The tighter tread with a low-profile centre looks a lot more like a trail-riding tread pattern than something we’d take to the Alps.
Michelin Force AM2 Competition Line specifications and details
Available in 2.4 and 2.6in sizes, in both 27.5 and 29in, the Force AM2 blends this low-profile central tread with significantly prouder edge blocks that look similar to the brand’s DH22 downhill tyre.
The blocks line up in sets of three pointing inwards in the rolling direction – much like WTB’s Vigilante, reviewed as a front tyre.
The Force shares Michelin’s triple-compound Gum X3D rubber blend and three-layer Trail Shield casing with the latest Wild AM2 tyre. It has a densely woven nylon layer wrapping the whole inside to resist cuts and damage.
Like other recent Michelin tyres (including the proven Wild Enduro), this carcass is extremely tough, but the extra reinforcement means weight (1,130g) is high for what appears a less aggressive trail tyre.
With the directional, triangulated and densely packed central tread blocks looking rear-optimised, I’ve only used the Force on the back, despite it being advertised for both ends.
Michelin Force AM2 Competition Line performance
The Force AM2 just gets on with it, with minimal drama.
There are few stand-out characteristics – it’s not exceptionally fast-rolling, grippy or supple. That’s no insult though, as on a broad variety of trails, from dusty woods to wide-open rocky terrain and over multiple surfaces, the Force proved to be a well-sorted performer.
Grip is consistent without any dramatic transitions leaning over, and braking traction is decent in the dry and on wet surfaces, only tailing off in slimy dirt and deeper wet soil. Here, it struggles to penetrate and cut through into harder surfaces.
The Gum X3D shoulder blocks hold on well to prevent the tyre ever firing off drastically when the back end is flailing around on hectic trails, but there’s nothing like the supremely planted and calm feel I’ve experienced on Michelin’s super-grippy Magi-X DH tyres, which seem almost permanently welded to the ground.
Climbing up steep pitches on polished dirt or in the wet, the Force’s lower-profile central strip has a tendency to wheelspin a little more than some rear tyres, with more negative space in the centre tread.
Michelin Force AM2 Competition Line bottom line
Michelin calls this an all-mountain tyre, but many riders will want more grip and a deeper tread bite to hit up proper mountains or ride really aggressive enduro tracks.
That leaves the Force AM2 firmly in trail territory, but it’s a bit of an outlier there, weighing 1.1kg in its 29in incarnation.
How we tested
We tested eight mountain bike tyres designed for all-mountain/enduro riding back-to-back on the most varied terrain we could find to see where they performed best, and worst.
You can also find all of our top-rated reviews in BikeRadar’s guide to the best mountain bike tyres.
Tyres on test
- Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ WT review
- Maxxis Dissector 3C MaxxTerra EXO WT review
- Michelin Force AM2 Competition Line review
- Michelin Wild AM2 Competition Line review
- Schwalbe Nobby Nic EVO Super Trail Addix Soft review
- Teravail Honcho Durable review
- Teravail Kessel Durable review
- WTB Vigilante Tough/High Grip review