Michelin Wild Enduro Front, 2.4in Gum-X / Magi-X
Michelin’s Gum-X compound is not particularly soft, but it rebounds slowly and sticks to hard surfaces noticeably better than anything else I’ve tested, other than a dedicated downhill tyre.
The Magi-X is arguably even stickier in warm weather, but it becomes too hard in cold weather and wears quickly.
To test the coefficient of friction (stickiness) of the rubber compound, I locked the rear wheel at a fixed speed on wet tarmac and measured the braking distances of six tyres, including the Schwalbe Magic Mary (ADDIX Soft compound) and WTB Verdict (High Grip compound). The Wild Enduro (Gum-X compound) stopped markedly sooner than all the rest every time.
The Wild Enduro’s shoulder tread is tall, well supported and spaced out to dig into soft ground, providing tenacious grip when turning or cutting across off-cambers.
As you approach the grip-limit in a turn, there’s an audible “brrrrp” as the shoulder tread clambers for traction, so it’s predictable near the limit despite its square cross-section.
It’s not as buoyant in soft loam or as forgiving of bad lines through chunky rocks as the bigger tyres I’ve tested, but the casing is supple, so it deforms to roots and rocks for impressive traction and good comfort over high-frequency chatter.
Despite the lightweight casing, the well-damped tread rumbles through rocks and roots with the calm authority of a downhill tyre.
Grip in mud is good, although it will clog up sooner than the Maxxis Shorty in sticky slop.
It rolls very slowly though, and the relatively flexible sidewall is liable to squirm if abused in hardpack berms, so it’s not ideal for trail centres or bike parks.
It can be used on the rear for treacherous terrain, but rolling speed is poor and the tall tread-blocks deform audibly on steep tarmac climbs.
I must mention that two of my three test tyres leaked sealant out the sidewall at first, but after a few rides I had no issues with the Wild Enduro holding air.
How we tested
This tyre was tested as part of a grouptest. All tyres were tested back-to-back on the same tracks, keeping all other variables as consistent as possible to ensure our findings are as reliable and accurate as they can be.