This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
With the first few pedal strokes you can tell the Power Competition is a light, fast tyre. It's impossible to quantify something like rolling resistance based on feel, but the sensation of quality race tyres is tangible — and quite evident with Michelin's latest clincher.
I tested the tyres on a Giant Propel and deep Profile Design carbon clinchers, which stacks the deck a bit. But the tyres feel great when accelerating and at speed.
The tyres use a new rubber compound that Michelin is calling Power Race.
- Highs: Light and grippy with good road feel
- Lows: Too early to tell with only 80 miles ridden
Pumped to 95psi, the tyres' grip was tenacious. Michelin had Team Elevate guide a group of three journalists on a rollercoaster stretch of road northwest of Austin, Texas, which offered a nice variation of hard, tight turns over sharply undulating tarmac. With the Propel set to my normal measurements, I felt right at home, happy to dive blindly through any corner on the locals' wheels.
Three of us took a second ride from downtown Austin that included a fair amount of glass- and debris-strewn highway shoulder. We didn't flat here, but one rider did flat later when doing a little urban adventuring back in town and smacking a curb. That could be put down to rider error, or just dumb luck.
Michelin claims that the Power Competition saves 10 watts of power over the company's PRO4 Service Course, the current top-level race clincher. Michelin bases this claim on tests done by third-party tyre specialist Finnish Energy. Michelin claims this could save a rider 85 seconds over 40km at 35kph with a total bike/rider weight of 70kg (and an unspecified CdA). Claimed weight is 195g for a 23mm tyre and 215g for a 25mm model.
Can I verify this? No. The new tyres do feel supple and fast, better than previous Michelin iterations that favoured durability over all-out speed.
Michelin could be providing more data on the tyres soon, including some power-based testing with journalists, but for now, the three test journalists in Texas and even Team Elevate weren't allowed to keep the tyres. Michelin says this is because there are still very few in existence, and samples will be coming soon.
Michelin also claims that the new Power Competition has better puncture protection than the current PRO4 Service Course.
The Power Competition will be joined by Power Endurance (in 23, 25 and 28mm widths), the Power All Seasons wet-conditions tyre, and, in North America only, the Power Protection+ that appears to be a gravel tyre.
UCI Continental squad Elevate Cycling has been racing Michelin clinchers only for three seasons now as a US pro team with success. Elevate rider Heath Blackgrove won the Rouge Roubaix gravel race on Michelin PRO4 Endurance clinchers, an event where simply not flatting is key.
We will be updating this review as soon as we receive a sample set of tyres and get some more miles on them. If you have any experience on the current Michelin PRO4 tyres, positive or negative, we'd love to read about it in the comments section below.