Friday, April 24, 2009

Product Review: The Humble Michelin Dynamic

I've been a skidge negative lately, so I figure it's time for a "happy human" product review.

Today, I give you the Michelin Dynamic. Let's not kid ourselves here. This is not a fancy tire. It doesn't claim to have any magical qualities in its rubber, no fancy dual-compound stripes, no flat-shielding belts, and not even much of a label. It has a basic steel bead. It's been around a while under different names -- back in the '90s, I think it was the Tracer. You can see that the poor Michelin website doesn't really know what to do with it. Sure, they made up RB and SW techno-jargon-acronyms (for "Rigid Bead" and "Skin Walls") just so there would be something to put on the "technical" tab, but I can hear the copywriter saying, "jeez, I dunno, it's just a tire."

So what's to like about the Dynamic? Well, in this age of hyperspecialization (and resulting hyperpricing), "just a tire" can be a pretty good thing. The Dynamic is an almost-slick tire in the tradition of the quietly legendary (and long gone, rumor has it) Avocet FasGrip series. It's nice and round, corners predictably, rides smoother than its price and utility would suggest, resists flats (around here) pretty well considering its lack of fancy belts, doesn't weigh a ton, and has pretty impressive durability. My set of 700x32s just got retired to the trash bin after three years and probably 8,000 miles of all-surface riding. They could have gone through the end of this season, but the tread was finally thin enough that they were flatting on things that newer ones would have shrugged off.

Did I mention cheap? I think the highest price I've ever seen for a Dynamic was $20 per tire. A savvy web shopper can probably scare them up for as little as $12. They're available in a full range of honest 700c sizes (23, 25, 28, and 32) that all measure true if not a bit wider. Retro-fashionistas will decry their black sidewalls, but I find that blackwalls hold up better to UV exposure (no science there, just personal experience.)

So there you have it: A good, cheap tire. Your mileage may vary, but I like 'em a lot.


Steve Fuller said...

A good cheap dependable tire is a good thing. I just ordered a set of Schwalbe Marathon Extremes for the La Cruz. Haven't gotten the bill yet, but I'm betting they're not $12 per tire.

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Michael said...

One of the reasons for mixing carbon black into rubber is for UV protection, so your observation is spot on.

sloman said...

great tires,replaced old tubulars on my old Romani. Feel lively and ride fast,seem to be holding up real well.Can't believe the low price(had to keep price down as I was buying new rims,tubes too.Got the tires on close out for $11 each).Should have bought a few more.