Sunday, January 17, 2016

Those Michelin XIce Tires on Wet Pavement

It was pouring down in Boise, and those Michelin XIce tires grip very well indeed on wet pavement.  They remind me of the Goodyear GT Radials I had in the 1970s: nothing special on dry but incredibly sticky in the wet.  I remember seeing a road test a couple years later where they were the worst performance tire in the dry, and the best in water; about the same skidpad figures wet and dry.

1 comment:

Will said...

Historically, to get good traction in the wet, tires had short lifetimes, and wore especially fast when used on dry roads. This has improved quite a bit over the last twenty years

Mostly this appears to have been developed from racing applications, which is where a great deal of product improvement originates. It's astounding to me to watch GP level bike racing and see them lofting the front end in a rain, while still heeled over while exiting a corner.

Still, if they mount rain tires on a racing vehicle in anticipation of it getting wet, and it doesn't, they will not be competitive with dry tires. Normally, the tire overheats and gets greasy, or at best, it wears too quickly to finish the race. Tire compounds are still a black art, to a great extent.