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michelin mud tires green sprint cyclo cross cyclocross cross vegas

Michelin Muds (GREEN) at Cross Vegas 2012!

Who doesn’t love the celeste beauties that were the Michelin Mud and Sprint tires from the early 2000’s?

These tires are becoming more and more scarce, and this is a very sad thing since their color is recognizable even a half-field over on a cross course, even when covered in mud and slop!

The pneus vert has a spot in everyone’s heart that has ever seen them. Check out these postings:

http://www.cxmagazine.com/bjorn-fox-worlds-raffle-michelin-green-mud-tires

http://crossjunkie.blogspot.com/2010/12/getting-evangelical-about-going-green.html

http://www.cxmagazine.com/bid-nos-green-michelin-mud-cyclocross-tires-auction

http://www.cxmagazine.com/michelin-mud-gree-cyclocross-tire-auction

michelin mud green tire

The Michelin Mud (v.1) has a review of 4.33/5 on RoadBikeReview: http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/wheels/tires-clincher/michelin/cyclocross-mud/prd_112167_2489crx.aspx

With the Michelin Sprint (v.1) having a 5/5 review: http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/wheels/tires-clincher/michelin/cyclocross-sprint/prd_112168_2489crx.aspx

CXMagazine.com has an obsession of showing how much these tires sell for on ebay: http://www.cxmagazine.com/green-with-envy-another-nos-green-michelin-mud-cyclocross-tire-auction

 

Take a look at this forum post on RoadBikeReview that talks about the reverence held for these tires!: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/cyclocross/michelin-green-tires-112014.html

Quotes:

“The green was a compound that has a cult following, myself included. Michelin will tell you that the new rubber is better I am sure.  Are they Mudds or Sprints? All green (inc sidewalls) or tan sidewalls? How is the tread wear? “

http://forums.roadbikereview.com/cyclocross/michelin-green-tires-30311.html

Quotes:

“Sorry I can’t help with a source, but I’d sure like to know if any supplier you find has the green Sprints…I’ve tried every online dealer I could think of, visited about 2 dozen local shops, Googled, all to no avail.”

“the 2s seem to hook up ever so slightly better than the 1s, but the 1s clear mud better. I like the 1s better. if you are consistently washing out the front tire it means your bike is under-stering. It generally means you weight is too far back. The closer your nose is to your front hub, the more weight is on your front tire. Experiment on a slick surface. At will you should be able to switch your weight on your bike where you can induce over-steer (your back tire washing out) and under-steer. Also, be very careful when using your front brake while cornering on slick surfaces. Your front brake is for slowing, your rear brake is for steering. That’s a really long way of saying the tires aren’t your problem.”

There is even a petition going with seven pages of posts: http://cowbell.cxmagazine.com/forum/topics/who-wants-michelin-to

michelin cyclocross tubular mud sprint

This is on a site where you have to register, wait for moderator confirmation, then sign up before being able to sign the petition! Dedication!

Many people finding remains of these legendary tires are not sending them to FMB (http://www.fmbtires.com/) to be glued onto a tubular casing, either for the specific purpose of being a tubular, or because the casings of the tires are dry-rotting.

http://cowbell.cxmagazine.com/profiles/blogs/ebay-warning-green-michelin-muds-on-dugast-casings?xg_source=activity

These are on Dugast casings: http://www.cxmagazine.com/green-michelin-mud-cyclocross-tire-more-than-dugast

michelin green mud tire sprint

Well, this is where you can do your part. Contact Michelin. http://www.michelinman.com/contact-us.page

You can also call them: 1-866-866-6605 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (M-F) 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Sat.) (Eastern Time)

I emailed them, received a quick message from an automated response unit, then another from a human. After this THEY SEND A SURVEY. Make sure you state that your inquiry or resolution has not been solved. They will call you. Speak to the person on the line and make it clear to them that they need to reissue these green tires.

The marketing lady I spoke to said that they need some consumer confidence before doing a pilot study, and if there is enough attention, they will forward their claims to the home office.

Do your part and spread the word!

 

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From now on, February 17th will now be known as International Tube Patching Day. This is the one day a year that you take all those punctured tubes you collected over the year, and patch the ones that are able to be repaired. This year, I had 13 tubes, 15 punctures (damned thorns during MTB rides always got me before I went tubeless)

The largest portion of tubes this year was Road, with eight tubes. Surprisingly, I didn’t have a flat since July… so I’m thinking I used several of these tubes on the cross bike too. There were three cross tubes, and two MTB tubes to count them all up.

Bicycle tube patching inner tube

inner tube repair patch

Instead of buying like ten of the little Park Tool patch kits, I ended up finding this, and it has lasted 2.5 years. http://www.dealextreme.com/p/bicycle-tire-tube-repairing-patches-with-glue-26263 Can’t beat it for $3.37 shipped.

 

Oh, also in international tube repair day, it is a good idea to perform some maintenance on your pumps, whether it be frame pump, floor pump, or mini pump.

At Trek’s price of $6.99 a piece, I theoretically saved myself $96.32. That’s a set of tires! See? It’s worth patching!

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This week is Tire Review Week. For our second review, we have the Hutchinson CX Bulldog Tubeless Ready Tire:

Road, mountain, bike, bicycle, cycle, cyclist, frame, wheel, racing, mail order, Michelin, sidi, continental, bell, giro, look, park, shimano, campagnolo, cervelo, zipp, Mavic, USE, Speedplay, Descente, Garneau, Lemond, Focus, Ridley, Stevens, Redline, Salsa, Litespeed, carbon, 700c, spoke, quarq, SRM, Powertap, Pearl Izumi, Castelli, Assos, Fox, Zipp, Ritchey, Boulder, Colorado, Time Trial, Triathlon, Criterium, Bont, Competitive, Price

Hutchinson has been making the Piranha and Bulldog tire for some while. In the past couple years, they have come out with yet another tubeless road/cross tire. This review is going to cover the Bulldog, but I am sure you could infer many of the same qualities to the Piranha tire as well.

I chose the Hutchinson Bulldog specifically for color. Yes, I wanted a gray cross tire on my bike, and it was either these or the Vittoria line of cross clinchers. The terrain in the West Virginia area can vary from mud, gravel (of all sizes!), tarmac, hardpack dirt, flat out rocky oil roads, or just cutting through farmland. If About the only terrain I have not experienced in this area is sand, and I’m sure I just haven’t looked hard enough for it.

I thought the tread on the tire would cause some rumbling sounds or rolling resistance issues, making the ride feel slower, on the way to our abandoned county roads or other offroad destinations, but this did not happen. Even with this tire being a tubeless tire, the casing is soft enough that the treads bow in on hard surfaces enough to still give a smooth ride. On less dense terrain, the knobs give a good grip, and the side knobs are angled perfectly for mud or gravel covered turns and descents. I feel these tires are real confidence builders on sketchy roads, and I never really doubt or overthink their ability to go over or through something.

Road, mountain, bike, bicycle, cycle, cyclist, frame, wheel, racing, mail order, Michelin, sidi, continental, bell, giro, look, park, shimano, campagnolo, cervelo, zipp, Mavic, USE, Speedplay, Descente, Garneau, Lemond, Focus, Ridley, Stevens, Redline, Salsa, Litespeed, carbon, 700c, spoke, quarq, SRM, Powertap, Pearl Izumi, Castelli, Assos, Fox, Zipp, Ritchey, Boulder, Colorado, Time Trial, Triathlon, Criterium, Bont, Competitive, Price

When I first received these tires, I attempted to set them up as its intended tubeless ready system on my Neuvation M28 Aero wheels. This completely failed. I could not get the tires to seat or bead, even when using an air compressor to inflate the tire. This was a very tedious and frustrating process that wasted a lot of my time, and resources (stan’s juice). I then attempted to seat them onto my Flit Letica wheels, where I had a little more luck, but the rear tire just would not hold air. I was doing little rides around the neighborhood two or three times a day, inflating the tires every two hours while awake, and they would just not stay how they should have. Call it tire failure or operator error, but to put it frankly, they really pissed me off during this process.

Eventually I decided to just set them up as a standard tire with a tube, and see how it went. A year later, and I have had two flats, both of them due to pinching, but the loss of air was never dramatic or dangerous. The tire stayed on the rim, and it was easy to remove to replace the tube.

Like I said, these tires were chosen due to their style and color, and I was very satisfied. They handle well, and are comparable to other clincher cross tires in price and well, tread pattern… The Hutchinson Bulldogs do tend to wear pretty fast. I have about 700 miles on these tires, and the center tread has been depleted. I’m sure I should get a new pair, but they still run well for most of my uses.

Road, mountain, bike, bicycle, cycle, cyclist, frame, wheel, racing, mail order, Michelin, sidi, continental, bell, giro, look, park, shimano, campagnolo, cervelo, zipp, Mavic, USE, Speedplay, Descente, Garneau, Lemond, Focus, Ridley, Stevens, Redline, Salsa, Litespeed, carbon, 700c, spoke, quarq, SRM, Powertap, Pearl Izumi, Castelli, Assos, Fox, Zipp, Ritchey, Boulder, Colorado, Time Trial, Triathlon, Criterium, Bont, Competitive, Price

These tires, being tubeless ready are significantly heavier than other cross tires. Coming in at 400g, they are portly, and you can feel it, but I think it is almost worth it due to handling qualities and lack of flats. My one last qualm about these tires is some kind of phenomenon where the casing seems to be blistering away from the inner sidewall. It is odd…. Like it is splitting or cracking. or… being over inflated (it isn’t! 60psi all the time!), or being overstressed in some way or another. The cracks concern me, due to my fear that little pebbles or glass shards are going to work their way in and give me flats. I haven’t contacted Hutchinson yet, but I plan on it. Hopefully this is just an isolated incident/atypical issue.

Road, mountain, bike, bicycle, cycle, cyclist, frame, wheel, racing, mail order, Michelin, sidi, continental, bell, giro, look, park, shimano, campagnolo, cervelo, zipp, Mavic, USE, Speedplay, Descente, Garneau, Lemond, Focus, Ridley, Stevens, Redline, Salsa, Litespeed, carbon, 700c, spoke, quarq, SRM, Powertap, Pearl Izumi, Castelli, Assos, Fox, Zipp, Ritchey, Boulder, Colorado, Time Trial, Triathlon, Criterium, Bont, Competitive, Price

Road, mountain, bike, bicycle, cycle, cyclist, frame, wheel, racing, mail order, Michelin, sidi, continental, bell, giro, look, park, shimano, campagnolo, cervelo, zipp, Mavic, USE, Speedplay, Descente, Garneau, Lemond, Focus, Ridley, Stevens, Redline, Salsa, Litespeed, carbon, 700c, spoke, quarq, SRM, Powertap, Pearl Izumi, Castelli, Assos, Fox, Zipp, Ritchey, Boulder, Colorado, Time Trial, Triathlon, Criterium, Bont, Competitive, Price

Road, mountain, bike, bicycle, cycle, cyclist, frame, wheel, racing, mail order, Michelin, sidi, continental, bell, giro, look, park, shimano, campagnolo, cervelo, zipp, Mavic, USE, Speedplay, Descente, Garneau, Lemond, Focus, Ridley, Stevens, Redline, Salsa, Litespeed, carbon, 700c, spoke, quarq, SRM, Powertap, Pearl Izumi, Castelli, Assos, Fox, Zipp, Ritchey, Boulder, Colorado, Time Trial, Triathlon, Criterium, Bont, Competitive, Price

Pros:

Grippy while still being fast

Very reliable (low instances of flats)

Moderately fast, even on road terrain

Color!

Cons: Kinda heavy

Cracks/Blisters in casing

Rating: 3/4

Company Product Info:

http://www.hutchinsontires.com/en/catalogue-route.php?fiche=bulldog-cx-tlr.php&univers=4&pid=20

BULLDOG CX
Terrain boueux Pluie

Lightweight, Traction & Grip

* Semi-slick
* Excellent lateral grip
* Flexible unique silver compound
* Ultralight 127 tpi casing
* Tubeless Ready = weight + performance + safety
* Tube type or Tubeless possible

Use: Cyclo-cross
Section: 700 x 34
Tubetype (TT) Tubeless (TL): TT/TL
Folding bead(FB) / Steel (SB): FB
Weight: 405 g
Color: Silver

Can be purchased at:

Excel Sports

BULLDOG CX

 

Lightweight, Traction & Grip

  • Semi-slick
  • Excellent lateral grip
  • Flexible unique silver compound
  • Ultralight 127 tpi casing
  • Tubeless Ready = weight + performance + safety
  • Tube type or Tubeless possible

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This week is Tire Review Week. For our second review, we have the ITS System 29 Cross Country Tire:

ITS Intense Tire Systems system 29er

Intense Tire Systems gave me a set of their moderately new System 29 tires to test out. These are 29′er cross country tires that come in at 2.25″, and weigh about 700g a piece. (Site says 698g) Their bulbous size, and moderately low tread are interesting, but how did they hold up?

First of all, the weight was noticable coming from a pair of weight weenie 2.0″ race tires, but luckily the center tread is slightly curved to lower rolling resistance. This profile being about 3mm high off of the carcass makes it a bit difficult to handle in poorly groomed terrain or mud, but does great on grass, road, and hardpack dirt. They are most definitely a cross country riding tire. I would like to compare them to Continental’s X King 29er Tire, or Schwalbe‘s Racing Ralph TL-Ready 29r Tire, but with the lack of major knob height.

The tires did hold air well, and even worked well as a tubeless system, but were probably the most difficult tire I have ever had to mount. I broke four tire levers attempting to get them off my Bontrager 29′er rim, and once removed (due to a major tubeless burp), I was not willing to attempt to put them back on. Even my LBS took twenty or so minutes to install them the first time on my wheels. Very, very frustrating… If you believe your rims have a history of being difficult to mount tires on, avoid these.

I put about 350 miles on the tires before removing them, and the center tread had reduced down to about 1.7mm in height. What does this mean? They’re one, maybe two season tires. You’ll get a year out of them if you are lucky.

Fortunately, they retail for about $33, or around half of what you will pay for one of the big boys’ tires! Is the low cost worth the one year? Sure.

The bulbous size of the tire makes for a very comfortable ride, but also does not feel as responsive as smaller tires do. I’m not sure this is either a good or bad thing, but it is another thing to consider when looking for what you want to buy. They also slip around in snow, and want to ‘float’ on top of it, and avoid finding friction.

I will have to say that they are very resistant to cuts or flats. I had one freak accident pinch-burp that left me stranded, but nothing else in the entire year I used them.  I was impressed with this attribute, and associate it with the strong rubber density compound used on the side knobs and carcass.

All in all, it is an interesting and low-cost 29′er tire with a few neat gimmicks. ITS hopefully will put out a few more 29′er tires or maybe the same in different widths to please more customers!

Overall Rating: 2.5/4 Stars

Pros:

Low rolling resistance

Great on groomed trails

Flat resistant

Cons:

Possibly too wide for a XC tire?

Low Tread height

You can buy the ITS System 29 Cross Country Tire here:

Universal Cycle

BikeMania

Company Product Info:

http://www.intensetires.com/itxc-29-225.html

System 29

System 29’s huge air volume makes it an excellent trail tyre, capable of tackling gnarly terrain with total confidence. The tread pattern provides low rolling resistance and plenty of hook up.

SIZE 2.25

PART#: ITXC-29-225

WEIGHT: 698 Grams

Folding Bead: By using a lightweight & Felxible bead we are able to reduce the weight of the tyres. They are also Easer to Handle and Store.

C3 Compund: Intense”s proprietary Cross Country Compound, provides excellent traction and durability.

SinglePly: 1 Ply Casing refers to layers of reinforcing fabric in a tyre. 1 ply tyres are constructed with a single fabric layer for fast rolling and lightweight tyres.

LSG: Low Specific Gravity rubber compound is used to reduce the weight of the tyre casing.

 

Part 1 – Torelli Arezzo Open Tubular Tire

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This week is Tire Review Week. For our first review, we have the Torelli Arezzo Open Tubular Tire:

torelli arezzo open tubular handmade tire 700c 700 x 23 torelli tubular paris roubaix challenge grifo michelin review

Torelli sent me a set of their Arezzo “Open Tubulars” last summer to test them and give them a review. By open tubular, this means that the carcass is very similar to a handmade tubular, but has a bead on both sides/does not have the tube stitched inside. The tread is glued to the carcass when fully inflated, so it holds a very round shape when pumped up.

torelli arezzo open tubular handmade tire 700c 700 x 23 torelli tubular paris roubaix challenge grifo michelin review

The weight of these tires are very light for being handmade, and the casing cloth is supremely supple due to it’s 260tpi thread count. (207g, 205g) I ended up wanting to inflate these tires 10psi higher than my suggested weight/terrain would expect, just due to the fact that they ran so smooth. The tread and casing of the tire ate up tiny bumps in a way that a 25mm tire would, but with it’s 205g/23c size profile. The sidewalls are bare polyester with just a smidge of rubber covering them, and were no more susceptible to punctures as any other race tire, e.x. Michelin Pro 3 Race’s. The cloth right under the tread has a single layer of aramid protection above the cotton casing. This does not change the way the suppleness of the tire conforms to the road, and protects just as well as any other race tire.

torelli arezzo open tubular handmade tire 700c 700 x 23 torelli tubular paris roubaix challenge grifo michelin review

About 1100 miles into my review, I had a blowout on the rear tire, where a perfectly placed nail caught the sidewall and blew out the wheel instantly. The beads kept the tire on very well, and I was able to slow down to a stop with little or no trouble. I do not have anything bad to say about this, since it would have ruined any other tire in the same situation. I’m just glad it stayed on my rim, and did not fly off or get caught up in my drivetrain or frame!

torelli arezzo open tubular handmade tire 700c 700 x 23 torelli tubular paris roubaix challenge grifo michelin review

After this incident, I switched the front tire to the rear, and put on one of my previous tires for the front. This tire failthfully lasted through another 700 miles of the rougher terrain that WV had to offer, including rides that should have been for the cross bike… I finally stopped using this tire when the tread was worn down to the carcass in a single spot I skid-stopped on unintentionally several hundred miles earlier.

The tires roll fast, are as grippy, if not grippier than some of the big named tire companies, and just feels so plush. Seriously, watch out… you’re going to want to over inflate these…

torelli arezzo open tubular handmade tire 700c 700 x 23 torelli tubular paris roubaix challenge grifo michelin review

All in all, for the price of these tires, there is no doubt that I enjoyed them. Flats were rare, grip and rolling resistance was equivalent to any other premium tires I have used, and they really did smooth out the little bumps like a tubular or larger tire does.

Would I suggest these as everyday tires? Yes, but only if you are knowingly willing to accept that they will not last as long as say, a Conti Gatorskin or Michelin Krylion would. 1800mi on a handmade tire is pretty darn good, and especially at the quality and price that Torelli serves them at.

Overall Review 4/4 Stars

You can buy these at the following locations:

Smart Cycles

AirBomb

Company Product Info:

http://torelli.com/tubes-tires-maintenance/tires/arezzo-open-tubular.html

Torelli “Open Tubulars” are vastly superior to regular clincher tires in feel and performance. An open tubular uses the same technology and materials as a high-end sew-up with the convenience of mounting on a clincher rim. The casings threads are not woven and because of this, they have very high thread counts and are very supple and strong. This makes for a fast, good-handling tire. The tread compounds are designed to stick to the road for excellent cornering.

* Weight: 205 grams
* Lighter, more flexible casing
* Casing thread count: 260 threads per inch
* Color: black or classic honey side wall
* Casing material: polyester
* Size: 700 x 23
* Bead: folding aramid
* Pressure rating: 100 – 130 psi

P.S. they do look very similar to Challenge’s handmade open tubulars~

PART 2 -ITS System 29 XC Tire

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