Michelin Wild Grip’r (2011)


The Michelin brand makes a new market entry with three different ranges of tires:  the Sport, the Performance and the Pro. I had the opportunity to test the Michelin Wild Grip’r that belongs to the Performance range and is a serious competitor for the Continental, Schwalbe or Maxxis tires.

The Grip’r Wild tire fights on equal terms with tires like the Schwalbe Nobby Nic, the Maxxis Ardent or the Continental Mountain King. Regarding weight, Michelin manages to keep up with products offered by renowned German manufacturers but in terms of costs it is invincible. Compared with the competitors mentioned above, the Grip’r Michelin tire is offered at a price 20-40% lower. Of course, a way had to be found for these new products to impose themselves. And that criterion is price.

I wanted to see if the Michelin Wild Grip’r tire faces competition thanks to other qualities besides price. The route chosen was a mountain track, gravel-sprinkled here and there, and a few shallow river crossings. It is not a competition tire, but manages to provide a more than decent grip, to be noticed especially in cornering on dry track.

It doesn’t have the same grip as the Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires or the Continental Mountain King tires, but it works well. If it comes to gravel paths, it doesn’t give the same performance, and if you ride at greater speed, the bike becomes unstable on cornering. To increase grip on gravel paths, you have an effective yet not very happy solution: to lower the tire pressure.

Also, you shouldn’t worry too much if you run at a lower pressure because the Michelin Wild Grip’r tire offers a pretty good puncture protection. This means that if you hit the edge of larger stones, you have all chances to ride further without running the risk of having a snake bite.

Tire self cleaning ability is acceptable. It depends very much on the type of mud you sink into. If wet mud goes away as the tires roll, consistent mud will keep stuck to the rim for some time. The surface is quite soft and the running speed is acceptable: it is neither the fastest nor the laziest tire in the world. In addition, it doesn’t make a great noise while rolling, not like the Schwalbe Nobby Nic, in any case.

Michelin Wild Grip’r comes in various sizes. I rode the 26 x 2.10 model, but extremes are represented by the 26 x 2.00 (with a weight of 575 grams) and the 26 x 2.40 (with a weight of 850 grams) models.

In conclusion I can say that the Grip’r Wild is not as Wild as the name tells us, but it keeps the balance between quality, grip and price. Therefore, it will be a serious competitor for German manufacturers and we recommend it to mountain lovers and want an effective and inexpensive (28 euros) tire.

Weight: from 575 grams

Overall score: