Michelin Pro Race 4 Service Course Tyre Review
Michelin Pro Race 4 Service Course clincher tyre review
Fast, grippy, robust and durable
Posted 10 September 2012
Words by Richard Hallett
Uh oh; I just found a cut in my rear Michelin Pro Race 4 Service Course tyre. No real worries; it’s a tiny one and the tyres have until now treated the sharp objects native to the Surrey Hills with disdain. But it’s still a surprise; these tyres rarely get cuts.
This should reassure anyone familiar with the cut resistance – or lack thereof – of high-end Michelin clinchers of the past, but there it is; in this respect the Michelin Pro 4 Service Course is a massive improvement on the old Pro 3 Race. In fact, it’s a massive improvement all round. If Michelin’s previous road clincher was never better than a worthy alternative to the opposition, its replacement is a geniune class leader.
For most performance cyclists, the Pro 4 Service Course will be the mainstay of the Pro 4 range. Introduced in 2011, the range comprises four models differentiated according to tread compound and/or carcass construction. The Service Course shares its 110tpi carcass with the mileage-orientated Endurance and its tread compounds (it has two) and tread profile (it’s pointed – or, rather, egg-shaped) with the faster Comp and Comp Limited tyres. Sort of combining the affordable carcass with the decent rubber, as it were.
According to the manufacturer’s figures, the Comp Service Course rolls 7% better than its predecessor, so it’s fair to assume a similar improvement like-for-like for the plain old Service Course, which also gets an anti-puncture breaker belt incorporated into the carcass.
Perhaps as interesting is rolling resistance is cornering grip, especially in the wet. The Pro 4 Service Course compound grips like the proverbial, wet or dry. What proverb’s that, then?
The one about sticky stuff and blankets, or something. Whatever, Michelin’s grands fromages took pains at the tyre’s launch in Clermont Ferrand to convey just how well these tyres stick to wet tarmac. They even persuaded some poor chap to don motorcycle leathers and ride around in decreasing circles on a soaking skid pan until one or the other let go. Outriggers saved him from a fall, which makes one wonder at the need for leathers…
Anyway, he could lean 6.5 degrees further and corner 3.6kph faster on the Pro 4s than on the old Pro 3 Rain, which means, for those with any sense, a greater margin of safety in such conditions. Indeed, so secure is the tyre in the rain that Michelin-sponsored pros have been known to swap their tubulars for the clinchers in wet conditions.
So, overview over, what more’s there to say about the tyres? For starters, they easily live up to the promise. They scored equal fastest in a CTR roll-down resistance test, show barely any wear and just the one small cut mentioned after some 1000 miles, have yet to puncture and really do grip amazingly well. The sidewalls of our ivory-white test pair still scrub up well when soiled. They ride well, in that they offer a comfortable ride without any sensation of sluggishness. And they are available in lots of colours. In short, they are simply great tyres.
Michelin Pro 4 Service Course £30.00; Black, White, Digital Blue, Dark Blue, Ivory, Pink and Red, 700x20c, 23c, 25c