We first got wind of Michelin’s return to downhill at last season’s Sea Otter Classic, where the brand showed two prototypes of the now-available Michelin DH 22 and Michelin DH 34 tyres. It’s been a while since Michelin were a big name in Downhill, back when 26″ was the standard downhill wheel size. A comeback is clearly on the horizon with the launch of the Michelin DH tyre range, with four new tyres including a DH Mud tyre and a budget-option Bike Park specific tyre. We have the details on the full range.
Michelin DH 22
The DH 22 is described as the most versatile tyre in the Michelin DH range, but is said to excel on soft terrain. Available in 27.5″ and 29″ only, the tyre is 2.4″ wide with a 2 x 55 TPI casing. It features a double-reinforced downhill shield casing which should provide good control at low pressures. The DH 22 tread pattern is composed of well-spaced blocks which are relatively high in profile, indicating that the tyre might bite well in muddy conditions, and also clear that mud relatively well. Outer knobs are symmetrically placed while the central tread alternates between two well-spaced knobs, two more closely spaced knobs, and a row of 3 smaller knobs. The tread itself is made up of Michelin’s new MAGI-X DH compound, said to ensure good stud penetration on soft terrain while combining stability on hard terrain.
Beneath that Michelin DH 22 tread pattern lies a layer of 4 ply “double defense” downhill shield, a low pressure reinforcement layer to guard against pinch flats, and a high density puncture protection layer. The tyre is tubeless ready with a wire bead and the 27.5″ version weighs a claimed 1200g.
Michelin DH 34
This is Michelin’s fastest tyre in the DH range. The Michelin DH 34 tyre is said to excel on hard, rocky terrain and at bike parks, providing high stability on surfaces such as compacted dirt and pebbles. Featuring the same 2 x 55 TPI casing, 4 ply downhill shield, high density puncture protection and low pressure reinforcement, the tread pattern is a little less busy than that of the DH 22 tyre, with fewer central tread blocks. The blocks themselves are also of a much lower profile with the edge knobs alternating between a regular square knob and a slightly inset irregularly shaped knob, which may aid in transferring grip from the central tread blocks to the outside edge. Unlike the DH 22 tyre, the DH 34 is available in a 26″ version, in addition to 27.5″ and 29″, and all have a width of 2.4″. It is somewhat heavier, with the 26″ version weighing in at a claimed 1200g.
The MUD one
The Michelin DH Mud tyre looks to be a simple evolution of the Mud Enduro tyre that’s been out on the trails for some time now. The tread pattern is in fact identical, with very well spaced blocks with “twisted” secondary blocks on their surface, said to aid mud clearance and self-cleaning. The blocks themselves are in fact cuttable, allowing the rider to remove the top secondary knobs to leave the lower profile primary blocks behind, leaving a more traditional looking tread pattern with a resultant greater surface contact area.
The MAGI-X DH compound makes up the blocks which sit on Michelin’s Downhill Shield layer and low pressure reinforcement layer. The 2 x 55 TPI casing tyre is 2.4″ wide and is available in 27.5″ and 29″ only.
Michelin DH 34 Bike Park
Michelin’s Bike Park specific tyre comes in the form of a slimmed down budget version of the Michelin DH 34, utilising the very same tread pattern, but with a harder and more durable GUM-X compound in place of the MAGI-X DH. The casing is also thinner than that of the rest of the Michelin DH range at 2 x 33 TPI. The Bike Park tyre is available in a 27.5″ version, weighing a claimed 1180g, and a 29″ version, with a width of 2.4″.
Pricing and Availability
The new Michelin DH mountain bike tyre range is available now from UK distributors, Silverfish. The DH 34 tyre will cost you £59.99, while the DH 22 and DH Mud tyres will set you back a little more at £64.99. The DH 34 Bike Park tyre is the budget option here, priced at just £29.99.