Michelin Brings Back Tubular Road Tires, Shows Prototype 650B Mountain Bike Tires

2013 Michelin Pro 4 tubular road 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…

prototype 650b Michelin mountain bike tires

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.

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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.

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Under normal riding and acceleration, the knobs should stay straight.

Available in April.

Comments

9 thoughts on “Michelin Brings Back Tubular Road Tires, Shows Prototype 650B Mountain Bike Tires

  1. So they’re committed to 650b and start shipping next year?
    Not that I care about 650b, but it’s kinda late to be committed..

  2. @ Steve M:

    Ummm…you realize 650b was a road standard many decades before the MTB crowd jumped on the bandwagon? I had a pair of Michelin Megamium 650bx32mm road tires. They also made a 650bx35mm World Tour fairly recently. 650b is nothing new for Michelin – they were doing 650b long before 650b became fashionable again. Only thing new is the knobby side. Would love to see a 650bx42mm version of the Jet ‘cross tire. That would be awesome for fire road riding!

  3. Michelin purchased Wolber about 10 years ago. Wolber had some very good sewups and tires that were reasonably priced. Michelin quite making tubulars a few years after Wolber was acquired. It’s good to see that they are making a sewpup tire. Hopefully they will expand the line.

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