Michelin invented the whole ‘semi slick’ concept in the mid-90s and there are no less than six different Race’R tires in its arsenal. These range from 415g ‘Ultimate’ XC tires through to very sketchy, super hard compound options designed to last a decade on a budget bike.
The Advanced Reinforced is the race ready rear tire of Michelin’s enduro range though and the good news is that it’s nowhere near as wooden feeling as their older tires. It’s certainly sturdy and stout when it comes to holding its shape at low pressures or high cornering loads but you do get a sense of what’s happening where the relatively soft 55a Gum-X compound meets the trail.
The minimal center tread means traction is definitely about compound adhesion not penetration, so you need to throw it over onto the more generous shoulder tread quickly when cornering hard. The edge to edge reinforcing layer of the carcass shrugs off the bluntest impacts and ugliest looking rocks when you don’t hit the line you were hoping.
Tubeless sealing is easy too and it’s holding up well so far in terms of general wear and tear, making high price the only downer.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.