Michelin StarCross 5 Soft - Product Of The Week

We check out the Michelin StarCross 5 Soft in this Product Of The Week

Tires
The new Michelin StarCross 5 Soft TirePhoto By Sean Klinger

Michelin StarCross 5 Soft Tires

$ - See your local dealer

For this week, we are taking a look at Michelin’s new StarCross 5 Soft Tires. The StarCross 5 line of “cross” tires comes in Soft, Medium, Hard, and Sand versions that all have different tread patterns to work in the terrain they are named after. But the main difference between the StarCross 5 and its predecessors (StarCross 3/4) is the 5’s new casing.

It’s new casing design is up to 15 percent lighter, according to Michelin, than the previous design using stronger, higher density materials. Another feature that is applied to all the versions are fine horizontal tread lines that are said to release dirt, thereby enhancing traction.

Looking at Michelin’s StarCross 5 Usages and Terrains info-graphic, the Soft version is designed for a little bit of firm dirt, then works well in grass and mud, then a little bit of sand. Unique to this tread pattern are what Michelin calls “mud-phobic bars” in the big gaps between knobs that are supposed to help keep dirt and mud from building up.

We’ve only had a few days on these tires and we can say that we are pretty impressed. Our initial impression we noticed great straight-line traction with the perceptible feeling of the knobs digging into the ground, where the previous StarCross 3 would have some wheel spin. On lean over, the traction is also good and was very predictable when it would start to break loose. With the new casing we also noticed more rider comfort – on slap down landings, square edge, and braking bumps it feels as if there is more cushion between the ground and the rider.

We will keep riding on these knobbies so check an upcoming issue for the full test.

Tires
The Michelin StarCross 5 comes in Soft, Medium, Hard, and Sand, each with its own tread pattern.Photo By Sean Klinger
Tire detail
The "Mud-Phobic Bars" can be seen in the big gaps in the knobs. They are supposed to keep dirt and mud from accumulating.Photo By Sean Klinger
Tire detail
The horizontal grooves are to expel dirt.Photo By Sean Klinger