We are all spoiled for choice when it comes to buying tires. There are dozens if not even hundreds of brands out there, all of which offer something “different”. To make matters even worse, each brand offers an abundance of different tire families, all of which also offer something “different”.
Today we are going to focus on Hercules vs Michelin tires which means that we are going to put a relatively affordable brand against one of the world’s most prominent tire brands. We are going to tell you all the ins and outs of both brands and why you should go for one over the other.
Even though not many people have heard of this brand, Hercules has been serving the US market with tires since 1952. However, those who do know their way around a tire shop are likely going to say that Hercules is a world-renowned brand known for innovating and offering premium-level warranty coverages at a price point that isn’t all that premium.
For almost seven decades, Hercules is in a profitable partnership with Cooper Tires, a brand known for making tires for a whole host of brands such as Mickey Thompson, Dick Cepek, Mastercraft, and even Hercules. Be that as it may, there are some distinct differences between most brands under the Cooper umbrella and Hercules because Hercules tires are not cheap, nor lacking in quality.
This does not mean that Hercules makes premium tires, but they do venture deep into the premium segment by offering long-lasting warranties. Hercules is a brand that tries to redefine what a value tire is supposed to be. This means that they try their best to back up their tires with loads of research and development and thus innovating as much as possible.
This has resulted in Hercules tires being referred to as a “flagship killer” by many satisfied customers. We are going to test that by putting them against arguably the most notable tire brand in the history of humankind. However, before we do that, we are going to introduce you to what makes Hercules so special.
Hercules Tire Families
As mentioned previously, Hercules is a budget-friendly brand, but not really a through and through budget brand. They offer both commercial-grade and regular tires. Most of these tires fall into the sports, touring, or winter category, but they do also offer some specialty tires made for vintage cars, utility cars, and even trailers.
The Hercules Raptis family represents the very top echelon of ultra-performance tires from Hercules. The Hercules Raptis R-T5 is the pinnacle of top-tier technologies, advanced compounds, and innovative design that is going to satisfy all your performance needs. These come with the very best Hercules proprietary technologies which means that these tires offer exceptional dry and wet handling.
They are not the most comfortable tires in the world and they aren’t available in many sizes. Moreover, tread life is okay at best while winter performance is negligible.
The Hercules Roadtour tire series represents what is likely Hercules’s bread and butter, touring performance tires. You can choose between three different variants depending on if you want touring tires with an emphasis on refinement, touring tires with an emphasis on performance, or if you want to mix and match these two evenly.
These tires do come in a wide variety of sizes including both passenger cars, CUVs, minivans, and SUVs. They also come with longer tread life which means that they will serve you for as long as possible. The most popular tire from this family is the Hercules RoadTour 455 which comes in touring and performance forms.
The Hercules H/P family of tires is designed with dependable performance in mind, yet is mostly reserved for classic cars and muscle cars. This means that these tires don’t only emphasize performance, but also design so they look vintage and perform modern at the same time. They are not available in many sizes and are only reserved for passenger cars.
Hercules Terra Trac
If you own a CUV, an SUV, a van, a minivan, or a truck, you are best off going with the Hercules Terra Trac family of tires as these come in virtually all shapes and sizes and can fit anything besides regular passenger cars. Some of these like the Hercules Terra Trac AT II try to combine durability, refinement, and off-roading while others like the Terra Trac Cross-V emphasize road driving over everything else.
The Terra Trac series of tires is currently the most expansive line of tires in the Hercules catalog which means that you can most definitely find the perfect tire for you.
The Hercules Avalanche family tries to combine winter driving capabilities with handling and responsive steering. These tires perform admirably in all winter conditions, including blizzards, snow, ice, and slush. Many people believe that the grip levels you get with these tires are above average and that the Hercules Avalanche RT is the best tire within this family.
The Avalanche RT is available for SUVs, vans, and passenger cars while the Avalanche TT is only offered for trucks. You can also get the Avalanche XUV tire that pledges to offer maximum control for SUVs and crossovers only.
The Michelin tire company was founded back in the late 1880s in France by the Michelin brothers who just wanted to design a bicycle tire that can easily be replaced without needing any special tools. We can easily say that this was the beginning of an amazing story as the Michelin company is now worth close to $20 billion.
At first, Michelin was not up to par when it comes to competing with already established car tire brands like Continental which is still one of Michelin’s fiercest rivals. Michelin focused its efforts on innovation above everything else which has proven to be a great decision as Michelin is now arguably the top dog of the tire industry.
Michelin is now as established as a tire brand can get, but that does not come without substance. Michelin is known for making “best of the best” tires in virtually every category. This inevitably comes with incredibly steep pricing, but if you take a look at the world’s most renowned and most lavish automakers, they almost always rely on Michelin.
Michelin has even transcended the tire industry as a whole because they ventured into lifestyle industries and also managed to make quite of a stir. All in all, Michelin is a true premium tire brand that offers tires in all shapes and sizes. You can get Michelin tires for literally everything, and they are almost always some of the best tires you can get.
Michelin Tire Family
Now we are going to list some of Michelin’s most prized products and tell you what you get with each. Michelin has quite a catalog which means that we are only going to mention their most famous and most successful tire series.
Michelin Pilot tires are some of the world’s most successful and most capable performance tires, and the latest Michelin Pilot Sport 5 only further reiterates that. These can be found on both family four-door large sedans and multi-million-dollar hypercars which means that these are incredibly flexible. They come in endless shapes and sizes and the Pilot family consists of countless different subseries and purpose-made tires.
They are not the most comfortable tires, but they were never meant to be. These will help you explore the limits of traction on handling on everything ranging from passenger cars, SUVs, CUVs, and even race cars.
Performance tires are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Michelin as they are also known for making top-level touring tires as well. The Michelin Primacy family of tires also houses some of the world’s most renowned and loved touring tires ranging from summer and all-season options like the Michelin Primacy A/S or strictly summer tires like the Primacy 3 or the Primacy HP.
They can also be used in the snow, but don’t expect groundbreaking performance as these aren’t purpose-made winter tires. These can also be found in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and can fit virtually anything.
The Michelin Premier series of tires is somewhat of a middle ground between the Primacy and the Pilot series as these are premium touring tires with a definite sporty edge. There are only two different tires in this series which means that you aren’t really spoiled for choice here. However, both are enough to encompass the majority of the market.
The Michelin Latitude family is the most diverse Michelin tire series that exists which immediately makes it one of the world’s most diverse tire series in general. These are designed for crossovers and SUVs and come in three distinct categories, ice, tour, or sport. This means that you can get summer tires, winter tires, ice tires, performance tires, and touring tires, all packed into a single tire series.
When it comes to segment leaders, the Michelin Defender tire family simply can’t go unnoticed. This tire family only offers two types of tires, the Michelin T+H and the Michelin LTX M/S. Both of these are designed to be used throughout the year which also includes mild to moderate snow. As such, the Defender family of tires tries to be a jack of all trades.
The Michelin T+H is designed for passenger cars, coupes, crossovers, and SUVs while the Defender LTX M/S is designed for trucks and SUVs.
Michelin X Ice
The Michelin X Ice tire family offers a few different tires, all of which are focused solely on winter driving. This means that these are designed to tackle snow, ice, slush, and below-freezing temperatures. There really isn’t anything else to say there besides the fact that these are also at the top of their game and are available in many shapes and sizes.
As electric cars are slowly taking over the car market, more and more tire brands are developing purpose-made EV tires, and the Energy family represents Michelin’s take. These come in two different variants, the Michelin Energy LX4 is the all-season tire while the Michelin Energy Savior is the summer tire. The primary purpose of these tires is to lower rolling resistance in order to boost fuel efficiency.
Hercules vs. Michelin Tires: The Differences
When it comes to dry performance, there is very little that separates these two brands as virtually all reputable tire brands have mastered the craft of dry traction until this point. When it comes to wet traction, Michelin takes the lead in almost every way. That is not to say that Hercules does not offer competent wet tires, it’s just the fact that Michelin tires are on a different level.
Touring tires are also where Michelin takes it with relative ease because they offer countless touring and grand touring tires that mix and match all types of benefits. This inevitably means that you can find the perfect tire for you. Hercules on the other hand simply does not have as much firepower at its disposal as they only offer a few different touring tires, all of which are far off what Michelin offers.
Winter tires represent an admirable approach from Hercules which means that Hercules winter tires are truly amazing for the price but still can fall short of the Michelin winter top drawer stuff. Off-roading is not really what these two brands are all about, but we can say that both brands offer competitive tires in this segment.
Availability of Options
Michelin takes it here by a landslide as Michelin is an entirely different league when compared to Hercules. Even though Hercules does satisfy the needs of most people in most instances, Michelin simply has more of everything at its disposal.
Price & Warranty
Price-wise, it is all about Hercules tires here as they are significantly cheaper than Michelin while the warranty is actually better with Hercules. This might come as a surprise as most budget-friendly brands tend to shy away from any significant warranty coverages. Michelin does offer a warranty coverage you’d expect from a premium brand, but Hercules even exceeds that with certain tires.
Advantages Of Hercules
- Longer warranty coverage
- Better value with off-road and winter tires
Advantages Of Michelin
- Better performance tires
- Better touring tires
- Better winter tires
- More innovation
- More options
Chart Comparison Hercules VS Michelin Tires
Hercules VS Michelin Tires: Which Brand To Choose?
At the end of our Hercules versus Michelin Tires comparison, we can easily say that Michelin is the more complete brand as a whole. In most segments, Michelin takes it with ease, but Hercules does offer better value in many segments.
If you want the pick of the litter, the best of the best, Michelin is the obvious choice, but if you want a decent tire that should be able to hold its own in most situations, Hercules is more than good enough.