Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Clement X'Plor USH tires - test ride

After my bad luck with Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires a few weeks ago, I concluded that very light, wide, smooth road tires are probably not for me. I like to ride off the beaten path and getting there on pavement is only one part of the problem. The other part is to actually completing the trail puncture-free - something that Supremes struggled with. It wasn't that Schwalbe tires were particularly bad. They weren't. In fact, they were really nice for pavement riding - fast-rolling, lightweight and supple. But too often my trail riding ends up with some really rough paths, with rocks, roots and heavy gravel. For such conditions, Supremes were a poor choice. I needed something wider, thicker and more durable.
This is why I decided to try out Clement X'Plor USH tires. With 35mm width, more aggressive tread and a $38 price they seemed to be a better choice than Supremes - not only much cheaper but also more suited to the type of riding I was interested in. There is plenty of cyclocross tires in this width and price range but the reason I decided to buy USHs was that they have a smoother central ridge for faster rolling on pavement and side knobs for more grip off-road. I have never tried a tire like this before so I was hoping that this unique tread will give me the best of both worlds.
I measured the tires weight at 445g each - not the lightest, but considering that they are much thicker than Supremes, it is acceptable. Installation was simple because thankfully, these tires weren't so tight on the rim as Marathons. After a short, 35km (22mi) ride through some local dirt and paved roads I am very pleased with my new choice. USH tires seem to roll nicely on pavement, likely thanks to their central smooth ridge. They are not as fast as many lighter and narrower road tires, but I definitely did not feel like they were slowing me down on a smooth, paved road. They definitely have much less drag than my 700x35c Bontrager Jones tires. Also, USHs are noticeably quieter. They are not as stealthy as Supremes but are clearly much quieter than Joneses.
Off the road, they work quite well too. Thanks to their 35mm width and side knobs I have more support on loose surfaces and better control in corners.

Overall, I really like Clement USH tires so far. Let's hope now that their sidewalls are also more durable than Schwalbe Supremes.


  1. Which version tpi did you run?

  2. 60tpi. The other, 120tpi, version costs much more than $38.

  3. How have they held up during the past year?

  4. @christov10
    Great! I'm running them constantly at only 30psi front and 35psi rear and I didn't have a single puncture so far, despite riding on trails more suitable for mountain bikes. They are great road tires with off-road capability.