Posts Tagged ‘cross country’

Tire Review: Michelin WildRac’R 29 x 2.1

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

When Michelin sent us a test pair of the WildRac’R 29 x 2.1 tires to try I was completely pumped.  It uses a re-released tread design, one that in the past always caught my eye but I never got to for various reasons.  The tread gave away that this tire would be pretty fast, wildly grippy, and could rip into corners due to angled side knobs.  What immediately impressed me was the idea of designing the rear treads to be reversed for enhanced traction in climbs.

wildracr I was stoked.  I mounted them on my wheels that night, and the next morning headed out to hit the Michigan single track.  It was early Fall, one of my favorite times to ride.  The trail was dry but not sandy, the leaves barely started falling – it made for a great day to ride.

I took to these tires quickly, though the ride was quite a bit different than I was used to – 29 x 2.1 Kenda Small Block 8’s.  The Small Blocks are a really low profile, fast rolling tire with tightly spaced knobs that can lose it in corners and sand if you’re not careful.  With that in mind, here is my rundown on the Michelin WildRac’R tires after a good couple months of Fall riding.

Pros:

The tread design of these tires makes for both decent speed and traction.  A lower tread profile and closely spaced knobs allow the tire to roll pretty quickly, while the angled side knobs provide great cornering abilities.  These tires are not wildly fast or wildly grippy; they have a great combination of both, and the strength of the WildRac’R is the blend it provides.

I was really impressed with the cornering.  The angled side knobs, coupled with the wider footprint of 29er tires and a lower PSI, provided for great confidence hitting corners at speed.  I’m generally a pretty wimpy rider as far as taking risks and pushing the limits, but the traction provided by these tires had me experimenting with how fast and how hard I could lean into corners – and it was definitely more than something like the Kenda Small Block 8’s would allow. (more…)

Choosing the Right Rubber for the Trail

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Not getting the grip out of the tread that you need? Looking for something faster?  Maybe you’re a novice that needs some advice on tire choice?  Or an enthusiast riding on the trails with balding tires, putting off the change?

Here are some of our suggestions.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, and in no particular order – just a couple ideas to help you along your way. (more…)