 50 psi/3.4 bar
36-38 = 45 psi/3.1 bar
39-42 = 42 psi/2.9 bar
Medium Air Pressure

(42 psi / 2.9 bar)
Members OnlyMembers Only
Rolling Resistance
Real tire width in mm:
30-32 = 44 psi/3.0 bar
33-35 = 40 psi/2.8 bar
36-38 = 36 psi/2.6 bar
39-42 = 33 psi/2.3 bar
Low Air Pressure

(33 psi / 2.3 bar)
23.2 Watts
CRR: 0.00695
27.0 Watts
CRR: 0.00809
Rolling Resistance
Real tire width in mm:
30-32 = 33 psi/2.3 bar
33-35 = 30 psi/2.1 bar
36-38 = 27 psi/1.9 bar
39-42 = 25 psi/1.7 bar
Extra Low Air Pressure

(25 psi / 1.7 bar)
27.5 Watts
CRR: 0.00824
32.5 Watts
CRR: 0.00974
The CX/Gravel section is a multi tire size section, air pressures have been adjusted to the measured casing width.

All numbers are for a single tire at a speed of 29 km/h / 18 mph and a load of 42.5 kg / 94 lbs.

Use the formula: RR (Watts) = CRR * speed (m/s) * load (N) to calculate rolling resistance at a given speed and load.

Puncture Resistance Test Results

Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC 40  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Puncture Resistance Test Results (higher is better)
Total Puncture Score Tread 34 Points
Total Puncture Score Sidewall Members Only
Tread Puncture Force Sharp Needle Members Only
Tread Puncture Force Blunt Needle Members Only
Tread Total Tire Thickness 2.30 mm
Sidewall Puncture Force Sharp Needle Members Only
Sidewall Puncture Force Blunt Needle Members Only
Sidewall Total Tire Thickness Members Only

Hard Surface Static Grip Test Results

Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC road bike tire on a grip test machine
Static Grip Test Results
Wet Grip Average 70 Points
Wet Grip Center Members Only
Wet Grip Edge Members Only
Measured Knob Height Center 1.3 mm
Measured Knob Height Edge 2.8 mm
Grip in points = coefficient of friction * 100
Wet Grip Test and Off-Road Tires (info)

Conclusion


  • Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC 40
Performance compared to all other CX/Gravel tires
(100% is fastest - lightest - highest - strongest)

Pro Members get 11-point radar charts

We're not convinced by the performance of the Pirelli Gravel RC, as it performs nearly identical to the Gravel M (read our review) that comes with an even more versatile tread design. In the rolling resistance tests, the RC is edged out by the Gravel M, which rolls slightly faster at all air pressures. Weight wise, the RC is heavier, with both the specified and measured weight coming in higher. Hard surface wet grip also seems better on the M, as there is much less drop-off when on the edge of the tire.


Even though the Gravel M tread design looks a bit rough for a gravel bike tire, it works well as it was intended to be a true mixed terrain tire. Given its more conventional looking tread pattern that won't clear mud as well, we're still determining where to place the Gravel RC as it seems less versatile than the Gravel M.


We would give the Gravel M a try over the Gravel RC.


Drop over to our comparison section to compare Pirelli's Gravel H, Gravel M, and Gravel RC side by side.


RATING: 3.8 / 5
TEST VERDICT:
Recommended


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