4 months of riding the Pro4 Service Course clincher and we are most impressed, perhaps enough so to say this is the finest clincher tire on the road right now.
Road bike tire reviews are almost as subjective as pie tasting, everyone comes away with a different opinion but in the case of the Pro4 there are a number of very real benefits we felt when riding these tires.
No flats, great grip in wet or dry and smooth rolling. Sounds great but where is the proof? We don't have proof but we have a strong opinion. Michelin have however put the Pro4 range through some real world tests and have come up with some interesting facts about the Pro4 that are consistent with our pie tasting contest results.
Michelin went as far as to develop a three wheeled bike to test lateral grip and patent the design of the bike. They also came away with two findings about what makes a tire fast that are quite to opposite to conventional logic. Softer and wider is faster than harder and thinner. Has mostly to do with vibration between the tire and the road surface but the experts at Michelin are recommending 23-25mm and 90-116psi for most road cyclists when common logic has 19-23mm and 120-140psi as the fastest combination.
The Pro4 Service Course tire has a tread pattern with a center section that looks very much like a Moto GP tire. Not a surprise given Michelin have been developing Motorbike tires for decades and cross pollination of technology is something Michelin are very proud of. The sharp point of the tire was for us what made the tire great but at the same time brings it down a little. The shape profile improves rolling resistance in a straight line and offers more contact when leaning into a corner but once the rear tire starts to wear the point flats out and does exactly the opposite. Great performance when new, great overall mileage but a considerable decrease in performance as the tire wears.
The Pro4 range is well though our with Michelin offering the Pro4 Service Course(200g) in the middle for racing/training and the Pro4 Endurance(225g) for longer miles. For pure racing applications Michelin offer two lighter tires the Pro4 Comp(180g) and Pro4 Comp Limited(165g) that offer a more supple road feel with lighter weight but less flat protection.
No cuts and no flats was a big plus for us on our test but like any tire bad luck could have you flatting as you roll out the driveway and fall victim to last nights last beer bottle dropped on the driveway.
All in I expect we can at least agree on this "Life is too short to ride bad tires" try out the Pro4's and we expect you wont' be disappointed.