I Like the Look of the Clement X’Plor MSO Oct 23, 2014


Look, I don’t buy into the whole gravel grinding marketing behind bigger tires, but I do like a big, fat tire on a cross bike for trail shredability. So far I’ve ridden the Nano, the Knard and now, I’ve got my sights on the Clement X’Plor MSO, a tire that officially launched last year, but this is the first I’m seeing it.

See more at Clement, or at your local shop. Anyone ride these tires yet?

  • Challenge makes a larger volume tire too.

    • Josh Siegel

      I have that one – The Gravel Grinder. Like others, I like a higher volume cross tire for hitting some trails. It’s a 38 and really nice. File tread down the middle, nice side knobs for a little traction in dirt corners.

      • Bob Perls

        Anybody try a Gravel Grinder 38c tubeless? I love my 33c Chicanes and bet the Gravel Grinder is a nice tire, but want to stay tubeless. I am leaning strongly towards the MSO 40c if they will fit front and back on my Ibis Haka Disc.

  • brieboyg

    I am using the Clement LAS clinchers on my SS cross bike with good results. could use a slightly higher knob on the edges for cornering in sand and mud, but overall they rock.

  • BurlyGates

    I did a 100mi ride with 20k’ of climbing on these last week and loved them. It was all pavement, incidentally, but ran them tubeless on HED Belgium+ rims and really liked how they felt and performed and have only heard good things from my friends using them off-road as well.

  • scott

    I am actually thankful for the gravel grinding marketing because as you’ve sort of alluded to, the development of that niche has given us a lot more options for tires in the 40c range that are ideal for the type of riding you advocate (shredding trails on CX bikes).

    • Yeah, that was just commentary on marketing and “fads” in cycling influence product availability. For like two years, I’ve had people in tire companies ask me what I thought they needed to make. I said 40c cross tires – with good tread and no one really listened.

      • I’ve been speaking with some tire companies – Seems like they are starting to listen. Everyone I build a “road” bike asks for room for 40mm tires. I have several clients on the Clement X’Plor MSO’s and they love them. Get a set and give ’em a go! IMO: A 40mm tire on a slightly wider rim on dirt IS a game changer for road.

      • Michael Schiller

        Been super happy with the BG Rock’n roads but these MSO’s makes sense when more pave’ is planned.

      • Gabe DeFelip

        Aren’t 29er tires technically able to be used this way? Like a 29×2.0 if the frame and fork can accommodate the width.

        • 29×2 is a HUGE tire.

          • Luke

            Well, it’s a 50mm tire. 25% bigger.

        • Ray Cashman

          just for reference, 2″ is about 51mm and most tires labeled 2.0 even with low profile lugs actually measure around 54mm. Kenda makes the Small Block 8 in a 700×50 for some reason, not light enough for an xc race tire and too fat for cross frames. trekking? am i saying that right?

          • Rim width comes into play too. You don’t wanna run a 2″ tire on a 23mm wide rim.

          • Ray Cashman

            Probably get catapulted out of turns if the tire stayed on. ha ha. I’m running Halo Vapour rims on my rig with x’plor USH 35mm tires set up tubeless. I’m with you though, feeling rocks knocking on my rims dampens the shred factor on the trails. I think I could fit 38’s, but 40’s would be too tight in my frame, unfortunately.

  • Tom P

    I’ve been running them on my ‘adventure bike’ (drop bar 29’er) and recently swapped them over to my cross bike. Good wear and supple casing mounted up tubeless to Stan’s Crest rims. Not great in mud, which is to be expected with that tread pattern. Great for singletrack and gravel rides with a bit of pavement thrown in here and there.

    • Greg Ralich

      This bike is so sick!

  • Tommaso Gomez

    Yeah, they’re awesome, comfortable all-rounders here in Oregon whether you’re on dry, loose terrain or mud. If you run them around 45-50 psi, they role fast on paved roads just like a file tread tire, because the crest of the tire is smooth. Just don’t use them for cross or winding trails because they are not designed for aggressive cornering.

  • Nick Wood

    Used them on a few big rides- including the Oregon Outback where they were a little small for the “red sauce” but just right everywhere else. They roll faster than one would expect given that the center is separate blocks. Tread life is not awesome but worth it for the combo of grip and low rolling resistance.

  • breed007

    I have both the 32c and 40c version. Durable and roll very well. More of a super-durable road tire than a cx/trail tire as they don’t corner all that well. 32c version fits great on my Mr. Pink.

  • Brian Richard Walbergh

    I Just threw a set on my “touring” bike, just in time for the muddy season in Oregon, They are about the biggest I could fit with reasonable clearance. Only have a few rides on them but I am liking what they offer, big and supple, and turned bone jarring gravel descents into something much more manageable, definitely not the quickest on this beast, but super fun. I probably won’t ride them on pavement too much just to prolong the tread life as much as possible.

  • They work great on hard pack dirt roads and gravel, little to no penalty when you hit the pavement. I don’t think they are good for cross, mud are anything soft where you want to corner fast. Perfect for an all-road setup though.

  • Robert Hest

    I love mine! I’ve done road rides, gravel and cx races, ridden singletrack, and commuted on MSO 40s. They roll well on pavement, accelerate quickly, and corner pretty well on everything but mud. They set up tubeless pretty easily on A23s with 2x Stan’s tape. I’m 170 and run 45 rear, 35 front with no issues.

  • shankshiv

    Ridden over 5000 miles on em.
    Mix of commuting in Chicago, gravel b roads and cinder trails.
    Not so hot in slick mud…tends to jam up tread.
    Staying with 60 tpi as they are more resistant to glass punctures.
    More glass than mud around here anyway.

  • Jake Kruse

    you should check out the continental speed ride (and cross ride) sometime soon as well, another great “all road” tire in the 40c range

    • hans

      i would have said the same thing regarding the speed ride (haven’t ridden the cross ride) but one of mine developed a bubble after riding just a couple months.

  • Luke

    Great for a mix of road, gravel and dirt. Kinda a Jack-of-all-trades, master of none deal. Not great for mud. I’ve found them perfect for whole day and overnight adventures on the CX bike.

  • Oli Brooke-White

    After a summer and autumn riding them on my IndyFab PlanetX I’d happily throw in another vote for them, and I’d concur with everyone else that they roll real well and are best suited to non-muddy conditions, although they cope okay with worse conditions than you might think.

  • Rob J

    I’ve been running the 34’s 120tpi version on a set of Archetypes for about a month of two. Use them on my cross bike for trails and pavement and some road rides when I don’t want to use my road bike. With a set of latex tubes these things are real comfy. They roll great on the pavement. Haven’t tried them in the mud and will stick with my Vittoria tubes for cross.

    • swm

      (Picking up a dead thread here…)

      Rob J, or anyone else, what latex tube do you run with these? I put a Challenge S.C. 29-38c tube front and rear on my Stan’s Iron Cross rims with these mounted up. These were my first latex mount and I was pretty obsessive about talc powder and seating the tube… Inflated to 80ish psi and the front tube blew up (very aggressively) after a few minutes of riding; the rear loses pressure on every ride.

      Any thoughts? Is the 38c not wide enough? I haven’t found any 40c+ latex tubes on the market. What are you running?


      • I don’t run latex tubes in any of my bikes. They’re too lightweight, especially on a cross tire.

        • swm

          Too lightweight? Is that tongue in cheek? It’s the confidence at low pressures I’m interested in (and the oooo, that’s nice a supple! feeling). They do feel pretty fantastic compared to butyls. Coupled with the reports of these X’Plors burping when set up tubeless…was hoping latex was the answer. Waiting for the tubeless editions to come out (though Bike Rumor says they’ll drop from 40mm to 36. what gives?).

          As a gravel/dirt/atv road and buffed single track tire, these have been stellar here in Utah.

      • Rob J

        Yes that’s the correct tube size. There aren’t any larger that I am aware of. I have been using the Vittoria tubes without any issues. Check and make sure you don’t have a small slit in the tire or that it was pinched from installation. I’ve run them on some rough stuff and no issues.

        • swm

          Thanks. Everything seems to be tidy in that department. Maybe more heaps of talc next time…

  • Carl Anderson

    I’ve been riding my 60tpi MSOs since spring. I had a hard time deciding on these vs the Nano’s that you reviewed vs the Knards. Im glad I choose these. Most of my CX bike riding consists of commuting from work to some trails on the way home. They are pretty okay on pavement at 80psi, and when I get to the dirt I let out air and then shred! As mentioned in other comments they aren’t super aggressive for cornering, but I think as an all around tire they are a great compromise.
    Oh, and no flats for save for a gigantic nail that would have flatted a Marathon. This is impressive because it is goathead heaven here in Boise.

  • Al Cowan

    I put a pair on stans crests today, they were cinch to make tubeless.

    • Andrew Murray

      I have not been able to get my MSO’s to seat as tubeless on my Stan’s rims. How much fluid did you use per tire?

  • Love my Nanos. Just picked up some 40c Clements and I am not going to jump to any conclusions but I am really loving these tires!

  • Deez

    Hey John! Hope all is well. Im currently upgrading the tires on my dads Raleigh tamland and was wondering what your thoughts were on this Clement vs Nano 40c? My dads a big guy at 210lb and will be riding dry roads up Sulivan.

    – Dylan