Last time we spoke of the Clement tires here, I was focused mainly on the MSO model, which is a 40mm tire. You can catch up with that here. This time I will focus a bit on the X'Plor USH .
I'm sure one could eek out the listed 35mm width on some proper, wider gravel road worthy rims, but this width on these rims does make these tires cyclo-cross legal, as long as no one goes by the Clement hot patch!
The center section is raised and features a smoother, chevron negative tread pattern which at 50 psi, you are rolling only on this section of the tire on paved roads. The casing feels fairly stiff on these, and that is probably due to the puncture protection belt in the casing.
The tires roll reasonably fast on pavement, and hold up to abuse well. Grass and smooth dirt are no problem at all, but don't expect the same, floaty feelings you get with a tubular or even with the MSO Clement tire. I haven't made it out to the gravel roads yet on these tires, but from a commuter/urban standpoint, these seem like winners.
I have run over a fair bit of busted up glass with no issues to report. The overall feel is better than some commuter tires but you do give up a bit of that smoother feel over some straight up hybrid tires that do not feature as much tread or the flat protection.
But, with the word "X'Plor" in the tire's name, we maybe shouldn't be comparing it to supple tires with an ultra-smooth feel. As an adventure tire on, say a touring bike, I could see how these would be much appreciated. Loaded down these tires would no doubt feel a bit smoother than they do with just me on board.
A Word On This Raleigh: This one is a '73 vintage and made in England, of course. The cranks, pedals, brakes, head set, bottom bracket, brake levers, and seat post are all original to this rig. The saddle, wheels/tires, stem, and Origin 8 Gary Bars, (version 1), are the only deviations from stock, along with the removal of all "shifty bits". The chain runs off the 39T sprocket to an 18T rear cog. Of note here is the fact that the Sante' hubs have the original style Shimano cassette hub body with a threaded on final cog, which I used as a lock ring to secure the spacers and drive cog. I haven't tried the big ring and lock ring, but it may be that I actually have a "dingle" here. However; I am quite unlikely to try that, as the 53 X 12 would be too tall for anything but time trialing!
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.
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