Jonny Everett hails from the Wye Valley and has been riding and building trails in the area for years, being near to Dirt HQ and always out on his bike we thought he would be a perfect test pilot for these new tyres and he has been riding them wrapped around the wheels of a new GT Sanction we have on long term test.
Dirt: What setup have you been running on the bike?
Jonny: I’ve been running the Michelin Wild Rock R2 tyres on the GT Sanction. These have been on the SRAM Rail 50 wheelset and setup tubeless with the Gum-X compound front and back. My first impression was of a very substantial, aggressive looking tyre which I thought would complement the character of the Sanction.
Dirt: Have you been riding just locally or ventured further afield?
Jonny: I’ve been riding locally on natural tracks and the odd day, here and there, at the Forest of Dean trail centre, again on the more natural tracks. Mainly dry weather but also the wet which we seem to alternate to at the moment.
When pointing downhill for he first time, it felt like I was riding a DH specific tyre as they were so confidence inspiring. The grip from the Gum-X compound, although not the stickiest available, was ideal on the rougher tracks. You can just pick your line and hold it, without being bounced around. Because the tyre has such a strong casing and running a tubeless setup I could also back off the pressures more than I normally would, to gather more grip without it becoming unstable on the rim.
Dirt: What did you think of the tyres?
Jonny: For a tyre with these attributes there is always going to be a trade off when it comes to non DH duties. I have to say I was not looking forward to riding these up hill, however Michelin seem to have found a good balance. Yes there is noticeable rolling resistance, but not as much in my opinion as a Maxxis ST. But then these are not aimed at general trail riding. They are tough tyres for ugly terrain, places where the detrimental effects of weight on acceleration are not going to be as critical when it comes to tyre choice.
Dirt: Overall thoughts?
Jonny: They provide a great accompaniment to the Sanction as the bike is on the DH end of Enduro and with these tyres make it a stunning mini DH bike. They give you the confidence to hit everything like a hooligan, and then turn around and happily ride back up hill. I will be trying some faster rolling tyres soon to put a bit of zip into trail riding, but it hasn’t happened yet, I’m having too much fun!
If you want to check out what our other tester Andy thought of the tyres then you can see that here
Price: Gum-X £46.00, Magi-X £56.99
Sizes: 26″x2.35″, 27.5″x2.35″, 29″x2.35″
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