The X’Plor MSO is an tubeless-ready adventure tire designed for the most ambitious adventures. The combination of smooth-rolling center knobs and aggressive shoulder lugs provide great traction and durability for gravel roads, trails, urban assault and even pavement. The MSO tire is named for the airport code of Missoula, Montana, home of the Adventure Cycling Association. Donnelly’s X’Plor adventure tire series is designed to bridge the gap between pavement and blazing your own trail. Each tire within this series is designed for multiple conditions from off-road touring, to gravel racing, to just getting outta’ Dodge.So if we keep this in mind, the burly feeling casing of the X’Plor makes sense. Light weight tires come at a cost and that cost if often played out in trail side tire repairs and costly replacements. The tread pattern is interesting with not much in the way of blocks or gaps, but rather a close pattern of mini teardrop shaped knobs set into a semi-chevron pattern and with a decent center ridge effect. It looks like a fast, smooth rolling tire. With a slosh of Orange Seal Endurance formula, the X’Plor MSO tires set up with a floor pump on the WTB KOM 21 rims. Nice. They have not weeped one tiny bit since then, showing another good thing about a casing with more rubber in it. I have had many rides now over varied but typical So Cal conditions. Much more on that later, but I have found that the X’Plor MSO tires have been a real blast to use and I look forward to many more rides on them. Next post we will start to unpack that as I head to the rugged jeep roads of some high mountains near me, a perfect proving ground for a “tubeless ready adventure tire”. I will also be thinking out loud about the pros and cons of this wheel and tire size as compared to my normal 700X42mm set-up, as I have been flip-flopping back and forth a bit depending on the ride I am doing. Would I convert full time to 650BX50? More on that as we go. Editors Note: Yes, there is a 700c X 50 MSO as well which RidingGravel reviewed here. Note: Donnelly sent over the 650B X 50mm MSO model tires for test and review at no charge to RidingGravel.com. We were not bribed nor paid for this review and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.
About The Author: Grannygear hails from SoCal and spent most of his cycling days as a mountain biker from the formative years of mountain biking all the way up to the present day. His day job is in the tech sector, but he has spent time writing about off road 4X4’s, 29″ mountain bikes, and cycling in general. Grannygear and Guitar Ted have worked off and on together since 2009 after a chance meeting at Interbike. With gravel cycling on the rise, Grannygear has been exploring how this genre’ works in SoCal and now does guest pieces for RidingGravel.com in his spare time.