Enduro racing is in its infancy but growing fast. The shores of the French Riviera are both the birthplace and the beating heart of this
up-and-coming riding style. The Riviera is home to
thousands of vertical feet of rolling and technical
trails that are hundreds of years old. It’s also home to
arguably the toughest enduro race on the planet, the
Trans Alps, which pits racers against these amazing
trails in a six-stage cage match.
Michelins were the tires of choice for riders who
regularly made the podium when gravity racing first
took off in the ’90s. In recent years, however, they’ve
faded from the limelight. But, with expertise in building tires for everything from 2-million-dollar earthmovers to desert-racing Trophy Trucks to Supercross
bikes, there’s no question that these Frenchies can
make a rubber carcass grip dirt and grip it well. The
recent surge of interest in enduro racing has inspired
them to get back in the game. With the help of top-level riders like Fabien Barel and Pierre Edouard
Ferry, they designed this all-new line of rubber.
When they invited us to the epicenter of enduro racing to give them a spin, we simply couldn’t say no.
Balancing act: Designing a tire for
enduro riding is much more difficult than
for cross-country or downhill. The mix of
riding terrain means the tire must strike a
delicate balance between weight, rolling
resistance, traction and durability. The
tire has to be able to not only pedal you
to the top of slopes like this, but also get
you down them with control.
The architecture: By providing an additional layer of protection
across the entire carcass of the tire, Michelin has built their new tires
to be completely tubeless-ready and ready to handle the severe
conditions enduro riders and racers can throw at them. Regardless
which tread or rubber compound you choose, the architecture
33TPI carcass ply
Foldable armid bead