Review: Michelin Lithion 2 Road Tyre

When I bought my Planet X around three years ago it came with a set of Michelin Lithion road tyres. Whilst the tyres are now on my training wheels and the back one ran out a long time ago, the front is still going strong and overall I've been very impressed by the quality of them.

Retailing on-line in most stores for around £15 for a folding tyre, these are a great deal. They are a lightweight, durable and safe all weather training tyre, which look good on the bike and provide a comfortable ride.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Tread:  Lithions are branded as a good all-weather tyre, which is certainly true. The have a slick centre tread, with grooved outer panels. This provides good speed, yet safe and confident cornering even in wet conditions.
  • Puncture Protection: A high density rubber and inbuilt puncture protection mean that these tyre have a strong resistance to punctures, with the majority of punctures I have encountered coming from pothole pinch-punctures.
  • Durability: As mentioned above, I've been running one of these tyres for close to three years on the front wheel of one bike and it is still looking in good condition. When wear does occur it becomes evident through a squaring off of the centre slick strip, and a loss of the herring bone outer grip; indicating that replacement is required from a safety and grip view-point. 
  • Look: An important factor for many, the Lithion 2 comes in four different colours (red not shown above), and looks very similar to the Pro3 Race tyre at a glance. Therefore having the appearance of a much more expensive tyre. 
  • Fitting: The folding nature makes it easier to fit to the rim (as well as making the tyre lighter). It also means that the tyre is a useful spare tyre. I took one folded up and strapped to my rear rack on my France and Spain touring trip last year.
Overall, a great training tyre. Not as fast as the GP4000s that I use to race on, and not as durable as the 25C Vittoria Rubino Tyres on my touring/winter bike. But they are a fast, grippy and durable summer training tyre; which is strong enough and safe enough to use in the wet as well. 

Comments

  1. They look pretty good - I've never used Michelin tyres before though. Out of all brands are they the ones you'd recommend?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Laura, it depends on your budget and what you are likely to be using the tyres for. If it's a winter tyre, I recommend the Vittoria Rubino tyres (a review for those is also up on the blog). If it's for a race bike, or if budget is not too much of an issue I would go for Continental GP4000s. These Lithions are a good all-round tyre though, especially for summer use.

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  3. Got back on the bike a couple of days ago after being off it for 3 years! Anyway i have always used Michelin Pro Race tyres and they've always been top drawer. So on looking at my bike the tyres looked a bit perished on the sidewalls. Very lightly not bad. Anyway went for a 30 mile hilly ride and all was well but noticed it looks like a slow puncture on the back wheel. Ah! So don't have the money for the Pro Race tyres anymore do you think these would do me as well? I just train i don't race.

    Gary

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Gary,
    These make great fast summer training tyres: they've got a good amount of grip, and they last well, they are also not too much of a burden on the wallet. Certainly compared to the Pro Race tyres, they are a far better option if you are not a racer.
    Cheers
    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Tim, fixed that rear wheel slow puncture. It wasn't actually a new puncture! With being off the bike a long time and then going back to it pumping up the tyres to high pressure had caused an old repair patch to start leaking out of some slighly perished looking rubber. Probably purely down to the bike being off the road and not used for a while. Just replaced the inner with a new one and all is good. On another slightly different note; those Michelin Pro Race tyres are a nightmare to get on some rims!!!! My thumbs were blistered trying to get the tyre fully over the rim. Eventually had to aid my hands with a tyre lever!! I'm using Campagnolo Neutron wheels and they are a tight fit with the PR's.

    I like the look of those Lithion's and might try them for my next set.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I fancied something a bit lighter and faster than my Schwalbe Marathon Plus’es that have actually been excellent. Anyway for a faster commute now the weather is picking up I thought I’d buy a pair of Michelin lithion 2s stick them on my Honkytonk and give them a go. I fitted them “by the way with new tubes” but didn’t ride them for 24 hours (due to an unrelated circumstance) then took them out for only a 4 mile spin last night “they felt great”. This morning I went for my bike and couldn’t believe it “a flat” so I got my other bike out for my work commute. One bad day don’t make a winter so I’m living in hope that it’s just a blip because it was a wealth of punctures that drove me to the Marathon plus’es in the first place. It’s disappointing but it’s my experience as of now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Update if I may. The Lithion 2 tyres are fine. It was actually a defective inner tube, pretty rare im sure but undoubtedly so. I did 25 miles on them yesterday and for me they felt fast and strong and held on the road well.

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