Michelin Wild Race’r 27.5 & 29er tyres

by
October 22, 2014

Low rolling resistance and straight line speed, but can it hold on through the corners?

Brand: Michelin
Product: Wild Grip'r and Race'r
From: Michelin
Price: £37
Tested: by Marc B for Eight months
Fat but fast 2.25s
Fat but fast 2.25s

While there are any number of tyres on the market that do a good job of minimising rolling resistance and providing straight-line speed, it’s a rare beast that can carry much of that speed through corners.

With its low hollow diamond-shaped knobs, to say nothing of the name on the sidewall, the Michelin Wild Race’r is clearly a tyre built for speed.  The advertised weights won’t set too many hearts alight, but advertised weights for the tubeless-ready, mid-sticky SC configuration are reasonable for their weight and diameters: 670g in 29×2.1, 700g in 27.5×2.3.  Even more confidence inspiring are the aggressive shoulder knobs, which are noticeably toothier than most racy models.

At the beginning of this season, we mounted a 27.5×2.25 tyre to the rear of a 140/120mm trail bike and the 29×2.1 to both ends of a 120/100mm marathon bike. Each on 19mm (inside width) rims, the former measure 2.33in across and the latter 2.18in- a rarity in this age of ‘optimistically’ labeled tyres.

In short, the Race’rs can be tossed around like a far more aggressive tyre.  Speed comes easily and can be carried through corners without concern, even on loose-over-hard trails.  When the tyres begin to slip, there’s plenty of warning before traction is lost altogether.  On the front wheel, the Race’r corners better than a good number of trail tyres- a fact that requires some adjustment when switching to more traditional XC treads.

Michelin Wild Race'r 1

Mud traction isn’t stellar- but even the tackiest clay will clear quickly.  As a Marathon or XC race tyre, the Race’r leaves virtually nothing to be desired.  Wear on the rear can come quickly- but it is no worse than many higher-end tyres and the Michelins do behave themselves when partially worn.  The higher-end Gum-X compound would undoubtedly go more quickly, and given the SCs’ performance we see little reason to spend the extra money.

Paired with a Wild Grip’r, the higher-volume Race’r makes an impressive trail tyre for longer days – with one caveat.  The Race’r’s minimal tread asks more of the casing than most tyres’, leading to a series of cuts and flats on the trail bike. While the tread and volume beg to be ridden aggressively, the casing simply can’t keep up.

Overall: Fancy a fast tyre that will out-corner most anything on the course or something predictable for those post-midnight 24-hour race laps?  The Wild Race’r is one of the best options going.  Until Michelin sees fit to build the Race’r of stouter stuff, it might be wise to hold off on the model for trail use.

Review Info

Brand: Michelin
Product: Wild Grip'r and Race'r
From: Michelin
Price: £37
Tested: by Marc B for Eight months

Categorised as:

review tyres