The Michelin Lithion 2 tyres are good all-rounders at a very competitive price. They offer excellent puncture protection, good grip round the corners and fairly low rolling resistance, although they force you to stay in the saddle when climbing in the wet.
Decent rolling resistance
Good puncture protection
Grip could be better when climbing in wet
If there’s one thing that I’d think twice about skimping on when buying components for my bike, it’s tyres. However, the Michelin Lithion 2 tyres show that you don’t have to break the bank to find half-decent tyres that won’t leave you standing at the side of the road fixing endless punctures.
That said, my first experience with the Michelin Lithion 2 tyres was a frustrating one. Maybe I just haven’t been working out enough recently, but I found these tyres a real struggle to get on the rim. In fact, I had to leave them overnight with only half of the beading inside the rim before having a second go at them the following morning. Only then and with very tired thumbs was I able to get them set up.
But once mounted the Michelin Lithion 2 tyres performed well for such a good value tyre. I’ve been testing the 25mm versions (they are also available in 23mm) and found the grip to generally be excellent through the corners, enabling to attack the bends with just a little more venom than I would usually be able to.
However not quite as good was the level of grip on offer when climbing steep hills, particularly in the wet. They don’t lack grip in quite the same dramatic way as the Hutchinson Intensive 2 tyres that I tested last winter, but you do find yourself sitting down to keep pressure over the back wheel if it’s raining and the road is ramping up to over 10 per cent.
Watch: buyer's guide to road bike tyres
The rolling resistance of the Michelin Lithion 2 tyres is a little better. They have a 60 TPI (threads per inch) construction which is a little low in the grand scheme of things, but they’re still surprisingly supple, rolling smoothly over all road surfaces. Of course, they’re not as fast as more expensive tyres with a higher TPI count such as the Continental GP4000S II tyres or the Bontrager R4 tyres, but for the price the Michelin Lithion 2 tyres certainly aren’t bad.
As far as I can tell, puncture protection is also pretty good. I’ve done a fair few hundred miles on these tyres over the last couple of months over which time I haven’t suffered a single puncture. Of course this might just be a bit of luck and sod’s law dictates that I’ll go out tomorrow and get a double puncture straight out of the front door, but there also seem to be relatively few cuts even from riding around the mean glass-strewn streets of south London.
Finally, we have to mention the price. At £22.99 the Michelin Lithion 2 tyres are exceptional value, and with certain retailers selling them for half price (or less) they’re a great choice for a pair for winter training tyres.
For more details visit Michelin.
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