|Clement Tires on the BMC Monster Cross|
Clement Pneumatics X'Plor MSO- Final Review: by Guitar Ted
The new gravel weapon from Clement Pneumatics, which I have introduced to you here, has been ridden in a multitude of conditions ranging from dry pavement to mud, gravel, loose rock, sand, wet gravel, and dirt. For all the tech data and my initial impressions, please click that link above. Following are my latest thoughts on this new tread from a brand with some serious road pedigree.
The tires have been run at slightly higher pressures than I had run previously for a while to see if that gained me anything in the rolling resistance column, but the ride became harsher and I found myself bouncing around more than I liked on gravel. I ended up deciding that 45psi front and 50psi rear was the best balance of comfort and speed. I weigh a bit more than a lot of riders at 230lbs, so lighter folks take note.
Where I feel this tire shines though, as I said before, is when things get rough and nasty. Wet gravel, rougher tracks, and even smooth dirt do not trip up this tire's performance, but seem to be where it excels. As long as things are fairly packed this is true, but if the ground or road gets too soft or unconsolidated, the tires start to want to cut in and wash out. This due to the high "C" shaped crown of the casing and the width. Coming from wider fat bike and mountain bike treads, this may be a concern, but if your normal ride makes these Clements look girthy, than you won't be surprised by this.
Conclusions: In terms of a tire for gravel road riding, the Clement X'Plor MSO sits at the top of the heap right now, as long as your rig will accept a 40mm tire. The weight is good, but considering how durable and resistant to punctures this tire seems to be, all with decent rolling characteristics, it seems that weight is well deserved.
I really like this tread design and how this tire rolls on gravel. The feel of the ride is excellent and the rougher it gets, the better this tire feels. Clement doesn't have this tire widely available just yet, but when it does come out it is definitely worth a look if you need a good all around gravel road tire.
Note: Clement sent these tires for evaluation and review at no charge. I am not being bribed, nor paid to give my opinions and thoughts on these tires. I will strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout this evaluation.