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MTB Tire Test: Michelin Wild Enduro vs. e*thirteen LG1r EN MoPo 27

These two mountain bike tires are both well suited for gravity applications, but they go about their business in two different ways. Watch our review to find out more!

MTB Tire Test: Michelin Wild Enduro vs. e*thirteen LG1r EN MoPo

While Maxxis still holds the single most dominant position in today’s mountain bike tire market, there are plenty of legit alternatives available for those willing to look elsewhere. Michelin has been on the comeback trail for a couple of years now, seeking a return to its former gravity glory, while newcomer e*thirteen is already into the third generation of its “All-Terrain” family of rolling rubber. We decided to put their two latest offerings to the test to figure out how they stack up. Let’s dig in!

Michelin Wild Enduro Highlights

E*thirteen LG1r EN/DH MoPo Highlights

  • Front: MAGI-X² rubber compound providing maximum braking and cornering grip in all conditions (dry, wet) and temperatures (hot, cold)
  • Front: strong, lightweight "Gravity Shield" 3x60 TPII casing
  • Weight (front): 980 grams (27.5)
  • Rear: new GUM-X3D design combining grip, traction and performance
  • Rear: strong, lightweight "Gravity Shield" 3x33 TPI casing
  • Rear: Pinch Protection
  • Weight (rear): 1090 grams (27.5)
  • MSRP: $69.99 USD (front), $64.99 USD (rear)
  • Tubeless compatible
  • MoPo: Ultra high-tack, slow rebound tread, with a harder base for better tread wear and faster rolling
  • Dual ply 120tpi with Aramid reinforcement
  • APEX REINFORCEMENT: Maximum cut protection at the bead and sidewall. Apex inserts also allow the tread cap to better conform to uneven terrain, resulting in more grip and lower rolling resistance in most conditions
  • ARAMID REINFORCEMENT: Woven reinforcement on Race models better protects against punctures, and increases air retention
  • Weight: 1075 grams (EN MoPo 27.5)
  • MSRP: $71.95 USD 

Video Review

 

If you were into gravity riding in the nineties and early 2000s, you were probably a fan of Michelin’s DH tires back then as well. They more or less dropped off the mountain bike radar after that, but they are now back in the game with a new enduro line and a reborn DH line. The Wild Enduro range consists of two specific tread patterns and a couple of compound options. We took delivery of a front tire with “Magi-X2” dual-compound rubber, and a rear tire with the faster and harder-wearing “Gum-X 3D” triple compound – both 2.4 inches wide. The front tips the scales at 980 grams, while the rear weighs in at 1090 grams thanks to an extra layer of “pinch protection” that the front version lacks. Both tires feature “Gravity Shield” casings to help prevent cuts.

E*thirteen are relatively new to the tire game, but their small range of tires is well suited to gravity applications and it has been generally well-received when it comes to grip and feel. For the latest version of their “All-Terrain” line they employ a compound that was apparently inspired by Thailand’s underground moped drag racing scene, believe it or not. The MoPo compound is the softest and grippiest compound in e*thirteen’s range, and it is available on all three tire types – trail, enduro, and DH. The tires all measure in at 2.4 inches wide, with each type available in several different versions. We chose to test with the same tire in the front and the rear, but note that there is a semi-slick version available as well if you are looking to really maximize your rolling speed out back. The dual-ply, enduro MoPo tire tested here weighs in at 1075 grams in the 27.5-inch version. For increased durability, the higher-end tires feature Apex sidewall protection and a woven aramid reinforcement layer that further protects against flats and improves air retention.

On The Trail

We’ve been testing both tires for quite some time now, throughout both winter and early summer conditions. On the trail, the Michelins roll fast and they have performed well in many kinds of different situations. The Magi-X2 compound provides plenty of grip up front, and the aggressive tread pattern is particularly well suited to steep and demanding terrain. The rear tire tread favors rolling speed over outright grip, which results in a tire that breaks away relatively easily but hooks right back up again just as quickly. Where this tire will catch you out is when it comes to off-camber roots and large, loose chunk. The side knobs are particularly sturdy, which means the tire is not able to conform so easily to the shape of the terrain, which in turn can make it a bit unpredictable – particularly at lower speeds or during wetter days. This tire does not like cruising, it demands to be ridden hard, and it becomes exponentially more forgiving as your speed increases. On some of the roughest and steepest trails of this test, these Michelins are our new favorites, while in the wet we’ll probably reach for something else. Dry rocks and loose conditions are no issue for the Wild Enduros however, and we’ve been particular impressed with durability – the Michelins were the only tires we didn’t manage to pinch flat during this test. The Magi-X2 compound is sturdy, and there is so sign of any of the side knobs starting to peel off. The Gum-X compound in the rear has not fared so well, with plenty of knobs looking a lot worse for wear at this stage. 

The e*thirteen tires feel very different to the Michelins on the trail. The tread pattern is a bit less elaborate, which makes the tire easier to ride in more conditions. The MoPo compound is super grippy, and although this generation of the tire is slightly less aggressive in its shape, it still hooks up hard which generates a very positive feel on every type of trail, from smooth and cruisy to steep and loose – as has has been our experience with e*thirteen tires right from the first generation. What has improved over time is rolling speed, although they still lag behind a bit when it comes to pedaling and climbing. Things have gotten better, but these should not be your first choice if you worry about getting to the top of the mountain first or if the trails in your area are flatter. As for durability, the tread is wearing well and there are no signs of torn side knobs or other indications of premature, impending doom. The sidewalls did not survive quite as well, as we were able to pinch flat just above the rim on a couple of occasions. Switching to the DH version in the rear took care of this issue once and for all, but that comes at a weight and speed penalty of course.

What’s The Bottom Line?

In summary, both of these tires have proven themselves up to the task of handling demanding terrain and aggressive riding, but they both go about their business in very different ways. The Michelins really shine when the speed picks up and the trail gets rough. Hard-charging riders will love the amount of grip and support on offer when you really lay into them, while more cautious riders may find themselves lacking confidence as they get bounced offline more easily at lower speed. In stark contrast, the e*thirteens deliver plenty of grip and extra assurance at any speed, and they are as happy pootling along as they are dropping into the gnar. That extra grip and comfort come with a rolling speed penalty, although it should be pointed out that things have improved in this department compared to the previous generations of this tire.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 47 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Video by Tal Rozow and Johan Hjord

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iceman2058 iceman2058 5/18/2020 1:55 AM

27 comments newest first

I rode those Michelin Wild Enduro tires for a few months on my Nomad. They were incredibly tough, no punctures even when I pinged rocks hard a few times at low psi. Amazing rolling and climbing, good weight overall. They did occasionally get wierd and would just massive wheel hop at lower speeds. You would hit something and just deflect instantly. They did like to be ridden hard. On Vacation I rode them at Skyline Queenstown, Coronet Peak, and the Cardrona bike parks in New Zealand and they felt amazing on that South Island Dirt.

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I don't understand why you would buy anything other than Maxxis or Schwalbe. 10 years later and still no one else can match these two brands. Maybe the new Michelin DH tires will work, but why wonder? I don't ride enough to want to potentially waste rides seeing if other tires work.

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I've been on the new e13 for a while now and gotta say I'm not going back to Maxxis. My last 3 Maxxis tires had the wobbly casing and I had to deal with warranty. Huge pain in the ass. The e13 Mopo compound is wearing much better than the last MaxxGrip I had, and man the e13 have insane grip. Maxxis is far from the end all be all. Choice is good.

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I kind of agree at the moment, but it'll change. Michelin was the stuff back in the early Whistler days. Schwalbe is falling behind, their snakeskin casings suck, and SuperGravity too heavy for big xc rides. Love 'em for the heavier wheelset.

The new e.thirteen Mopo rubber is really impressive, and their trail sidewalls are fantastic. They just need to get their knob patterns sorted. Too squared off (still!, you think they'd learn) unless you're on narrower rims, and the center knobs are too short to be a good PNW all-rounder. Great tire for Squamish, and N Shore where there's less wet duff. If e.thirteen makes an Assegai/Mary competitor in Mopo and trail sidewall, I'm all in.

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A fresh pair of DHF/DHRs (or more recently Assegai) is always awesome, but at EXO+ weights I do find that they pinch flat too easily, and the rate at which the side knobs start to tear off is pretty unacceptable IMO. I have plenty of them laying around with lots of tread life left in the middle and half the side knobs just peeling off. That's two reasons to at least keep trying other stuff.

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This is just my opinion, and I completely get it if I get a lot of heat for it, but it feels like the DHF is becoming what the Nevegal became - highly praised and widely loved, but too many other good options started popping up to just stick with it for traditions sake. It’s a tough problem to have, having so many good choices.

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The difference is that the Nevegal was popular with SLOW people (editors, MBA readers, your dad, etc) and was never popular with pros (see: sharpie sales in 2007), whereas the DHF was and still is popular with pros.

Also, I didn't say the DHF, I said Maxxis. Maxxis makes other tires than the DHF, many of which are great, but (other than Schwalbe) no other brand can put together a good tread, compound, and casing. My point is there aren't a lot of other good options. DHF, DHR, Assegai- these are the only tires I would ever buy at MSRP.

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I have been back to back testing the soft compound DD 2.5 dhf with the magi-x michelin front and I like the michelin better, I am used to it though. Maybe I would have stuck with maxxis if DD wasnt such a farce, DH weight with trail puncturablility, at least in my experience ( I have destroyed 2 DD DHR 2s first or second ride). Michelins at least dont puncture constantly.

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Maxxis charges too much and MaxxGrip wears too quickly... I like a harder compound for the rear tire. MaxTerra not in DH casing. Assguy MG up front all day long.

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Yeah reluctantly agree.
About once every 3 years or so I get tempted into trying something else, and I sometimes find something that is maybe even 80% as good, and you think "yeah these are thoroughly not bad".
But then I go back to Maxxis/Schwalbe and I'm like "mmmm yeah still the best".

Shout out to Continental who have consistently made utterly terrible, plastic coumpond tyres that should come with a health/career warning.

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I don’t disagree with you, and I just mentioned the DHF as it’s the most popular or one of the most popular in this category from Maxxis. This space has gotten more competitive though

Edit: I’ll also add I respect your experience, you’ve been around longer than I have, and I know you’ve been on more options that I have. Cheers!

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Been running the Wild Enduros since they came out. I switched over to Michelins a little while ago, I was running Rock R'2 prior to the Wild Enduro. I'm a fan of the casing and treads, I agree that the rear doesn't hold up as well, but I'm not convinced it's any worse then Maxxis that I've run in the past. I might try a Rock R'2 on the rear the next go around. Running these 90% in dry, loose, steep, rocky and hardpack and love them. I did try them a few times in the PNW and thought they did fine in wet conditions, I did eat shit once on a very slick root though. My rear gum-x lasted 370 miles till I replaced it, front magi-x looks new.

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Rockr2 on the rear, in Gum x, are fantastic. Just stay away of mud and damp wet loam as these clog fast. It's almost a DH csg. Sturdy and decent rolling sm

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I wanted to like the Wild Enduro, I really liked the compound and the tread pattern was working great for the spring conditions. I however tore the sidewall on the rear on a seemingly phantom rock on the 5th ride with them. The front tire hooks up great, but my local trails are rocky / loose over hard, and they seem to be wearing much faster than other any other tire I've run.

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Agreed. I have run both the magi-X and gum-x compounds. The wear rate is worse than the equivalent maxxis/schwalbe and although the grip is on par, its not a whole load better. Add in the fact that the side wall/bead interface is weak and prone to punctures that are difficult to fix (and in general a thinner side wall that punctures more frequently than other tyres I have run) and you get a tyre doesn't match it's competitors in the long run.

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I tried these and had high hopes, but after two rides in rocky desert terrain the side knobs were already tearing apart. Back to e*thirteen and maxxis as my go to tires.

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Mine were the Gum-x compound. The rear was worse off than the front.

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I "rested a magic x on the rear on borrowed bike, and I tore off 3 in a day.. However, I raced couple races (including ews Madeira) and Wil front gum x and rear gum x held beautifully. I have dh34s waiting to be tested now.. That tire looks awesome

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Tyres are personal preference and all that but I couldn’t get on with the e13 tyres on my yt. No turn in feel at all . Swapped for Marys magic yes sir...

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Jim did you have the older version of the tires? The old TRS that was on YTs had smaller center knobs and absolutely massive cornering knobs. They were kind of a random tire but worked 'just ok' for me as a front. Now I'm seeing minions on the Jeffsy.

I'm on the A/T trail (f) and S/S enduro (r) and am liking the front tire better than the prior version. The combo works well with the obvious caveat that if you're riding super loose terrain things can get very interesting very quickly with the semislick.

Next year I'm keen to try the Kenda Helldiver semislick rear w/ Gwin's new tire on the front or the Hellkat.

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Matt, I haven’t tried the Helldiver, but the Hellkat is another rad option! Tons of grip and they roll decently. I did shear a side knob on the rear a bit prematurely, but I think I’ve done that on every tire. Highly recommended. I’m anxious to try the new Pinner. Just waiting for my current tires to die first.

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I thought that original e*thirteen was the most aggressive and impressive cornering tire i've ever ridden due to those side knobs. Hard cornering in loose conditions was a dream. Rolling resistance wasnt ideal in the rear, the new race ones are on par with minions in that regard.

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Yes I think they must have been . Looks like they might have addressed that then

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People seem to love or hate E13s, and I love them. Especially at a front tire. Not the fastest rolling for sure, but for my trails and my riding the cornering grip is insane. Can’t go wrong with Magic Mary’s though!

Tires are a fun disposable to play around and experiment with.

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