Michelin Trials Competition Tire

Performance Traction X11 Bias Ply, Radial

Posted by Brad

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Michelin X11 Trials Competition TireTypically used by low-geared trials bikes to aid their near-acrobatic stunts, the trials tire has gained a new popularity in the last five years or so. Someone stuck one on a motocross or enduro machine somewhere and right away figured out they had more traction than they'd ever experienced before. This tire hooks up. It hooks up so well in fact that it's been banned from most extreme enduro and EnduroCross races.

Michelin offers their Trials Competition tire in bias-ply or radial versions. While the bias-ply is good, the radial is better, relative to degree of traction. The more flexible sidewalls of the radial allow for more flexion of the tread, and this in turn puts more surface area on whatever you're rolling over. More surface area covered equals more friction/traction. The price difference for radials is slightly higher, but not prohibitively so.

While I sing a song of praise for these tires, they do have some limits. If you're going to be riding through lots of deep mud, trials tires aren't much help. Also, they come apart on pavement. On a dual-sport ride one day, my partner kept thinking he was picking up gravel as dark chunks steadily whizzed by his ears. What happened was that the knobs from his trials tire were peeling off and ejecting. After about 50 miles of road that day, nearly all the tread had come off of his tire.

For off-road use, these tires last a long time and on most terrain they stick amazingly well. I was skeptical until I rode a bike with a trials tire on it, and was instantly impressed to the point of buying my own.

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