Fighting talk: Michelin says its new 'fastest ever' tyre beat a host of industry favourites in independent testing

French brand's latest road tyre is offered in clincher, tubeless-ready and tubular models and is being raced by Team Cofidis

Michelin has announced what it describes as its “fastest ever road tyre”, the Power Cup. Having sent the tyre for independent testing, the brand claims that - under the test conditions used - it proved to be faster than favourites such as the Continental GP 5000, Schwalble Pro ONE and Vittoria Graphene 2.0 Corsa.

The new range features three models of road bike tyres: a tubed clincher, a tubeless ready and a tubular. All three are offered in black and classic sidewall versions with tyre widths ranging from 23c to 30c.

The Power Cup uses Michelin’s Gum-X compound, which it says is inspired by its MotoGP technology, with the aim of delivering an optimum blend of grip with a low rolling resistance. 

Michelin Power Cup tyres detail

(Image credit: Michelin)

In an attempt to accurately test the performance benefits of the Power Cup, Michelin sent the tyre for independent testing with Wheel Energy, a Finnish engineering company that specializes in testing car and bicycle tyres. The results make for interesting reading.

Tested against some of its key competitors road tyres, namely Continental GP 5000, Schwalble Pro ONE and Vittoria Graphene 2.0 Corsa, Michelin says the Power Cup proved to be the fastest on test with the lowest rolling resistance.

At speeds of 30 km/h with a vertical load of 50kg, the Power Cup’s rolling resistance was measured at between 12.7-12.8 watts (multiple tyres from each brand were tested). According to the claimed test results this was a fraction better than the Continental GP 5000s, which measured between 12.8-12.9 watts. However the difference was greater still when compared to both the Schwalbe and Vittoria tyres; the Power Cup besting the Pro ONE and the Corsa by 4 and 5.2 watts respectively.

Michelin Power Cup tyre test graph

(Image credit: Michelin / Wheel Energy)

Michelin says that despite the Power Cup’s low level of rolling resistance it also delivered “excellent levels of grip” under the scrutiny of Wheel Energy’s testing.

The Power Cup also appears to have been competitive during Wheel Energy’s puncture resistance tests. Under varying degrees of force and using a range of ‘plugs’ or blades both the tread and sidewall of the tyres were tested. Claimed results show that though Schwalbe’s Pro ONE tyres proved to be the most resilient, the Power Cup produced similar results to the GP 5000s while offering more protection than the Vittoria Corsas.

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Michelin Power Cup tyre tests

(Image credit: Michelin / Wheel Energy)
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Michelin Power Cup tyre tests

(Image credit: Michelin / Wheel Energy)

Both the Power Cup and the Power Cup Tubeless Ready tyres use the brand’s Aramid Shield technology with 2x120 TPI and 3x120 casing respectively. The Power Cup Tubular uses High Density Shield technology with a latex insert and features 2x160 TPI casing.

Throughout the testing Wheel Energy used 25mm width tyres with butyl inner tubes. Each tyre was fitted to an Easton C90 wheel with an internal rim width of 19mm. Th tyre pressure was 6.5 bar.

While the Finnish lab seeks to best simulate the real world through its testing procedures, there’s no better place to put a tyre through its paces than at the sport’s highest level. Developed in conjunction with WorldTour team Cofidis, the French outfit have been riding the tubeless ready Power Cup tyres since the start of the 2022 season, racking up four wins at the time of writing.

Michelin Power Cup tyres detail

(Image credit: Michelin)

The Power Cup is offered in 25c, 28c and 30c widths and weighs a claimed 200 grams in the 25c size. It will retail at £62.99 per tyre.

The Power Cup Tubeless Ready is also offered in 25c, 28c and 30c with the 25c tipping the scales at a claimed 260 grams per tyre. It will also have a RRP of £62.99.

The Power Cup Tubular comes in 23c, 25c and 28c. The 23c has a claimed weight of 265 grams. The RRP is £99.99.

For more details on the Power Cup range visit michelin.co.uk

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Luke Friend

Luke Friend has worked as a writer, editor and copywriter for over twenty years. Across books, magazines and websites, he's covered a broad range of topics for a range of clients including Major League Baseball, the National Trust and the NHS. He has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and is a qualified bicycle mechanic. He fell in love with cycling at an early age, partly due to watching the Tour de France on TV. He's a passionate follower of bike racing to this day as well an avid road and gravel rider.