Wednesday, September 12, 2018

New Tire Day

The Tamland Two mounted up with Michelin Power Gravel tires.
Tires. I have been drowned in a pile of tires over the years due to my reviewing gig. The very first thing I ever reviewed publicly was a set of tires, and tires kept coming around here ever since then.

But sometimes you see a tire, and for whatever reasons, the chance to review them doesn't come up. In those cases I purchase tires, and I have bought a LOT of tires over the years. These newest ones here are the Michelin Power Gravel 40's which I had seen earlier in the year.

They were intriguing for a few reasons. First was that I have liked a lot of Michelin tires over the years starting with those green rubber mtb tires they used to make in the 90's. I had those on my old Bontrager Race. Then I was also impressed with their 29"er tires, and there were several models I liked. So, when I heard that they were doing a "Power Gravel" tire, despite the goofy  name, I was intrigued. I ordered a pair up through the shop where I work.

Like I said, I get a LOT of tires through here, and when tires show up, I am always interested in how the different companies do their point of purchase retail packaging. (Nerd alert!) Since I've been in retail, I've seen many strange, smart, and goofy ideas for the presentation of product. Tires usually, these days anyway, come on thick plastic cards which the tire is wrapped over, or through a slot in the card, usually secured by a zip tie. It used to be that high quality tires came in a box. Not anymore, unless you get the Power Gravel tires. They came in a box! Old school!

Unusual for tires these days to come in a box.
I suppose other tires come in boxes yet, but I don't see that as often as I used to. Anyway, the Power Gravel looks a lot like a G-One Schwalbe tire. Little, triangular knobs all across the carcass only here they are bordered by "squashed hexagonal" shapes. The G-One doesn't have any side knobs. I rode G-Ones briefly once and wasn't impressed. They were thin, too rounded in profile, and too narrow in the version I got to test. Michelin makes a 35mm Power Gravel, so I stayed away until the 40's came out. They mounted up to measure 42+ mm at 40psi. Nice!

My initial take is that these are a stiff tire. The Protek puncture protection belt in these is the reason for that. Typically that sort of thing kills the ride quality. I had to back off from my typical pressures to start feeling the tire "work" for me. I will say they are fast! That's not always the case with puncture protection belted tires, especially bead-to-bead belts like the Protek one in these tires. So, a mixed bag so far in ride feel. I'll keep working on pressures to see if I can't get them to work better.

I'll have a full review series on these for along with supplemental material from N.Y. Roll. He got the 35's earlier this year and has about 700 miles on a set. So, look for that to start soon.

Yeah, I've always like wheels and since I like wheels you have to like tires as well. Wheels are pretty much useless without them. Tires are the only thing connecting you to Earth when you ride a bicycle, so they are pretty darn important. I guess I take a bit of a special interest in tires and wheels, but I also know I am not the only one. Lots of people argue, debate, and are passionate in many ways about tires.

Regardless, "new tire day" is a good day in my opinion!

1 comment:

S.Fuller said...

The last set of Maxxis tires I bought came on a card and they were each wrapped in their own little drawstring bag or backpack (I'm not sure what to call it). It was cool at first, but then after I thought about it, it seemed a bit excessive. Cardboard boxes will definitely pack better in a case.