Trying to discern the differences between two tyres based on one ride and by feel alone might as well be a fool’s errand. Your backside is barely sensitive enough to detect variations in tyre pressure from one wheel to another, let alone accurately gauge grip levels and rolling resistance without serious time in the saddle.
To their credit, Michelin recognise this. So when they invited the cycling press to ride their new Power Competition tyre at the launch and experience the reduction in rolling resistance it’s said to deliver, a clearly defined test procedure was devised so quantifiable comparisons could be made. If you missed our earlier report from the Power launch, the Power Competition is one of three new tyres from Michelin, along with the Power Endurance, designed for sportive and long distance riders, and the All Season, which has improved grip levels.
The test took place at Michelin’s Ladoux Technology Centre near Clemont-Ferrand in central France, the same place where the new range of Power tyres were designed, developed and officially unveiled.
Inside the Technology Centre is a wide variety of machinery for studying tyres under controlled conditions but the Ladoux grounds also contains 43km of test tracks specifically created to test every possible aspect of tyre performance, from breaking on wet or dry roads, to high-speed cornering and noise levels.