Something different in terms of ride feel
Some of the fastest EWS racers helped develop these Michelin Wild Enduro. They’re end specific, with different treads and construction per wheel.
The front uses a sturdy 3-ply 66tpi casing and comes in two compounds including Magi X2 rubber here, which is a more expensive, firmer, race-specific blend, rather confusingly designed for ‘expert riders’, whatever that means? The rear is sticky, Gum X3D only in a 3-ply 33tpi carcass with an extra pinch protection bead insert. Both tyres feel bombproof and proved tough and puncture proof, but the front lost air gradually on the same wheel as other test tyres.
The aggressive front tread is very spaced out, with a significant gap between the (3mm or so) alternatively offset edge blocks. The rear is a more densely packed with lower profile, sharp and pointy tread blocks and inflates quite tall.
The combination feels secure and planted in the dry on rough rocks and gravel, but in damp, steep and dark, UK woods, we had some reservations. On certain surfaces (clay and greasy loam), the gappy edge blocks feel hard to gauge traction on really leant over, and the spiky knobs (or casing) can feel pingy and nervous on wet edges and roots. It’s also a harsher ride over repeated stutter bumps and rutted braking holes on entrances to steep turns. In a crude bumpy fireroad roll-down test on each tyre, this Michelin rolled slowest too, which backed up the slightly draggy feel pedalling round.
After fiddling fork damping settings to suit the tyre’s slow rebound character, in certain areas, the Wild Enduro feels super calm and assured and you can push it extremely hard, but there’s still some twitchy behaviour occasionally that’s hard to pinpoint or isolate. We’d like to try the softer, GUM X3D, front tyre to compare the different compound, as these Wild Enduros offer something different to most brands in terms of ride feel.