Monday, November 30, 2015

A Tale Of Two Tubeless Set Ups

Tubeless and meant to be.
Back in 2012 I had my first experiences with Clement tires and I was playing around with two models- The MSO 40mm and the USH 35mm tires. I liked the MSO straight away, but I wasn't falling in love with the narrower, harsher riding USH. So, I decided upon trying the USH out with the Velocity A-23's in a tubeless manner. That went........well, rather poorly. I struggled for weeks until I finally got the USH tires set up tubeless with some guidance from my friend MG. You can check out a brief recap of the deal by clicking here to read my August 2012 post about it.

The USH was vastly better tubeless, but the tire leaked down a lot, and I wasn't 100% confident in the fit on the rim, being very afraid to raise the pressures above 45psi for fear of blowing them off. That pressure, as it turns out, wasn't high enough to handle me on gravel roads. So, I abandoned the whole deal, and since the USH was a wholly different tire in a worse way with tubes, I never rode them again.

The silver A-23's make the BMC look more classy than ever.
Fast forward to November of this year. I received the newest tire from Clement for review on It is a 36mm wide tire in the MSO model. Very similar width to the USH, but with a design that considered tubeless set ups from the onset.

Using the same A-23 rims- as in the exact same ones as I had in 2012- I was able to set up both tires tubeless from the beginning to the end of the process in a half an hour. Compare that to the hours and hours of work and trial and error to get those USH tires to go tubeless and it becomes evident that a specific design for tubeless makes a world of difference here.

Plus, I can run higher pressures since the tire fits better and has an actual tubeless bead that can handle the stresses of being set up tubeless. The sole barrier against you having a great ride or having the tire blow off the rim catastrophically and causing you to biff yourself spectacularly is the bead of the tire and how it fits the rim. And things could go really bad if it were only a folding bead tire like the USH I tried. A real tubeless design? That's peace of mind right there, that's what that is! Now I can have a decent pressure for me and my style of riding. That's important.

One more thing to add, and that is that these are, (hopefully they rectified this), compatible with sealant. The old, folding bead Clements were not getting along with sealants at all. Delaminated casings were the main cause for concern here, but blistering was also noted by some riders. So, say what you will about converting tires that are folding bead, non-tubeless design to tubeless. I ain't listening to that clap-trap. Not when you don't have to do that dance anymore. Now that several tubeless tires from 32mm-42mm tires exist, there is no need to convert something that was never meant to be converted.


Robert Ellis said...

I've tried to set up both of those tires, MSO and USH tubeless with Stan's sealant and it has ended badly with in a short period of time. The catastrophic failure was a ruptured bead in the MSO when I only had 50 psi after about a day of riding; and the USH side walls (which are paper thin) disintegrated rendering the tires useless after about a week. On the whole though I really like Clement tires. They are great for riding gravel, commuting or racing cyclo-cross events. I'm excited about these Clement tubeless tires and cant wait to try them. Thanks for the review!

Michael Lemberger said...

This answers the questions I was going to ask over on RidingGravel. Because I'm currently running a set of A23's on my gravel bike and love the MSO, I would like to thank you for lightening my wallet as soon as the new tubeless ones are available ;-)

Unknown said...

I set up some CX-o with orange seal and it worked great. This was the non tubeless version, and one 34c tubeless ready version. Both held for 6 months just fine. I did notice that the non tlr pulled a very thin layer of the inner casing off whereas the tlr version cleaned nicely. In the end, what difference does a little peeling make?