Monday, July 8, 2013

Why Michelin Road Tires Suck And Are Dangerous

There comes a time when we reach a point of diminishing returns on anything we humans encounter in life, be it other people, jobs, material things, and yes, even bicycle tires.  Bib & Company may make very fine automobile and motorcycle tires, but apparently over in the bicycle division they do not “Parlez-Vous Francias” very well.  Whatever the other divisions have learned, they need to get the boys in the bike division to adopt, and stat!  Let me explain. 

To date I have had four (4) catastrophic, instant deflation episodes while on Pro 3’s.  In all four cases the tread or sidewall (or both) were simply sliced open by unseen objects on perfectly flat, clean roads, save for one occasion, which occurred on a forty (40) MPH descent (I was able to catch the rear wheel when it stepped out violently on that particular failure).  Another occasion both front AND rear tires suffered ripped tread and sidewalls while on the same ride.  The latest failure I experienced (thankfully only one-mile from my home) the rear sidewall ripped upward towards the tread.  That rear tire only had about 300 miles on it.  Not real confidence inspiring stuff here, folks. 

The final straw - Never saw the debris, never felt it, but it sure destroyed the tire.
Large slice from another ride (scale in inches). White is the tire boot that got me home.

I cannot continue to afford to going through tires and tubes at this rate, and to date, I have had six Pro 3’s, and none of them were replaced due to normal wear.  All of the tires had carcass failures resulting in holes too large to continue usage.  I personally weight 185 pounds, and run the tires at 105 psi front and 110 psi at the rear.  I do not race on them, jump curbs, nor do I seek out rough, debris-strewn paths.  I simply get out for exercise and enjoyment.  However, on the Michelin’s, this has proven to be a more futile effort than not. 

Overall, it dawned on me why pro-peloton’s the world over shy away from Michelin products.  How can one concentrate on racing when in the back of the mind one is bracing for the inevitable blow-out?  I have not used other products in the line save for the Pro 3’s, however, after experiencing the dangerous performance of them, why in the world would I try anything else from their line-up such as the Lithion or Pro 4?

I must admit this is a new feeling for me.  I mean, prior to this I had written a positive review of the Michelin Pro 3 Race tires (Cycling Dynamics, 12-29-2012) I had been using for about a year and a half now.  Sure, there were troubles in the relationship, but I figured this was par for the course when you date a French cutie.  Wrong!

Michelin, I tried to like you a whole lot.  I did.  I really, really did.

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