I wrote a brief report on the Michelin City commuting tire back in June. In that post, I described how I was pleasantly surprised by the ride quality of this relatively inexpensive tire, and that the true test would come during our flat season, which typically runs from mid-July through mid-September, when goathead thorns litter our trails and bike lanes.
For those who are unfamiliar, goatheads are thumbtack-like thorns that are notorious for causing punctures in bicycle tires. They are sharp and strong and they’ve been known to defeat just about every flat avoidance measure known to man. Standard road racing tires are a joke when goatheads are around; I’ve seen as many as 5 simultaneous punctures in one tire due to goat heads. The only tire I’ve personally ridden that withstands their attacks to some degree is the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme.
When your tire picks up a goat head, it sounds as if you have a small rock caught in your tread — they’re that strong. This morning on my way in, I picked up what sounded like two small rocks, with a clear, “click-click, click-click” coming from the rear tire. I stopped to remove the rocks, and much to my chagrin, there were two large goatheads stuck in the tire. I pulled them out and proceeded on my way, assuming the tire would be flat in minutes.
Much to my surprise, the tube held — neither of the thorns made it through the City’s protective barrier. They were both deeply embedded and extremely sharp. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about the flat resistance of this tire, and I’m more than a little surprised that the tire withstood a pair of large goatheads. It’s still too early in the season to come to any conclusions, but if this first experience is any indicator, the City may turn out to be a great commuting tire.