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Pirelli Angel DT Urban Tyre
768g (700x32 as tested) £36.99 each

The Pirelli Angel DT Urban are supposedly designed to cope with the worst the city can chuck but without unduly denting the fun factor. They are competitively priced, give a plush, compliant ride roll and handle quicker than their weight would suggest. They also seem very sure footed along wet, filthy rural roads too. Puncture resistance is proving similarly dependable 700 miles down the line. There are lighter, folding choices for winter training, but the Angel DT Urban tyres are rivalling some long-term favourites.

Pros: Compliant, grippy ride, good puncture resistance, strong casings, excellent choice of sizes, E-Bike ready.

Cons: Puncture repelling belt does not run bead to bead.

test reviw pielli rtyres tires bicycle


The Angel DT urban are a 60tpi model, very much in keeping with others of this genre, including the CST Xpedium  and Kenda Kwick Journey KS Plus . Pirelli employs their “Pro compound urban” which is Silica blended specifically for the qualities required of urban riding and the profile, apparently derived from motorcycles continues the narrative of comfort, control and agility in town contexts. Pressure range between 50 and 86psi is moderate but again, typical of this genre and allows tunability to taste and improved traction along slippery winter roads. 

Now, tread patterns, water-channelling grooves etc are a hotly debated topic and arguably, slick (not bald) tyres offer bicycles the best grip . Either way, Pirelli tell us its derived from their Angel scooter design. The Hyper BELT casing structure is designed to afford a strong, durable casing, one capable of resisting potholes, tram rails, railway crossings etc.

This narrative continues with a 5mm layer of rubber beneath the centre strip. Bead to bead is arguably the most invulnerable but can result a harsher ride quality and after 38 years of riding, I’ve concluded nothing is truly invulnerable. Besides, Kenda Kwick Journey KS Plus has a 5mm centre strip and proved incredibly reliable, long term. Retroreflective sidewalls meet ECE-R88 regulations and offer a decent amount of moving light.

The Angel DT are available in an impressive range of widths. In 700c, we’re talking 28, 32, 37, 42, 47 and 52mm, catering for old school lightweight tourers through to gravel bikes and adventure builds. Their GT counterparts are £1 dearer and available in 700x35, 37, 42, 47, 52, 57, 62 and 650x57. Out of curiosity, I measured ours with a vernier and they came up as 32.1mm- close enough. My reason for mentioning this is some tyre manufacturers used to come up a little small, so weighing less against competitors and giving them a sales advantage.

Test Bike/Fitting

Ours were the 32mm, which is pretty much optimum for the clearances of my fixed gear winter/trainer- a cyclo cross frameset with track ends and spacing. I’d run a much bigger fork up front until last year, when an uneasy creak prompted replacement for a 32mm cyclo cross version. The rear triangle will manage a 35mm, hence no issues with the CST Xpedium but on balance, a few millimetres of extra clearance were welcome.  I was able to mount the Angel DT to 19mm with only my thumbs and a single, standard resin lever was all that was needed to sweep them off. Again, not unusual for this kind of tyre, but reassuring, nonetheless. 

Ride Quality/Handling 4/5

Our test period has been decidedly wet- great for testing many of Pirelli’s claims about the Angel DT. Calling their bluff, for the first 200 miles, I ran one up front, the CST Expedium, as a “control” at the rear. 

test review pirelli tyres tire bicycle

I started with the Angel DT 85psi and the CST Expedium at their 75psi maximum and went out before dawn and post dusk. 

Both tyres are relatively supple and roll easily, given their size and weight. From the off, and much as I expected, the Angel DT accelerated quickly and were easy to keep on the boil. Quicker and nimbler than the CST too in comparable contexts, which might be attributable to the Pirelli’s profile and of course, but the CST’s puncture repelling belt also runs bead to bead.

Either way, the Angel DT have proven palpably quicker than the CST Expedium and more compliant than the Maxxis Refuse TR. 

bicycle bike tyre tire eview test cycling

The Angel DT have also held their line impeccably, no matter how fast I pushed them- 30mph along a greasy 1in 7 descent- lots of mud and slurry had leached out from the fields, which can be quite challenging- no issues, although, testing aside I don’t usually tempt fate along this twisty lane.

Much the same story along the climbs and flatter sections. 75psi seemed to be their sweet spot at least when temperatures didn’t fall below 5 degrees- I did drop ours to 60 when crystallised, glistening patches were the norm Again, no issues keeping them at a steady 17-18mph, no pregnant pauses when pulling away from junctions, railway crossings etc., either. 

Despite the urban tag, country roads can be extremely variable. Some washboard, some smoother than the proverbial, some littered with holes and other hazards. Again, the Angel DT have impressed in those instances when I’d spotted a looming hole, or Kamikaze rabbit taking split second swerves in their stride. 

Ride quality, even at their higher pressures has been similarly good, taking the sting out of rumble strips and though I’ve hopped out of the saddle, no jarring when I’ve trickled across railway crossings. I had noticed the tread seemed prone to collecting small stones and other sharps, although, doubtless aided by deep, standing puddles, they seemed very competent at flushing mud and similar organic stuff away. Save for the muck, much the same story through town.

Their deceptively quick acceleration was fun at the lights and keeping pace with traffic-even the congested stuff synonymous with Christmas very straightforward. Again, whipping around holes, ruts, glass and other hazards wasn’t difficult. Wet ironworks required a little caution, dare we say, common sense but again, no obvious loss of traction. Worth saying a fixed transmission gives a little more control when things turn slippery too, since you can regulate speed by holding off gently against the cranks.

Interestingly, in town small stones and sharps seemed more effectively flushed from the tread- particularly welcome at roundabouts and bigger junctions. Same goes for the retro-reflective sidewalls. Obviously, features such as suspension stems, bar tape and fork material play their parts but even when I’ve unwittingly caught that dip, rut and blossoming hole, the Angel DT have given me a nudge, rather than a nasty jolt. 

Puncture Resistance 4/5

There’s nothing like a flat, in the arse end of nowhere when it’s lashing down ... Thankfully, to date, this has been a moot point, with the Pirelli. A very similar experience to that with the Kenda Kwick Journey KS Plus, which wasn’t a complete surprise, given both employ a 5mm thick puncture repelling belt. Continuing this theme, the water channelling grooves, and tread pattern have also trapped grit, flints and the occasional shard of grass but none has cut into the casing, let alone induced a flat. 

tyre wheel cycling test rview
test review cycle bicycle

I’ve deliberately resisted my habitual brushing of the casings from week to week, let alone brushing them down mid-ride (as I sometimes do on longer, winter rides, or having no choice but to ride through shards of glass at a junction). Even more impressive, given the farmers seem to have been carpeting the lanes in greasy field muck- the sort notorious for trapping flints and hedge clippings. 

Contexts where the Maxxis Refuse and CST Expedium have succumbed- a small thorn in the shoulder, on both occasions. In fairness, both have done a much higher milage and sometimes, these things are just luck of the draw. Whether this tough, dependable persona will fade 2,000 miles down the line remains to be seen.  

Value 3.5/5

£36.99 is typical of this genre. Kenda Kwick Journey KS Plus (managed 3,600 miles before retirement) features a comparable belt and similar levels of invulnerability. However, I’ve found the ride quality a little harsher. Vee Tire CO Zilent  comes in at £39.99 and offers a similar dependability e-bike compatibility and good manners. However, it is a little heavier and you’ll want the Zilent Mark2 if you’ve designs on laden touring/utility riding.

If you were looking to blast along and didn’t need particularly big sections - say on an Audax, or lightweight winter/trainer, then the Maxxis Refuse TR are only a few pounds dearer at £40) and will save a few hundred grams. Then of course, there’s the CST Xpedium 6, which also come in at £36.99 and boast a bead-to-bead belt, E-bike compatibility and deliver a relatively swift, compliant ride. However, sizing is limited to bigger sections, which may prove a non-starter.


I’ve been impressed by the Pirelli Angel DT, which have delivered on their “dependable but not dull” design brief. They’re swift on the uptake, offer a supple, comfortable ride, over changeable surfaces and broader sections would probably have some scope for dry trails and towpath explorations. Puncture resistance is also proving reassuringly good, although no tyre is invulnerable. Even the Schwalbe Marathon GT 365 have succumbed to an aggressive flint after a few thousand miles, so it will be interesting to see whether the Pirelli’s dependability wanes as the miles creep past 1200 or so. 

Verdict: 4/5 Compliant, grippy and generally dependable tyres 


Michael Stenning


Extra UK





Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH


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