The Michelin Pro4 Endurance is an excellent fit-and-forget training tyre which strikes an impressive balance between rolling resistance, puncture protection and grip.
The Endurance is one of five tyres in a Pro4 range which also includes the Comp Limited Service Course, Comp Service Course, Service Course and Grip. It’s designed, as the name suggests, “for riders seeking endurance and longevity” and is based on the old Krylion tyre. Before we kick off, we found the tyres to be a tight fit and it takes some patience to get them on, but there’s a lot to like once you do.
Winter/training tyres should first be reliable – it’s no fun standing at the side of the road repairing punctures – but also have enough life in them to inspire you riding and not feel completely wooden. The Michelin Pro4 Endurance hits a sweet spot which balances both.
It’s not as fast as a racing tyre – there are other tyres in the Pro4 range and elsewhere that take care of that – but nor does it feel dead under foot. The Endurance carries a little extra weight over the Service Course (a claimed 225g and 245g for a 23mm and 25mm tyre respectively, compared to 200g and 215g for the Service Course) and so that has a little impact on rolling resistance and acceleration, but it’s still a lively tyre – faster than what you’d normally call a winter tyre – and one that can be used for commuting, training, club runs and sportives with no worries.
The Pro4 Endurance is a dual compound tyre which uses a harder, more durable rubber on the centre of the tyre, which spends the most time in contact with the tarmac, and a softer, more supple rubber on the shoulders (the grey bits on our tyres) to improve grip when leaning the bike over. There’s also a bead-to-bead breaker to offer additional protection against cuts and punctures.
That’s where the Endurance really prospers. While there’s a certain amount of good fortune involved when it comes to (whisper it) punctures – it depends on the roads you ride, how you ride them, and plain old luck – our test tyres are virtually cut-free, nor have we experienced a puncture after approximately 700 miles during a wet winter which has seen no shortage of debris washed onto already pot-holed lanes. Of course, you’d expect to get significantly more miles out of a set of tyres, but we’re off to a good start and will report back if that changes.
The Endurance is a fairly firm tyre which skips over the surface of a bumpy road a little more than a more supple rubber, but it’s by no means harsh. Wet weather grip is also good. We can’t stand up Michelin’s claims for a 15 per cent improvement in grip over the Krylion but we’ve been impressive with the Endurance’s ability to remain rubber side down compared to other puncture-resistant training tyres which can suffer when the road’s slick.
We should mention at this point that we’ve been riding the Pro4 Endurance in its 25mm guise and we’d recommend you do the same. It’s the sensible choice for a tyre like this, offering a more substantial contact patch with the road, plus you can run the tyre at a lower pressure. Michelin recommend anything between 73 and 109 PSI, depending on rider weight.
Add the Pro4 Endurance to your shortlist if you want a reliable, fit-and-forget training tyre which provides impressive puncture resistance and durability without giving too much away in speed.