Four New Tires From Michelin - First Ride

Mar 13, 2017 at 15:33
by Richard Cunningham  



When it comes to its presence in the mountain bike marketplace, Michelin's best and worst aspects are the same thing. The French tire giant is capable of making race-winning rubber for any sport that rolls on wheels. Cycling, Formula One, WRC, Paris Dakar, and almost every motorcycle racing venue. You name it and Michelin has probably been on the podium, but in the world of mountain bike, not so much. With annual tire sales pegged at 184 million and over six thousand people working in its R&D departments, mountain bike is a niche market for Michelin. It could be argued that while its mountain bike tires have been a showcase for its state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, Michelin's massive brain trust has yet to muster the pinpoint focus required to produce a gold-standard tire. You know what I'm talking about: that must-ride, elite-level design that would most likely be blacked out by pro riders who are sponsored by competitive tire brands.


Michelin Tire launch 2017
Tom Ghelli from YT Bikes prepares to install Michelin's new Wild AM—my favorite tire at the launch.


In Michelin's defense, the subtle differences between a winning and a losing mountain bike tire can be difficult, if not impossible, to quantify and ambiguity is the great Satan of the manufacturing process. With expertise in every aspect of construction and design, Michelin is capable of manufacturing the perfect mountain bike tire; what it needed was a concise explanation of what that perfect tire was. Enter Vincent Ledieu, an accomplished tire engineer and a ripper on a bike. Ledieu became Michelin's Rosetta Stone—the man who could translate the intuitive whims and quixotic technical feedback garnered from testing sessions with Michelin's pro athletes, into language that chemists and product engineers could understand. Ledieu and his team broke ground developing the enduro-specific Wild Advanced range of tires—a successful project that caught the attention of Michelin's leadership, who then decided to devote the resources necessary to establish the brand as a key player across the elite venues of the sport.

Youthful and urgent, Vincent Ledieu provided the focal point that Michelin needed to persevere through a lengthy, three-year development process. The plan was to stay within the boundaries that Michelin and its sponsored athletes knew best (cross-country/trail and all-mountain), and eventually, four tires emerged—each designed, tested and perfected for a singular mission. The fast-rolling Jet XCR and its grippier sister, the Force XC, were designed for cross-country; and for all-mountain, Michelin developed the fast-rolling Force AM, and the very aggressive Wild AM. All four tires achieved podium finishes at World Cup XCO and EWS venues during 2016, after which, Michelin invited select members of the media to join them for a first ride experience on the rugged front-country trails of Santa Barbara, California.
Michelin Tire launch 2017
Michelin tire designer Vincent Ledieu was at the launch to talk the talk and walk the walk.


Michelin Tire launch 2017
JET XCR
XC Competition/Trail
The Jet XCR was the tire of choice for Michelin-sponsored Olympic competitors.

The Jet XCR is the least amount of tire that a top XC racer can get away with and still expect a podium finish. Pegged as a dry-condition/hard-pack-surface design, the XCR depends as much upon its grippy two-density GumX 2D rubber compound for traction as does its impossibly small chevron tread pattern. A ridge of V-shaped center blocks minimizes rolling resistance while providing a measure of mechanical grip for climbing and braking. Under the minimal tread, is a base-layer of energetic rubber that, in conjunction with the tire's supple 150 TPI casing, is said to further reduce rolling resistance. Tubeless ready, of course, the Jet XCR weighs between 560 and 610 grams (depending upon casing size) and can be had in 27.5 x 2.25-inch, 29 x 2.25-inch, or 29 x 2.1-inch options. Price: TBD.
Michelin Tire launch 2017
Stiff edging blocks provide a remarkable measure of cornering grip.


First Impression

Michelin says that, while the Jet XCR used on both the front and rear wheel is a popular choice for XC racing, running an XCR on the rear wheel and pairing it with their slightly more aggressive Force XC up front provides much better cornering and technical performance with a very minimal rolling resistance penalty. We used that configuration in the 27.5-inch size on 30mm rims to evaluate the Jet XCR.

Switching from some of the grippiest 2.4-inch enduro tires made, to Michelin's dainty-looking cross-country semi-slick did not leave me with the impression that I was going to find grip anywhere, but I did. Dashing in and out of stream crossings and scrambling up well-polished sandstone rocks revealed that Michelin's rubber compounds could generate traction in wet conditions. Over loose gravel, the XCR's tiny tread blocks afforded little mechanical grip, but the well placed edging blocks managed just enough cornering traction to keep the rubber side down during those sketchy moments. On hard pack surfaces, the XCR made my long-travel trail bike turn with unexpected conviction and pedal like it had an electronic motor—which is exactly what it was invented to do.


Michelin Tire launch 2017
FORCE XC
XC Competition/Trail
Slightly more aggressive than the XCR, the Force XC is often used as a front tire for competition and on either end for XC/trail applications.

World Cup cross-country courses have become more technically challenging. Michelin's Force XC has a slightly more aggressive tread pattern to excel on tougher venues and in inclement weather. The Force XC's GumX 3D tread uses a softer compound for its staggered edging blocks and a slightly harder center tread for reduced rolling resistance and durability. The rounded profile and extra grip make it a better choice for a front tire than Michelin's Jet XCR, and when used on both ends of the bike, it can double as a fast-condition trail tire. The Cross Shield casing is tougher, with 110 TPI fabric, backed with a high-density reinforcing ply to ward off punctures and sidewall tears. Michelin offers a 2.1-inch casing in 26, 27.5 and 29-inch wheel sizes, and a 2.25-inch casing in 27.5 and 29-inch wheel sizes. Weight ranges from 580 to 680 grams. Price: TBD.
Michelin Tire launch 2017
Staggered edging blocks and a more rounded profile make the Force XC a good choice for a front tire.


First Impression

In its press release, Michelin bills the Force XC as a trail riding tire for mixed and soft conditions. I'd agree that the tire is well suited for fast-paced cross-country style trails, but the modern trail bike has become far more capable in the technical sense, so the Force XC lacks the width and grip to match its enhanced performance. That said, it should be excellent for competition, and there are many trail systems that would showcase this fast-rolling and nimble feeling tire. It sticks to wet surfaces and corners well. When it breaks traction in a turn, the tire drifts with a secure feel. A supple casing and just enough center tread ensure ample climbing and braking traction, and the only situation where the Force XC falls noticeably short is where its tread blocks cannot penetrate deep enough to find grip, like gravel or dry, loose soil over a hard surface.

Michelin Tire launch 2017
Michelin ambassador Cam Zink puts the Wild AM tire to task on perfect dirt. Zink brought a truckload of YT demo bikes to the launch.


Michelin Tire launch 2017
FORCE AM
All-Mountain/Trail
The Force AM is a fast-rolling rear tire for trail riding on hard-pack or in dry conditions.

Michelin's Force AM is intended to offer a faster, lighter option for trail riders who don't need or want to push around a thousand gram enduro racing tire. The AM version of the Force mirrors the tread pattern of its cross-country sibling, but the blocks are at least double the height, and its reinforced edging tread is lined up in a row to provide ample push-back against high-pressure cornering forces.

Its casing is Michelin's tougher Trail Shield design with a rugged, 60 TPI fabric and an additional layer of high-density material to ward off punctures and rips. Used as a front/rear combination, the Force AM would be well suited for moderately technical trail riding on hard or dry surfaces. For a true all-mountain application, Michelin suggests that the Force AM be used as a faster rolling rear tire, paired with its Wild AM (a no-compromise enduro-inspired tire) as the front option.
Michelin Tire launch 2017
The Force AM has a flatter profile with reinforced edge blocks.

The Force AM features Michelin's rugged Gum-X 3D dual-density tread compound, and will be available with a 2.25-inch casing in 26, 27.5 and 29-inch wheel sizes, a 2.35-inch casing in 27.5 and 29-inch sizes, and a 2.6-inch casing will be offered for 27.5-inch wheels only. Weights range from 690 to 830 grams. Price: TBD.


First Impression

Most of my riding as of late has been on long travel all-mountain bikes, shod with gravity-specific tires like Schwalbe's Magic Mary or the Maxxis Minion, so the minimal crown tread of the Force AM tire seemed like a stretch for that genre. Michelin's tech crew set my bike up with a 2.35-inch Force AM on the rear and a 2.35-inch Wild AM on the front. Both appear larger when mounted, (they measure close to their stated width), and they perform as such. As a rear tire, the Force AM corners well on a variety of terrain in much the same way as a Schwalbe Rock Razor (my favorite semi-slick AM tire). Lay the bike over onto the stiff edging blocks, and it will carve its way around most any turn with minimal drifting. The crown tread grips a measure better than a Rock Razor in wet and dry conditions, and it provides more braking grip on rock faces. I'd agree with Michelin that the Force AM is a dry-condition specialist, and its sell-points are predictable cornering, low rolling resistance, and a tough casing.


Michelin Tire launch 2017
WILD AM
All-Mountain /Trail
Michelin's Wild AM grips like a full-fledged enduro racing tire, but it weighs about 100 grams less.

The most impressive of Michelin's new quartet is the Wild AM. With its spiky, staggered tread pattern and a sturdy row of reinforced edge blocks, the Wild AM mirrors a number of successful downhill and enduro designs. The leading edges of each block on the center tread are angled slightly to reduce rolling resistance on hard surfaces, but not as much as the Maxxis Minion and its many copycats—presumably to retain a greater measure of climbing traction. A slightly rounded tread profile, staggered transition blocks and slightly offset edge blocks, ensure that there will be consistent traction as the tire is brought into a lean. The Wild AM's Trail Shield casing, which is available in a 2.35-inch width, and in both 27.5 and 29-inch wheel sizes, uses Michelin's tough, 60 TPI fabric and high-density reinforcement ply for durability. The Gum-X 3D tread compound is slightly harder in the crown, with softer edging blocks. Weight is stated at 760 grams for the 27.5 and 800 grams for the 29-inch sizes. Price: TBD.
Michelin Tire launch 2017
Large, slightly staggered edging tread digs deep for high-G turns, and smaller tread blocks on the center tread push their way through loose materials on the surface to find grip on the firmament beneath. It's a great recipe for traction.


First Impression

Michelin's Wild AM was my favorite of the quartet, mostly because it feels like it has double the traction. It rolls fast too. Its casing is more flexible, compared to the ultra reinforced gravity casings that grace popular enduro tires, so it smooths out the chatter and helps the bike maintain its momentum. That said, there is a pressure threshold, above which, the Wild AM will start to feel rough and bouncy. Intentionally or not, Michelin's tech staff set my front tire at 32 psi and the rear, at 34 psi. I was bouncing all over the place while climbing over the zone's uneven rock faces until I dropped the pressures to 28 and 30 psi, after which, they held a good line and delivered the degree of smoothness that I was hoping for. On the downs, I had no issues with sidewall cuts or punctures pounding down the boulders using those pressures and, after a handful of surprise switchbacks and stream crossings, I learned that I could trust my Wild AM tires to find traction almost anywhere, which freed my senses to concentrate on the trail ahead. So far, the Wild AM is stacking up to be a winner, with a very efficient feel under power and a tenacious grip on a wide variety of surfaces and textures, Michelin's best AM Trail offering for 2017 may be its ticket to the top step in the category. I'll report back on that statement in a few months.

Michelin Tire launch 2017
Rocks were the predominant feature for the second half of testing


Is Michelin on Track?

It's been a while since I've entered a cross-country event—or ridden an XC race bike, for that matter—so I can't comment on the ability of the Jet XCR or the Force XC tires to win at the Wold Cup level. I can, however, report that both of Michelin's new XC tires felt surprisingly capable on the trail and I don't recall any XC racing semi-slick that clicked that box. As trail bike tires, both should fill the bill for riders who feel comfortable in Spandex and are searching to murder Strava times on blue graded trails.

Michelin Tire launch 2017
After focusing intently upon enduro in 2015 and '16, Michelin returned to the roots of the sport: cross country, trail, and all-mountain.


The Force AM and Wild AM designs should resonate well with the harder-edged trail bike types. Lightweight and technically capable, they are true all-mountain tires that span the growing chasm created by the hyper-development of enduro racing bicycles, which have left trail riders with a busload of oversized and overweight options that rip the downs but are cumbersome oafs for climbing and everything else. Michelin's conservative foursome for 2017 reminds us that there are a lot of excellent riders out there who don't need an enduro bike to shred trails but still need great tires to maximize that experience. There's the win. I would like to see the Wild AM in a 2.6-inch casing, otherwise, I think Michelin is on track.
Michelin Tire launch 2017
Strong handshake. Michelin Tech Laura Solis probably changed a hundred tires throughout the day as we tested different combinations.


Michelin 2017 Tires
Michelin 2017 Tires

128 Comments

  • + 39
 I have been waiting to see what they are launching. After seeing the launch, I am a bit Meh. Please keep the Wildrockr and Wildgripr reinforced, they are awsome strong tires.
  • + 13
 Hopefully they are keeping the Wild Rock R 2 and Wild Grip R 2, been running those for awhile now.
  • + 3
 @chrischandra: In what can only be called confusing, Michelin dropped the 2 and went back to plain old wildrockr and wildgripr. Go figure.
  • + 3
 ive been using these for a while and i love em. plus they're cheap in the EU.

I guess having a huge car market and crazy R&D helps with these things. I'm surprised Michelin is not more used/seen around, in fact, for trail and enduro at least.
Similarly, last year, their latest road clincher outperform every single competitor in all categories for tube users (its been thoroughly press-tested, timed, etc. Much more than their MTB tires.), and its not more expensive - yet its rare to see them.

Anyhow, looks to me that the new tires force/wild AM are pretty much upgraded versions of the rock r and grip r,
  • + 16
 Michelin just need to dig up the moulds for the Comp 16, 24, and 32 make them 27.5 with the latest rubber tech and every other tyre manufacturer will have to start from scratch again as their sales would decline haha
  • + 2
 @bankz: The main reason we don't see many bike tires from Michelin is they don't feel it's necessary to market them aggressively. Bicycle tires are only a small part of Michelin Tires
  • + 6
 A Rock'R2 and Grip'R2 combo is the bees knees. Just wish they came in a 2.5. Seriously Michelin, How much longer do we have to wait for these. Your Cam Zink testing new new DH tires video was what? Two years ago?
  • + 4
 Would've liked to see a proper DH tire from Michi in 275 and 29
  • + 2
 whatever happenned to the contest where they would fly someone out to test the tyres?
  • + 1
 @heavyp: And in 29er format too! My favorite DH tires back in the day.
  • + 2
 @dorse: That may be true in North America, but Michelin (like Hutchinson and Continental) are much bigger in Europe.
  • + 1
 I'm excited for all of these—a fresh group of tires all under 800 grams. Fast-rolling. Perfect trail and heavier XC riding.
  • + 2
 @stefanfresh: It went down...i was the winner. super fun two days of riding with some legit bike handlers, also got the chance to ride the YT jeffsy which was a blast. I usually run a minion DHF and Aggressor combo, the Wild AM and the Force AM combo is a really similar ride set up. Top notch event
  • + 1
 @kyleo420: there was one for US and another for europe though!!! Conrgats on winning
  • + 2
 @chrischandra:
On the German and French websites the Rock'R2 is still listed. The new tyres are clearly called All Mountain - and Enduro is another category - so I hope there is nothing to worry.
The Rock'R2 Magi-X is really the best 29er enduro front tyre out there for me. It's not best with very cold weather - but otherwise super grippy and fine. Needs low pressure to fully come alive. Since running my Rock'R2 with ProCore it's really unbeatable.
Tried DHR2/DHF 2.5 2Ply, Shorty, Magic Marry, Bontrager G5, all with or without ProCore nothing comes close. I really wouldn't know what tyre to ride if the Rock'R2 Magix wouldn't be around anymore...
They should put the recommendation to cut away the centre knobs a bit for more clearance - for a front tyre you need more space between the knobs - else it's not living up it's full potential. Spoke to some pros riding the Rock'R2 too - they also cut it on front, however not cut it for the rear.
  • + 1
 @extremecarver: What temps to you mean for cold weather? For cutting knobs, are you talking about clearance for the centre knobs as height (for fork arch) or clearance between knobs (for mud shedding?)
  • + 20
 "You name it and Michelin has probably been on the podium, but in the world of mountain bike, not so much."

Except the Comp 16s, I guess.
  • + 6
 those old green tires were everywhere in the 90s.
  • + 5
 Don't forget the Comp 24 and Comp 32 pretty much every world cup up until 2001 maybe 2002, The Giant Factory DH team were on Michelin a few years back to pretty sure Danny would have podium on one surly.
  • + 5
 If they gave 1% of their Motorsport effort to MTB they would wipe the floor with everyone.
  • + 1
 @sandwich: I would so rock a pair of green tires!!! LOL
  • + 15
 I was supposed to be there as a civilian expenses-paid contest winner for the launch. I guess there was a mistake.
  • + 12
 "As trail bike tires, both should fill the bill for riders who feel comfortable in Spandex and are searching to murder Strava times on blue graded trails."

These should sell like hotcakes here in the twin cities then.
  • + 2
 And here in Cape Epic land...
  • + 9
 The Wild looks good, may give it a try sometime, but why not just offer the wildrockr 2, an already awesome tire, in a casing that doesn't weigh 1000-1150 grams? Many could maybe tolerate that up front, depending on discipline, but not a chance on the rear. 900-1000 gram mid weight for a 29er or 800-900 for 27.5 would suit most who aren't racing on steak-knife shaped rocks.
  • + 21
 Seriously. Just give us a Wild Rock'r2 in a ~850g trail casing, a 2.5" version with a DH casing, and the current reinforced version. 3 tires and you can cover everything you need for dry conditions.
  • + 3
 Couldn't upvote that enough. Without that kind of thing in their line up, Michelin will never be a big MTB player in my opinion.
  • + 0
 If you use ProCore or similar - the Reinforced version is all you need - it's just perfect for enduro racing. Full DH casing wouldn't improve anything. Without ProCore or HuckNorris - yes a full DH casing would be needed. This season Bontrager G4/G5 has a similar casing BTW, and Magic Marry is also same range. Just Maxxis doesn't offer such a casing - Exo is way lighter and less stable/robust.
  • + 12
 I am Ardently awaiting a chance to try the Jet AM's
  • + 2
 Do you mean Force AM?
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: DANG IT yes
  • + 5
 Punny guy. I tried to come up with a punny reply, but I'm too tired :/
  • + 2
 You must be a pretty High Roller to be able to afford those.
  • + 2
 I think I'll have my Minion's go pick me up a new set of these.
  • + 1
 I'd buy these but I'm a bit Shorty on cash..
  • + 2
 @scottay2hottay: being a trail king should do it
  • + 5
 @noisette: That was horrible. You butchered it - a complete slaughter.
  • + 2
 I am Forekasting that we will see more low profile tread tires coming out in 2.6" widths in this coming year
  • + 5
 Suggestion: Maybe test XC tires on an XC bike. 27.5 wheels with 30mm rims aren't going to show up en masse at any XC podiums anytime soon..

I ran the Advanced Ultimate Wild Rac'r 29x2.0's on my Carbon Hardtail and really liked alot of things about them: weight (460g actual), profile on 22mm rims, rolling resistance and side knobs were actually impressively good on loose over hard. The only problem was I tore a knob on both of them separately after a week of riding. Shorter lived than a Schwalbe Racing Ralph, which is pretty hard to do.
  • + 1
 Michelin asked us to bring a capable AM bike to the launch, thus the 30mm rims. I've ridden enough tire and rim combinations to sort out the differences for a first ride piece. For a long-term test, I'd definitely fit the XC tires on narrower rims.
  • + 7
 Come on now, I'll ask the question that everyone wants to know. Is the Michelin Man a 26er, 27.5 or a 29er rider?
  • + 18
 He's a fat bike rider.
  • + 6
 I would love to try these out! But I still have 26" wheels... guess I won't be riding these anytime soon.
  • + 1
 I still have lots of sets of 26" wheels left. What a pisser that everyone is closing their doors on something that has worked so well for so many decades.
  • + 3
 I just spent my third day trying to patch the hole I cut in my EXO-casing Maxxis Aggressor so I can stop pinching tubes and go back to running it tubeless. Please, if you're going to call the Wild AM "enduro," you're going to need to release a version with a more heavily armored casing, to compete with the Double Down tire that I'm now going to have to buy.
  • + 2
 That sucks. I've had good luck with my aggressors so far. 500+ miles and they look like new. I live in sharp rock land too. How'd you do it?
  • + 1
 @GOrtho: I had the same issue with the aggressor that came stock on my SB5.5. On my first ride I was happy with it for the climb, great grip and rolled fast too, then I ripped the sidewall half way down the descent. I live in Phoenix, also sharp rock country.
  • + 2
 @GOrtho: It was totally my fault, I didn't see a sharp square-edge rock at the bottom of a G-out, and just caught it with my rear wheel. Cut the tire in two places: straight through a cornering lug, and through the sidewall down near the bead beneath the lug. Took a good nick out of my FR570 in the process. Sydney trails are basically dust and square-edged rocks, so there's always a risk of that sort of thing. Doesn't help that I weigh 105 kg/250 lb. Too fat to live, too fast to die.

That said, I've logged five rides on the Aggressor (in the rear), and while the crown is doing fine, I'm about halfway through ripping off the cornering lugs already. It's a great tread pattern, I just hope that Maxxis brings out a Double Down/3C version!
  • + 6
 The reinforced sidewalls from Michy are the most supportive, tear resistant sidewalls out there. Hands down better than double down.
  • + 7
 I've been saying it for a while now. Most "enduro tires" on enduro bikes were just trail tires, not made for rough enduro trails. My girlfriend managed to multi-kill an exo ardent by punching holes through the casing on relatively smooth trails. I murdered 3 tires from other brands too. So far the michelin wild rockr 2 advanced reinforced is the only one that survived. Maybe schwalbe's SG casing or the new maxxis DD casing will do the trick but right now most trail/enduro tires are XC tires with bigger knobs.
  • + 1
 I have a DD Aggressor and it looks like the tire separated where the sidewall meets the tread. Causing the tire to lose air when setup tubeless. This portion of the tire was protected by the rim and wouldn't have been exposed to rock slices. I'm kinda disappointed with the short lifespan of the tire as it only lasted around three months of riding. However, I like how fast the tire rolls compared to a Minion DHF so I still bought another Aggressor hoping for the best.
  • + 1
 @PLC07: Schwalbe's Super Gravity casings are amazing!
  • + 5
 Wasn't there a "sob story contest" where Michelin was going to fly someone out for the launch to do some testing or something? WTF ever happened with that?
  • + 5
 Yea evidently cam zink won the contest
  • + 2
 It went down...i was the winner. super fun two days of riding with some legit bike handlers, also got the chance to ride the YT jeffsy which was a blast. I usually run a minion DHF and Aggressor combo, the Wild AM and the Force AM combo is a really similar ride set up. Top notch event
[Reply]
  • + 2
 @weebleswobbles: It went down...i was the winner. super fun two days of riding with some legit bike handlers, also got the chance to ride the YT jeffsy which was a blast. I usually run a minion DHF and Aggressor combo, the Wild AM and the Force AM combo is a really similar ride set up. Top notch event
[Reply]
  • + 1
 @kyleo420: hellz yea man!
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham : can you comment on the widths of the tires? I've had Wild Race'rs before, which blew up to 62mm (2.4 inch) on a 28mm rim. In some ways it's more fair than overstating the width but my chainstays weren't so happy. It would be great to get some actual widths in posts like this.
  • + 2
 The AM versions look and act bigger than they are because the larger side blocks create a flatter profile - like the HR2. Just to be sure they didn't balloon after a week, I rechecked the width of the two AM tires at 32psi when I fact-checked the article. They ranged from 2.3" to 2.35" at the widest part, which was both the edge blocks and the casing. 30mm inner-width rims tend to move the casing out and oddly, the edging tread inward slightly, so with 28/26mm IW rims, the edging blocks would be poking out a little farther and probably put the measured width of the tread at 2.35 or slightly wider, while the casing could shrink about 4mm. Hope that helps
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: Thanks! And thanks Michelin for naming these tires the same as their actual width. Why is that so hard??
  • + 2
 Nice to see the 2.25 rear in 26" I never see many Michelin tires. The only person I know that gets them is a sales rep for Michelin. We may see a few in 27.5 and 29 inchers but I doubt I'll see the one 26" rear I would use anywhere and not on sale in October.
So once again the 26 is being faded out.
Nothing to see here folks, conspiracy no no no.
  • + 5
 A hundred tire changes in one day? Props to their mechanic. My hands get sore after a rear tire change.
  • + 2
 from all the info I can gather the new casing for the all mountain tires is stronger than the old advanced reinforced tires which are super tough just heavy.... so if that wild am can be as strong as the old tires and 200 grams lighter its a winner
  • + 5
 Get back into the DH tire game. The DH16 and DH24 were great tires.
  • + 4
 Just bring back the old Comp 16 DH and Comp 32 DH and offer wide AM casings.
  • + 1
 those ones was amazing tires
  • + 3
 I just raced windrock with new,as in a few rides, michelins and the front's bead broke and came off the wheel. Michelin, you guys owe me some new tires
  • + 1
 A useful bit of info would be what available tire you would most closely compare each tire too. Particularly the Wild AM and Force AM. You touched on it, but it was still hard to get a good feel. Sounds like the Wild AM is less grippy than a Minion DHF/Magic Mary (maybe agressor/Hans Dampf-like?) and the Force AM is somewhat in line with an Ardent?? I'm mostly using Maxxis because I'm most familiar with them.
  • + 3
 YAWN - why did they bother only releasing a 26 version of the Force AM in the thinner width and no Wild AM version at all.
  • + 3
 Looks like Michelin won't be getting my money, as I need plenty of 26" tires for my regular stock of wheel sets.
  • + 1
 Hey @RichardCunningham you mention the Rock Razor is a favorite on the rear... what would you run on the front for hardpack and loose over hard AM trail riding, to be mounted on 29" x 30mm internal rims?
  • + 2
 Schwalbe Magic Mary or a Bontrager SE5. All we ride out here during the warm season is loose over hard pack. HR2s work well also, but the Marys are the gold standard.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham:
SE5 on 30mm internal rims? I think they don't work on wide rims. 23-25mm internal for SE5. Ask Tracey! She told me she would move to wide rims if the tire is made for it - which right now she also thinks it's not.
  • + 1
 The Wild AM looks like a middleweight contender for the title currently held by Nobby Nic. And the Jet looks great—could be a great ride tire if those side-knobs are fierce enough.
  • + 5
 No DH, no care.
  • + 4
 26er's, may the force be with you.....
  • + 1
 Honestly I'm almost regretting getting such a aggressive tire for my bike. Aggressive tires make sense for motorized vehicles, but bikes it's kind of like abusing yourself, nobody wants to pedal a monster truck.
  • + 1
 Kenda K-rads are a pretty ideal balance for a mountain bike I think.
  • + 7
 Kramz - I completely agree. When I'm riding my tricycle around the block the last thing I want is a headache caused by knobby tires. Really messes with my afternoon nap. Right after my sippy cup and some apple slices, of course.
  • + 1
 @Powderface: Says the toughest farmer in all of brick man County, I tell you what.
  • + 1
 I never thought the MTB industry would force people to change to 27.5+, but the recent lack of new designs being available in that size is making me doubt that 26 has a mass market future.
  • + 6
 Their 26" offering could have been interesting if these were wider than 2.25". I'd like to see at least 2.35" wide. Is anyone ever going to buy 26x2.10?
  • + 1
 @vinay: I dont even think people would still ride that. If youre running that thin of a tire for XC or something, you might as well just get a 29er
  • + 5
 @chillrider199: Some of us still ride 26" bikes and I for one don't have any reason to buy a new bike when the one that I have is perfect for me... It's kinda like my wife, I could get a new racier one but keeping the old one is way less expensive!
  • + 1
 @vinay: 26x2.1 sounds reasonable to commute on, for example. some people use their mtbs to do that...
  • + 0
 I really think the bike industry is going to pay for their disconnect with their customers. Pink Bike polls show the largest group of mtb riders are on 26" bikes. Not to mention all the other new standards that are incompatible with your 2 year old bike. I was buying a new frame every couple years. I bought into the sales pitch, buy high end components you can transfer to your new frame. Between my wife and me, we have four carbon fiber raceface cranks. Originally 9 speed but thank god the will work with 10, and 11 as well. That is if I can find a frame that meets my needs and has front derailleur capability. There are few frames these days that even allow the attachment of a front derailleur..
My last new frame was in 2012. A Pivot Carbon Mach 5.7 in 26" With Easton carbon Havens this 6" bike weighs 22 pounds and change on my fish scale / with out a dropper post.

So I took a look at the new frames out there and I decided a new pike on the pivot was my best option.
The bike industry missed selling me two new frames.
  • + 2
 I've been trying to decide on a summer tire set for my 150/140 29er. Might have to try the Force/Wild combo and see how it stacks up agains other combos I have tried.
  • + 4
 no dual ply...bummer
  • + 1
 We used to ride for Michelin and they put out a prototype Comp 24 with intermediate sidewalls using their DH rubber compound. Still the greatest trail tie I've ever ridden.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham Schwalbe's Rocket Ron is as dainty (and light) a tire as I dare ride in my part of the world. Are the Force AMs comparable?
  • + 1
 I used to run Michelin comp 16 and comp 24 before maxxis cam on the scene. i hope the new Am ones are as good. Will try them next time round.
  • + 1
 From the pics these all look like XC tires to me. Anyone have experience on Michelin tires? Are the tread patterns able to grip with the best without as much tread?
  • + 6
 suggest looking at the words as well as the pictures.....your question will be answered...
  • + 1
 @ad15: After having may opposite experiences from Pinkbike reviewers I don't always trust that they are not paid to say what the products company wants them to say, hence asking for feedback from those who have used Michelin tires. What has your experience on Michelin tires been like? What kind of conditions have you used them in?
  • + 0
 @ad15: Did you not have any experience on Michelin tires? Or are you just an internet troll looking to argue with whoever you can?
  • + 2
 @jgreermalkin: wasn't looking to argue at all, yes have used the tyres, was a friendly tongue in cheek comment that answered yours. you said "from the pics" so i replied with "read the words too" as they actually answer your question.. not looking for an argument at all... the first tyres are in deed XC tyres but the last are trail/ all mountain, the michelin tyres I've used have been very good, though the riding here is a little different terrain to the usual
  • + 3
 WE WERE PROMISED 2.6s FOR EVERYTHING. WHERE ARE THEY?
  • + 1
 This!
  • + 1
 I would've put slightly more trust in this test if the pressures hadn't been around 2 bars front and rear for the most "aggressive" set of tires...
  • + 1
 When "Le Dieu" Himself intervenes with His almighty hand and designs the tires, you know they are going to be awesome! Smile
  • + 1
 You had to place someone's photo towards the end of the article, good choice!
  • + 1
 Is it shallow to judge a tire based on its appearance? I look at michelin tires and i just... "know" i dont like them
  • + 1
 When will they learn that big spaces between cornering lugs makes the tire corner like shit? No thanks
  • + 1
 How did the Michelin crew like our rowdy trails?
  • + 1
 The wild A.M. should be green. Get a grip.
  • + 0
 Michelin DH tires suck, no wonder they never bothered including them in this review!
  • + 0
 I thought the tire in the first photo down from the title photo said "cum" instead of "gum".
  • + 1
 I like Michelin´s Tires since 2000 year!To me are the best.
  • + 1
 michelin force rear for sure ^^
  • + 1
 Good to see some more tire options
  • + 1
 Looks like a Nevegal
  • - 2
 its pretty sad that that cute lady can change 100 tires by her self ...and yet a shit ton of male riders still take theirs to a bike shop to change. pussies.
  • + 0
 50% not in 26".
Michelin go home!
  • + 1
 Tire...not tie
  • + 0
 Does the sidewall say "E-Bike"?
  • - 2
 The most important information was : TBD
which essentially means this entire article was pointless
  • + 7
 Michelin is withholding their MSRP until the European launch in a couple of weeks. I'll update this article as soon as they release the numbers.
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham: What ever happened with the "contest" that seems didn't actually happen? Just a PR stunt, as there wasn't a single mention about it in this article. The most impressive part is Laura changing 100 tires in one day.
  • + 2
 @Kenfire24: It went down...i was the winner. super fun two days of riding with some legit bike handlers, also got the chance to ride the YT jeffsy which was a blast. I usually run a minion DHF and Aggressor combo, the Wild AM and the Force AM combo is a really similar ride set up. Top notch event
[Reply]
  • + 0
 @kyleo420: Good to hear man! I'm glad it worked out for you, I just wish they made some mention in this article, so that the prior PR contest doesn't look like a hoax. Regardless, thanks for the tire input!
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