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Think to yourself how many rear tires you've replaced compared to front. The number is always higher because rear tires always wear more quickly, even if you spend all of your time on the road and aren't burning up the rear tire in the basement on your trainer. The disparity in wear patterns is the result of different forces acting on each tire as you go through the routine of your season. Michelin is aware that a properly designed front/rear tire combo, like their Pro Optimum Tires could address the wear issue and optimize each tire for its intended place at either end of the bike.

Differing slightly from its front iteration, the rear Pro Optimum Tire will carry from 60-70% of the weight of you and your bike, and thusly is made with a slightly heavier and more durable casing. You'll rely on the rear tire less for braking and cornering forces than the front, so they've used a more wear-resistant compound to make it roll faster and last longer.

The Michelin Pro Optimum Tire is the tire that you should be riding in the off season. Combined with the Pro Optimum Front, they offer performance and reliability in the face of bad weather, rough roads, and ultra-long mileage. They're only available with a 25mm casing, but that's okay. We prefer the bigger tire anyway when we're hooked on LSD (long slow distance) during the winter. The Pro Optimum has a lightweight, high-density reinforcement layer under the tread to add serious puncture resistance. They are available in Black only, choose between front or rear.

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Smooth ride and durable.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This isn't the Michelin tire of old. I rode it on crappy highway shoulders covered with random glass, gravel, and shredded truck tires. No significant cuts in the tread and none that penetrated to the casing. No sidewall issues. I only replaced it because it wore so thin but that was after around 1500 miles. For tires used on 100+ degree Texas roads in the summer, that is great mileage.