The Michelin Lithion 2 is Michelin's medium priced road bike tire. The Lithion 2 is positioned directly under the Pro 4 range, which are Michelin's top of the line tires. It's main competitors are the Continental Grand Prix and Vittoria Rubino Pro, which are two of my favorite road bike tires. I'm looking to see if Michelin can offer a competitive tire in this price range, getting close to the Conti and Vittoria would be a great accomplishment.
Unfortunately, Not a lot of information can be found about the Lithion 2. The only things Michelin has to say about this tire are: Folding tire for training use, great grip, endurance, good performance. After some digging in PDF files, I've found the Lithion 2 to use a 60 TPI canvass and some kind of "Performance Grip" compound. Not providing more information seems like a missed opportunity. Why spend so many resources into developing a tire and then be so brief?
Positioned under the Lithion 2 is the even cheaper Michelin Dynamic Sport. The Dynamic Sport is a bottom barrel wire bead tire and is the next tire on my list. I'm curious how it fits in the Michelin road bike tire range and how it compares to the other cheap tires.
|Tire Type||Tubetype (clincher)|
|Supplied By||Bought in store|
|New or Used||New|
|Specified Weight||250 grams|
Size and Weight Measurements
|Size and Weight Measurements (Bike Wheel: 622x17C, Pressure: 100 psi / 6.9 bar)|
|Specified Weight||250 grams|
|Measured Weight||268 grams|
|Measured Width||27 mm|
|Measured Height||25 mm|
|Total Tire Thickness Center||3 mm|
|Total Tire Thickness Sidewall||0.55 mm|
Michelin specifies weight of the 700 x 25C Lithion 2 to be 250 grams. The sample used for this test comes in at 268 grams. 268 grams is a bit more than both the Conti Grand Prix and Vittoria Rubino which came in at 239 and 238 grams. Measured width is 27 mm. Measured height is 25 mm. 27/25 mm seems to be the average size for a 25C rated tire.
With the Michelin Lithion 2 review comes some new data: Total Tire Thickness Tread and Total Tire Thickness Sidewall. These measurements should give an indication about how much rubber is on the tire (tread measurement) and the thickness of the carcass (sidewall measurement). The Lithion 2 measures 3.0 mm/0.55 mm, which both are very average values. The Pro 4 Service Course and Endurance measure 2.9 mm/0.55 mm and 2.9 mm/0.9 mm respectively.
Rolling Resistance Test Results
|Rolling Resistance Test Results (Speed: 29 kmh / 18 mph / 8 m/s, Load: 42.5 kg / 417 N)|
|Inner Tube||Conti Race28 (100gr butyl)|
|Rolling Resistance 140 psi / 9.7 Bar||
CRR: Not Tested
|Rolling Resistance 120 psi / 8.3 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 100 PSI / 6.9 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 80 PSI / 5.5 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 60 PSI / 4.1 Bar||
|Use the formula: RR (watts) = CRR * speed (m/s) * load (N) to calculate rolling resistance at a given speed and load|
Maximum allowed air pressure as indicated on the sidewall is 109 psi. I did take measurements at 120 psi to keep all results consistent across the site.
At an air pressure of 120 psi, rolling resistance is 15.9 watts. At the more usable air pressure of 100 psi, rolling resistance comes in at 16.7 watts. Dropping air pressure to a comfortable 80 psi results in a rolling resistance of 18.7 watts. All of these values are very average, the Lithion 2 doesn't really stand out of the crowd.
Rolling resistance is a bit higher when compared to its main competitors, 2.5 to 3.5 watts is lost to the Conti Grand Prix or Vittoria Rubino Pro. When we compare the Lithion 2 with the Pro 4 Service Course and Pro 4 Endurance, rolling resistance is 1.7 to 3 watts higher depending on air pressure. When you consider the Lithion 2 is about half the price of the Pro 4 tires, you get great value for money.
Puncture Resistance Test Results
|Puncture Resistance Test Results (higher is better)|
|Puncture Resistance Tread||12|
|Puncture Resistance Sidewall||4|
The Michelin Pro 4 Service Course and Endurance both surprised me by getting high scores in the puncture resistance tests. The Lithion 2 isn't able to impress like its more expensive family. With a score of 12 points in the tread test, it scores 3 points less than the Pro 4 Service Course and Endurance. In the sidewall test, it scores 4 points. This is an average score at best and 50% and 33% lower than the Endurance and Service Course respectively.
To me, the Lithion 2 seems like a very average tire. This seems to comply with the way Michelin describes this tire on its website. This doesn't mean it's a bad tire. If performance is average in all categories, you still end up with a great tire. I'm not sure how the Lithion 2 performs in the real world, it might have great grip or long wear. If you've used this tire, consider leaving a comment about real-life performance.
I classified the Lithion 2 as a medium price range tire. In reality, the Lithion 2 comes in at the bottom of the medium price range class. Pricing seems to be a bit lower when compared to the Continental Grand Prix and Vittoria Rubino Pro. If you can get a good deal on these, I'm sure the Lithion 2's will be solid tires.
TEST VERDICT: Recommended