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MTB Tire Test: Michelin Wild Enduro vs. e*thirteen LG1r EN MoPo 27

These two mountain bike tires are both well suited for gravity applications, but they go about their business in two different ways. Watch our review to find out more!

MTB Tire Test: Michelin Wild Enduro vs. e*thirteen LG1r EN MoPo

While Maxxis still holds the single most dominant position in today’s mountain bike tire market, there are plenty of legit alternatives available for those willing to look elsewhere. Michelin has been on the comeback trail for a couple of years now, seeking a return to its former gravity glory, while newcomer e*thirteen is already into the third generation of its “All-Terrain” family of rolling rubber. We decided to put their two latest offerings to the test to figure out how they stack up. Let’s dig in!

Michelin Wild Enduro Highlights

E*thirteen LG1r EN/DH MoPo Highlights

  • Front: MAGI-X² rubber compound providing maximum braking and cornering grip in all conditions (dry, wet) and temperatures (hot, cold)
  • Front: strong, lightweight "Gravity Shield" 3x60 TPII casing
  • Weight (front): 980 grams (27.5)
  • Rear: new GUM-X3D design combining grip, traction and performance
  • Rear: strong, lightweight "Gravity Shield" 3x33 TPI casing
  • Rear: Pinch Protection
  • Weight (rear): 1090 grams (27.5)
  • MSRP: $69.99 USD (front), $64.99 USD (rear)
  • Tubeless compatible
  • MoPo: Ultra high-tack, slow rebound tread, with a harder base for better tread wear and faster rolling
  • Dual ply 120tpi with Aramid reinforcement
  • APEX REINFORCEMENT: Maximum cut protection at the bead and sidewall. Apex inserts also allow the tread cap to better conform to uneven terrain, resulting in more grip and lower rolling resistance in most conditions
  • ARAMID REINFORCEMENT: Woven reinforcement on Race models better protects against punctures, and increases air retention
  • Weight: 1075 grams (EN MoPo 27.5)
  • MSRP: $71.95 USD 

Video Review

 

If you were into gravity riding in the nineties and early 2000s, you were probably a fan of Michelin’s DH tires back then as well. They more or less dropped off the mountain bike radar after that, but they are now back in the game with a new enduro line and a reborn DH line. The Wild Enduro range consists of two specific tread patterns and a couple of compound options. We took delivery of a front tire with “Magi-X2” dual-compound rubber, and a rear tire with the faster and harder-wearing “Gum-X 3D” triple compound – both 2.4 inches wide. The front tips the scales at 980 grams, while the rear weighs in at 1090 grams thanks to an extra layer of “pinch protection” that the front version lacks. Both tires feature “Gravity Shield” casings to help prevent cuts.

E*thirteen are relatively new to the tire game, but their small range of tires is well suited to gravity applications and it has been generally well-received when it comes to grip and feel. For the latest version of their “All-Terrain” line they employ a compound that was apparently inspired by Thailand’s underground moped drag racing scene, believe it or not. The MoPo compound is the softest and grippiest compound in e*thirteen’s range, and it is available on all three tire types – trail, enduro, and DH. The tires all measure in at 2.4 inches wide, with each type available in several different versions. We chose to test with the same tire in the front and the rear, but note that there is a semi-slick version available as well if you are looking to really maximize your rolling speed out back. The dual-ply, enduro MoPo tire tested here weighs in at 1075 grams in the 27.5-inch version. For increased durability, the higher-end tires feature Apex sidewall protection and a woven aramid reinforcement layer that further protects against flats and improves air retention.

On The Trail

We’ve been testing both tires for quite some time now, throughout both winter and early summer conditions. On the trail, the Michelins roll fast and they have performed well in many kinds of different situations. The Magi-X2 compound provides plenty of grip up front, and the aggressive tread pattern is particularly well suited to steep and demanding terrain. The rear tire tread favors rolling speed over outright grip, which results in a tire that breaks away relatively easily but hooks right back up again just as quickly. Where this tire will catch you out is when it comes to off-camber roots and large, loose chunk. The side knobs are particularly sturdy, which means the tire is not able to conform so easily to the shape of the terrain, which in turn can make it a bit unpredictable – particularly at lower speeds or during wetter days. This tire does not like cruising, it demands to be ridden hard, and it becomes exponentially more forgiving as your speed increases. On some of the roughest and steepest trails of this test, these Michelins are our new favorites, while in the wet we’ll probably reach for something else. Dry rocks and loose conditions are no issue for the Wild Enduros however, and we’ve been particular impressed with durability – the Michelins were the only tires we didn’t manage to pinch flat during this test. The Magi-X2 compound is sturdy, and there is so sign of any of the side knobs starting to peel off. The Gum-X compound in the rear has not fared so well, with plenty of knobs looking a lot worse for wear at this stage. 

The e*thirteen tires feel very different to the Michelins on the trail. The tread pattern is a bit less elaborate, which makes the tire easier to ride in more conditions. The MoPo compound is super grippy, and although this generation of the tire is slightly less aggressive in its shape, it still hooks up hard which generates a very positive feel on every type of trail, from smooth and cruisy to steep and loose – as has has been our experience with e*thirteen tires right from the first generation. What has improved over time is rolling speed, although they still lag behind a bit when it comes to pedaling and climbing. Things have gotten better, but these should not be your first choice if you worry about getting to the top of the mountain first or if the trails in your area are flatter. As for durability, the tread is wearing well and there are no signs of torn side knobs or other indications of premature, impending doom. The sidewalls did not survive quite as well, as we were able to pinch flat just above the rim on a couple of occasions. Switching to the DH version in the rear took care of this issue once and for all, but that comes at a weight and speed penalty of course.

What’s The Bottom Line?

In summary, both of these tires have proven themselves up to the task of handling demanding terrain and aggressive riding, but they both go about their business in very different ways. The Michelins really shine when the speed picks up and the trail gets rough. Hard-charging riders will love the amount of grip and support on offer when you really lay into them, while more cautious riders may find themselves lacking confidence as they get bounced offline more easily at lower speed. In stark contrast, the e*thirteens deliver plenty of grip and extra assurance at any speed, and they are as happy pootling along as they are dropping into the gnar. That extra grip and comfort come with a rolling speed penalty, although it should be pointed out that things have improved in this department compared to the previous generations of this tire.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 47 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Video by Tal Rozow and Johan Hjord

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