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Eurobike tech: Michelin’s Pro4 tire line

Nick Legan takes a look at Michelin's long-awaited Pro4 clincher

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2011 Eurobike tech: Michelin's Pro4 clinchers
Michelin's current tubular, the 21mm Service Course, is produced by an outside party to Michelin specifications. It isn't imported to the U.S. but Michelin has a Pro4 tubular in the works that we may see next year. Photo: Nick Legan © VeloNews

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (VN) — Michelin has finally produced the replacement for the venerable Pro3 road clincher, called, of course, the Pro4. This may not be huge news for many of you, but I personally loved the Pro3 and can’t wait to test the new Pro4. Much like the tire it replaces, the Pro4 isn’t a single tire but a line of four models: the Pro4 Endurance, the Pro4, Pro4 Comp and Pro4 Comp Limited.

In that order the continuum goes from long-wearing tires to higher performance versions. Each tire uses dual compound treads and feature a new more crowned cross-section for better rolling resistance. The Pro4 was three years in the making and involved over 350,000 kilometers of testing.

The Pro4 Endurance tire uses the same 110 tpi casing as the Pro3, but with a tread compound that the company claims lasts much longer while offering the same grip as the Pro3 Race. It is available in 23 and 25-millimeter widths, three colors (gray, red and yellow), weighs 225 grams and sells for $70.

The Pro4 uses the same casing as the Endurance, the 110 tpi carryover from the Pro3. But the Pro4 gives up a bit of longevity in search of better grip. Weight is a svelte 200 grams. It will come in 20, 23 and 25 millimeter sizes and sells for $75. It will be available in six colors.

The Pro4 Comp uses Michelin’s new 150 tpi casing, the new tread and includes a nylon, high-density breaker to increase puncture resistance while keeping the tire supple. The Comp is 10 percent lighter than the Pro3 Race at 180 grams but corners up to 16 percent faster in the wet. It sells for $80 and is only available in a 23-millimeter width with blue, red and black as color options.

The Pro4 Comp Limited is the special-event tire in the line and replaces the Pro3 Light. It uses the same 150 tpi casing as the Comp, but Michelin forgoes the nylon breaker and uses a thinner tread. It offers the lowest weight (165 grams) as well as the lowest rolling resistance in the line. Michelin recommends the Limited for time trials and the 23-millimeter offering is the only size available. The black-only Limited will cost $80.

A Pro4 tubular is in the works and we may see it next year. Michelin currently produces a tubular, used by some teams, but it isn’t imported to the U.S.

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