Time for some mud! The Clement MSO’s in the 36mm tubeless flavor have been impressive just about everywhere so far.
Clement MSO 36mm Tubeless Tires: Checkpoint – The weather has been unreal here in the Midwest, so tire testing, which normally wouldn’t be happening at this time of year, has continued. This update on the Clement MSO 36mm tubeless tire should give the reader a pretty good indication of what to expect from this new offering from Clement, which should be available in January 2016. The last post on these tires can be found HERE. This may be the last update for a while depending upon when Winter shows up around here, so let’s dive in…….
Tubeless Performance: The Clement MSO 36mm tires are very good in terms of ease of set up, air retention, and for handling gravel riding with no issues with burping. Since the last update, I swapped these tires over to a set of HED Ardennes+ wheels, (NOTE: Same rim as HED Belgium+), and the ease of airing up these tires was experienced again, with absolutely no trouble seating the tires correctly at about 30psi or so. Since then I haven’t had to do much beyond checking them on occasion and adding a touch of air when necessary. I would rate these as on par with the recently tested Teravail Cannonballs for ease of tubeless set up and day to day living with them set up tubeless. I measured these Clement MSO 36mm tires at 39mm at 40psi on the HED Ardennes+ wheels. That is pretty impressive, but don’t mistake the volume of these 36’s as being close to that of the folding bead, tube-type MSO 40mm tire, which obviously has a larger volume casing than the tubeless MSO.
Ride Impressions: Now that these tires have been ridden several times on gravel, I can report that they have a very smooth, damped feel. I don’t notice the lower volume here compared to the larger MSO 40mm tires, and in fact, these tubeless versions feel better, in my opinion. I was able to lower the pressures with the aid of the wider HED rims here, and the tires gained a bit of volume on the wider rims as well. Not a surprise to me, as we’ve seen similar results with mtb tires and tubeless set ups with wider rims for years. So far, I’ve used pressures from the high 30’s psi to close to 50psi. I have found that at about 40-45psi seems to be right for me. Your mileage may vary here. They feel fast and in my roll down test, they measured out to be almost the best I’ve tested so far, with the champ at this time being the Maxxis Rambler, but that only by a small amount.
In mud, the MSO 36 seems to shed the goo well, doesn’t have a proclivity for mud build up that is unusual, and seems to have a good stability in mud, should you choose to power through it. On loose gravel these tires really are a nice tire for feel, control, and maintaining speed. The MSO 36 tubeless tires spin up reasonably fast on climbs and are wide enough to lend just enough stability on higher speed down hills that it isn’t a handful to maintain control.
Interestingly, since RidingGravel.com has three new tubeless tire models available at this time, I can relate a couple of my observations by way of comparison. The aforementioned Cannonball tires are not anywhere close to being as fast, supple, and stable in loose gravel as the Clements are. This is because Teravail chose durability and puncture protection over speed and traction. The Maxxis Rambler, also on test here, is very similar in ride feel and performance, but is very finicky with regard to tubeless set up and that limits the rims that work with it. The Clement not only strikes a middle ground here in terms of its weight, which falls in between that of the Teravail and Maxxis offerings, but seems to be friendlier in terms of ride feel and tubeless set up as well. This MSO may very well be the “Goldilocks” choice for tubeless gravel tires.
So Far…..The new MSO 36mm tires are familiar in appearance and in much of their ride feel as well. However; that tubeless thing gives these an edge so far in the performance category over a tubed MSO. Easy tubeless set up on Velocity rims and HED rims is a good sign for these tires. The MSO 36mm tires are not as voluminous as the 40mm MSO tires, but feel better, and damp better than their larger sibling. They are fast and very smooth on loose gravel.
Stay tuned till……..whenever I can get this review done! It may be within a month if the weather holds up, or it may be three if it doesn’t, but either way, look for an “At The Finish” whenever I can get to that point.
Note: Clement Pneumatics sent over these MSO 36 mm tires to RidingGravel.com at no charge for test and review. We are not being bribed nor paid for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout
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