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review

Michelin Power Cyclocross Jet Tyre

6
£42.99

VERDICT:

6
10
Very fast in the dry but limited in their range of use
Fast
Green
Easy tubeless setup
Only for dry conditions
Weight: 
388g

Michelin's Power Jet Tubeless Cyclocross Tyres are fast and ideally suited to dry races. Show them a little moisture and they quickly become hard to handle, so not the best for the mixed conditions that a full season of racing brings, though they'd be ideal for a local summer race league.

Michelin recently re-released the green tyres that became famous (well, in the world of CX they did) when Wout van Aert won the 2017 Worlds using an original tread from the 80s, glued to a Dugast tubular casing. This new-age version doesn't feature the same silica compound that made the original so popular, but they are green, and that counts for a lot.

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The green tread was based around a silica compound for maximum grip in wet conditions and it caused a lot of rummaging in sheds as tyres in good condition were going for upwards of £100 in the weeks following that Worlds. It's probably why Michelin has decided to bring them back.

This is the Jet version of the same tyre that I reviewed earlier in the season. The difference is that the Jet features a much lower tread that makes it very fast on hardpacked, dry surfaces.

Michelin Power CX Jet on wheel.jpg

The construction is the same and I'm glad to say that all of the good setup points carry over to this tyre. Setting the tyres up tubeless is easy and they held air well, even when down at low pressures. I couldn't get them to burp air either. It's a solid system, though you will be needing levers to get them onto the rim.

The main issue with the Jets is that they're not great when things turn wet – as they so often do in the UK, and have been for most of the review period. In testing they've been limited to hardpacked surfaces as anything grassy has been too wet for the low tread, and I found them quick to lose traction on any mud.

> Buyer's Guide: 25 of the best gravel and adventure tyres

The flipside of that lack of grip in the mud is the speed you can hold on the tarmac. Michelin describes the tread as providing "excellent hold on dry roads while maintaining maximum performance", and I'd concur: on dry, hardpacked surfaces these tyres are really fast. You could easily use these on the road if you were looking for something with a bit of tread.

Value

At £42.99 per tyre the Power Jets look pretty good value on paper, but if you're willing to pay a little more you end up with a better deal in terms of all-year/all-conditions performance.

The Challenge Chicane TLRs, for example, are £54 each but have more aggressive side knobs for better traction on wet grass, and then there's Schwalbe's X-One Bite TLE at £59.99. For year-round racing in the UK, those are what I'd recommend. They'll cope with the worst mud a British winter can create and aren't too slow in the dry.

If you're looking for the grip that the original silica compound gave, then FMB still offers a range of its tubulars with the famous green tread.

Conclusion

While the Michelin Power Jets perform very well in the dry, offering easy setup and a fast ride, I can't help thinking they would be a limiting option because of the lack of grip on even slightly damp grass. They work well as a faster tyre for mixing road and trails, but for racing cyclo-cross I'd suggest looking for something that can cope with a wider range of conditions.

> Beginner's guide to cyclo-cross essentials

Verdict

Very fast in the dry but limited in their range of use

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Michelin Power Cyclocross Jet Tyre

Size tested: 700 x 33

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?

Michelin says: "A folding tyre which performs like a top tubular tyre, this cyclocross-centric model uses its sturdy 3x120TPI casing and grippy tread to ensure a strong and firm-holding performance across a variety of terrains. Built to bear the brunt of loose and harsh surfaces while maintaining impressively low rolling resistance, this tubeless-ready tyre lets you take on every hard-hitting run with maximum control and composure."

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

From Michelin:

Performance

Tread pattern taken from our Cross Country MTB ranges, providing excellent hold on dry roads while maintaining maximum performance.

Grip

Due to its tread pattern and being Tubeless Ready enables lower pressure usage with maximum grip.

Strength

Extra strength due to its "Bead 2 Bead Protek" cross-laid reinforcement on the tyre's crown and sidewalls for effective puncture protection.

Specification

Bead: Foldable.

Width: 33c.

Casing: 2x160tpi.

Valve Length: 52mm.

Weight: 335g.

Tubeless ready.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
6/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
6/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
5/10
Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

On paper they're not a bad price compared with similar tyres from Schwalbe and Challenge, but they're outdone on all-weather performance, and in terms of cost per ride their limited range of use could make them rather expensive for the number of rides you use them on.

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

In the dry they work well. Outside of that, less so.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The straight-line speed is very good.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

They're very slippery when the grass gets wet, which happens a lot in the UK. That means you'd need another set of tyres for any time it rained, leaving these sat in the shed for much of the winter.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

They're pretty good, easily beating the Schwalbe X-One Bite TLE and the Challenge Chicane on price.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, in the dry.

Would you consider buying the product? No, the range of use is too narrow for me.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

Easy to set up tubeless and fast to ride, but with such a limited scope of use it's hard to score them higher than 'above average'. They're great in the dry.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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