Friday, November 9, 2007 12.00am
By Guy Kesteven
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.
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