Michelin XCR Mud£27.95

Reasonable lightweight, fast wet weather performance

BikeRadar score3.5/5

In case you hadn't guessed from the name, this wheel wrapper is designed as the winter mud tyre in Michelin's race arsenal.

The paddle and smaller block tread certainly work well on the back in very wet, sloppy conditions or gravelly wash. They're not that aggressive on the front though and we've found that they clog surprisingly easily if there's any grass or clay about.

The grey dual compound mixture only seems to offer average grip on wet rocks and roots too. This left us pushing this tyre no harder in bad weather than we would a normal all-rounder tread.

While we're big fans of the supple XCR carcass, there's quite a lot of rubber on top of this one too. This slows and stiffens it up noticeably on firmer trails although it's still a relatively reasonably light tyre for the size.

On the plus side, we've rattled down Dales riverbeds in the pitch black without flatting so it's tougher than its 2.0in dimensions initially suggest. It wears pretty well too, which makes its slightly high price that much more bearable.

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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