Friday, August 6, 2010

Tire Talk: Michelin T63

Time for new tires, once again. For the big roadtrip I did with Sean a few weeks ago, I decided my rear Continental TCK-80 Twinduro wasn't going to cut it. It was pretty worn -- a little bit of meat left on the centre knobbies, but not a lot. And the tread pattern was pretty squared off from all the pavement riding I had done. It may have lasted the 2,200 Kms of our trip but I didn't want to push my luck so I threw my old Avon Distanzia back on just for the trip. With it mounted on my spare rim, swapping it over was a 10-minute effort.

Here's a photo of what the rear Conti TCK looked like after about 4,800 Kms:

about 4 mm left on the centre knobs
according to my tread depth guage

And here's the Distanzia that I used for about 4,000 Kms last year:

Now that's a high mileage tire for sure, and it's
got awesome grip for street riding in the rain.
Great all-around for street use, and not bad for
light duty dirt/gravel (dry dirt, no mud). The
cracking is a little disconcerting and I will
now toss this tire out.
7 mm tread remaining after ~ 6,200 Kms

** I contacted Avon about the cracking and sent
this photo. Waiting to see what they have to say.

The new rear is a Michelin T63. Many people have compared them to the Conti TCK-80 in terms of performance for both on- and off-road, and in terms of mileage. The difference between them is price. $55 USD for the Michelin, and $115 for the Conti. You do the math. I'm curious to find out if it is as good as the Conti. So far, I'd say it compares quite well to the Conti on the street, and I'd even give it a couple more points in the dirt, but I really haven't given it a thorough test yet to say for sure.

Michelin T63 - newly installed
Tread depth is 10 mm

The front TCK-80 is still holding up well,
with approx 6,500 Kms on it. It's beginning
to show signs that the tread is flattening out
a bit from all the paved roads it has seen. I'm
quite impressed with how it's lasting. Not the best
in the mud, but can't compalin. Tread depth is 7.5 mm

And the new Michelin T63 for the front.
With the TCK holding up so well, I may not
even get to mount this Michelin until next year.
For now, this tire waits patiently in the basement.
Tread depth is 9.5 mm

Odometer: 19,850 Kms