Pros: Top notch traction and quiet ride.
Cons: Pricey but worth it.
The Michelin LTX M/S radial Truck and SUV tire is one of the best on the market for doing what it was intended to do, possibly the best. When you are researching tires to replace your less than adequate factory installed ones, or your presently worn out set, this is the best place to go. And this is the best tire to start with, because it could just very well be the last tire review you need to read.
There are many features on this tire that are designed just for the exact type of driving and working situations you find yourself in every day. Wether it is primarily highway driving taking the little soccer stars to their next match, or deep into a logging trail delivering fuel to your skidder, this purpose built tire can get you there.
I mentioned two completely opposite situations, two that can't be any further from the spectrum of needs of the other. But actually I see both almost every day in the business I am in. I work for a Michelin dealer and see the best and the worst conditions that tires are operated in and this one can handle anything.
LETS VIEW THE FACTS AND FIGURES OF THE MICHELIN LTX M/S:
Michelin advertises this tire as a "premium all-season light truck radial for pickups, full-size vans, and sport utility vehicles." Actually the M/S nomenclature stands for Mud and Snow, which to be categorized as an all season tire, any tire has to carry the M/S tag. This is an excellent all season tire to say the least. But to take that one step further, one high standard that a tire has to meet is how well it plows.
Where I live snow is measured in feet, not inches and when people are looking for a tire to mount on their pick up truck for the purpose of plowing, they need exceptional traction or they will get stuck, not being able to fulfill their obligation. How embarrassing would it be to be plowing a parking lot and get stuck, needing to call someone to pull you out ? The Michelin LTX M/S is one tire that is requested more than most others for this purpose, plowing, because of its excellent reputation and traction.
One big reason for this legendary traction is the open design of the tread blocks. When the shoulder tread on a tire is closed, it is almost like one continuous rib, like a highway truck steer tire. On the LTX M/S the tread is broken up into varying pitch blocks which will not only give you this traction, but will offer the quiet ride Michelin is famous for. When the blocks of the tread are not varied in size and shape, a harmonic will be set up as the tire rolls down the road and this is what you hear when some trucks speed by, that obnoxious scream. When you vary the pitch and size-shape of the block design no harmonic can be started, hence no road noise.
The "deep circumferential grooves" channel water out from under the tread contact patch for excellent wet weather traction. "Interlocking full depth sipes" provide many biting edges for excellent snow traction while still maintaining tread block stability. This simply means the sipes, or the little grooves built into all of the tread blocks themselves take care of the rest of the traction and water channeling left over from the larger grooves. This is what the soccer moms want in a tire, good traction in snow and rain, and a tire that gives predictable handling. This is exactly what they receive.
A third steel belt in the "D" & "E" load ranges provides greater puncture resistance for greater durability. This is for the loggers and snow plowers mentioned before. The lesser load ranges are for the light trucks and SUV's living on the tarmac and concrete jungles. In the actual jungles that are Upper Michigan logging trails and back roads, the extra load bearing tires is what you are looking for. Same tread design, same top notch traction and low noise in a much stiffer and tougher casing, resisting the torture handed out by the extreme conditions these are operated under.
This well deserved reputation for toughness is the biggest reason why construction and logging types request this tire above many others. They are built to handle these extreme conditions and judging by the fact that many Michelin owners come back again and again for the LTX M/S tires when they need replacement is an excellent testimonial. If a tire did not perform to expectations in this business it does not get considered again ! This not only does, but is a tire seeked out by purchasers.
Many times when an 8 or 10 ply Michelin tire is worn out, the casings are sent in to our Green Bay retread facility for caps. When the mines and industrial institutions call looking for a re-tread the first thing they ask for is Michelin casings. This is because the casing that the Michelin is built around is the best on the market. When you lift a brand new Michelin LTX M/S you can feel the quality before it is ever mounted on a rim. Stiff sidewalls are the first thing you notice, and this translates into tough !
When you go to balance this Michelin tire you also see quality. Many tires, especially light truck tires, when spun on the balancer have some amount of out of round condition, and there is many times nothing you can do about it. When you put a mounted Michelin LTX M/S on a spin balancer there is hardly ever any side to side or up and down movement to it. This tells me the casing is manufactured to high standards of quality and tolerance. This tell you that you will get a smooth vibration free ride, and this is my experience with this tire. very smooth operating and stable feeling.
SO DO THEY MAKE IT IN MY SIZE: ?
Chances are yes ! This tire comes in over 33 sizes ranging from a smallest of LT195/75 R 14 to a largest of P275/70R16 Ranging from common P metric and P metric XL to full on LT 10 ply work horse.
They are offered in outlined raised white lettered (ORWL) and outlined raised black lettered (ORBL) models. Most will carry a treadwear rating of 440 with a traction rating of A and temperature rating of A or B. To know exactly which is the tire best suited for you, visit your local Michelin dealer today.
For a detailed explanation on whan all the numbers and sizing talk means, visit the URL below for the details.