On the Protek bikes of the brujulabike pro team, we spotted a fresh pair of XC mountain bike tires from new Spanish tire maker MSC Tires. Using a couple of core tread block shapes, MSC has put together a small family of new mountain bike tires for everything from fast hardpack to wet & loose trails.
MSC XC, trail (& road) bike tires
MSC Bikes seems to have just brought their own tires to market this year, after working in product management & the cycling tire industry for almost 20 years. Now with their 2018 tire line-up they have developed three mountain bike tread designs, plus a set of road tires to keep you cross trained in the off-season. Mix and match the Roller, Tractor & Gripper for everything from short track XC racing across trail riding and into DH.
MSC Roller hardpack XC tire
The fast-rolling Roller is designed as a performance oriented cross-country & marathon tire. It uses a low profile center tread with directional blocky but ramped knobs, each with perpendicular sipes to conform to varying terrain. Two rows of transition blocks are closely spaced, and get taller to the shoulder blocks with longitudinal sipes to spread out as you reach the edge of the tire’s grip.
The 2.1″ Roller is available in 26″, 27.5″ & 29″ versions, in a number of different thread counts, wire or folding beads, tubeless casings, and various rubber compounds. These 29 x2.1″ XC race tires get a 120 tpi tubeless-ready casing and dual compound (60a/50a) rubber. Selling for 46€ then come in a 740g black wall version, or a lighter 690g skin wall that the brujulabike mechanics says is noticeably more supple.
MSC Tractor all-conditions XC & trail tire
The all-conditions Tractor was the first MSC tire we spotted warming up on the greasy, slippery Albstadt World Cup course. It is a more mixed-use design with low profile, textured center block, surrounded by a bit more open space. Pairings of transition blocks get linked for a bit more structure, and the shoulder knobs step in and out for consistent grip as you lean the tire over, while also promising better self-cleaning.
The Tractor is a 2.2″ tire available only in 27.5 & 29″. These team tires are again the top-spec 120tpi, tubeless with the Pro Shield 2C dual compound rubber.
The top Tractor again gets a lighter 760g skinwall or more resistant 795g black wall version for the same 47€ price.
The all conditions tire is also available as the Tractor+ with the same tread design stretched out to 27.5 x 2.8″. It uses a 60tpi tubeless casing and a 62a/60a dual compound, weighing 1050g and selling for 63€.
MSC Gripper aggressive trail & enduro tire
We haven’t seen the meaty Gripper out at the XC races, but it again mixes a bit of the Roller & Tractor in a more open design for loose & wet trail conditions. Designed as a proper enduro race tire it uses two rows of widely spaced center blocks (alternating ramped, siped knobs with square, textured blocks) and then a slightly larger set of the undulating shoulder blocks like the Tractor.
The Gripper comes in 27.5 & 29″, 2.3 & 2.4″ widths for trail and gravity riding. All are foldable and tubeless ready with a variety of single, dual & triple compound all-mountain & downhill casings ranging from 39-56€.
MSC Road Performance tires
All of MSC’s road tires use the same fine file center tread with angled sipes along the shoulder for grip on irregular road surfaces. The road tires come in 23, 25 &28mm, with 60or 120tpi casings, but none of them are tubeless ready yet.