The Michelin DH22 2.4in tyre is one of a trio of Michelin's latest gravity tyres that also includes a dedicated mud tyre.
The Michelin DH22 tyre is geared more to soft and mixed conditions than the Michelin Comp 34 we tested previously, but also rated for all-round use – it even appears to be Sam Hill’s favourite EWS tread choice, often on bone-dry European mountains.
All three use a non-folding wire bead and tough DH Shield casing with multiple plies, so overall weights are hefty. The complicated sidewall construction sees up to four fabric belt layers, as well as a pinch flat- protecting bead bumper and full wrap-around puncture resistant webbing. I have never punctured or damaged a Michelin DH tyre yet, and extra weight is the price we have to pay for such care-free performance.
Atop this sturdy foundation are pointy, squared-off knobs with slightly offset (alternating) edge blocks. The reasonably spaced-out tread pattern is similar to a Wild Enduro, albeit with smaller gaps between the edge knobs, so leant over grip is much more consistent. The sticky Magi-X DH compound is Michelin’s slowest rebounding; to the point it almost smears, rather than slaps, on the ground in a very damped manner.
As such, grip levels are ridiculous, and the tyre never ever pings or fires off edges or roots. You can vaguely feel the taller DH22 blocks conform and squash a fraction more than the 34 knobs, but the flipside of this is they cut more effectively into looser surfaces.
Grip and tyre stability are unquestionable then, to the point there’s arguably even more friction and damping than Maxxis’s Maxx Grip rubber. But, and it’s a big but, this comes at the expense of rolling speed and the DH22 is an absolute dog to pedal uphill on an enduro bike.
The 1.5kg of weight at each end is a lot to drag against gravity anyway, but add in the rubber leaching itself to smooth fireroads and tarmac and you have a tyre that really doesn’t want to roll over. Great if you’re on a fat-reducing diet, or trying to save on brake-pad wear in an alpine bike park, but not so good if you want to maximise runs at your local UK spot or explore big pointy, rocky hills in places like the Lake District.
This slow rolling speed also has an impact on mellower trails with jumps in them, as gaps and tabletops are much harder to clear and mates much harder to chase. If you want unbelievable levels of grip, Blu Tack-like-damping and a super-tough tyre for the hardest terrain, the Michelin DH22 increases security and delivers rock-solid performance, but, unless you’re uplifting, you’ve got your work cut out.