Michelin Brings Back Tubular Road Tires, Shows Prototype 650B Mountain Bike Tires
After a 10 year hiatus, Michelin is back in the tubular game.
For 2013, they’ll have the Pro 4 Tubular tubular and a new Pro 4 Grip Clincher. The latter joins the Endurance, Service Course, Comp and Comp Plus versions of the clincher.
The new Pro 4 Service Course Tubular has a 290tpi casing and will come in 700×23 (280g) and 700×25 (295g) widths. Both are $119 at retail and are totally designed and produced in Michelin’s own facility. They were tested for two years under the Ag2r team. Tread compound is unique, it’s not borrowed from the clinchers, because the character of the tire required it’s own design to get the performance they wanted. It’ll handle from 87 up to a spine tingling 174psi.
Notice there’s no narrow widths. That’s intentional, and it’s designed to take advantage of the newer generation of wider rims and offer better traction, comfort and lower rolling resistance.
The new Grip Clincher (not shown yet) gets a 15% improvement in wet weather traction over the Service Course thanks to a new compound. It keeps the more pointed profile as the others to engage in corners quicker. 110tpi casing and only in a 700×23. Available in October.
Not interested in all this skinny tire stuff? Click through an get fat ‘n’ dirty…
Michelin says they’re committed to the 650B size and showed us prototypes of treads that’ll get the mid diameter.
The Wild Grip’R will get a 650B in a 2.35 width with two casing options, one reinforced, one not, and 2.25 with a lighter casing. The 2.35 will have taller, beefier knobs, too.
The Wild Race’R will also get a 650B x 2.25 for the XC crowd. It’ll have the lighter, non reinforced casing. All Wild tires are either tubeless ready or UST compliant.
They’ll start shipping next year, but availability in the US is a question mark.
An all new Wild Mud tire will come in a 26×2.0 and 29×2.0.
Michelin says they have more than 5x the R&D budget of their nearest competitor, and this tire is an interesting fruit of that labor. It’s knobs are designed to rotate under cornering and braking to physically loosen and shed the mud rather than just rely on wide knob spacing to make it possible.
Under normal riding and acceleration, the knobs should stay straight.
Available in April.