Getting Rolling: Clement MSO 36mm Tubeless Tires

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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……

Tubeless tire
The Clement 36mm MSO on a Velocity A-23 rim

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.

Gravel tires
The MSO 36mm tires felt fast and comfortable.

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 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

Discuss and share your questions or thoughts about gravel bikes, gear, events and anything else on the Riding Gravel Forum.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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20 thoughts on “Getting Rolling: Clement MSO 36mm Tubeless Tires

  1. Have you tried mounting these tubeless on HED Belgium+ rims? I have a set of Belgium+ and I like the Clement tires that I’ve used so far.

    1. That will happen after these have been used a bit on the A-23’s. This review will likely take about two to three months over which time I hope to try these out on a few different rims. Thanks for checking in!

  2. I ride the 40s tubeless – mostly asphalt at 30ish front, high 30s rear; mostly gravel 25 front 32 rear. I’m about 150. No problems in hundreds of miles except for a couple times i tried to go over 50lbs and blew off the tire (quite a mess). Still running that tire trouble free. I’m a risk taker, what can I say.

    1. Michael- As per our note at the top of the article, all we know is that by Spring sometime you should be able to get these. We will update that when we get further info.

    2. Clement wrote to me today that the tires would be available “around the first week of January”. But then the last time I asked about tubeless tire release, the same person told me that the tubeless MXP would be available end of July 2015. Ergo grain of salt.

  3. Ted – what are your thoughts on the MSO 36mm tubeless vs the Specialized Trigger Pro 38mm tubeless? The Trigger Pros were flawless for me last year at DK200 and various other races but can be hard to get at times.

    1. Steve, the Specialized Trigger Pros I tried were the S Works version, which were VERY thin and VERY supple. Nice, but they had no real lateral traction. I could break them free in corners and drift at will. Kind of sketchy that way. Otherwise they were super smooth and fast.

      The Clements are a tiny bit stiffer, a tiny bit slower, but have better lateral stability, and they seem a bit more robust in nature. Obviously, they are a bit heavier as well.

    1. Did you get this resolved? I just installed 2 on brand new grail rims and both have a serious wobble. Beads seem to be seated fine.

  4. What is the best suited tubeless tire you’ve come across talking speed on both tarmac and gravel?
    Best so far that i’ve tested is Hutchinson Black Mamba CX which i find faster than Schwalve G-One (35mm version).

    1. That all depends upon what you have for gravel. Both tires you have mentioned would not be best on gravel here. It also depends upon you, your riding style, and your expectations.

      That said, I have liked the Clement MSO 36’s best for all around performance so far in a tubeless tire.

  5. Thank you for the review!

    Would you ride them a bit over 60 psi? 70-75?

    I have been running 700×40 MSO for 4000km last year, on many different roads. From hardcore gravel to french slick snake road. What I loved of them is that they never slowed me down that much, as CX or gravel tire tend to do on long rides. It was a solid tire at 80 PSI, the max recommended that can even go on a XC trail.

    Now that I have a tubeless ready wheelset, I am tempted to go with the MSO tubeless. But I wonder if the 60 PSI will affect the whole speed I can maintain.

    1. @Tommy- There are several scientifically conducted studies showing that using lower pressures actually is faster by the clock for any given power input. So, no- I would never consider using the Clement MSO 36mm tubeless ready tires at the sort of pressure you suggest.

      I will also add that any racers on gravel who I ask about tire pressures are telling me that they are not using pressures anywhere near what you are suggesting.

      Finally, please check your tubeless rim specs, and of course, the tires, if you plan on using higher pressures for tubeless tires. Many rim manufacturers will not recommend pressures that high unless they are rated and designed specifically for road tubeless. Avoiding a tubeless “blow-off” is up to your checking all the specifications and adhering to manufacturer’s recommendations.

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