Editors Note: Yeah, yeah…..another year end review! Tis the season! So, here are my favorite things that have passed through the Twenty Nine Inches review process during the past year. I want to point out a few parameters that I used for what I chose here.
1. The product had to be in the review process during the time period of December 2006 through to the end of November 2007. Reviews that are currently in process I did not include and will be eligible for my 2008 Top Ten list.
2. They had to be products or bicycles that I personally used during this period. Nothing any of the other Twnty Nine Inches staff reviewed on their own could be considered for my list. This list doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone but me, Guitar Ted.
That said, let’s get on with this……
Number Ten: The Michelin XC AT 29″er Tire. This tire was a surprise entry into the 29″er tire ranks in 2006 and I didn’t get my hands on these until late in the year. This is a tread design that is supposed to be an all around good tread for general XC use on 29″ers.
Why it makes the list: I was super impressed by the mud shedding abilities that this tire has. It is without a doubt the best mud shedder I have ever ridden either in 26 or 29 inch sizes that was at least 2 inches wide. Without having the time nor desire to change out the Michelins, I found out they perform just fine in really rocky, loose terrain as well.
My Two Cents: This tire works great in the mud and holds its own on other types of terrain. However; its width is a bit on the narrow side, which is a shame. Michelin really should beef up the width on this tread to 2.3 inches and make it a tubeless ready tire while they are at it. That said, this tire should be on your short list for soft, muddy conditions where maximum tire clearance, toughness, and mud shedding abilities are called for. Its fairly light, long wearing, and the tread blocks are stiff. I recommend it and chose this tire to be on this list for the mud shedding abilities alone. The rest is a bonus.
Look for #9 on the Top Ten Favorite 29″er Products of ’07 tomorrow.