Michelin WildRock’R Advanced Tires Reviewed

May 11, 2011
by Mike Levy  
Michelin WildRock’R Advanced


What it is: Michelin is making a strong push to recapture a share of the performance mountain bike tire market with a slew of new tires, including the WildRock’R Advanced. There are gobs of all-mountain focused tires to chose from these days, from high-volume and feather-weight rubber, to sturdy options that could also do double duty on a full-on downhill bike, and everything in between. With its stiff tubeless casing and aggressive tread pattern, the WildRock’R Advanced leans more towards the sturdy end of that spectrum. With both the tubeless WildRock’R Advanced and the standard WildRock'R, Michelin has centered their attention on reliability and traction, the end result being a 844 gram (2.25" width"), meaty tire that is clearly aimed at riders who frequent technical and challenging terrain on a regular basis. The 2.25" width WildRock’R Advanced tire retails for $75.99 USD.

Michelin's WildRock'R Advanced is an aggressive, tubeless tire best suited to challenging terrain.<br><br><span style='font-size:17px'>WildRock'R Advanced details:</span><br><br>- Intended use: Cross-country/all-mountain<br>- Tubeless casing w/ UST bead<br>- Dual compound tread<br>- Sizes: 26 x 2.10, 26 x 2.25<br>- 127 TPI (<i>threads per inch</i>)<br>- Weight: 26 x 2.25 - 844 grams (<i>claimed: 940g</i>)<br>- MSRP $75.99 USD
Michelin's WildRock'R Advanced is an aggressive, tubeless tire best suited to challenging terrain.

WildRock'R Advanced details:

- Intended use: Cross-country/all-mountain
- Tubeless casing w/ UST bead
- Dual compound tread
- Sizes: 26 x 2.10, 26 x 2.25
- 127 TPI (threads per inch)
- Weight: 26 x 2.25 - 844 grams (claimed: 940g)
- MSRP $75.99 USD

The details: Michelin sells both standard and tubeless versions of the WildRock'R, with the heavier tubeless model receiving the "Advanced" designation added to its name. There seems to be a never ending debate as to whether using a proper tubeless tire or doing a conversion using sealant is the best solution, but the general consensus among those who have spent time on both options is that a proper, air tight tubeless tire is the most reliable setup. Besides the air tight casing, a true UST (Universal Standard for Tubeless) tire like the WildRock’R Advanced also uses a bead that not only gives it a better seal on the rim, but also a much tighter and safer rim interface that is less likely to burp when running at the lower air pressures that a tubeless system is capable of.

The WildRock’R Advanced's stiff tubeless casing is topped off with an aggressive tread pattern that is more about out and out traction than rolling resistance, although a center channel running through all of the crown knobs should help it to roll relatively well. Each crown knob features a sipe that allows them to flex easier, as well as adding another biting edge for braking or climbing traction. The uniform cornering knobs are quite prominent, something that can often add "squareness" to a tire's profile, but the WildRock’R does have quite a round shape - one of the traits of a predictable and forgiving tire. It is built using two different compounds: a harder inner rubber underneath for reliability with a softer outer compound layered over top to provide better adhesion to the ground.

While the 844 gram weight (96 grams less than claimed) is nothing to brag about for a 2.25" wide tire, it is important to keep in mind that the WildRock’R Advanced is a proper tubeless tire. That means that you can forgo using not only tubes, but also rim strips when they are mounted to a proper UST rim. While that majority of UST tire users will still use a small amount of sealant to protect against cuts in the sidewall, you can save further weight by skipping that as well due to Michelin incorporating their reinforced casing technology that consists of four plies under the entire tread and three on the sidewalls. Most non-tubeless tires of similar width will run between 500 and 700 grams, but once you add in a standard 150 gram tube and a rim strip, the difference becomes minimal. Two cups of Stans tire sealant that you can use to convert those non-tubeless tires will add just over 100 grams as well. The 844 gram weight of the tubeless WildRock’R Advanced doesn't seem out of line once everything is taken into consideration.

The tire's round profile (<i>top left</i>) gives it a predictable feel. Each center knob features a sipe (<i>top right</i>) that adds another edge to the lug to increase traction.
The tire's round profile (top left) gives it a predictable feel. Each center knob features a sipe (top right) that adds another edge to the lug to increase traction.

Performance: I installed the 2.25" wide WildRock’R Advanced tires on a set of rather nice Easton Haven Carbon wheels and found that while tight, they were manageable without tools (It is recommended to never use tools to install a tubeless tire). They inflated quickly and easily with a floor pump, seating straight at 40psi on the first try. No soap or excessive pressure required. The measured width is quite a bit smaller than advertised, with the digital calipers telling me that the 2.25" version actually measures 2.1" wide - that's quite a big difference. The WildRock’R Advanced tires were tested at pressures ranging from 18psi to 25psi, with the best performance at 21psi up front and 23psi in the rear.

Considering the aggressive knob layout, the WildRock’R Advanced tires roll quite well. I'd go so far as to say that they hold speed better than many other lighter or less aggressive tires. Braking traction, both upright and when leaned over, is exceptionally good, although it improves even more when running the rear tire in reverse to what Michelin suggests. An impressive amount of grip is offered in dry conditions, more so than many higher volume tires, and they also had a predictable feel when pushing hard on hard packed trails - an unexpected trait given the somewhat tall knob height. The tire's round profile made it easy to anticipate when it would let go, which was much later than I would usually expect. I ran the tubeless WildRock’R Advanced tires without any sealant and didn't experience a single flat during the test, and also didn't manage to burp them once, despite pushing hard while they were inflated to just 18psi. Do you suffer from excessive flats? These tires may just be the ticket.

Compared to a more pliable tire, the WildRock’R Advanced's stiff tubeless casing had very little roll in hard corners, and that had much to do with the tire's confidence inspiring nature, but that same casing also gave it a rough ride, even at pressures hovering in the very low 20's. This was no doubt aggravated by the smaller than advertised width and volume. While the tires offered great all around traction in dry conditions, wet weather performance was lacking. They do an admirable job of shedding mud, but that didn't stop them from skating around in wet dirt more than some other tires when the trail got slippery. Although Michelin says that the WildRock’R Advanced's use a dual compound layup, the "softer" outer compound didn't help the tire's performance. If you're constantly riding in wet conditions, these are not the tires for you.

The burly sidewall of theWildRock'R Advanced makes it a great choice for riders who struggle to find reliable tires, but beware if you spend a lot of time riding wet trails.
The burly sidewall of theWildRock'R Advanced makes it a great choice for riders who struggle to find reliable tires, but beware if you spend a lot of time riding wet trails.

Pinkbike's take: Michelin's WildRock'R Advanced tires are a great option for those who are hard on their rubber. The stiff, tubeless casing means that they are not only cut and flat resistant, but also have very little casing roll during spirited cornering. While not the ideal option for wet-season riding, they look to be a great choice for aggressive riders who push their trail or all-mountain bike hard.


Check out the Michelin website to see their entire lineup.


28 Comments

  • + 8
 I'm not paying $76 for a tire. Forget it.
  • + 3
 I have been running these since March last year in the UK - we all know there have been some pretty shitty conditions to deal with and I have absolutely no choice but to disagree with the article where it says they aren't for those riding in wet conditions regularly - they shed mud so well!!! They do roll very fast considering the tread and grip is so sweet, when they drift they allow you to control it and a sharp compression from your legs and they are back in track..

they have been to the Mega - performed exceptional, most UK trail centres - again exceptional apart from the most "man made" type of trail, in loam and soft mud/soil they are unbelievable in my opinion - i simply cannot say more.... major downside is the price in comparison to others but the performance and durability is spot on so the hit initially tastes very bad but soon repays you.

a bloody good alternative to Maxxis.
  • + 4
 when ever i've used michelin dh tires they have never worked in wet... maybee they have stepped it up
  • + 1
 I have had nothing but good experiences with Michelin tyres, the DH16's were awesome even in wet/muddy conditions. I have been using Intense tryes for the last couple of years and after hearing great things from my riding buddies that run the 2.4 WildRock'r I have to say I will be giving them a try.

The riders I ride with have had no issues in the wet/mud with the 2.4 wildrock'r, and highly recommend them.
  • + 11
 U.K riders know how to ride in the wet on ANY tyre Smile
  • + 2
 i have just put these on ready for fort bill at the wk end but i was dreaming for dry conditions and it's going to lash it down all wk end so off they come, but they went on really easy (deemax) yes i was shocked to no tools needed a bit of soap and an electric compressor and up they went.

as for grip i leant it over in the street and they gripped the road really well thats as far as i got
  • + 1
 Hope the compound is better, I bought some Michelin Wild Grip'r reinforced, and they were sketchy as hell esp. if it got slightly damp Frown Oh and I left an honest review when I bought them with the online retailer, however they thought it right to remove my review. Probably because they bought sh1t loads of them.
  • + 1
 Has the Michelin rubber compound changed? Because i ran some of their all mountain x-treme tires a few years back and the rubber was absolute junk. Super hard and when it wore down the nobs didnt just get smaller like they would on a normal tire, they got extremely brittle and sort of balled up before coming off in big chunks. If the rubber compound has changed though, these look like awesome tires
  • + 1
 what would be more amazing is if you could actually get the damn tires. my local bike shops have looked into them for me and said they are on a 90 day backorder, and they said the same thing after 90 days. I checked all the internet shops and everyone says "out of stock". Hey Michelin, why not try building the damn tires so you can actually sell some, I would really like to give them a try.
  • + 1
 Will you be using them for XC? They look too knobby and thick for XC. This tire, the way I see it, is having a personality crisis: It's really too knobby for XC but it's too thin for DH or FR.
  • + 2
 louis, i run these on the rear of my Meta 5 which gets pedalled everywhere they are fine trust me.
  • + 1
 If you are into xc/trails, light am, get nobby nics double defense 2,25. Tubeless ready, seal up great with only 50ml of stans and have thicker sidewall than maxxis 1ply ust. Grip is... As they say in the ad: legendary! Work great both in dry and in total gloop. Clean up really fast and roll awesomely. 650g only, yet wide as maxxis 2,4. On non-dh speeds they grip like shyte on velcro, whether it is cornering, braking or climbing
  • + 1
 Would be ok as a rear.. for the Front however, the inner edge of the side knobs i dont think would compare to tyres which are classed as a "good" front tyre. Not pronounced enough.
  • + 4
 I still wanna know why a bicycle tire costs as much as a car tire
  • + 0
 Supply and demand. They make millions of car tires compared to bike tires.
  • + 1
 looking good! I need to know what these 500-700g 2.25 tyres are because i was very surprised to read these tires are less than 900 lol my Maxxis are over a KG each!
  • + 1
 that'll be the DH casing on the Maxxis to protect against pinch flats and stop the tyre rolling off the rim at lower pressures
  • + 1
 Conti mking 2.4 is light as hell, like 600 for protectipn version. Average grip, ok mud shedding, Yet even in this version sidewalls are toilet paper, they are unstabil, and expensive, useless for ust conversion. At 650g you have Nobby Nic DDefense Evo 2.25 which is... OZOM. Tubeless ready, Probably the best aggro trail tyre ever. At least the best I ever tried, and had many. In Overall picture nothing comes close. Maybe this michelin is good, looks promising but over 800g? No...
  • + 1
 i am amazed at the skyrocketing of tire prices. wow. i used to think $45 was a lot. i guess i will be sticking with my purgs!
  • + 2
 I saw your tire tracks on The Den a few rides ago. I subsequently saw your wash outs as well.
  • + 1
 Oh, and the 2.25 size is fucking massive - easily as big as a 2.5 high roller....if not bigger
  • + 1
 whoever came up with their name should get fired.
  • + 1
 at 75.99 a tire they better be worth it!
  • + 1
 How come they stopped doing the Comp 16s
  • + 1
 They haven't, they just changed the name to Wildgrip'r Descent.
  • + 1
 goodyear tires would be sick!
  • + 1
 Full marks for measuring them btw, sick of crooked tyre sizes...
  • - 2
 Michelin is gnarly.

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