Michelin “Wild Mud” 2.0″ 29″er Tires: Out Of The Box- by Guitar Ted
Recently we introduced you to another new Michelin tread for 29″ers- the Wild Mud. This 2.0″ wide tire is a specialist, and as you can tell by the name, it is aimed at those times when the dirt is less than solid. Let’s take a closer look at these tires….
As part of the Wild Series of tires from Michelin, the Wild Mud continues in the tradition of being a tubeless ready tire that conforms to the UST bead diameter and shape. The Wild Mud can also be used with tubes, of course. The tires are the typical, (for mud specialists), narrow in width and lower in volume. The idea is for the tire to cut through and shed mud, while contacting firmer ground beneath the mud. Also, the tread compound and design is optimized for traction in very loose, wet conditions.
We have seen several mud specific tread patterns at Twenty Nine Inches, but this example from Michelin has some unique details. The stepped and canted square blocks are intentional and grab the eye immediately when looking at these. The design is said to allow for better penetration into mud, (the steps), and for better self cleaning properties, (the twisted nature of the steps.). We see two centralized rows of these stepped and twisted blocks which are arranged so that they alternate from close together to further apart and then the pattern repeats. There are similar rows on the edges of the tire to compliment the center rows.
These tread blocks are claimed to work in a way which is unique. The compression of a rider’s weight and the driving forces make the tread blocks twist, and when the tire rotates a compressed section off the ground, these twisted blocks are claimed to “release” and go back to their original position. This mechanical twisting and releasing is why Michelin says the Wild Mud is a better design for clearing mud than any other.
The compound is one of Michelin’s top technologies and is called “Gum-X”. The specific compound used here is “Gum-X 55A”. Gum-X is said by Michelin to offer the best compromise of grip, rolling resistance, and wear characteristics. Specifically, this tire was optimized for grip in wet, muddy conditions and is for XC use. Furthermore, the “Advanced” casing technology reinforces the casing so the tire is safe to use as a tubeless tire with sealant.
The samples sent to Twenty Nine Inches weighed in at 640 and 650 grams each, (claimed 640 grams), and measured out at 49.0mm casing/ 51.0mm tread at the widest point. This measurement was taken with the Wild Mud tires mounted tubeless to the Deore XT wheels on test which have a narrow, 19mm inner rim width. Interestingly, the tires do not have the typical, (for the other Wild Series tires we have seen), squared off crown profile, as these seem more typically rounded in appearance.
Stay tuned for a First Impressions post soon.
Note: Michelin sent over the Wild Mud tires to Twenty Nine Inches at no charge for test and review. We are not being paid, nor bribed for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.