Tested With Flint (A Tale Just For Cyclists)

For a few weeks now I’ve been riding on Michelin Krylion Carbon tyres on my main Bianchi ‘workhorse’ bike and have been very impressed. Inspecting them closely once or twice has shown them to be almost totally unscathed – barely a cut or even a mark on them. I’ve hooked out one embedded piece of stone (which didn’t cause a puncture) and that’s it.

Photo: Michelin Krylion Carbon Tyres

The remarkably resilient Krylions

However … we’ve had hardly any rain for ages, and rain means dirty roads and lots of washed-down pieces of grit. Around here, grit often includes flint. A heavy bloke on a bike riding on flint-strewn (let alone pot-hole riddled) roads is a proper test of a pair of tyres.

Yesterday – a Bank Holiday, so pretty typically – it rained almost all day. Sometimes heavily, sometimes just lightly, but all day. What the weatherman called ‘useful rain’. It made a very welcome change even if it meant riding would have been a bit unpleasant. It also made today’s jaunt around the lanes the first proper test of the Krylions. They remain almost completely unmarked.

That actually is quite remarkable.

It might not be a super-fast race tyre but I’m not a racer. If you’re at all prone to punctures then all I can suggest is that you try them – they’ve worked for me. (And if you’re a racer who’s prone to punctures, then I’d rather suspect getting through a race without a flat will gain you more time than the seconds to be gained from a lighter tyre.)

I did have a pair of Continental 4000s that I wore out without them ever puncturing, but otherwise I’ve been let down by various Schwalbes, Continental Gatorskins, Vredestein Ricorsos and any number of cheaper tyres.

October is what I’d call the traditional start of puncture season – wet days after the dry summer months can mean a lot of road debris – so we’ll see how they fare then. So far though, I am impressed.

Why have I come to be riding on them? Back in January (the 7th) I stopped to lend a hand to a chap who’d punctured. Another rider was already helping; naturally talk turned to tyres; the other rider helping was on Krylions and recommended them. Then on the 11th I had two punctures on one ride and that prompted me to try something new. So, I do have to say I am very glad I stopped to help, and grateful for the chap’s opinion. It’s good when events have a kind of symmetry.

(If only there was a gum-coloured side wall version of the Krylions to put on retro-looking bikes … Ah well, you can’t have everything, and that really is being a bit keen.)