PIRELLI TRIATHLON, THE NEW HIGH-VERSATILITY OPTION
The new range dedicated to regional transporters is able to cope in any situation and improves all-round performance
There is no such thing as a perfect tire, unless we look at it in relation to the use one wants to make of it. A tire designed to cope with mixed routes, with fairly abrasive roads, is ideal for regional transport products, but if the same is to be used over long distances on motorways, then fuel consumption will increase and overall performances will take a knock. By the same token, the ideal tire for long hauls provides driving comfort, great mileage and lower fuel consumption, but when called upon to cope with winding roads, even if short, then things don’t go so well. Often, though, it just isn’t possible to dedicate a vehicle to a single use, or change tires every time the weather changes. Therefore, when conditions are uncertain, the need for reliable tires able to guarantee safety in every condition is absolutely paramount. The new R:01 Triathlon meets precisely these needs.
The new Pirelli Triathlon :01 series has been especially designed for regional routes, with its different daily working and weather conditions. Even tracing a universal identikit for vehicles used in these conditions is quite impossible. Mid-range versatile vehicles are ideal in these conditions, even though at times also “heavier” and older vehicles are “downgraded” to short-range operations as well as some of the most powerful mid-range models. The ideal tire in these cases must be a champion of versatility, capable of ensuring great performance at all times; the right tire, if chosen well, could prove also interesting from an economic point of view, since its versatility translates into a TCO reduction. The new Triathlon R:01 range is Pirelli’s new offer, which replaces the older R:01 II line, and represents a significant technological development (see box p. 38). Available for both drive and directional axles (with the trailer option expected early in 2017), Triathlon boasts both M+S and 3PMSF markings (approved through standard testing procedures). Besides these important markings, the tire’s rolling resistance is one of the lowest in the industry.
Dedicated and innovative design
Pirelli specialists have paid great attention to the tread patterns, which, although different for the Triathlon FR:01 (steering axle) and TR:01 (drive axle), still share a number of features such as dense siping, to guarantee adequate grip on both wet and slippery roads, 3SB high tensile steel cords in the belt and structure, making the tire stronger and even easier to retread, extra rubber coating on the ply cords (reduced oxidation and consequent aging of the casing), a reinforced bead which increases resistance to wear and tear, besides facilitates retreading and, finally, a hexagonal ring which makes mounting easier and strengthens the whole tire. Furthermore, re-grooving is possible for an extra 3 mm. The steering model features four zig-zag grooves which guarantee more than adequate water and stone expulsion. Furthermore, the larger contact patch improves grip and driving precision, while the shoulder’s geometry ensure a uniform distribution of the load to the ground. The drive axle tire exhibits redesigned transversal grooves and tread blocks, to improve rolling resistance and, consequently, fuel consumption and wear resistance; moreover, traction and the ability to expel water and stones have considerably improved. The 3D sipes trap snow providing the best possible grip on snow-clad roads and, at the same time, provide greater tread wear uniformity and reduce noise level. Here too, the maximized contact patch improves grip and mileage.
New compound and structure
When designing a new tire, friction is one of the main physical phenomena to be considered. Reducing it will greatly benefit mileage and reduce both fuel consumption and the risk of overheating; to achieve this result great attention must be paid to the chemical composition of the compound. On the R: 01 Triathlon, Pirelli designers have made extensive use of silica, which, combined with Dual Filler Technology and Carbon Black & Silica interaction, leads to reduced rolling resistance as well as versatility and reliability in all temperatures and conditions. Dual Layer technology also contributes to this goal, by making use of different compounds on both the inner and outer layer of the tread. The outer layer is there to guarantee durability and grip in both wet and dry conditions, while the inner layer helps to keep operating temperatures low and minimize rolling resistance. The casing has also been improved thanks to the use of high tensile steel cords in the belt, making the Triathlon more flexible, comfortable and more “silent” and not only that, the new tire is now stronger and even easier to retread.
Three retreading modes
In addition to the new tires, Pirelli has also introduced Triathlon rings and Novateck bands used in cold retreading and developed in collaboration with Marangoni, able to guarantee the same performance of a new Triathlon. By the end of the year, Triathlon tread rings will also be available for Novatread hot retreading process so as to appeal to all possible customers. Retreads will, as usual, be available through a network of certified retreaders.
Triathlons are now available in two versions: FR steering axle tire and TR drive axle tire, in sizes 315/80 R22,5 295/80 R22,5 and 315/70 R22,5.
The European rating for fuel consumption saw the FR receive a C, while the TR got a D, while wet grip earned both a B. Noise level recorded a 71dB for the FR and a 73dB for the TR.
Compared to the older model, the new Triathlon FR:01 scores a 5% improvement on wear resistance, 10% for handling and 30% for grip on slippery roads, while all other parameters remain consistent. The new TR:01, on the other hand, boasts a 15% longer mileage, 20% higher resistance to wear, a +5% for rolling resistance, 10% for handling and 35% for grip on snow and ice.
The perfect tire? With an App!
It's called FleetApp, and it’s the new tool available for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, which assist fleet managers in choosing the right tire. By inserting parameters such as the type of use, the European labeling and the size required, the client is guided through the Pirelli and Formula offer. Furthermore, the app also provides an evaluation on fuel saving that could be achieved with other more efficient products than the ones chosen, providing access to a series of videos that illustrate products and services like CyberFleet pressure and temperature monitoring system. Thoroughly tested by the sales staff, this app can be downloaded from the www.pirelli.com website.