Review: Michelin Krylion Carbon tires


Ridden hard and put away dirty. I’m probably not alone in describing my road bike, which sees near-daily commuting use, in this way. With a commute that includes potholed streets, glass-strewn shoulders, and thorn-infested dirt, tires are the most abused part on a generally abused bicycle. For the past few years, I’ve been happy to rely on Michelin’s Krylion Carbon tires to get me to work and (more importantly) home. Hit ‘more’ to learn more about the puncture-resistant tires’ ins and outs…

Not nearly as inexpensive as some commuter-oriented tires, the Krylion Carbons provide what I consider to be an excellent balance of ride, grip, and durability. A dual color (if not compound) tread sits atop a bead-to-bead breaker layer, itself riding on an “extra supple” 127tpi casing. When new, the Krylions do an excellent job at keeping glass and thorns from reaching the tube. They’re not completely puncture proof, but when paired with a Stan’s-filled inner tube, I tend to experience four or fewer flats per year (and a handful of slow leaks) over hundreds of rides and thousands of miles.

Mounted on a wide (23mm) HED Ardennes rim, the somewhat stiff casing seems happiest with 85psi in the front tire and 90psi in the rear- and can be nursed home with as little as 50psi in the rear. In wet weather, the Krylion Carbons are the best puncture-resistant tire that I’ve ridden, providing grip that reliably exceeds my nerve. Even with the tread cracked and torn after a couple of thousand miles, the Michelins continue to fight the good fight (though grip ultimately suffers).  At 235g (claimed- 35g more than the Pro3 Race), they’re more than light enough for the racer who can’t see separate training and racing tires.

Though not inexpensive at $64 apiece, the Krylion Carbons are an excellent commuting low-worry training tire. My two sets have exceeded my performance expectations and earned my trust while keeping flat-related stops to a minimum. Recommended without hesitation.

marc

www.michelinbicycletire.com

Comments

AnbuDude - 07/06/11 - 8:52am

what’s Stan’s-filled inner tube?

Bob - 07/06/11 - 10:58am

I agree, after running them for several years on my Litespeed I’m more than happy with them. I’ve been caught in torrential downpours at the coast and here in the NC foothills, traction has always been good. Not one flat in the last 2,000 miles. At my weight (182) I run mine at 100 psi. As for price, you can usually find them on sale, paid $43 for one 6 weeks ago.

Nate - 07/06/11 - 11:02am

Did you really notice that using Stan’s helped prevent punctures? I had always thought that Stan’s was only good up to about 40 psi, and if you go any higher than it just won’t hold any air because it’s too thin. I tried Stan’s in some 35c tires filled to 85psi and I didn’t think it helped.

Adam - 07/06/11 - 1:35pm

Hey Marc. I do something similar: Maxxis ReFuse or Specialized Armadillo tire paired with an airlock or stans-filled tube. Works pretty well, although the sidewall blew out of my Armadillo last week. Just sitting next to my desk and BAM! I booted it with an old tire though. They both due a great job of keeping goat heads away from the tube though.

We should do a road-ride some time since the trails are closed.

Bob: Stans, while thin, works at high pressure due to the little chunks of rubber in it. They plug the hole, and the latex hardens around it.

Nate: Stans needs to be replenished fairly regularly. The chunks accumulate into a big ball, and then it won’t do much.

Robin - 07/06/11 - 3:45pm

In my area–desert–I didn’t have any good luck with Krylions. With Maxxis Re-Fuse tires, I had about 4x fewer flats. Of course, no comparison as such is really valid since such the debris run-over from ride to ride is not exactly the same. I did think the Krylions were a bit sketchy in the wet. Also, not coming in all black is a major design flaw: all black is obviously better. With that said, the Krylions are the third best tires I’ve used (in terms of flat resistance, grip, and wear), behind Maxxis Re-Fuse and Schwalbe Ultremo DD’s.

Patrick - 07/06/11 - 4:20pm

I am one of the unlucky ones I suppose… my rear tire punctured a few weeks after installation… and even with a little patch over the mini hole, I’ve had 5 flats over the last month. I obv ditched the tire and replaced it (with a spare Maxxis Detonator that I had in the basement), but I was bummed out over the lost $$$ invested in the tire + all the tubes.

Bob - 07/06/11 - 4:49pm

After my experience with the tire I’m amazed Robin & Patrick had such problems. I do not run any filler, just a heavy duty tube. Maybe my days are numbered though the one I just replaced (worn square) had a bigger cut than the one pictured above that I rode with for at least 500 miles. Interesting to read what Robin said about the Schwalbe as I’ve been thinking about running those when these wear out just to see what else is out there. Think I’ll take her opinion and give them a try. Nothing against Maxxis except they get enough money from me for my motorcycle tires.

Marc - 07/06/11 - 6:44pm

Robin,
That’s interesting- I came off of the Re*Fuse and found those sketchier in the wet and more prone to tread delamination… They are bombproof, though- you can easily ride home with large stretches of bare casing (careful in the corners, though!).
Nate,
I wouldn’t say that Stans prevents punctures- just seals them. There will be some air lost in the process, but once they seal, they stay sealed. It does make checking the tire for thorns critical when fixing the eventual flat, however.
Adam,
You bet! According to the grapevine, the Foothills are opening on Friday…

Cor - 07/07/11 - 12:27am

In agreement with Bob, great tire. They are my go to for a training tire and all good all rounder. Tried the Armadillos and feel that they don’t have the same ride quality as the Krylions.

Brett - 07/07/11 - 12:29am

Wow look at all those cracks. How long did you ride those before they started getting cracks?

Damien - 07/07/11 - 12:45am

Marc, would those foothills have mountains that are like watermelons in the evening? If so that would be amazing On the subject of the tires, I feel that the Krylions are amazing in the wet once it has actually rained. If your local is the same I don’t think they behave well unless we have a good rain that washes off all the oil. In those cases I think the refuse is a far superior wet weather tire. However, the Refuse don’t come class to road feel or rolling resistance. They are also heavier. I agree that the Krylions are a great do-all tire.

marc basiliere - 07/07/11 - 7:26am

Brett,

That tire, cuts and all, was on my bike for about 8 months and sat outside 3-4 days every week at 5,500′ in temperatures between 25 and 100 degrees. Despite the visible cuts and being “worn square” (as Bob says), it still rode well and held off punctures…

marc

John Dodge - 07/24/11 - 11:22pm

$36 at Amazon….just bought a pair to replace Continntal 4000s…trying new approach, but it’ll be hard to beat the Contis

Jim - 03/30/13 - 1:04am

I love these tires. I have about 1500 miles on them in last 7 months. I commute 8 miles, each way, 3-4 days a week and long weekend training rides. I use a HD thorn resistant tube and have had only one slow leak. (goatshead got in the sidewall). The bike is parked outdoors under the patio, but I don’t see any damage from the elements. All we have is a lot of sun here in the desert.. Well worth the money.

F1Tim - 09/09/13 - 8:32am

Hello,
I have thes tyres now for about 10 months and rode about 4500 miles with them. I only had two punctures (at around 50 miles and around 2750 miles), both because of some metallic sharp objects. I regularly find some small pieces of rock and glass embedded in the tyres, but they never cause punctures.
To extend the life span, I swapped the tyres (front to back and vice versa) at around 2000 miles because rear tyre wears out faster (that’s normal). Although the wear level has come to a critical point now, I am very happy with these tyres.
Maybe one point of criticism: the tyres can only handle about 115 PSI of pressure. I weigh about 190 lbs, so I prefer close to 125 PSI.

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