Michelin Power Competition
Michelin's Power Competition Tires are positioned as the company's fastest road tire. Producing an extra 10 watts when compared to Michelin's previous Pro4 (according to Michelin), the Power Competition benefits from rubber compound advancements made possible through Michelin's Moto GP program. Would the tire's real-world performance back up these lofty claims? I hit the road to find out.
I was initially dubious as to Michelin's claim of 25% decrease in rolling resistance. It didn't take long for me to become a believer, though, as the Power Competition burned down gradual descents without any extra effort. Manufacturers often claim statistical improvements, and with no way to accurately test, we have to take their word for it. In this case, I have no problem believing Michelin's numbers, as the Power Competitions roll extremely well. These tires would be excellent for road races or uphill time trials since the 25mm tires weigh in at an impressive 215 grams.
My main complaint with the old Pro4s was their unreliable grip in corners: they felt like they could lose traction at any time and skate across the road. That is not the case with the new Power Comps, which exhibited excellent grip and control in corners. I was even able to PR some steep, twisty local descents. Michelin's new Race Compound—which is rooted in their MotoGP tires—is the reason. The 25mm wide Power Competitions felt very stable and predictable while cornering, possibly due to the more rounded profile when compared to the old Pro4s.
The Power Comp's biggest area for improvement is the casing, which felt a touch on the stiff side for a race tire. They are by no means uncomfortable, but when compared to other race tires, they feel a little rigid and not as supple over bumps. I'm definitely willing to sacrifice a little comfort for a more durable race tire, though. Since truly durable race tires are hard to find, I'm pleased Michelin made this choice.
The Power Competitions held up similarly to, if not better than, the old Pro4s, which lasted me an entire summer's worth of hard riding and racing. After 400 miles, my Power Comps had minimal surface cuts, which is rare for race tires in my experience. Remember though, these are race tires and they will wear faster than a training tire.
I've had one flat with these tires: a sidewall cut that would have got the best of any race tire, so I won't count that one against them. The cut resistance of these tires impressed me, especially when comparing them to Schwalbe's One. After 400 miles I was expecting to see a back tire plagued with cuts, but to my surprise I actually had to search for the scrapes.
The Power Competition offers great performance for the money. Other tires in the same category sell for $10 more and generally suffer more from flats and cuts. When you factor in the number of rides you'll be getting out of these super durable racing tires, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better bang for your buck.
I am very pleased with Michelin's new Power line of tires as replacements for the old Pro4s. Michelin's improvement claims pass the "road test" across the board. The Power Comps offer better grip, improved puncture protection, and more speed while keeping the price competitive. The tires themselves remind me more of the Schwalbe One than the Michelin Pro4, and have even surpassed Conti's GP 4000 S II tires in quality in my opinion. If you are looking for a durable, fast-rolling race tire that won't break the bank, try the Power Competitions.
Great all-around tire that gives excellent performance in every category, especially durability.
Could be more supple.
Great all-around performance at a reasonable price point. The Power Competitions are fast—they hold their ground and surpass the competition, notably the Continental GP 4000 S IIs.