Michelin Pro 4 Grip tyres  £41.99

8/10

Commendably quick tyres that offer great puncture protection and increased grip in wet weather

Weight 220g   Contact  bike.michelin.co.uk

by David Arthur   March 17, 2014  

Michelin Pro 4 Grip

Michelin's Pro 4 Grip tyre is the latest addition to the French tyre manufacturer's Pro 4 range, and uses a new rubber compound for increased traction in the rain along with a puncture belt to better ward off punctures. The practical upshot is a puncture resistant tyre with great traction in the wet, and little weight or rolling resistance penalty.

That makes it an ideal choice for winter riding. The roads are in a bit of state; the winter hasn't been kind to them. And the persistent rain calls for a tyre that is grippier than the standard tyre. With a specific rubber compound Michelin claims the Pro 4 grip offers a 15% increase in grip compared to the Service Course variant of the same tyre. There is also a siped tread pattern on the shoulders that the regular Pro 4 doesn't have.

Another change beside the rubber compound is the profile of the tyre. Michelin say they've shaped the tyre to offer a larger contact patch when leaning the tyre over, to increase cornering grip over the regular Pro 4.

The only way to find out is the tyre is indeed as grippy as Michelin claims, is to do a comparison test with the Service Course. So that's what I did. On a wet rainy day, I rode a set route twice, on the same bike and wheels, first on the Service Course and then on the Grip tyres. I used the same tyre pressure and wore the same kit, to try and rule out any variables.

Firstly, the tyre showed good rolling resistance. Despite its extra weight there's very little real-world difference, in such conditions, when riding along a straight road and fully upright. Lean over into the corners and push the tyres onto their shoulders, replicating the same lean angles, and there is a tangible increase in grip. You can push the Grip a little harder than the Service Course. But as Michelin's claims indicate, it's marginal and the difference between the two tyres wasn't night and day. Yes you can certainly feel a bit more grip available, the tyre feels more secure and planted compared to the Service Course. Very steep climbs covered in rain water were also another area that showed the Grip to offer just that, more grip than the SC.

Not only is the Grip about offering extra grip, but it boasts better puncture resistance as well. Michelin have developed an Aramide reinforcing ply specifically for this tyre, and it's located in the crown and shoulder, so that's protection right across the tyre. They claim it's 20% more puncture resistance than the Service Course. I've been running these tyre on my steel winter training bike, riding daily, for the last few months, and I've not suffered a single puncture.

Not a conclusive test I know, punctures have a lot to do with luck and I'm having a good run at the moment. However, inspecting the tyre shows that the surface is in very good condition. There's a lack of holes, cuts or impregnated glass that a few other tyres on test bikes are showing after riding through the same winter weather.

All things considered, I've been thoroughly impressed with these tyres. I'm a fan of the regular Service Course, the Grip builds on that tyre with the extra puncture protection and grippier compound, with really no drawbacks. So it's a bit heavier, but not so much that you'll notice, and riding through the winter a little extra weight when it's used to prevent punctures is no bad thing.

It's not a slow tyre, so you could fit it to your best bike for winter riding, and take them off for the summer. Equally, they're a good set of tyres for year-round commuting and touring, where the puncture protection and extra grip trumps outright weight and rolling resistance performance.

The only downside is that they only offer them in a 23mm width. C'mon Michelin, make them in a 25mm.

Verdict

A commendable tyre from Michelin that offers great puncture protection and increased grip in wet weather.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Michelin Pro 4 Grip

Size tested: 700x23c, 23-622

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The tyre dediated to difficult conditions - 15% more grip in the wet compared with the MICHELIN PRO 4 Service Course.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

15% more grip in the wet compared with the MICHELIN PRO 4 Service Course

Better drive when pedalling in the wet, better grip when leaning and better progressivity when leaning the bike in the wet:

- A novel rubber compound, effective on all types of roads and at all temperatures

- New specific tread design on the shoulders which optimises grip when leaning over

- New type of tyre profile giving a better contact patch on the ground when leaning so as to prevent loss of grip

A very high level of anti-puncture protection:+ 20% compared with the MICHELIN PRO 4 Service Course :

- The Aramide reinforcing ply developed specifically for this tyre is resistant to cuts on the crown and shoulders

- This protective ply now covers the whole rolling surface of the tyre, both centre and shoulders

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Fantastic as a winter tyre for riding in the rain when the roads are covered in things more likely to puncture a bicycle tyre.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Fantastic in the few months I've been testing them, no cuts or marks to the surface of the tyre.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

Yes they're a bit heavier than the Service Course, but not so much that they're really going to slow you down. They're not for racing, they're for training, riding, commuting or touring.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10

Perhaps not quite as supple as the Service Course, they did feel a bit stiffer at the same tyre pressures, on the same wheels and bike.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Confidence inspiring in the wet and adverse conditions.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Extra grip is a bonus on wet descents.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

There's no 25mm option.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb

 

16 user comments

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in a tyre review, perhaps worth mentioning if it is tubular, clincher, or tubeless? I'm guessing tubular, but nowhere do you say this!

posted by Al__S [520 posts]
17th March 2014 - 9:36

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£42 for a 'training' tyre - no thanks. I ride in all weather, in all conditions and I know that sometimes even the most robust of tyre gets trashed on 1 ride.

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [360 posts]
17th March 2014 - 9:37

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Al__S wrote:
in a tyre review, perhaps worth mentioning if it is tubular, clincher, or tubeless? I'm guessing tubular, but nowhere do you say this!

Guess you've never seen a tubular then?

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [360 posts]
17th March 2014 - 9:38

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Al__S wrote:
in a tyre review, perhaps worth mentioning if it is tubular, clincher, or tubeless? I'm guessing tubular, but nowhere do you say this!

Think the photo might have been a bit of a give-away.

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [604 posts]
17th March 2014 - 9:52

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Top marks for 'siped', it was a new one on me!

posted by Ducci [55 posts]
17th March 2014 - 10:10

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Al__S wrote:
in a tyre review, perhaps worth mentioning if it is tubular, clincher, or tubeless? I'm guessing tubular, but nowhere do you say this!

According to ISO 5775, the "C" in 700x23C indicates "crochet" rims, which these days is essentially the only type of clincher rim in use.

You quite often see tubs listed with a "C" suffix on the width - especially in online shops - but this doesn't actually mean anything.

seven's picture

posted by seven [109 posts]
17th March 2014 - 10:16

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in a tyre review, perhaps worth mentioning if it is black, red or yellow? I'm guessing black, but nowhere do you say this!

Wink

posted by Hammer [7 posts]
17th March 2014 - 10:52

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I would only be interested in a 25c size. Clincher that is.

posted by mudshark [30 posts]
17th March 2014 - 11:02

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Maybe road.cc could establish the 'measuring callipers of truth', alongside the scales?

I ride the Pro4 SC, which is nominally x23 but measures exactly 25mm at the widest point (95psi, 23mm rim).

My OEM tyres, the Specialized All-Condition, while also x23, were actually 26.5mm. The nominal width is perhaps not very meaningful.

Another thing to find out is whether Michelin recommend using lightweight latex or regular butyl tubes with those tyres. (Their web site is less useful than their products).

posted by bartsie [6 posts]
17th March 2014 - 14:40

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you need to get out more.

posted by andyp [860 posts]
17th March 2014 - 15:01

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Had the pro4 corse and endurance, found them fragile compared to continentals of similar rating so won't be chancing my hard earned as been stung twice by pro 4. The side walls split on both modles. Perhaps I was unlucky or maybe there not very good Thinking

HMCC

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posted by Beefy [112 posts]
17th March 2014 - 15:41

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jova54 wrote:
Al__S wrote:
in a tyre review, perhaps worth mentioning if it is tubular, clincher, or tubeless? I'm guessing tubular, but nowhere do you say this!

Think the photo might have been a bit of a give-away.

lol, Prof. Obvious to the rescue!

pedalpowerDC's picture

posted by pedalpowerDC [217 posts]
17th March 2014 - 18:07

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£25.99 on CRC as well...

posted by Winton [65 posts]
19th March 2014 - 16:38

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I use the pro4 service course and absolutely love them, only been through two sets since this time last year after a season racing and a winter on them - no problems at all! Michelin ftw every time!

Used contis for a year beforehand and had nothing but problems with damage and punctures. Each to their own I guess though!

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
19th March 2014 - 16:52

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Specialized All Condition Armadillo Elite every time. £50/pair and available in 25C. Last for years of London glass and flint based commuting.

posted by drmatthewhardy [303 posts]
19th March 2014 - 23:31

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mooleur wrote:
I use the pro4 service course and absolutely love them, only been through two sets since this time last year after a season racing and a winter on them - no problems at all! Michelin ftw every time!

Used contis for a year beforehand and had nothing but problems with damage and punctures. Each to their own I guess though!

I can 100% attest to this. I bought a pair of conti 4 seasons and they didn't even last the spring.
Recently bought a pair of service course and I am over the moon with them, especially for the price.

posted by hallamhash [5 posts]
23rd March 2014 - 17:27

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