Michelin Comp 16 2.2£43.99

Michelin's Comp 16 has been around for years and copied by almost everyone, but all the people we spoke to still regards it as the tyre for wet/ damp British race courses.

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Michelin's Comp 16 has been around for years and copied by almost everyone, but all the people we spoke to still regards it as the tyre for wet/ damp British race courses.

It'll grip on pretty much everything - rocks, roots, mud - and the square-profile, deep-scoop tread and savage shoulder tread give it a fantastic railing edge. This bites very, very aggressively and reliably however hard you lean over. Even in the UST version, the narrow width and less cushioning mean this 2.2 tyre works best on the neatly picked lines typical of UK riding and racing. It's less stable on big, wide-open, dry-weather courses, but a 2.5 is available for faster, rockier work. Neither version is particularly fast rolling though, so we'd probably pick more rapid rubber for alpine/scorched summer work.

The soft compound wears rapidly, but it still sticks remarkably well even when heavily worn. It stays locked on the rim even when floppy or flat too, which is always handy. Despite the very high price we still certainly consider this tyre an essential weapon for any UK DH racer to have in his arsenal.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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