Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H Review

Garret Seacat, C.S.C.S.

Putting the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H through it's paces in the Flint Hills of Kansas.

When it came to giving the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H a review, we mounted them up and wore them out in the home of Unbound Gravel. But does the Gravel H have what it takes to de-thrown some of the best, such as the Panaracer SS or Specialized Pathfinder?

Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H 700 x 40

Cinturato Gravel H Overall:
4/5

Pros

  • Incredibly Fast Rolling
  • Decent Weight for Size
  • Durable so Far but Only Time Will Tell

Cons

  • Loss of Traction on Climbs
  • Not Very Supple
  • Slightly More Expensive Than Most

First Impressions

When we first got our hands on the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H, we were pleasantly surprised with how fast they looked. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got plenty of other tires that showed up and thought the same to only be disappointed, but with the Cinturato Gravel H, we had no real letdown once we hit the gravel. Before we get too far, let’s talk about some of the basics, they are tubeless compatible and set up very quickly (we still have one set on our aluminum rims that aren’t holding air all the time, but we will blame the sealant for this). They measured fairly true to the labeled with at 40.6mm mounted to a 25mm internal width rim, which we always love to see. 

Pirelli Gravel H review

Riding and Testing

They definitely roll fast, while we no longer have access to our old tire rolling resistance tool, we hit 50mph on a paved downhill and they cruise just fine at 15mph on gravel with no sensation of rolling resistance. We would likely put these up there with some of the faster tires we have ridden in a long time. While at a local multi-day gravel stage race, La Grind, I was in the front pack and noticed someone else with them riding. They echoed that same idea, “they just feel fast!” There are only a couple of things we noticed immediately we didn’t love. Most noticeably they seem to slip on climbs more that any other tire I’ve ridden. I thought originally this was just something I was experiencing but a quick Google search shows a similar experience.  Getting more traction on the climbs was fixed by lowering the air pressure down into the high 20s before finally settling in at 30 psi but still having the occasional slip. The other thing on our list of dislikes is just the overall lack of suppleness in the tires. While it’s not the end of the world, you will notice a little harshness with the tires if you are used to a much softer compound. But if the tires can hold up for longer it is always a fair trade-off, we just have yet to put in the huge miles to see if they last.

Cinturato Gravel H Review Final Thoughts

While the Gravel H has been out for some time, they have yet to significantly impact the gravel scene, at least in the midwest area. This may be brand loyalty or people unfamiliar with Pirelli as a bike tire brand, but they are missing out. Do these tires have what it takes to eventually de-thrown the best that Specialized and Panaracer have? Only time will tell, but as of right now, we are a fan, even with the slightly higher price.