Michelin Pro3 Race tyre, £20 at Decathlon

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Samuel D
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Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris

Michelin Pro3 Race tyre, £20 at Decathlon

Postby Samuel D » 17 Jul 2019, 11:38am

The Michelin Pro 3 Race Service Course was introduced over a decade ago in 2008. Its successor the Pro4 Service Course arrived in 2012 and was in turn replaced by the Power Competition in 2016. I say replaced, but Michelin kept selling the older tyres at new, lower price points, notably through Decathlon.

I got a 25 mm Pro3 Race a while ago (€22 here in French Decathlon shops) and fitted it to a narrow Mavic Open Pro C rim. It measured 26.5 mm wide at 110 PSI, the high pressure to ensure correct seating. The next day, after riding it at a lower pressure, it had expanded to 27.2 mm. So it’s quite a bit wider than specified – probably not a problem for readers of this forum.

A couple of days ago I got another tyre. Like the first, it fitted easily with thumb pressure, seated concentrically, and spun with minimal vertical or lateral run-out when inflated.

The interesting things about this tyre are that it’s fast, 127 TPI, apparently well made, and relatively cheap. It seems to me to roll better than the Pro4 Service Course that I always found draggy and loud-rolling. It tested well for Crr back in the day, but Michelin made lighter tyres without puncture-protection belts that were presumably the real ‘race’ tyres. Ignore the “Race” label and you might find it a nice general-purpose road tyre.

Phone photos attached.

Packaging:
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Fairly low recommended pressures:
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Grey is the “High Performance Silicium Compound”. This was described as an Energy compound at the time, presumably after Michelin’s car tyres. The shoulders have a black compound with more grip:
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Serial number:
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I forgot to weigh either tyre. Michelin claims 235 g for the 25 mm and 200 g for the 23 mm:
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Low pressure limits of 73–109 PSI (5–7.5 bars):
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Like some other European tyre companies, Michelin hides the country of origin on the chafer where it becomes invisible after mounting. Not cool:
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Some sort of code (date?):
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Annoyingly, the labels can only be aligned with the valve stem on one side or the other, not both at the same time. Both tyres were identical in this regard:
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Mounted on my front rim, currently an Open Elite:
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Tread profile and vent spews:
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Brucey
Posts: 35937
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Michelin Pro3 Race tyre, £20 at Decathlon

Postby Brucey » 17 Jul 2019, 12:25pm

'twas ever thus; before the 'Pro n' series tyres came the 'Axial Pro' tyres. For me the pick of the bunch was the 'Axial Pro Lite' whereas the '+20g heavier 'Axial Pro' felt dead and unresponsive by comparison.

I still have a 'rogues gallery' of old/obsolete tyres that are still in usable condition (including a pair of axial pro lites). Anytime I want to benchmark a tyre in absolute terms, I can compare with something that isn't current. FWIW I've not found anything that is noticeably better rolling than the aforesaid axial pro lites; if there is a big difference to the carcasses on more recent lightweight Michelins I can't see it.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

mattheus
Posts: 818
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm

Re: Michelin Pro3 Race tyre, £20 at Decathlon

Postby mattheus » 17 Jul 2019, 1:33pm

This tyre (in 25mm) was for a good few years perhaps THE tyre amongst audaxers doing longer rides.
(as was the Pro2 before it). Their only drawback was a shortish life - but they were always pretty cheap, so no biggie.

(This was before RR tests were widely available.)

Sadly I've started moving over to 28mm tyres (and bigger), or I would be stocking up on these at £20 (I already have a couple in the garage). The GP4000II is probably favourite for long fast(ish) rides now, but they're very expensive!

toontra
Posts: 646
Joined: 21 Dec 2007, 11:01am
Location: London

Re: Michelin Pro3 Race tyre, £20 at Decathlon

Postby toontra » 17 Jul 2019, 1:48pm

mattheus wrote:Sadly I've started moving over to 28mm tyres (and bigger), or I would be stocking up on these at £20 (I already have a couple in the garage). The GP4000II is probably favourite for long fast(ish) rides now, but they're very expensive!


Why not the Pro 4 Endurance 28's? They are cheaper than the GP's and improved rolling resistance over the Pro 2's and 3's (apparently) but better wearing - that's been my experience anyway.

mattheus
Posts: 818
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm

Re: Michelin Pro3 Race tyre, £20 at Decathlon

Postby mattheus » 17 Jul 2019, 2:05pm

toontra wrote:
mattheus wrote:Sadly I've started moving over to 28mm tyres (and bigger), or I would be stocking up on these at £20 (I already have a couple in the garage). The GP4000II is probably favourite for long fast(ish) rides now, but they're very expensive!


Why not the Pro 4 Endurance 28's? They are cheaper than the GP's and improved rolling resistance over the Pro 2's and 3's (apparently) but better wearing - that's been my experience anyway.


Because this topic isn't about Pro4s! (that's the literal-but-unhelpful answer ;) )
Yes, they're probably worth looking at - thanks.

scottg
Posts: 665
Joined: 10 Jan 2008, 8:44pm
Location: Highland Heights Kentucky,, USA

Re: Michelin Pro3 Race tyre, £20 at Decathlon

Postby scottg » 17 Jul 2019, 2:12pm

Yes, the Pro3 '25's are really 27mm, and ignore the bit about using A2 tubes,
A1s are fine. Some of the Pros were covered in a waxy mold release,
worth buffing off with a ScotchBrite pad, to avoid falling over in the parking lot.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Why not the best, buy Cyclo-Benelux.

Bonefishblues
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Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Michelin Pro3 Race tyre, £20 at Decathlon

Postby Bonefishblues » 17 Jul 2019, 2:36pm

Out of interest, what will the TdF be riding on, typically?

Samuel D
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Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris

Re: Michelin Pro3 Race tyre, £20 at Decathlon

Postby Samuel D » 17 Jul 2019, 3:17pm

mattheus wrote:This tyre (in 25mm) was for a good few years perhaps THE tyre amongst audaxers doing longer rides.
(as was the Pro2 before it). Their only drawback was a shortish life […]

By wear or cuts?

mattheus wrote:Sadly I've started moving over to 28mm tyres (and bigger), or I would be stocking up on these at £20 (I already have a couple in the garage). The GP4000II is probably favourite for long fast(ish) rides now, but they're very expensive!

Both of my Pro3 Race tyres are over 27 mm on my narrow rims, so these ‘25 mm’ tyres are as wide as some 28 mm tyres. The low price attracted me after I ruined several expensive tyres by large cuts in the last few months.

toontra wrote:Why not the Pro 4 Endurance 28's?

A pretty good tyre in its own right (I used it on the rear for some of last winter), but distinctly draggier than the Pro3 Race – not surprising, given its reinforced sidewalls.

scottg wrote:Yes, the Pro3 '25's are really 27mm, and ignore the bit about using A2 tubes,
A1s are fine.

I did ignore that, as you might surmise from my brass valve stem (a Michelin latex tube that is unavailable in A2).

Remains to be seen how these wear and grip in the wet, but I’m pretty impressed so far. Certainly more so than with the amazingly noisy Pro4 Service Course.

Samuel D
Posts: 2883
Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris

Re: Michelin Pro3 Race tyre, £20 at Decathlon

Postby Samuel D » 17 Jul 2019, 3:21pm

Bonefishblues wrote:Out of interest, what will the TdF be riding on, typically?

The most popular tyre is the Continental Competition Pro Limited, which is a regular Continental Competition tubular with a latex inner tube and unavailable to the general public. Almost always seen in 25 mm. A handful of riders are experimenting with clinchers, sometimes tubeless (probably the cause of Viviani’s slow leak the other day) and sometimes with inner tubes. Vittoria has a large presence too with its tubulars, also usually 25 mm.

mattheus
Posts: 818
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm

Re: Michelin Pro3 Race tyre, £20 at Decathlon

Postby mattheus » 17 Jul 2019, 3:29pm

Samuel D wrote:
mattheus wrote:This tyre (in 25mm) was for a good few years perhaps THE tyre amongst audaxers doing longer rides.
(as was the Pro2 before it). Their only drawback was a shortish life […]

By wear or cuts?


Wear mainly. (I tend not to worry about small cuts - most light grippy tyres get them - even in quite large numbers).

I'm not organised enough to log mileages, so don't bother asking! I can only compare them to other tyres that I have used.

Samuel D
Posts: 2883
Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris

Re: Michelin Pro3 Race tyre, £20 at Decathlon

Postby Samuel D » 17 Jul 2019, 3:32pm

Thanks. I’ll find out soon enough for myself.