As a bike messenger I have the chance to test out many products to their limit. Being on the road 50hour+ every single week in city environment really hammers the crap out of everything ! Not only bike components, but clothing, phones, bags, bottles and so !
However, 2 years ago I found a pair of tyres: the Michelin Protek City wire-bead. It was a hard to kill beast. I rode at least 20000km with it and it never gave in. The only 2 negative aspects, I could say was the size 700*40 and the grip. I mean it was like made of plastic. A little bit of rain and it was giving me shivers. A tiny section of anything other than pavement and I had to be careful. That includes white lines and electric plates.
I paid like 20bucks for a pair and honestly, it paid off big time ! I had 2 punctures in 2 years ! The first one was because of a tree branch I rolled through, what had an enormous pin, in about 2weeks of purchase. The second was the final one, caused by I don’t know which of the 100s of glass shrapnels embedded in the thick of the gum.
I decided to continue with the earned knowledge and chose the same tyre 2 years later on a 700*28 version ! I am not sure what happened to the quality, but one and a half month later, around 3500km in, the tyres are all dead. I did not pay attention to the cracks on the surface, but finally the rear one blew out. It wasn’t a cut, but the actual seam holding the wirebead popped and my inner tube poked out ! Something cut it of course ! Afterwards analysing the tyre, it looked like that a hammer just smashed it over and over again. Cracked all over the place. My front tyre is the same. I must change it too.
I used to be riding a Zaffiro 700*28s on my road bike (6.5kg) and it held up for almost two years. It had around 7000kms , but exposed to much higher speeds, bumps and external stress. What I want to say with this ,that the premature fatigue of the Michelins are not caused by the small diameter. Yeah, I am riding with sometimes an over charged bag and my bike is not 6.5 but more likely 10kg. Also rain, snow, hail, grit are omnipresent. Still 20000 to 3500km !
Comparing the three tyre’s history and drawing consequence from it, the latest Michelin Protek city 700*28 version is not recommended for bike messenger work !