First Impressions: Clement X’Plor MSO 700×32 Tires

In April of 2012, we reviewed Clement’s 700×40 X’Plor MSO tires. More than two years later, that review continues to be one of this site’s most-read articles. Riders searching for a high-volume 700C tire that can handle dirt and pavement are well served by the 40mm X’Plor MSO. But what if your bike can’t accommodate such a large tire? Clement has you covered with their 700×32 X’Plor MSO.

The 32mm MSO features the same low-profile tread pattern as its larger sibling, but scaled down slightly to fit the narrower casing. At the recommended maximum 75psi, our sample tires measured 32mm knob-to-knob (30mm at the casing) when mounted on Mavic Ksyrium Elite S wheels. Actual weight for our 60tpi tires was 325g (Clement also offers a 120tpi version).

Like the 40mm version, the MSO’s tightly-spaced tread pattern proved to be smooth and quiet on paved roads. While the larger MSO had more of a peaked profile, the 32mm size featured a rounder, more circular profile (which made for more sure-footed cornering). As with other similarly-sized tires, it took a little experimentation to find the best pressure for balancing comfort and flat/rim protection (60psi front and 70psi rear worked well for dirt and gravel).

While Clement’s 32mm X’Plor MSO may not offer the performance of a conventional cyclo-cross tire in loose or muddy off-road conditions, it’s perfectly at home on hardpack trails and gravel roads. Where the tire really shines, however, are those rides where you want to piece together paved and unpaved sections for a day of two-wheeled exploring.

Disclosure: Clement provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.