First impression: Michelin Pro Optimum 700x25c, 215gr, 240gr tyres
I bought a set of "Michelin Pro Optimum tyres". They are fairly new and only one ebay shop in the UK had them in stock. On top of that they are expensive too and come at around £70 a pair. Although German sellers started to offer them for €60 a pair, but after considering exchange rates (Euro to Pound) and credit card fees (Bank of Scotland charges a lot into a foreign currency) and shipping costs I would have ended up at £70 any way.
I haven't had a chance to ride them in and around Edinburgh. However, some observations. First if we want to believe the marketing fuzzies within Michelin: the front tyre has a magic rubber compound similar to the Pro3 Race grip tyres intented to increase the grip while steering the road bike. In contrast the rear tyres is heavier with additional puncture protection in place and engineered for longetivity in mind to keep rubber wear at bay.
The official UK Michelin customer service replied to my inquiry regarding wear and according to them: a) they do not have any figures yet since the Optimium tyres are new on the market and b) they expect the tyres close to the Michelin Krylions when it comes to wear.
a) They are not a genuine 25 mm. They only measure 24 mm and are similar in size to my Vittoria Pro 700x25c. To get an idea: my Specialized 700x23/25c Roubaix measures a true 25 mm and even strechtes as far as 26.5 mm which gives a huge appearance on my wheels (Mavic Ksyrium Equipe) and are really huge in comparison to the Michelin 700x25c Optimums.
b) The "structure" of the Michelin Pro Optimum is similar to my Rubino Pro: sidewalls are thin and it seems to be the case my Specialized Roubaix 700x25c has a lot more rubber left even though it already has 3000 km in it and shows no sign of wear.
c) Minimum recommended inflation pressure is 5 bar and max is printed as 7.5 bar on the side walls. My Roubaix 700x25c list 8 bar min and 8.5 bar max.
I am not saying I feel cheated but being a bit disappointed yet and would have had expected a "true" 25 mm from Michelin. I haven't had a chance to weigh them though. In light of this I am happy that they are smaller because I haven't had a closer look on the tyre weights whilst ordering them and only later found out that the front wheels only will weigh around 215 gramms which would seem a wee low for a "true" 25 mm.
Now lets wait for the weekend ride and if they are gonna deliver. And lets pray that they did not roll out from the same factory where shitty Schwalbe tyres are produced.
Thanks for the writeup.
Overall I have found Michelins to be fairly true-to-size, but, perhaps to get in on the weight-weenie competition, they seem to have been dropping a bit.
I had a bike that would fit a putative 25mm Vittoria, but, not a 25mm Michelin, at ~90psi.
Have not seen the Optimums at any LBS stateside, yet.
Originally Posted by Argentius
In defence of Michelin: I did not measure the width with a true caliper instead have been using a simple ruler. However, it simply looks much smaller on the wheel in direct comparison to the Roubaix 700x25c. Maybe it is fair to say that they will definitely not go beyond 25 mm on the rims. I have heard rumors that the old Pro2 Race or Kyrlions 700x25c have more in common with a 26 or 27 mm tyre.
The sizing was one of the reasons why I have spent £70 on a new set of tyres. There are still good deals on ebay and you could grab a pair 700x25c Pro2 Race for £30 or so. However, I thought if they measure more than my Specialized 700x25c I would be in for a dilemma. I have haerd stories that the older Michelins 700x25c measure up to 27mm in some cases (depending on the rim and wheel)
I have also heard that newer incarnations of Michelin tyres are now more in line with actual standard sizes.
BY THE WAY: the Optimums look rather cools on the bike. I like the fact they are black throughout and sport an eye-catching Michelin logo on the side walls.
Update, after 3200 km
A quick update to the Michelin Pro Optimums. I logged now 3200 km on it on rough Scotland roads. I often ride on country lanes with lots of potholes and bad surface and no tarmac at all. My journey always starts from the city of Edinburgh and often there is no way to swerve around potholes .
a) The tyres hold up really well. I am amazed the side walls look like new.
b) After 3200 km the rear tyre starts to square off.
c) I just had only one flat along my 3200 km. All this happened after about 230 km on my second century ride. Since then no flats at all.
d) The tyres only show small cuts.
e) I have to admit they are 26.5 mm. I first thought they are 24 mm. However, after using them on a new Ritchey fork I have learned they are true 26.5 mm (tyre clearing is only 2 mm each side) as we are used from Michelins.
f) I think the tyres will easily last another 1000 km or 15000 km.
g) However, they are way too costly. I have never seen the pair at below £65.
h) I broke my time trial record by nearly 5 minutes (1hour 12 minutes as opposed to my all time record of 1hour 17minutes on rear Specialized Roubaix 23/25 and front Vittoria 24mm). However, I think this is due to my focused intervall training this year and I removed 2 spacers putting me into a more areo position. Although, the tyres are not slow I guess.
i) Probably just pure imagination. However, since they start to square off I am under the impression the ride becomes more soft and plush. I now pump it up full 7.5 bar instead of the 7 bar I am used them to ride.
Would tyre clearing on my new fork be a bit larger say 3mm on each side I would no doubt buy me another set. However, at the moment I am thinking of buying Krylions (25mm rear and 23mm front).
Because of the crappy surfaces around Toronto, I've been starting to use 25mm tires, and they really make a difference. I think I'm going to pick up a set from Ribble - $38 Cdn each looks pretty good when my friendly local LBS is charging $68 with tax for PR3's.
Thanks for the writeup.
edit. Ribble have another 6% off promotion at present.
Last edited by bikerjulio; 07-05-2010 at 12:05 PM.
ruh-oh, thread bump
Funny. I recently got a decent cut in my (front tire) Rubino sidewall and went out to get a replacement. Performance conveniently had a 25c PR3 Optimum front on their clearance table, set at the same price as a new Rubino. Snagged it, and of course ended up here.
Now I'm going to look like a moreon with my Vittoria decals on my fork. Well, the rear is still a Zaffiro.
Looks don't matter as you are dropping them off your wheel and you fade in distance to 'them"
Originally Posted by Ventruck
them=the people who care to much how a bike looks and forget to ride hard
It's a fire road.............
I'm on a road bike..........
They have enough in common to blast down it.
I have these tires on my 2010 Giant Defy Advanced 2, stock tires, have the bike 3 weeks now. Find the tires to even out the constant buzz from the chip seal that our streets are LOUSY with here in the Boise area. Feel very grippy and have cornered rather fast with them, they also held the road rather well in heavy rain, well, heavy for the high desert area. They do not, however, hold up very well when you run over a flathead driver bit for a drill. My recomendation is not to run over bits.
In case you don't know what chip seal is, in an "effort" to resurface the roads and avoid fixing or repaving, our cheap ass local government lays down a toxic spew of oil sludge on the exsisting road surface, drops a ton of pebbles on top of that and then dumps more sludge on top of the pebbles. It's a dream to ride, walk and drive on.