12 months of racing, training and commuting - that's the ultimate test of the Michelin Pro4 Endurance tyre, designed with longevity and puncture resistance in mind.
Michelin's new Pro4, the latest line of top-end performance tyres, was introduced in 2011. It's now available in six guises, Service Course, Comp, Comp Limited, Grip, Tubular and, tested here, Endurance. This is the tyre intended for going the distance and lasting a long time.
To put it to the test, I've been riding a pair of these tyres for the past 12 months, and have been astonished at how good they've proved to be. In terms of mileage, I've probably done about 2,500 miles on them. As the photos show, the tread compound is impressive in its ability to withstand the cuts and slices that usually start to eat away at tyres. Especially riding the roads of London, Surrey and Kent, which make up my usual training loops.
The Pro4 is actually the old Krylion tyre, it's been brought into the Pro family. The changes from the Pro3 to the Pro4 focused on the compound, which the French firm looked at improvements. The Pro3, if anyone has used a pair will know, cuts very easily. The company claimed up to 50% improved longevity in the Pro4. The carcass of the tyre is the same as the older tyre, a 110 tpi casing that is shared on all the Pro4's, except the Comp which has a 150 tpi.
Traction has also been improved over the older Krylion, with a claim of a 15% increase. While it's difficult to verify such a figure away from the laboratory, the seat of the pants test does reveal the tyre feels more secure, and therefore more confidence boosting, in less than favourable conditions. Grip through corners is good, with impressive lean angles bolstered by the dual compound construction.
I had no expectations for the tyres to still be going strong this far into the test. But going strong they are. I've raced, trained and commuted on these tyres and they've handled it all extremely well. As all-round tyres go, it's very good. I'd say it's one of the best on the market right now.
However it's carrying a bit of extra weight. The 23mm version (25mm is available too) it's 225g. Now that's not heavy by any stretch of the imagination, but race tyres are typically in the 200g or less category. As a result, it doesn't quite have the same rapid rolling speed that such top-end race tyres exhibit, but it's not far off.
If you want a fit and forget tyre that doesn't puncture all that often and is fast and grippy enough for racing, training and commuting, the Pro4 Endurance is very good indeed.
Fit and forget tyres that are still going strong 12 months in.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Michelin Pro4 Endurance tyre
Size tested: 23mm, black
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?
This tire was designed to meet the needs of riders who place the emphasis on endurance. Thanks to its reinforced protection against punctures and cuts, the MICHELIN PRO4 Endurance combines high performance with outstanding durability.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Its dual-compound tread is designed to ensure exceptional resistance to wear and enhanced grip when leaning through corners. The grey, yellow and red compound employed for the shoulders provides a very high level of grip on wet roads, while the compound used for the central part of the tread delivers greater protection against punctures and impact damage.
The combination of the 110TPI casing and bead-to-bead breaker ply ensures outstanding resistance to perforation and contributes to the tire's remarkable durability.
I've ridden them for over a year in all conditions, and the tyre is showing very little sign of wear. Neither is covered in cuts, slices or slashes. The sidewall is in very good condition today, suggesting without doubt it's a well constructed tyre.
This tyre really delivers on its promise. It's reasonably fast rolling but more importantly it shrugs of punctures and last a very long time.
The most impressive aspect of the tyre is how well the tread has lasted. It's covered thousands of kilometres and is still going strong. No reason for me to change them yet.
The tyre carries some extra weight over a top-end race tyre, but it's lighter than some tyres that are supposedly designed to be long-lasting and robust. Considering how puncture proof it is, it's not a bad weight really. You do notice the lack of rolling speed compared to race tyres though.
It's a reasonably firm feeling tyre but isn't harsh.
Tyres can be very expensive, and these are towards the higher end, but I think they're worth every pound, they're that good
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They delivered on their promise and surpassed even my most generous expectations.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The impressive wear rate.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A little bit sluggish.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A great fit and forget tyre.
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,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.