Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Not to be confused with the original AM(no 2) Wild and Force tires that were more or less below average. The AM2s have been updated with a beefier casing and increased weight. The tread pattern has been updated and takes inspiration from the DH34 and DH22 downhill tires. The new AM2s now use the casing that was once used on the old Michelin Wild Enduros. The new Wild Enduros now use the DH casing bringing its weight to 1400 grams, just 50 grams shy of the DH34s. I'm not sure if the new Wild Enduros have a wire bead. You can tell the new Michelin tires apart from the old ones because the new ones have the sweet blue and yellow logos. I haven't been able to find the new Wild Enduros yet. Hopefully soon.

Having run DH34s on my SB130LR with a Cascade Link for about 300 miles now, I was excited to see how the new AM2s stack up. For those not in the know, the DH34 and DH22 are probably the grippiest, most robust tires out there. I took my SB130 fitted with DH34s to Angel Fire a few weeks ago and I was absolutely ecstatic with their performance. I literally could not think of any way to improve these tires. I also am running them all year round now at local trails because I love them so much. The ultimate trade-off. But I'm clearly placing grip and protection above all else.

I got the Michelin AM2 Wild(front) and Force(rear) installed on my Spur. They weight 1020 grams each. The casing is in between Maxxis EXO+ and DD. The rubber compound is equivalent to MaxxTerra I would say. They're 2.39 inches mounted on 26.5mm front and 24.5mm rear rim widths. Prior to these tires, I was running a 2.5 DHF and 2.3 Aggressor, both in EXO casing and with Cush Core XC. I'm no longer running Cush Core with these tires so I saved about 117 grams or .26 lbs. I've kept tire pressures the same between the 2 sets for better a comparison. 23f/26r.

Installation was easy. Bead isn't Schwalbe tight. I was able to get the tires on without a lever and the bead set with a floor pump.

First riding impressions. I only did a quick 5 mile ride and I haven't been able to really push the tires yet. First things first, the Force(rear) rolls very fast. Faster than the Aggressor. Noticeably faster. The tread pattern is almost semi-slick with a lot of knobs close together but in a ramped or arrow shaped tread pattern. The side knobs are pretty sizeable too. The Wild(front) is pretty beastly. The knobs are huge and they bite. Lots of mechanical grip with the front. The center tread is staggered so there's not really any dead transition zones. Braking performance is just as good, if not slightly better than the DHF/Aggressor combo. But I am running Hayes Dominion A4s so I have massive braking power already. The casings are stiff and very noticeable while riding along. There's a nice damped quality to them. Almost like I'm riding DD casings but without the DD weight. Cornering wise, the knobs on the Wild maintain their shape. On the DHF, I would sometimes feel the cornering knobs squirming or smearing or deeper lean angles. I feel that with the Wilds, I can take off camber corners and berms at a higher rate of speed when I get used to them. The Force has larger side knobs than the Aggressor so it's less likely to slide and skid around. I've been so used to riding the Spur with the DHF/Aggressor combo that I've already taken in to account the propensity of those tires to slide or drift here and there.

I'm liking these already. I haven't pushed them to their limits yet, but based on my quick ride, I'm pretty sure I'll like them more than the DHF/Aggressor once I get used to them.

The build quality of these tires are impressive. Probably the best I've seen. There's not any wobble or any weird off-color rubber or slight deformation in or out of the casing. It's a very well made tire. Even the logos are printed with precision without colors bleeding in to other colors and perfectly centered on the sidewall. I've had Maxxis and Schwalbes where the logo was crooked or part of it was printed on the bead. Crazy how Michelin can sell these for less than $70 given the higher QC compared to Maxxis, which can cost $80-90. Now I just feel like Maxxis is price fixing and everyone else is following suit. Less expensive tires doesn't mean the tires are low quality and these Michelins prove that. I hope Michelin keeps the prices the way they are because I just feel that every other brand is overpriced now.

I'll add more to my review as I get more seat time on these tires.








 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Got some more seat time on the Michelin AM2s. Put about 30 miles on them in the past few days. Got a few Strava PRs here and there too. Terrain is rocky, rooty, and hardpack with some slick but firm conditions. TLDR, I like them better than my previous DHR/Aggressor combo for general trail riding. I've been playing with pressures and I think I settled on 21-22 front and 25-26 rear. Tubeless, no inserts, 190 lb rider.

Wild AM2(Front) - These didn't really surprise me. Based on the aggressive tread pattern and knob height, I knew they were going to grip pretty well. There's no transition dead-zone like the DHF. Just point and shoot. It has more in common with the DHR and its clones(which, IMO, is the best tread pattern ever). They hold a line in off camber corners very well. There are tons of mechanical grip from the knobs themselves. And you can push hard in to berms. In the few times the front slipped, they caught grip immediately and without fuss. Braking performance remains phenomenal. A downside is that the loss of grip can be binary. Like you kinda feel like they might be losing grip, but you don't know for sure. So lean it over more and it slips all of the sudden. But the tire regains grip immediately and it does have pretty high limits.

Force AM2(Rear) - These tires absolutely surprised me. They grip better than the tread pattern suggests. They roll fast AF. But the cornering grip is just as good as the Wilds. The side knobs are the same staggered pattern. These are less slidey than the Aggressors. Slipping is a gradual affair and remain controllable. A skilled rider can get some sweet drifts going with this tire. On climbs, they feel to have less rolling resistance than the Aggressors do. However, slick conditions make them easy to spin if you're putting the power down. You'd be better off relying on momentum rather than powering through when climbing slick rocks and roots because these tires will spin. Definitely a tire that excels in dry and hard conditions. One thing to note as well is that these roll very well on tarmac.

I'm really liking these tires. They're a great alternative for the DHF(or DHR)/Aggressor combo at a lower price point. Wear is practically non-existent but I only have 30 miles on them. One thing I do wish these tires had is cornering knob support that enduro and DH tires have. I bet that would really alleviate the binary limit grip of the Wilds. Would I race enduro with these? Probably not. But that's not what they're made for. For general trail riding in my local trails, these are great. You can run the Wild as a rear tire for looser conditions. Perhaps one day, I'll try the Wild as a rear tire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
After several months and a few hundred miles I can agree that they wear really well. My front 2.6" has almost zero signs of wear and the slightly older former front 2.4 that is now on my rear has negligible wear. I'm on my way to go ride Aliso and will take a few pics and post them in my thread later today.

You describe how the 2.4 on the front grips exactly as I have experienced. It will give ever so slightly and get it's traction back immediately. You may want to try the 2.6" in the front, it has taller and bigger lugs that almost eliminates that give entirely, it still there ever so slightly, but it is a noticeable improvement over the 2.4". The 2.6" Wild Am2 on the front and 2.4" Wild AM2 on the back is slower rolling than your current combo, but does it ever stick and provide confidence inspiring traction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After several months and a few hundred miles I can agree that they wear really well. My front 2.6" has almost zero signs of wear and the slightly older former front 2.4 that is now on my rear has negligible wear. I'm on my way to go ride Aliso and will take a few pics and post them in my thread later today.

You describe how the 2.4 on the front grips exactly as I have experienced. It will give ever so slightly and get it's traction back immediately. You may want to try the 2.6" in the front, it has taller and bigger lugs that almost eliminates that give entirely, it still there ever so slightly, but it is a noticeable improvement over the 2.4". The 2.6" Wild Am2 on the front and 2.4" Wild AM2 on the back is slower rolling than your current combo, but does it ever stick and provide confidence inspiring traction.
I have these tires on my Transition Spur so 2.6s might be a bit overkill for that bike. Not to mention that 2.6s likely wont fit within my fork(R7 Pro).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Could have missed it, but your riding location?.

Any thoughts on wet weather riding. if you get any
Kansas City area and northwest Arkansas. KC has very technical trails. NWA is practically all machine built.

Though I haven't ridden these in the wet(and don't intent to because we don't ride wet trails), in slick conditions, the Force(rear tire) doesn't do well during technical and steeper climbs. It's easy to spin out since it's almost a semi-slick. I would use Wild AM2s front and rear if wet weather riding here were a thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
Kansas City area and northwest Arkansas. KC has very technical trails. NWA is practically all machine built.

Though I haven't ridden these in the wet(and don't intent to because we don't ride wet trails), in slick conditions, the Force(rear tire) doesn't do well during technical and steeper climbs. It's easy to spin out since it's almost a semi-slick. I would use Wild AM2s front and rear if wet weather riding here were a thing.
Thanks!

Good to know your thoughts around the Force in the wet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Are you guys still liking the force AM2? I’d like to try these tires (wild front, force rear)- but I’m hesitant on the force, with its semi slick appearance.

I have used aggressors in the past, been happy- thought it was fun to drift. Used WTB trail boss too- similar experience. Unexpectedly I thought the aggressor actually had a bit better climbing traction than the trail boss.
Guess I’m trying to decide on the rear- Go force am2, go with wild am2 front and rear, or would a good compromise be wild am2 front / wild enduro rear (with the original casing)?
 

·
Rocks belong
Joined
·
5,416 Posts
Guess I’m trying to decide on the rear- Go force am2, go with wild am2 front and rear, or would a good compromise be wild am2 front / wild enduro rear (with the original casing)?
Try a hybrid:

First fit
Wild AM2 front/Force AM2 rear

Second fit
New Wild AM2 front/Move used (front) Wild AM2 to rear

Rinse/repeat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
Are you guys still liking the force AM2? I’d like to try these tires (wild front, force rear)- but I’m hesitant on the force, with its semi slick appearance.

I have used aggressors in the past, been happy- thought it was fun to drift. Used WTB trail boss too- similar experience. Unexpectedly I thought the aggressor actually had a bit better climbing traction than the trail boss.
Guess I’m trying to decide on the rear- Go force am2, go with wild am2 front and rear, or would a good compromise be wild am2 front / wild enduro rear (with the original casing)?
I wouldn’t bother with the force AM2 in the rear if you even look at anything steep and loose…
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top