Michelin Wild Enduro Rear 2.4 Review
Cons: Heavy, not particularly fast-rolling
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Some mountain bike tires are a little vague when it comes to their intended use. The line between light-duty trail tires and aggressive trail and enduro tires can be blurry. The Wild Enduro Rear is a burly hard-charger, a great rear tire for the rider who doesn't care about weight and is happy to sacrifice grams for toughness and performance. As you might expect, it stood out as impressive in a few metrics like cornering and braking traction. Weight and rolling resistance were less impressive. That said, this tire is designed for gravity-fed antics, and it performs very well in that context.
The Wild Enduro Rear delivered excellent cornering abilities. We loved the way its front-wheel counterpart, the Wild Enduro Front, held an edge in all conditions. The Wild Enduro Rear has very similar shoulder knobs that are slimmed down just a little bit. As a result, the cornering performance is ripping, especially when paired with its front-end sibling.
The stiff and thick sidewall and casing provide a solid base for cornering. Softer and flimsier constructions can feel a little washy, and pushing hard into corners can make it feel like you're about to tear the tire off the rim. Michelin nailed it with this tire, and the Wild Enduro's heavy-duty feel delivers sure-footed cornering. You can push into these tires, and all you get in return is a stiff and unwavering feel.
The shoulder knobs feel sturdy. While they are a little shorter than the Wild Enduro Front, they still have a secure bite, and it's easy to find the edge. Rounder profile tires can feel a little vague in the corners, but the Wild Enduro is relatively squared off. When you tip this tire on edge, it locks in and holds on pretty tight. The transition from the center tread to the edge is smooth and predictable.
The Wild Enduro can handle a fair amount of braking force before breaking free through a corner. Less aggressive tires tend to wash out easier while cornering with some brake applied. The Michelin has a confident feel while braking. It won't creep up on you and unexpectedly slide out. It goes sideways when you tell it to, but it won't usually take you by surprise.
Pedaling traction is excellent with the Wild Enduro Rear. The tread has a nice bite to it, and it fares well on steep and loose pitches and loamy skidders. The same characteristics that might hurt this tire in the rolling resistance metric, really help it stand out in terms of pedaling traction.
Looking at the tread pattern, the center tread is fairly spaced out, and the tread blocks are relatively tall for a rear-specific tire. It has some similarities to a mud spike, and this is super beneficial when things get a little muddy or wet. The spacing prevents mud buildup on the tire, and the relatively tall and squared off lugs really bite into the soil.
When you are standing up through a sandy, dusty, climb, you can feel the tire really grab the trail. Less aggressive tires with lower profile tread designs have a tendency to spin out on these surfaces, but the Wild Enduro really shines. When standing up on rocky, sandy, hardpack, loose-over-hard, pretty much any surface, this tire has excellent climbing traction
The same knobs that deliver excellent climbing traction also provide stellar braking bite. The Wild Enduro shuts down speed effectively in all conditions. Loose, dry, wet, muddy, this tire has great braking bite.
The square center knobs help engage the trail sharply. The square front edge of the knob quickly grabs the surface. You will notice some of the blocks have horizontal cuts or sipes in them. This helps each block conform to the trail under braking forces. Tires are more susceptible to cutting while under braking load, but you should be pretty confident while dragging brake through gnar with this tire, the burly casing has a heavy-duty feel.
This is not a particularly fast-rolling rear tire. Yes, this is a rear-specific tire, and the name Wild Enduro Rear says as much. Still, this isn't some semi-slick speed demon built for dry and fast trails. This is a heavy-duty rear tire built for serious speed and performance in all conditions, especially gnarly ones.
This isn't some ultra-draggy tire. When you are rolling straight on a mellow section of trail, you can definitely feel the aggressive knobs back there, it isn't crippling by means, but it is noticeable. The center tread is a bit more spaced out compared to a lot of rear tires. That has benefits for cornering, braking, and climbing traction. The downside, of course, is that it doesn't roll as smooth as a tightly compacted tread. At 1165-grams, it's no featherweight, but it isn't that heavy for a tire this burly.
Despite not being a fast-roller, the gnarliness of this tire allows you to carry more speed through steeper, sketchier, trails. If your rides require a little less pedaling and more bombing down loose and rocky trails, this tire is fast. You will be able to carry more speed and go faster where less aggressive tires might stutter.
We tested the Gum-X rubber compound. This is slightly softer than the Magi-X2 compound we tested on the Wild Enduro Front. The rear tire tends to get chewed up faster than the front, given all of the braking forces it receives and how it tends to be sideways more often.
Even with the softer rubber, we were fairly impressed with the condition of our rear tire after several sizeable test rides. There are some indications that the tires are starting to wear on the inside of the shoulder lugs, and there are bits of scuffing on the braking surface from riding these tires down some sketchy skid trails. Still, we aren't concerned that this tire can last you a half-season riding 3-4 times a week. Additionally, the sidewalls and casing have a beefy and thick feel, making us confident that they are less prone to cuts and punctures than much of the competition.
The Wild Enduro Rear was a little bit of a mixed bag during the installation process.
This was one of the more difficult tires to get on our rims. A few of the softer and flimsier tires in our review can be pulled onto the rim with bare hands fairly easily. Not the case with this tough bruiser, this was a two tire lever job. We don't think this is a big deal, just don't expect to slap these tires on in seconds.
Once on the rim, the Wild Enduro Rear was relatively painless to set up tubeless. We used a ToPeak Joe Blow Booster floor pump, and we got the bead to seat in one shot. With one blast from the charger chamber, the tire was mostly seated. We just had to give about ten additional pumps to get the stubborn areas to seat fully.
We feel the Wild Enduro Rear is a great value. This is among our favorite rear tires, and we feel that it delivers high-end performance on the trail for aggressive trail and enduro-style riding. We feel this is a viable option for a lot of aggressive riders who want to try something new after riding Maxxis or Schwalbe rubber for the past decade. We think this tire rips. Sprinkle in a reasonable price tag, and this tire is a superb value.
The Michelin Wild Enduro rear is an aggressive and tough rear tire that is ready for anything you throw at it. Despite being a touch on the heavy side, this tire delivers fantastic all-around performance, particularly for aggressive trail and enduro riders. Cornering abilities, toughness, braking bike, and traction in a huge range of conditions were its strong suits. There are faster rolling and lighter options on the market, but when the going gets gnarly, we wouldn't hesitate to reach for the Wild Enduro Rear.
Those of you with 26-inch bikes are out of luck. This tire is only available in 27.5-inch and 29-inch size. The Wild Enduro Rear is only available in the 2.4-inch width.There are two compound options. The harder and longer-lasting Magi-X2 and the softer and grippier Gum-X (tested).
— Pat Donahue