Michelin and Continental both used Eurobike to introduce new models of popular tyres in their existing ranges.
New from Michelin were extra grippy and tubular versions of the French firm’s Pro4 tyre, while Continental’s Attack Force and Comp Force front/rear tyres are now available in tubular models. Conti also unveiled the new Grand Prix GT clincher and the long-awaited CycloXKing tubular.
Michelin’s Pro4 range was unveiled in mid-2011, replacing the Pro3 ‘racing’ series and the Krylion Carbon ‘performance’ model and promising a tyre which is “capable of going more quickly” after three years in development and 250,000km in testing.
Four models made up the initial Pro4 range but that’s now been expanded to six. The Michelin Pro4 Grip pictured above promise 15 per cent more grip on wet roads than the already grippy Michelin Pro4 Service Course, the all-rounder of the range, thanks to a new tread pattern, in the shape of a ‘4’ no less, on the shoulders of the tyre. The tyre also has a new and unique gum mix which expands the contact area with the ground to further improve grip.
Needless to say, this is a tyre for wet weather riding, through winter perhaps, and Michelin have also improved puncture protection by a claimed 20 per cent, again compared to the Service Course, thanks to an aramid reinforcement ply which now covers the entire rolling surface.
The Service Course was reportedly the tyre of choice for the Michelin-sponsored AG2R-La Mondiale team when riding in slippery conditions last year but the introduction of a Tubular version of the Pro4 has removed the need for them to switch to a clincher.
The tyre, used by the team at this year’s Tour de France, is said to offer a five per cent reduction in rolling resistance compared to Michelin’s Boyau tubular, while maintaining the level of grip associated with the Pro4.
Meanwhile, Continental’s Attack Comp and Force Comp 22mm front/24mm rear combination is now available as a tubular pairing. The clincher tyres remain in the range but shed approximately 20g in weight due to a revised tread profile.
The streamlined GP Attack front tyre is designed to offer lower rolling resistance, while the wider GP Force rear tyre is built for traction and handling. Both use Conti’s excellent Black Chili compound and have a Vectran puncture protection belt for additional protection against flats.
There’s also a new clincher in Continental’s 2013 range, the Grand Prix GT. Like the Michelin Pro4 Grip, it’s one for winter riding thanks to three layers of puncture resistant belting, plus it’s only available as a 25mm tyre, so it should offer a little more comfort.
Finally, the Continental CycloXKing tubular, which has been doing the rounds as a prototype for a while now, is now in production. Again, it uses the Black Chili compound, with a tread pattern based on the X-King mountain bike tyre (with tall shoulder lugs for grip on loose and wet corners).