Michelin Wild Enduro Front 2.4 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Amazing cornering abilities, performs well in all conditions, stiff and tough casing
Cons: Slower rolling, harder rubber compound
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Wild Enduro Front is a sick tire that should work for alot of riders. Those who want a tough and aggressive front tire at a reasonable price will love this Michelin. Cornering, braking traction, and longevity were a strong suit while rolling resistance was a little less impressive. Enduro racers, freeriders, and those who just want a meaty and confident front end will love this tire.
To say the Wild Enduro Front delivers excellent cornering bite would be an understatement. This tire thrashes it all from loose and dusty corners, to loam, to picture-perfect berms. One look at the shoulder knobs and you can tell this tire means business. It may not be the most pliable and supple tire, but it rails corners with authority.
If you look at the shoulder knobs, you will notice they are very tall and relatively spaced out. This spacing allows each lug to really bite into the ground, its also beneficial for shedding mud. Each lug is set in the same position, they do not alternate like many other tires. Each shoulder knob has a vertical sipe in it that allows the rubber to conform to the trail surface. When you are in the saddle looking down towards your front wheel, the tire's square profile is noticeable. This isn't the most square tire we have ridden, but it is on that end of the spectrum
This tire delivers killer on-trail performance. We rode this tire in every condition from bone-dry, deep dust to hero dirt and it delivered. This was one of those tires that inspired reckless speed and loose riding because you knew it had your back. When leaning into corners you could really feel the shoulder tread bite into the trail surface. Given the square shape of this tire, it is quite easy to feel when you were on the edge of control. Rounder tires can have a little bit of a vague feeling when you are leaning them over. Tires with a more square profile deliver a very precise limit. The transition from the center knobs to the shoulder is smooth, there is no twitchiness or stuttering. If cornering abilities in a variety of conditions are a chief concern, the Wild Enduro Front is a tremendous option.
The Magi-X2 rubber is on the stiffer and firmer side. It can be difficult to test, but it doesn't feel quite as pliable as other compounds from competitors. Some tires feel like they are really folding and flexing into the nooks and crannies of the trail. The Wild Enduro Front isn't that plush. The flipside is that it delivers a nice, sturdy, and stiff feel when you're pushing into corners.
Make no mistake, this tire is best suited for front wheel duties. It is quite obvious by looking at the tread pattern that steering and cornering is priority. In fact, the name makes it perfectly clear. Wild Enduro Front pretty much says it all. There is a Wild Enduro Rear tire designed for the back wheel which we tested as well.
If you wanted to get crazy, you could run the Wild Enduro Front on the rear. Again, we wouldn't recommend it as it would be exceptionally slow-rolling. That said, it would offer a generous amount of bite into the trail. The center knobs have a little bit of a ramp to them, but they are primarily square. This means excellent grab into the soil. Loam, loose, sand, hardpack, we expect this tire to produce excellent pedaling traction. Still, we recommend sticking with it on the front wheel.
Braking traction is a metric that is a little more relevant to the rear wheel. That said, the Wild Enduro Front handles well under braking loads. When you're pointed into a funky and gnarly line, this tire shuts down speed effectively.
The tread features mid-sized blocks with a very minor amount of ramping. These relatively square lugs bite well into the soil compared to ramped ones. The center tread uses a staggered design where every other pair has a horizontal cut in it. These sipes help dig into the trail surface under braking loads.
Rolling speed is not a strong suit of the Wild Enduro. If rolling speed is a primary concern, you may be a little disappointed. Given the big aggressive knobs and the mostly square center tread, it clearly wasn't a primary consideration during the design process. The tread only has a little bit of ramp and they are quite spaced out.
On the trail, the Wild Enduro Front doesn't feel particularly draggy or clumsy. After all, this tire weighs a super-reasonable 1002-grams, which is pretty light for such an aggressive option. This weight helps mask the lack of rolling speed. If you find yourself on a lot of technical and janky trails, rolling speed might not be such a big deal. That said, if you are going on a 30-mile ride on flowy, rolling terrain, it could be noticeable. In our humble opinion, we think the slightly slower rolling speed is a totally worthwhile tradeoff for how confidently you can charge through the gnar. We think the intended buyer for this tire would feel the same way.
After several long rides on our Wild Enduro Front tire, we observed no significant wear. It should be noted that we tested the Magi-X2 compound which is harder than its Gum-X sibling. This harder compound should last longer than the softer, grippier, rubber.
Examining our tire reveals little, if any, wear. There is a little bit of scuffing on the inside of the shoulder knobs from cornering hard. It isn't cracking or really wearing away, but you can see the scuff marks that signify the very beginning of the wear.
Installation was about average with the Wild Enduro Front. The most difficult part was getting the tire pulled over the rim and into position to be shot up with air. The carcass is a good bit stiffer and more robust than most of the other tires we tested. Some of our test tires could be pulled onto the rim with our bare hands, it was a two-lever job with the Wild Enduro.
Once the tire was in position and we were ready to inflate it, the remainder of the process was much easier. The bead mostly snapped on in one shot with our ToPeak Joe Blow Booster floor pump. We just needed to finish it off with a few supplementary pumps to seat the stubborn portions of the bead to the rim. The tires held air well even when sitting for a few days.
The Wild Enduro Front is a great value. This is a high-performance tire that does its job very well. There are tires on the market that cost significantly more that can't come close to matching the performance of this tire. It will be the best value to the rider who prioritizes a tire that has excellent cornering and braking traction with a sturdy sidewall and casing for smashing rocks and aggressive trails.
The Michelin Wild Enduro Front is a fantastic entry into the tire market that has been dominated by a couple of major manufacturers over the past decade. This is a ripping front tire that delivers excellent performance when the conditions get gnarly. It corners well, has a stiff and tough carcass, and appears that it should have a long, glorious life span. Best of all, it sells for a competitive price. We highly recommend giving it a shot.
The Wild Enduro Front is available in the 27.5-inch and 29-inch wheel size. It is only available in the 2.4-inch width.There are two rubber compounds available. The softer Gum-X which delivers more traction and suppleness and the harder Magi-X2 (tested) which should have a longer lifespan.
— Pat Donahue