Clement MXP Clincher Cyclocross Tire 700x33 Review
Finding the right cyclocross tire for a particular course is a challenge that every racer faces. Of course the pros have box trucks full of wheels with the full lineup of tires on offer from their tire sponsor and often a few more with the labels blacked out. For us mere mortals, we have to find one or two treads that will work for everything.
A tire that works great in every condition is unfortunately a fantasy. But, if I had to choose one tire tread to run all season long, the Clement MXP is my pick for the most versatile cyclocross tread currently available.
The 120tpi casing on the MXP doesn’t sound as exotic as the 320tpi tubulars that every ‘cross racer dreams of, but when the rubber meets the turf, the palpable difference is minimal. This is especially true if the MXP is setup tubeless, which is how I used the tires throughout the test. It should be noted that Clement does not make true tubeless tires with a proper tubeless bead, but Clement has given its blessing to riders who choose to go this route.
Setting up the tire tubeless was quite a bit more difficult than dedicated tubeless ‘cross tires I’ve used in the past. This seems to mostly come down to the ribbing just above the tire bead that was a perennial source of leaks. After installation I was unable to get the MXP to hold air longer than overnight with the wheel just sitting in the shop. However, after one ride on the MXP installed with Orange Seal tire sealant, I was able to get a decent seal.
The ride was surprisingly quite supple. Very tubular like actually. I found that I needed to run slightly higher tire pressures (2-4psi) than I’ve used with other clincher tubeless tires because the ride was so supple. This suppleness translated to outstanding grip that surpassed many other more aggressive tires I’ve used under both acceleration and braking, while providing a remarkably smooth ride. I imagine that some of this smooth ride is owed to the high volume, tall casing that seems to be a Clement signature feature.
Rolling Resistance: 10
Efficient rolling might be my main attraction to the MXP. As a big fan of file treads for dry conditions, rolling efficiency is obviously very high on my priority list. Of course, choosing a file tread means giving up a bit in the grip department. The MXP offers this grip without giving up much in the way of rolling resistance. In my mind, this is what makes the MXP such a versatile tire. For an intermediate type tread pattern you’d be very hard pressed to find a tire that rolls any faster than the MXP.
As a do it all tire, Clement wisely designed the cornering tread to work well in moist conditions. On turf the small cleat like side knobs dig in well. Unfortunately, on dirt they don’t grip quite as well. In our neck of the woods there tends to be far more dry dirt than wet turf to deal with. With that said, I would rather have my do it all tire have a provision for the wet days, because cornering in the wet is where I am usually caught out when using other multi-use tires.
At 339 grams the Clement MXP is one of the lightest clincher cross tires available. For comparison, the narrower Ritchey Speedmax Cross Pro is 358 grams, the Vittoria Cross Evo XG Pro is 357 grams, the Challenge Fango 32 is 363 grams and the Grifo 32 is 377 grams.
While we all dream of having a truck full of Zipp wheels with every ‘cross tubular you could ever want glued up and ready to go, in the real world most of us run clinchers with an intermediate tread pattern. Clement’s MXP is the best tire in this category that I have come across, and the price is hard to beat too. Whether you are looking for a fast training tire or a workingman’s race tire, the MXP clincher is a great choice.
Really fast rolling, versatile tread, supple ride, affordable.
No tubeless bead, cornering performance on dirt could be better.
A ‘cross tire quiver killer.