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  1. #1
    Senior Member coolboarder's Avatar
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    Michelin Pro 4 Endurance - first test

    So the Pro 4 Endurance were fitted for the first time this Sunday and in the interests of a fair comparison with Pro 4 Service course, which is as fine a tyre as it is possible to get, I tested them on the same wheels, same pressure, the same bike, in similar weather conditions on the same roads as the Service Course the previous day.

    So how did it go? First: immediate impression was a noticeable sluggishness compared with Service Course on heavy roads and slight drags and on acceleration. A couple of times I even looked down to make sure the tyre wasn't going flat so much was the feeling that I ridden into some treacle. This difference surprisingly wasn't as evident up the steepest hills but then they're always a struggle so maybe the percentage difference wasn't as great. This can be readily put down to the 25 gm increased weight penalty over their lighter brethren and the tougher construction adding both revolving weight and increased rolling resistance. On smooth flat roads there was no noticeable difference which is to be expected and I had more confidence on really broken roads and gravel but whether this was psychological because I know they're tougher or a real quality I'm not sure. At the end of the ride my average speed was about 0.5 mph slower than if would have been with Service Course which associated with decreased riding pleasure is significant. This clearly is not a definitive test and many miles of adverse winter weather will be negotiated before I give a longer term report. On the upside I rode 60 miles on them albeit on largely dry roads but some with very poor surfaces and with frequent patches of muddy gravel and detritus washed onto them by the recent heavy rain, and purposely road down an unmade road/bridleway, yet on examination there was not a single mark on them, apart from mud they were still as if they'd come straight out of the box.

    In summary I don't think these are fit and forget tyres, the loss of performance was noticeable enough for me to prefer not to ride on them all the time as I'm not one who deliberately wants to make winter riding harder, I still want to enjoy it as much as possible. They will stay on a set of wheels for commuting and really adverse conditions and the Service Course will still be in use on days the weather is not too bad. I would have to experience a full winter without a single puncture or skid on a wet road to justify the loss of performance and make me even think of changing my mind.
    It doesn't matter how many times you fall down, its how times many you get back up that count.

  2. #2
    Senior Member coolboarder's Avatar
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    Bump. I'm really disappointed that no-one is interested in my piece of scientific evaluation. I shall go home and cry now.
    It doesn't matter how many times you fall down, its how times many you get back up that count.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Fevmeister's Avatar
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    Ill help you out haha
    I'm happy with my 4s race service course, the endurance versions don't make sense to me - I can't see a use for them

  4. #4
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    I had some 3s (200g) and after about 800miles they punctured and split so I had to replace them - I switched to Vittoria Rubino pro 3s (225g) a much better tyre IMHO (2 punctures in 1700 miles). I can't say I noticed the extra 25g but I did switch to using Continental supersonic tubes (50g) at the same time.

    A friend also had some 3s that lasted about a 1000 miles - multiple punctures and sidewall splits. He's been riding the Pro 4 Endurance for about 2000 miles and finds them much better. No punctures... ...so far. He did not find the extra 25g of great significance.

    I guess it depends on conditions, miles, your riding style etc.
    Nick

  5. #5
    Senior Member Fevmeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickdodo View Post
    i had some 3s (200g) and after about 800miles they punctured and split so i had to replace them - i switched to vittoria rubino pro 3s (225g) a much better tyre imho (2 punctures in 1700 miles). I can't say i noticed the extra 25g but i did switch to using continental supersonic tubes (50g) at the same time.

    A friend also had some 3s that lasted about a 1000 miles - multiple punctures and sidewall splits. He's been riding the pro 4 endurance for about 2000 miles and finds them much better. No punctures... ...so far. He did not find the extra 25g of great significance.

    I guess it depends on conditions, miles, your riding style etc.
    Nick
    heretic

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fevmeister View Post
    heretic
    Maybe - I find the choice of new tyres is always difficult. I look at reviews and comments on the web and talk to people - the result is always confusion.

    I can only conclude that the conditions and the rider weight & style have a large affect on choice. I tend to ride on country lanes rather than main roads (more pleasant but a lot more grit and muck and roads can often be wet/damp). Average rides are 30-40 miles. I weigh approximately 10 st 4ib. Cyclist that ride mostly on dry main roads or powerful riders who weigh more could have a very different view on tyre performance.

    Also when comparing tyres temperature/wind/humidity would all affect rider and tyre performance. I can go out on two days and ride the same route and have more than .5 mph AVS difference - and sometimes its the day I feel slower (that feels harder) I end up with a higher AVS. That is on the same bike with the same tyres...

    I'm sure the Michelin Pro 4 Service course are excellent tyres - not sure how you would objectively compare them with other tyres. Any one with a spare set I'd be happy to give them a go!

    Just another thought - do tyres take a while to 'bed in'? Is there an initial stiffness in the tyre wall that will become more compliant after a few miles? Anyone know?

    Just a few thoughts
    Nick

  7. #7
    Senior Member coolboarder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickdodo View Post
    I had some 3s (200g) and after about 800miles they punctured and split so I had to replace them - I switched to Vittoria Rubino pro 3s (225g) a much better tyre IMHO (2 punctures in 1700 miles). I can't say I noticed the extra 25g but I did switch to using Continental supersonic tubes (50g) at the same time.
    I have used Michelin tyres from the day dot (we're talking 45 years here) and always found they performed at a superior level to their immediate competitors and each reincarnation is better than the last.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickdodo View Post
    I can only conclude that the conditions and the rider weight & style have a large affect on choice. I tend to ride on country lanes rather than main roads (more pleasant but a lot more grit and muck and roads can often be wet/damp). Average rides are 30-40 miles. I weigh approximately 10 st 4ib.

    Also when comparing tyres temperature/wind/humidity would all affect rider and tyre performance. I can go out on two days and ride the same route and have more than .5 mph AVS difference - and sometimes its the day I feel slower (that feels harder) I end up with a higher AVS. That is on the same bike with the same tyres...

    Just another thought - do tyres take a while to 'bed in'? Is there an initial stiffness in the tyre wall that will become more compliant after a few miles? Anyone know?

    Just a few thoughts
    Nick
    My test was as controlled as possible with the same roads and weather conditions and I felt at the same level physically both days. You're right that the odd fraction of a mph is probably not statistically significant over that length of test but the feeling of sluggishness was very apparent nonetheless. I am the same weight as you Nick and do the same riding as you on lanes, maybe the average ride is longer, but I've found Pro 3's and 4's to be long lasting, grippy and puncture resistant, they tend to cut up a bit but still resist complete penetration. I have wandered from the straight and narrow and used Vittoria, Continental and Hutchinson from time to time. I didn't like the ride quality of the latter 2 and found Conti's puncture prone but I have nothing but praise for Vittoria, indeed I swear by their tubular tyres when racing, but the clinchers are a bastard to get on and off Campagnolo rims. Clearly these things are subjective to a large extent and a one off experience is no real test but over the years the fat roly poly man's products have suited me well.

    The old pros used to keep their tubs for a while to allow them to 'mature' before they used them but I don't think that really applies to modern materials and certainly there should be no 'bedding in' period.
    Last edited by coolboarder; 18th October 2012 at 1:50 PM.
    It doesn't matter how many times you fall down, its how times many you get back up that count.

  8. #8
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    Coolboarder,
    I've noted before your liking for Michelin - if when I am next looking if I find some 4s at a good price I might try some and compare with my Vittorias. I might have been unlucky with the 3s I had (as I have been unlucky recently with the front rim of my wheels!). You are certainly convinced of their quality and I admit that when I first had the 3s I thought they were excellent. They just didn't last!

    Keep up the testing - see if the Endurance versions improves in your eyes after a few outings - or maybe not!

    All makes for a bit more interest. Hope the weather improves so I can get out on the bike tomorrow.

  9. #9
    Senior Member coolboarder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickdodo View Post
    Coolboarder,
    I've noted before your liking for Michelin - if when I am next looking if I find some 4s at a good price I might try some and compare with my Vittorias. I might have been unlucky with the 3s I had (as I have been unlucky recently with the front rim of my wheels!). You are certainly convinced of their quality and I admit that when I first had the 3s I thought they were excellent. They just didn't last!
    It depends on what you expect from a tyre. Longevity is not a huge issue for me, I'm by no means a rich man but I don't have an issue with changing tyres every 2-3000 miles because that is at least as long as Pro 3 and Pro 4 have lasted before the tread is worn too low, the sidewall starts to crack or there are too many cuts. My over-riding priority is ride quality followed by a reasonable degree of puncture resistance, I don't think anything beats each evolution of Michelin Pro series for the former and a couple of punctures a year for each set of tyres (I run 3 wheelsets regularly, shod with these) is acceptable for me. As said Vittoria Open Pro are IMO the equal of Michelin in every respect except fitting onto Campagnolo rims. Pro 4 is a noticeable improvement over Pro 3 in terms of cut resistance and my Pro 4 Service Course lasted the whole of last winter and the wet summer with very little marking, I had some Pro 3 Grip the year before last and they cut to pieces probably due the softer compound designed to erm....grip better in the wet. I notice Michelin don't make a similar offering in Pro 4 so they probably realised it was a mistake. As said we'll see how the Endurance go but at the moment, like Fevmeister has said, they seem an unnecessarily bomb-proof version.
    It doesn't matter how many times you fall down, its how times many you get back up that count.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mike the bike's Avatar
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    Aaaahh, methinks the man doth protest too much.

    As my father told me all those years ago, a poor vet' is as rare as unicorns' feathers.


    And now back to tyres:

    I may have mentioned before that I shall celebrate my retirement by building a steel-framed beauty using only the components I really, really want. And having devoured all the reviews I really, really want Schwalbe Ultremos. In fact I have already bought them and they are hanging in the garage, looking very mean and purposeful.
    Does anyone have any opinions on these boots?

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