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Miche: All-round expertise

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30 Jan 2019
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Wheel building has been described as equal parts art and science, and as such can be fiendishly difficult to perfect. Italian component engineer Miche, however, has been refining its techniques for long enough that it can credibly claim to be a master in this particular field – and, indeed, in the production of most bicycle components.

Founded in 1919, this year the FAC Michelin family business celebrates its 100th anniversary, and over that century the company has done nothing but manufacture almost every part that comprises a bicycle.

‘The ethos of the company has remained unchanged throughout its history – the grandson of Miche’s founder is our current CEO,’ says Miche’s Peter Cole.

‘What sets us apart is our ability to control every part of the process of wheel manufacture from start to finish, so the quality can remain consistently high. Because we are so closely involved with each component we make, it is easy for us to keep innovating and developing our catalogue.’

Miche’s new Supertype 440RC wheel (pictured right) is a case in point. Until this year, the Supertype line was tubular-only, because it was meant for use by elite racing cyclists. ‘But the pro teams we work with started calling for tubeless-ready Supertype clinchers,’ says Cole, ‘so we were able to develop them.’

A lot of R&D went into the resin of the 440RC’s rims to ensure they were strong enough to cope with the tubeless set-up and heat build-up while also remaining lightweight.

‘In Miche’s lab conditions, the resins are tested to over 250˚C, far above the temperatures achieved under constant heavy braking on the road, which means the wheel is reliable even on long, hot descents in the mountains,’ says Cole.

Perfecting the 440RC’s rims required a large investment of time and effort but Miche didn’t skimp in other areas of the build. The spokes are custom-made by Sapim to Miche’s innovative designs and specs, while the hubs use SKF bearings inside carbon, aluminium and titanium parts.

‘It makes them stiffer and more durable than other designs,’ says Cole.

]This hub technology isn’t just employed at the top end of Miche’s range: it’s also available at more accessible price points. Miche’s new Neon wheels (left) use the same hubs alongside a lightweight aluminium rim.

The wheels only cede a small weight penalty – which means they offer much of the same performance benefit – and again are tubeless-ready, making for an ideal year-round option.

Cole certainly thinks the wheels’ durability is up to the task thanks to Miche’s experience at Pro-Continental level, through its sponsorship of Team Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.

‘The team mechanics told me Miche’s wheelsets had been ridden and raced for six months. Aside from three wheels damaged in crashes they hadn’t had to do anything – not service a bearing nor true a spoke. They couldn’t believe they’d had it so easy!’

Visit Miche's website to discover the Italian master's full range of wheels

  

Miche Neon                    
Weight 1,545g
Rim depth 26mm (front), 29mm (rear)
Rim width Tubeless-ready 17mm (internal)
Spokes Custom Sapim design, 18 (front), 24 (rear)
Price £599
Contact chickencyclekit.co.uk

  

Miche Supertype 440RC
Weight 1,476g
Rim depth 40mm
Rim width Tubeless-ready17mm (internal)
Spokes Custom Sapim design,18 (front), 24 (rear)
Price £1,799
Contact chickencyclekit.co.uk