There was a time when thanks to the likes of the Comp 16 Michelin tyres were the ones to have, but for one reason and another they then seemed to fall by the wayside a bit. Thankfully though it looks like they are on a mission to get back to where they once used to be, and in order to achieve that they enlisted the help and feedback of Fabien Barel and Pierre-Edouard Ferry. We got to try out some of these new tyres last autumn and were generally pretty impressed with what we were presented with, so much so in fact that their Wild Mud tyre made it into our 2014 Dirt 100.
Anyway, another tyre in the new range has now finally started to land on these shores and filter into shops, and that tyre is this Wild Rock’R 2 Advanced Reinforced (to give it it’s full name). The tyres are substantially different to the original Wild Rock’R, but usage wise they are once again aimed at ‘dry, extreme use’. The extreme bit is key here because don’t go thinking they are a general dry weather trail tyre, they are definitely on the DH side of enduro. At 990, 1050 and 1150g for the three different wheel sizes these tyres certainly aren’t light, but that’s the price you pay for a burly reinforced carcass that’ll provide you with support and see you through the rocks. Only you know whether low weight or a beefy casing is more important for the type of riding you do, but we like the fact that we are now seeing an increasing number of these almost ‘DH-lite’ tyres.
Aside from the weight, the other reason why we don’t think you’d be wanting to pedal these things around your average trail is that they’re a pretty soft compound and don’t exactly carry speed on the flat. Michelin are actually offering these tyres in two different compound flavours, namely Gum-X and Magi-X, with Michelin recommending running the Gum-X on the rear and the Magi-X on the front. This gives the best balance of speed and grip where required, and whilst we might be tempted to run a Gum-X on the front to give a little more speed you’d have to be a powerhouse to think about running the Magi-X on the rear…or you’d need to be taking on the kind of terrain that Pierre-Edouard Ferry took on with these tyres in the video below…
Once we’ve had a bit more time on these tyres we’ll let you know our full verdict, but in the meantime if you’re an enduro racer who’s constantly struggling to find tyres up to the job, particularly for 29″ wheels, then you won’t find anything much stronger or tackier without going down the full-on DH route.
Price: Gum-X £46.00, Magi-X £56.99
Sizes: 26″x2.35″, 27.5″x2.35″, 29″x2.35″
Photos by Tom Caldwell