Technology is always moving forward, improving the materials we use every day and coming up with new ideas that will make our rides faster, smoother and more precise.
Whether you are climbing the steep ascents of the alps or sprinting to the line at your local crit, tyres play an important role on how much you enjoy your ride, and to help us along Michelin have introduced 3 new tyres to their repertoire.
The Pro 4 Comp has a new 150 tpi casing and includes a new nylon, high-density belt to increase puncture protection without affecting the rolling resistance. In fact the 150 tpi fabric allows for a 30% reduction in rolling resistance from the Pro 4 Endurance but will grip just as well, if not better than the Endurance in the wet.
The Pro 4 Comp 700x23c tyre weighs 180g and has a recommended PSI of 90-115. It is great for a training tyre but is light enough to be used as a racing tyre if you aren’t using tubulars. It feels relatively smooth when out on the road and even at 100psi it was fast. I generally use a hardcore winter tyre when training and riding at this time of year, however, even in the wet I felt safe using this tyre, and without a puncture yet it seems to be holding up.
The only concern I have about this tyre is being as soft and subtle as it is, how it will stand up to cuts. My old Pro 3s seemed to be full of cuts after a summer of riding, but it never harmed the structure of the tyre nor did I get an increase of punctures because of it.
The newest to add to Michelins range in the Pro4 Grip. A tyre that has been designed for those who will continue to ride in all seasons, especially winter when riders experience a bit of uncertainty when it comes to staying upright.
Michelin claim that these tyres deliver a 15% improvement gripping in wet than the normal Pro4 service course due to the newly designed profile that creates a larger contact area when cornering, increasing your grip. The profile of the tyre also makes braking easier in wet conditions, assuming that your components are in working order.
The puncture resistance on the grip is claimed to be 20% better than the Pro4 Service Course. As we always tend to get more punctures in the wet than the dry (I’m assuming this is because the cycling gods want to see me struggling with a tube change in the pouring rain, but I’m sure there is a scientific reason for this) Michelin have added a wider puncture protection strip made of tough woven aramid fibres.
The trade-off for a tyre that grips well and helps reduce punctures is a weight of 220 grams. So it may be a great replacement for your winter trainer, but you may want to consider something a little lighter when the summer sun reappears.
For those cyclists that prefer to use tubular tyres, Michelin have now made a tubular version of the Pro 4 Comp. Two widths will be available 700cx23m/25m both featuring a casing made with a hybrid cotton and aramid fibre. The 23m weighs 280g and the 25m 295g.
As used by AG2R at the 2012 Tour de France the tubular versions offers the same wet weather protection as the Pro4 Comp and the puncture protection strip and thread have been glued on by hand rather than machine prepared. The tread will look and feel different than the clincher as Michelin have had to alter the design slightly to work with the overall rounder shape of a tubular tyre, but it in no way should affect the overall performance.
Both the Grip and the Tubular are yet to be released to the public however the Pro4 Comp is available now. As no Probikekit staff member has been able to test the Grip or Tubular the information we have supplied is based on Michelin’s press release and their representatives, however, if they are as good as the Michelin tyres we have ridden in the past then there is no reason why these shouldn’t be top of your shopping list.