Michelin has just unveiled three new tires for the XC through Freeride crowd. The three models, the Grip’R, the Race’R and the Rock’R carry over the same names as the tires they introduced at Sea Otter Classic last year but get some updates. Actually, the Race’R gets an Extreme Makeover: Tread Edition style change, and it definitely looks to be for the better.

The new treads will be available this spring, with new gravity oriented tires coming this summer. Jump past the break for more images and some of the technology and updates…

2012 michelin mountain bike tires wild rockr gripr and racer

From left to right:

Wild Grip’R – Trail tire with large blocks in the middle that are close enough for fast rolling but open enough to clear quickly. Tread design is intended to cover a wide range of trail types and conditions.

Wild Race’R – Low profile diamond shaped treads made for fast rolling on dry hardpack. Knobs are at a 45º angle in relation to rolling direction, which Michelin says gives more ridges and grip.  Very different (and better looking) tread design than last year. The tire is designed to be run directionally, with the reinforcement ridges between knobs making an “M” (for Michelin) on the front and “W” (for Wild). The obvious visual comparison is Continental’s Race King; here’s the difference: The center knobs are a bit taller with beveled edges and a hole in the middle and the side knobs are much taller, which Michelin says is designed to help the tire corner more aggressively and climb out of ruts easier. This is more noticeable in the top image.

Wild Rock’R – Massive rubber blocks all the way across the width of the tire with an aggressive shoulder. The side knobs are “shaped like claws to help grip when leaning over, navigating ruts and cornering,” and the central groove helps give it directional stability.

All Models – Tubeless models get their Gumwall sides for better cut and abrasion resistance. The Advanced version get a dual compound tread section with a firmer 68A section underneath the softer 63A outer tread.


Wild Grip’R:

Wild Race’R:

Wild Rock’R:


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