Me duelen las nalgas
Join Date: Aug 2015
Bikes: Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel, Motobecane Mirage
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Check out Michelin Protek and Protek Cross tires. Both have chevron tread, more pronounced than the Marathon Supremes, for better grip off pavement. Both have a 1mm Aramid fiber puncture shield.
Bike Tires Direct and other discounters often sell Michelins for about 2/3 or 1/2 the price of comparable Schwalbes so they're a good value too.
I've ridden a set of Michelin Protek Cross Max for about 15 months. Excellent all around tires, but heavy with their thickest chevron tread and 5mm puncture shield. They grip well on wet and oil-slick pavement (the kind of stuff typically found at heavy traffic intersections and parking lots), gravel roads, grass, slippery paved turns with loose sand and pea gravel. Remarkably smooth rolling on pavement despite the heavy tread and puncture shield.
I've ridden the Protek Cross Max off any path or trail on open fields and pastures, grassy levees, up and down dry dirt hills (no trails), with only a little slippage in dry conditions on steep slopes. Only time they've let me down was in soaking wet black gumbo mud deceptively covered in rye grass. I failed to notice the ground cover changed from native prairie, with good root structure, to a recently disturbed patch of soil seeded with winter rye to minimize topsoil runoff. Winter rye has no significant root structure, so the tires quickly packed up solid with slimy black gumbo mud. Probably would have happened with even the best knobbies. I washed the goo off in a nearby stream.
Not a single puncture flat on the same roads that have flatted every other tire I've ridden (Specialized, Innova, Continental), some multiple times in a month during the worst of the dried out goat head grass burr season, and roads with lots of broken glass and construction debris. The Protek Cross Max tread has been slashed down to the yellow Aramid shield in a few places, but nothing has penetrated. If the slashes were more than 1/8" long I filled them with Shoe Goo, which lasts for weeks or months depending on mileage and conditions. No accelerated deterioration or wear where glass has slashed the tread.
The regular Protek and Protek Cross tires should feel lighter, smoother rolling and still offer some advantages over Michelin's Urban and similar lightly treaded tires with just shallow sipes, if you're needing more traction off pavement.
One drawback to the more pronounced chevron tread: When you look at the photo illustrations you'll see squared off shoulders where the tread abruptly stops. Good for digging in off pavement. But this will feel squirmy at first on tight turns. So if you get any tires, regardless of brand, with that design, practice turns carefully before heading into traffic and taking a fast left turn in a busy intersection. I've never skidded, but I could feel a bit of tread squirm the first few rides.
If that's a problem the lighter tread regular Protek and Urban tires might be better. But they probably won't be better than the Schwalbes you already have. The tread appears very similar.
Last edited by canklecat; 04-17-17 at 06:08 PM.