Michelin Bibendum Tyres
Millimetric Bibendum Tyres
Bibendum was Michelins Name for its New Tyres
|Michelin, aware of the concerns over vintage tyres detaching themselves from beaded edge tyre rims, pursued the design of a Bibendum rim with a well for only half its circumference. However as the well-base wheel proved its integrity and its design was refined Michelin's bibendum tyres rim was discontinued.
Michelin Bibendum Vintage Tyres
Michelin's Bibendum tyre dimensions for these bibendum rims are predominantly given in metric terms rather than the more commonplace imperial measurements used for well-base wheels. It is dangerous to fit metric tyres to imperial rims and imperial tyres on metric rims as the sizes are not interchangeable.
Superconfort Bibendum Tyres
Resulting from research which led to even lower pressures and slower wear, Michelin brought out a very low pressure Bibendum tyre in 1932, the 'Superconfort'. 1935 saw the launch of the 'Superconfort Stop S' the first bibendum tyre with a heavily striped tread pattern, specially designed for wet surfaces. At the time, Michelin was the only manufacturer who knew how to make this type of Bibendum tyre with the famous wavy 'zig-zag' stripes, which greatly improve safety because of the excellent grip they give. As its name suggests, the 'Superconfort Stop S' tyre offers exceptional comfort, in addition to its performance on the road.
Q: What are Bibendum tyres?
A: they are crossply tyres that need to be fitted to a millimetric Bibendum wheel rim. When well based wheels were first developed they were developed in imperial inch sizes, however in Europe they wanted to have their wheels measures in millimetres or centimetres. Bibendum tyres come in sizes suited to fit 50cm, 45cm and 400mm wheel sizes.
Q: Do Bibendum tyres need to fit inner tubes?
A: Yes. predominantly Bibendum wheels are made with a central hole so the need central valve inner tubes.
Q: How do you know it is Bibendum tyres or Bibendum wheels?
A: most pre war Bibendum wheels will have a central valve stem and often only have a well that goes part of the way around the wheel. Also pre war European cars such as a Citroen C4 will have tyre sizes such as 13X45 (13cm wide on a 45cm wheels) or a Lancia Lambda might have a 14X50 Bibendum tyre size (14cm wide for a 50cm wheel) then cars such as a Citroen Traction Avante will fit a crossply 140X40 Bibendum tyre (14cm wide on a 40cm wheel). Then a later traction Avante will fit radial tyres 165R400 (165mm wide on the same 40cm wheel, but described as 400mm)