Last year around this time, Michelin impressed us with the new Power road tire family. Diving deep into new rubber compount technology, casing improvements and more, the tires seem to live up to Michelin’s claims. On top of that, the company announced that they were tapping Cam Zink for mountain bike tire development shortly after the road launch, while we were at Sea Otter.
Now it seems that the time has come for a new crop of mountain bike tires from Michelin. We’ll have to wait until next month for the full reveal, but Michelin did have four of the new treads up at Frostbike. They wouldn’t tell us any specifics, but there’s certainly a lot that can be learned just by looking…
One of the biggest developments (no pun intended) seems to be the Wild AM tire which will be offered in a 27.5 x 2.6″ size. Our first ride on a 2.6″ tire was on the Specialized Enduro at Whislter, which left us happy with the extra traction, but also happy with a tire that wasn’t as squirmy as full on plus size on the jumps and berms. If Frostbike is any indication, 27.5 x 2.6″ tires are coming in a big way and Michelin is joining Schwalbe who introduced their 2.6s at Eurobike. Micheline also had a 2.35 casing Wild AM on display which confirms that there will be multiple tires sizes available.
Both Wilds have chunky squared tread blocks with siping for increased grip.
The Force AM looks to be another all mountain tire but has a more angular tread pattern without as many sipes cut into the tread. This was also shown on a 2.35″ casing and had similar hot patches which call out Gum-X3D rubber technology and tubeless ready casings.
Finally, for a decidedly more XC approach, the Jet gets an XCR makeover – XCR meaning Cross Country Race.
We’ll be out in California next month getting the rundown on the newest rubber from Michelin, so look for more around then!