Wednesday, August 4, 2010 1.00pm
By Ric McLaughlin, MBUK
The original Michelin Wild Grippers were a tyre of near-legendary status back in the early 90s, but can their modern namesakes carry the mantel?
We went for the 2.4in reinforced folding numbers, and although quite weighty (455g per tyre), they’re nowhere as heavy as downhill tyres.
The ample width and large volume are ideally suited for longer-travel trail or all-mountain machinery. That volume, coupled with the decent side knobs, makes a tyre that’s more than capable of dealing with chattery roots, and will hook up well on off-camber sections.
The size obviously hinders rolling speed to a certain extent, but if you run them with a fairly high pressure, the Grip’Rs are surprisingly fast-rolling.
The Reinforced tag comes courtesy of a four-ply tread and three-ply sidewalls. Although this adds to the bulk, the Michelins are tough as, and more than up to tackling nasty rock gardens.
They don’t have the tacky bite of something like a Maxxis High Roller XC Super Tacky through loose turns, but they don’t break grip unpredictably either. When they do start to go it’s in a controlled fashion – once again the size helps with that.
We really liked the Grip’Rs, and although they’re adifferent breed to their historic predecessors, they’re still a great set of tyres.
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