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Closeup: New Wild Race’R Ultimate and Wild Grip’r, PRO4 Tires

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We posted the official pics and early specs of Michelin’s new Wild Race’R and Wild Grip’R already, but had a chance to talk to the product developers.

What’s interesting and fairly unique is that across the size range for each model they change the durometer and size and depth of the tread blocks to match the intended usage. Above, you can see the blocks get larger on the Wild Grip’R from 2.0, 2.2 and 2.4.

The Wild Race’R Ultimate (left) gets the lower profile side knobs and new Gum-X rubber. Currently there’s just a 26×2.1 with 64A durometer at 415g, but there’s a 26×2.25 (59A) and 29×2.0 (64A), both planning on coming in under 500g.

The new PRO4 road tires were tested extensively for grip, particularly in the wet, with a dual compound tread on all four models. The Endurance (220g) with a little extra protection an slightly harder center section or better longevity. it also has a rounder profile. The PRO4 and PRO4 Comp have a slightly sharper profile to help get the rider onto the grippy section quicker. They come in at 200g and 180g respectively and have a slightly softer, frillier compound than the Endurance model. They claim a 16% improvement in grip over the PRO3.

The PRO4 Comp Limited comes in at just 165g an gets no real puncture protection. It has the rounder profile and is really meant for TT and triathlon racing only.

The Protek Max tube uses ridges that actually contract around a puncture that, with the enclosed sealant that’s prefilled inside it, all but prevent air loss. They’re available in 26″ and 700c, making them a good option for DH and Freeride bikes that aren’t too concerned about adding an ounce.

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