The Michelin Pro 4 series of tyres have been around for a few years now but being as we are new kids on the block (yes I said it), we have just got round to testing them. We have been trying out the standard Service Course model.
The Michelin Pro 4 Service Course come in six different models:
Service Course – The original 200g competition clincher
Grip Service Course – for 4 season riding
Comp Service Course – 20g lighter than the standard model at 180g
Comp Limited Service Course – The lightest in the series at 165g
Endurance – Claimed to give 40% greater puncture protection
Tubular Service Course
The Michelin website claims that all tyres in the SC range are designed for ‘intensive’ usage and are a competition level road tyre. Where the Pro 4 tyre differs from it’s incredibly popular predecessor, the Pro 3 Race is that Michelin have adopted the shape of its MotoGP tyres, making the cycle tyre profile almost pointed. They have combined this with their Bi-Compound technology. The Bi-Compound is essentially the mix of two different rubber compounds. The rubber down the centre of the tyre is designed to offer rigidity and resistance against wear, whilst giving maximum traction in both dry and wet conditions. The compound in the shoulders of the tyres is a softer rubber designed to give the maximum possible grip when throwing the bike into a corner. The Michelin Pro 4 tyres are claimed to give up to 30% more grip in wet and 10% better protection against punctures thanks to it HD Protection and 3x 110 TPI casing.
The Michelin Pro 4 tyres come in 3 different sizes, 20, 23 and 25mm for the standard black tyre. But Michelin have carried on with their tradition of offering colour options for the Pro 4 tyre including Red, Green, Blue, Pink, White and their popular Digital Blue. Although as in most cases, the colour options only come in 23mm width.
On The Road
Having read up on the tyre and all of it’s advanced technology, the proof is always in the ‘road test’. The standard Michelin Pro 4 Service Course has an RRP of £39.99 which is the sort of price you would expect from a manufacturer’s flagship model. However, like we said at the begin of the review, these tyres have been around for a little while and at the time of this review, Wiggle and Chain Reaction have at least 40% off.
The first thing to say is that the tyres we tested (23mm) were very tight to get on the rims of the wheels. So much so that the first attempt to fit the rear tyre caused a major pinch in the tube forcing a second attempt to fit. Strong thumbs are absolutely key to installation. Once fitted and inflated (making sure there are no pinch-points), the Michelin Pro 4 Service Course is a smart looking tyre and look every bit like a high quality premium rubber that Michelin have created them to be. The simple, bold logo looks fantastic. Being used to seeing a maximum inflation instruction of 120psi I was surprised to see 116 (or 8 bar) on the side-wall of these tyres and a recommended 90-100psi. But manufactures put these recommendations for a reason so I compromised and inflated the trye to 105-110psi (I’m 95kg). I found that the tyre casing had a tacky feel about it, almost like a coating. Never-the-less, these feel like very well made tyres from the moment you take them out of their cube box packaging.
It is when you get them on the road that they really come into their own. Having no tread pattern, the Pro 4’s roll very well and you can quickly get up to high speed thanks to the low roll resistance. The ride feels firmer than models such as the Continental GP4000s II but this is in part down to the size we tested. Despite this, I found the ride to be sure-footed and stable yet comfortable. Into the corners the Michelin Pro 4 tyres really do hold the road and it is not long before you have the confidence to attack corners (and round-about’s). For a racing slick tyre, these tyres handle reassuringly well in wet conditions. Don’t get me wrong, they will still slide if you misjudge a drain cover going into a corner but they won’t let you down if you handle your bike correctly. As for the wear, we probably haven’t covered enough miles to give them a full thumbs up but compared to the issues with the Pro 3 race tyres cutting up, the Michelin Pro 4 tyre seems unmarked from the urban road and country lane testing we have done so far.
Michelin Pro 4 Tyres review Conclusion
The Michelin Pro 4 Service course tyre is without a doubt a very good road tyre that would be as at home in a race as it would in a Sunday morning club ride. Michelin seemed to have ironed out the niggles of the Pro 3 Race tyre and have come up with something very nice. They are fast and grippy in dry conditions and do a reasonable job in the wet. With pricing around £23.99, they have just about everything you would want in a road tyre. It is difficult to confirm there wear resistance and lifespan having covered a few hundred miles but from the initial impression, we think the Michelin Pro 4 tyre is right up there with the competition why in comes to longevity. All in all, an excellent tyre. With over 1.5 million units sold, we think you will agree.