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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-27-12, 04:58 PM   #1
chaadster
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Quick Impressions of Michelin Pro Optimum tires 700 x 25

Well, between all the recent hype on sizing up to 25s, and the sad fact that my fitness level has decayed quite a bit in recent years, I figured it was time to replace my 700 x 22(f)/23(r) Continental Grand Prix Force/Attack set with some more forgiving rubber.

I chose the Michelin Pro Optimums (variously called Pro3 Optimum by some) with front and rear specific tires largely because they were pretty light for the size (IIRC, 215g front & 235g rear) but also simply because I wanted to try some Michelin tires.

With only a few easy rides and just a hair over 100 miles on them I can't really give a thorough review, but I think a few general observations may be helpful to others. As a note, I've been running these at 100-110psi.

First, they look, er, rather ridiculous. I guess it's just the rather plump profile that I don't care for, but I also don't think the all black tread and sidewall do them any favors. The bold Michelin graphics help I think, but they only did one per side, missing an opportunity there.

Despite the looks, I've gotta say they ride sweet (these are clinchers, to be clear), and were just the ticket for me. I was getting abused by the Force/Attack combo over these notoriously rough Michigan roads, especially since, at my 220lb weight, I kept them pumped up around 120psi.

The Michelins really soak up noticeably more of the rough stuff, which is itself a benefit, but it also seems that a side benefit is that I'm able to concentrate more on my riding rather than trying to avoid destroying a tire or wheel.

The 25s feel just as fast as the 22/23s, although I recognize that's purely subjective and unsubstantiated. They are not, however, as precise feeling as the narrower tires, and I do miss that more sporting demeanor, but again, I've gone from doing fast training rides in support of my MTBing to more distanced oriented cruising, so the trade-off is fine for me. For example, I'm looking to do a few of the bigger, organized group rides/tours around here, where the objective is simply to get out and ride rather than post a PB in TT.

So, for road rides the Pro Optimums are just dandy and transmit lots of feel. They have sporting ability, but I wouldn't take these out for a crit. I haven't ridden long or far enough yet to make any other meaningful insights.

Here's a pic of 'em on the ride:

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Last edited by chaadster; 05-27-12 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 05-28-12, 01:24 AM   #2
Mondo734
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If you dont mind me asking, what the price on those? I am looking for a set of slicks to put on my cross bike that currently has 700x33 small knobbies on it.
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Old 05-28-12, 07:42 AM   #3
chaadster
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Originally Posted by Mondo734 View Post
If you dont mind me asking, what the price on those? I am looking for a set of slicks to put on my cross bike that currently has 700x33 small knobbies on it.
I got mine from Tree Fort Bikes $45.99 per tire. That's a pretty typical cost, and I recall seeing them for less, but Tree Fort is a local shop so I like to do as much biz with them as I can afford to do.
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Old 05-28-12, 10:30 AM   #4
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A few other observations. As with most Michelin tires, they are true to nominal size, if not larger. On a 20mm rim mine measure 26+, on my 23mm rim 28mm in width. I've measured 30mm & 27mm on other bikes with 23mm rims. Tire grip is good and wear normal in cool weather, less grip and rapid wear in hot. Hard cornering on very hot pavement peels & splits the tread, and causes squealing, plus they produce a strong odor when warm. The sidewall is resistant to cuts, but the center tread slices easily. I preferred tire pressure on the low side.
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