The multi-stage format of Enduro racing means protection and survivability is always a priority but Michelin was one of the first brands to take its tyres to almost DH-level strength. Add toothy triple compound treads and its Wild Enduro front and rear tyre combo are super-reliable in all conditions. Hefty weight and heavily damped carcass deaden feel and dynamic speed though.
The front and rear tyres might share the same Wild Enduro name but they’re significantly different. The front tyres use a triple-ply 66tpi (threads per inch) ‘Gravity Shield’ carcass and it comes in a harder Magi-X compound designed for the higher shearing loads of the fastest, most aggressive racers or a softer Gum-X3D compound that we tested. The tread is also more open, with tall, wide spaced knobs that verge on a mud tyre design. Our 29x2.4in sample inflated to 59mm (2.3in) on a 28mm internal rim at 20psi and weighed in at 1130g.
The rear tyres use a 33tpi (IE double the thread thickness of the front) triple-ply version of ‘Gravity Shield’ with additional ‘Pinch Protection’ sidewall reinforcement and only comes in the softer Gum-X3D compound option. The tread blocks are spaced a lot closer together for less growl and more roll, but they’re still deep and pointy for an all-round tyre. It blows up tall rather than wide too, with a 57mm width on our sample on a 28mm internal rim at 22psi. The heavier knit, reinforced construction weighs in at 1240g which isn’t far off the weight of its specific e-bike and Bike Park tyres.
Both tyres were a tight fit that required a lever for the last quadrant and while they inflated easily they tended to lose pressure gradually over time even with no obvious leaks or injuries.
To save you wasting time if you’re on the Trail/Enduro borderline it’s best we point out that these are not fast, agile tyres that you’ll enjoy taking on an epic or lighting up between corners on a rolling trail. Weight, tread, carcass and compound all make them feel decidedly dead through the pedals and there’s no pop or play built into the ply either. That makes Michelin’s AM range the place to go for a lighter, more lively ride.
That same heavily damped feel also numbs finer trail feel compared to tyres like Hutchinson Racing Lab, Maxxis EXO+ or Schwalbe Super Gravity so traction limits aren’t communicated as well. They transmit more shock for a given pressure so they can soon feel heavier through your shoulders and hands on rougher descents. The rear tyre is particularly ‘slam ball’ in feel to the point where you might want to adjust to a slightly faster rebound setting on your suspension.
The deep lugs of Gum-X3D rubber provide a very high level of mechanical traction in deep loam, damp or green and greasy conditions though, and there’s enough stiffness in the tread to keep them biting rather than squirming when you’re cornering or braking hard in big rock slab situations. They also suck up big, awkward impacts and landings extremely well and the super-solid construction means you’ll be more worried about your frame or rims giving out than your tyres if things get properly hard and heavy. As a result, what they lack in urgency they repay in a super relaxed and lazily confident trail feel, as though you’re riding a bigger, heavier, slacker bike than you actually are. At £46.99 an end they’re very well priced for such a tough tyre.
If you want a light and lively tyre with plenty of pliable feedback and easy-rolling speed then look at Michelin’s AM range, but if you want borderline DH survivability and high levels of grip for easy confidence in all conditions at a decent price going Wild might not be a bad idea.
Tech Specs: Michelin Wild Enduro Gum-X tyres
- Sizes: 27.5 and 29 x 2.4in
- Compound: Magi-X3D or Gum-X3D
- Weight: 1130g front, 1240g rear