EDITOR’S NOTE: We have come to the understanding that some readers think this tire is available now. UPDATE: 12/15/15: We just got word that the Clement MSO 36 tubeless tires are being produced this month with initial shipments due to be sent out late in January/early February. We were promised more updates as the delivery time draws nearer. Stay tuned……
Getting Rolling: Clement MSO 36mm Tubeless Tire- The MSO tire from Clement was originally sold in two sizes- a 40mm and a 32mm size more suited to cyclo-cross. Now we have a “tweener” sized MSO in this 36mm tire, but it is much more than just a new size. It is tubeless ready. You can see our initial report on this tire here. Now it is time to get this review rolling, and here is how things have gone so far…..
The MSO is immediately familiar to those who have been around gravel riding for a while. The small, neatly arranged center and mid-casing knobs are interspersed with some larger, more laterally oriented side knobs. MSO casings tend to be round with a low “C” shape profile when inflated and this tubeless MSO is no different in that regard. However; let’s stop here and take a look at what it takes to get the MSO set up and then I’ll move on to some first impressions of these new tires.
I immediately went to a set of Velocity A-23 wheels I have here for the set up to tubeless with these MSO tires. Velocity rims have a good track record with me and tubeless set ups with various tires, so I feel that the A-23’s will be a good base for this test. Those rims are typically built into a lighter weight wheel set, and the MSO 36mm tires are certainly directed at those who race gravel.
The A-23’s were wrapped in two courses of Velocity “Velotape” and I used older style Velocity tubeless valve stems. The sealant used was the Caffe Latex which we introduced in this post. One thing, as a quick tip, that I would recommend on any gravel tubeless tire set up would be to use a soapy water solution and brush that on the beads of the tires before mounting them. This will aid in seating the beads of the tires properly and also helps seal off the beads to the rims while airing up a tire for the first time. Using this technique, I was able to easily set the MSO 36mm tires up tubeless with an ancient floor pump. The MSO tires seem to be well suited to the Velocity rim profile so I would expect that these MSO 36’s should work on any appropriate width Velocity rim here.
Ride Impressions: The air pressures I first tried were okay, but at 43psi rear/40psi front, I could see I had a bit excessive “tire drop”, (think in terms of suspension sag), so I bumped up the pressures to about 48psi rear/42psi front and that was a lot better. Even so, at both settings I did not feel any excessive rolling resistance at all. I’ll be experimenting with air pressures as the review goes on, but so far I would say these should have a lot better ability to go to lower pressures with a good feel than the tubed MSO tires do.
Beyond the air pressures, the ride was smooth, damped, and much like I would expect from an MSO. Perhaps there is a bit more grip here in corners. The tire without a tube in there seems to conform to the irregular terrain much better. I’ll be searching this out for later updates on this review. The paved sections were fast, as I expected, and I haven’t found any coarse gravel with these tires yet, but I will………
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 is a good sign for these tires.
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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