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  1. #1
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    Michelin Wild Grip'R 29er Tubeless Ready -- Long Initial Review

    It can get expensive replacing Schwalbe Racing Ralphs so I wanted to try something new, something less likely to break the bank. Enter the new 29" tubeless ready Michelin Wild Grip'r2. Was able to pick up two for ~the price of one RR (~$70) at ebikestop and through some extensive searching found a weight of ~740g. Mine came in closer to 720g...heavier than RR but the hope is that will transfer into better durability.

    Mounting: Son of a B!#% that was hard. I could mount RR by hand and by going crazy on the floor pump, I could get them to mount without a compressor. In fact I would get the bead to set, let it sit for a day and it would still be holding air before putting in sealant (same experience with Ikons). Unfortunately I needed a tool, make that two tools, to mount the Michelins. The first was really tough. Then second I had to double check to make sure it was not a 650b tire because there was no way it was going on the rim (Stans Arch EX). Finally, after warming up the tire a bit, and after a lot of frustration, swearing and a fit of rage, it finally went on.

    Sealing: Used soapy water on the sidewalls and pumped them up with a compressor to 40psi. The bead started popping in and I continued up to 50psi with a floor pump. In a couple hours the tires were flat, but whatever. Added sealant the next day as I was going to use the rear on my SS the day after. Did the shake a bake and the side resting tricks to seal the tire. Unfortunately it was still loosing some air and was flat the next morning for my ride.

    Riding: Well, I had no other tire readily available, and as hard as it was to get this tire on, no way am I taking it off to add a tube, so I pumped it up ~45psi (hoping that would keep it from flatting to quickly and went off for ~42 miles (6600' climbing) in semi-slick conditions (my front tire is a 2.35 RR at 18-19psi).
    I must say that the tire held pretty well. I spun out a couple times on some wet, loose gravely steep sections and maybe once on a slick section, but anything might have. With a much lower pressure, I am sure they will grip even better.

    Volume Etc: The volume is good for a 2.25. I don't have calipers but it seems slightly larger than the 2.25 RR I was using (closer to the 2.35 RR). The side nobs make it a tougher fit than the 2.35 RR (of course, 45psi can make a difference). I am planning on my next ride using both front and rear tires @ 23-25psi. They are directional with the tread reversed on the rear...though it looks like the rear would be fine run either direction.

    I will report back after my next ride.


    Here it is with the 2.35 RR, then below with a 2.25 RR
    Michelin Wild Grip'R 29er Tubeless Ready -- Long Initial Review-michelin-n-2.35-rr-2.jpg

    Michelin Wild Grip'R 29er Tubeless Ready -- Long Initial Review-michelin-n-2.35-rr.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Michelin Wild Grip'R 29er Tubeless Ready -- Long Initial Review-michelin-n-2.25-rr.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Thanks for the review. Did you have the advanced tire or just the regular? It is funny, I had one tire (wild grpr'2 advanced) that mounted easily (26" tires). The other, was a bit of a pain to get on. Also took a while to finally hold air (with stans) but is now good. I also should mention that I run both tires in the "front" direction. So the rear tire is the opposite of what Michelin recommends. I would recommend trying it but with the trouble of getting the tire mounted, I would not bother! (:
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Thanks for the review. Did you have the advanced tire or just the regular? It is funny, I had one tire (wild grpr'2 advanced) that mounted easily (26" tires). The other, was a bit of a pain to get on. Also took a while to finally hold air (with stans) but is now good. I also should mention that I run both tires in the "front" direction. So the rear tire is the opposite of what Michelin recommends. I would recommend trying it but with the trouble of getting the tire mounted, I would not bother! (:
    I just have the regular model. When I purchased them, the only advanced models (110 tpi/GumX compound) were in the 29x2.0. I forgot to mention that a few days after the ride my tire had lost substantial air, and after a couple weeks it was flat. I re-inflated both tires, did more shake n bake and after 24hrs they are holding air fine (I use 2.5 ounces of Stans). As long as they hold air for long days in the saddle, I will be happy. I am glad to hear they will likely seal up better with use (I thought that might be the case).
    I agree with mounting both tires the same direction. I have read that many riders do this with the 26" model. After riding it for a bit I may give it a go as the tire may be more workable (or I'll wait until it is in the 90's outside), but for right now, I don't want to think about taking it off as I like my fingernails where they are.

  4. #4
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    So I went out for another ride...this time with the tires in the front as well as the rear. I started with them both at 25psi (tubeless) and off I went. The ride started on the road and I must say I was impressed with how fast they rolled down to the trial head.
    Ouch! Now on the trail...I did not realize just how much that 2.35 Racing Ralph cushioned the trail (@~18psi). I was getting beat up on the first rocky/bumpy downhill (Manzanita-Stagecoach in case you are familiar). After climbing up to the Forest Hill Divide Trail I let out some air and settled on ~21psi front and ~24 rear (still worried about burping). This was sooo much better. Did a partial loop and eventually bombed the confluence downhill (as bombing as a 40+ guy on a rigid SS w/strange tires can). Let out one more psi from each before starting the final climb up Stagecoach (2 miles, 720') then another 1.3 miles on pavement back to the car. For those that don't know, the first stretch of Stagecoach is a bit of a challenge (first 200-300 meters), especially after a decent ride when the legs are a bit tired; and on a SS, one spin out means hoofing it a bit until you can get back on with some traction. I must say that I flew up that first section with no problems. The tire started to break free a few times as I stood and pedaled, but with putting my weight farther back, I kept traction and even with a bad line the tire made that steep, loose, gravely, sometimes slick section with no problems. Overall I must say that I am very pleased. Now it was only one ride (~24miles, ~4000') so I cannot speak to the longevity, but so far so good.

    Edit: forgot to mention...most of the trails were in pristine condition on Saturday, so on the flowy stuff almost any tire might have seemed great. I tried to take the worst lines whenever possible (over roots, slick rocks, loose gravel spots rather than groomed spots) just to test the tire. The front is very predictable and holds well and the rear is very grippy on slick hardpack as well as loose over hard.

  5. #5
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    I don't know if it is me getting used to the tires or what, but their traction seems to be getting better and better the more I ride them! On yesterday's ride, we had about a half an inch of snow and I really tried to push these tires. I tried climbing out of the saddle to get them to loose grip but, within reason, they held great. The key is to make sure to find the right pressures. For me, on 26" rims, 28lbs is it.

    I am also convinced that the tires get wider once they are on the rim and "stretched a bit". Sounds crazy but I swear they look wider now!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    I don't know if it is me getting used to the tires or what, but their traction seems to be getting better and better the more I ride them!
    maybe all the mold release wore off

  7. #7
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    I just mounted my Wild Grip'r 2's up the other night(29x2.25 non advance). I mounted them tubeless on Mavic Crossmax wheels without any problems. They have even held air for the last two days without sealant which I will add in the spring when I start riding. I will be sure to post a review!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by YETI_NH View Post
    I just mounted my Wild Grip'r 2's up the other night(29x2.25 non advance). I mounted them tubeless on Mavic Crossmax wheels without any problems. They have even held air for the last two days without sealant which I will add in the spring when I start riding. I will be sure to post a review!!
    Nice. Did you mount them in doors? Or did you at least not let them sit in a cold garage for two months before mounting? I think that might have been part of the issue. Rims can also come into play, but I also had a set of C29SSMAX wheels and I recall also not having any problems with Ikons or RaRa's on those either...would have kept that wheelset if not for one fatal flaw...they weren't white.

    Been on a few rides now, and I must say that I am impressed with the volume and grip. I think I have settled into ~22psi for the rear (rigid hardtail...keeping the 2.35 Ra Ra up front). Still, after a few more rides, these will be front and back on my wife's bike (my backup) at it has front susp (going with ~23psi front).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by S.O.B. View Post
    Nice. Did you mount them in doors? Or did you at least not let them sit in a cold garage for two months before mounting? I think that might have been part of the issue. Rims can also come into play, but I also had a set of C29SSMAX wheels and I recall also not having any problems with Ikons or RaRa's on those either...would have kept that wheelset if not for one fatal flaw...they weren't white.

    Been on a few rides now, and I must say that I am impressed with the volume and grip. I think I have settled into ~22psi for the rear (rigid hardtail...keeping the 2.35 Ra Ra up front). Still, after a few more rides, these will be front and back on my wife's bike (my backup) at it has front susp (going with ~23psi front).
    Yup, I mounted them in a heated basement. How do they roll? I cant wait to try them!! Here are some pics I took of them installed.

    Michelin Wild Grip'R 29er Tubeless Ready -- Long Initial Review-wg1.jpgMichelin Wild Grip'R 29er Tubeless Ready -- Long Initial Review-wg2.jpgMichelin Wild Grip'R 29er Tubeless Ready -- Long Initial Review-wg3.jpgMichelin Wild Grip'R 29er Tubeless Ready -- Long Initial Review-wg4.jpgMichelin Wild Grip'R 29er Tubeless Ready -- Long Initial Review-wg5.jpg

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by YETI_NH View Post
    Yup, I mounted them in a heated basement. How do they roll? I cant wait to try them!! Here are some pics I took of them installed.
    The first start of many of my rides is ~1.3 miles on pavement. I was impressed with how they rolled to the trail. Definitely did not seem any slower than the RaRa I normally used. The tread seems to be a good combo of grip and rolling resistance...maybe kinda like a Kenda Slant 6 (another tire I have tried) but with superior grip IMO.

  11. #11
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    The Wild Grip'R 29x2.25 is my new favorite tire, the Racing Ralph and Nobby Nic wear out much too fast. The sidewalls also are fragle+cost twice as much as Wild Grip'R. These tires perform there best at low pressure 22 lbs for me with no tubes juice.

  12. #12
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    After all the great reviews, they look great, weight is good, longevity seems to be there, I went out and got my Grip'er and Rac'er 2.0's set up.

    I have never had such a hard time getting tires on a rim before. In a heated house. I will take off and put back on a few more times to see if that helps the ease of installation but if they are not quick to change, they sadly will not be my race day tires.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by WickedLite View Post
    After all the great reviews, they look great, weight is good, longevity seems to be there, I went out and got my Grip'er and Rac'er 2.0's set up.

    I have never had such a hard time getting tires on a rim before. In a heated house. I will take off and put back on a few more times to see if that helps the ease of installation but if they are not quick to change, they sadly will not be my race day tires.
    I would keep them on the bike for a while and ride them. They will stretch out a bit and will make taking off and putting on much easier.The tires will also get a little wider as they stretch as well. I had this occur with my Michelins and was told it was normal.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    I would keep them on the bike for a while and ride them. They will stretch out a bit and will make taking off and putting on much easier.The tires will also get a little wider as they stretch as well. I had this occur with my Michelins and was told it was normal.
    Thanks Vespasianus.

    I did read some reviews saying they were hard to put on before I purchased them. I just figured people must have been installing incorrectly. Wrong I was. I kept looking to make sure I had 29ers and not 26ers because I couldn't believe the complications I was having. I contacted Michelin. They said they never heard of these tires being a little tight and made no suggestions as you have. So Thanks again.

    I'll leave them on and hope to enjoy. Everything else about these tires sounds like they are on the money.

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    I'm getting ready to put the 29x2.25 Race'r on the rear, I have the Grip'r 2.25 on front now for 1 month. The weight of rear Grip'r was 704g, and the Race'r was 731g that just goes to show how tire weight can really vary. You would think the Race'r should be lighter.

    I got so used to just removing the stem core, and using my compressor with rubber blow nozzle, the burst of air seats them in seconds. This would be hard to do at a race I know!! For me though they seal right up with not much bubbles at all around bead.

    Another good thing is how true they spin when mounted, no up&down or side to side wobble. Just like Mich. auto tires, my 2 cents!!

  16. #16
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    O.k., here is the end to my initial review. The tire continues to be a solid performer on nearly every surface, but maybe sand. I am using it as a rear tire on my back-up bike (Niner SIR9 1x9), and have no complaints. Well, maybe one complaint. I cannot get over the tough installation on my Stans Arch EX rims. I have read about (and experienced) some tires being more difficult to install on certain rims, and this is obviously the case (maybe I should have held onto my old C29SSMAX set). I have installed many tires in my life (no newb) and most I can roll on by hand; not the case with these Michelins. I have broken three tools installing (or removing) these tires. After trying to mount another for a rear tire (and breaking my third tool) I gave up, took the one installed bead out (that was no easy chore) and went back to a Scwhalbe. Installed the RaRa by hand with no problems. I have decided the ease of install is worth the extra dollars. I could just imagine being in big endurance event, getting a flat, and using every ounce of energy to install a boot/tube. Looks like I will be sticking with Schwalbe.
    Looks like I will be selling that Michelin to whomever wants it.

  17. #17
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    The reason is that the Stan's rim has a larger bead seat diameter than usual. Further, it's not necessarily that the Michelin tire's diameter is smaller than schwalbe; rather it's bead is less stretchy. I bet the michelin tire fits fine on a UST rim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
    The reason is that the Stan's rim has a larger bead seat diameter than usual. Further, it's not necessarily that the Michelin tire's diameter is smaller than schwalbe; rather it's bead is less stretchy. I bet the michelin tire fits fine on a UST rim.
    You may be on to something. I am running them on 819 UST rims and they went on pretty easy.
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  19. #19
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    I really like these tyres, although I ride 26" non advanced with tubes (bite me). Right now I'm riding them reversed thread rear wheel as the manufacturer suggests. Though the rear tyre has more grip and is more stable, I feel it has a lot more rolling resistance. I think I'll switch to front/front config. as before. The tyres were a PYI to mount on my WTB rims but not because I couldn't get them on, but because they were too loose. They would constantly fall off until inflation.

    As for the handling. The tyre is predictable and tends to give a warning before completely sliding in a turn or a climb (Unlike Continental Mountain Kings II) It grips really well on hardpack and loose over hardpack although I wouldn't suggest them for wet roots. The handling is swift and lively, although it might be cumsy on wet wood. I wouldn't classify them as the lightest and the grippiest, they give a great run worth their money.

    Would recommend? Yes.
    Would buy again? Maybe... but there are so many other tyres to test out!

    Hopefully my post will be useful to at least some of you.

  20. #20
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    I put on and took off a couple times but I finally gave up putting these TLR Advanced Grip'r and Race'r on for my 29 TLR CarboCambers.

    As much as the rubber feels grippy and the treads are just my style, they are just crazy crazy tight to put on and there is no way I'm changing a tire like that come flat time, in a race let alone trail riding. I couldn't add sealant because I would have to lay wheel flat to crank that tight tire lip on. I took to the LBS for the third install and they couldn't do it. I just wanted to ride them and hopefully that would stretch them as Vespasianus suggested but I can't be clear how crazy tight these are. I'm going to try on my Havens and see if they work but those aren't my race wheels at 750g+ more than my Carbos.

    I picked up an Ardent and Ikon 3C.

  21. #21
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    The Ikon now comes in 29x2.35, I just put the Ikon 29x2.2 on rear and the Igniter 2.1 exo on front. At 575 and 574 grams you can really feel the weight difference between the Mich Wild Grip'r. It 's only one ride so far, but now that the trail is getting dry the Maxxis tires seem to be the ticket.

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    fwiw getting off the topic a little but since several people are having trouble with tight tires and difficult mounts. I had a lot of trouble getting a pair of 29er conti X kings to mount on some stan's crest rims. I actually emailed Stans to ask for some advice. They said to always finish the mount at the stem so the tire can slip easily into the center channel and give you the slack you need. I always used to start my mount at the stem and never had any issues till the contis but it made all the difference in the world and I was able to roll them on by hand. same thing with road tires.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snipe View Post
    fwiw getting off the topic a little but since several people are having trouble with tight tires and difficult mounts. I had a lot of trouble getting a pair of 29er conti X kings to mount on some stan's crest rims. I actually emailed Stans to ask for some advice. They said to always finish the mount at the stem so the tire can slip easily into the center channel and give you the slack you need. I always used to start my mount at the stem and never had any issues till the contis but it made all the difference in the world and I was able to roll them on by hand. same thing with road tires.
    You are definitely off topic, but your problem and solution are indeed in this thread. It's here--

    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
    The reason is that the Stan's rim has a larger bead seat diameter than usual. Further, it's not necessarily that the Michelin tire's diameter is smaller than schwalbe; rather it's bead is less stretchy. I bet the michelin tire fits fine on a UST rim.
    I would not buy a stans rim today, 2013, since almost everyone else has gone to a UST-compatible rim and tire bead design for tubeless wheels and tires. They figured out that the full UST spec wasn't necessary, and in fact many consumers avoid UST tires due to the weight. But everyone does like the plug-and-play nature of using a wheel and tire that both have a UST-compatible bead.

  24. #24
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    Ikon in 29" EXO 2.35", that's exciting. But at same price point as the Racing Ralph 2.35, aren't the weights similar? I just weighed my used RR 2.35 and it came in at 600g. Any one weigh the 2.35 Ikon yet?

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