We’ve already seen Spanish tire maker MSC make inroads on the World Cup XC circuit, and then take that to trail riding. Now, MSC are looking to conquer DH racing – adding their most recent aggressive Hot Seat tread to a wider version of their original enduro Gripper, now both with a new downhill race-ready, 4-ply XtremShield casing.

MSC Hot Seat & Gripper XtremShield gravity casing DH mountain bike tires

MSC Gripper & Hot Seat DH MTB gravity tires, photo by Robyn Wilkinson
all ride photos by Robyn Wilkinson

Building of their cross-country, trail & enduro racing tread development, MSC are taking it to the next level with more durable, more resistant DH-ready XtremShield tires that still deliver on the high performance/high value premise. The two tires to get the latest gravity casing are the Hot Seat that we spied earlier this summer, and the Gripper that we’ve actually been riding ever since.

Tech details

MSC Gripper & Hot Seat DH MTB gravity tires, photo by Robyn Wilkinson
c. Robyn Wilkinson

The secret to the new DH-ready tires vs. their enduro counterparts, is the new burly 60tpi XtremShield casing, developed with two core objectives: avoid race-ending punctures at all cost, and offer solid support for the tread for smashing down technical DH tracks.

MSC Gripper & Hot Seat DH MTB gravity tires, XtremShield DH casing

To deliver on that, XtremShield has two complete layers of bead-to-bead protection, which amounts to four layers of material in the sidewalls, plus an additional two under the tread itself, and extra butyl anti-pinch protection above the beads.

2020 MSC Hot Seat mountain bike tire, aggressive enduro gravity DH mountain bike tire

Besides the aggressive, open tread patterns of the two new gravity tires, the rubber itself is a balance of soft grip and privateer-friendly durability, thanks to dual-compound & triple-compound rubber options.

MSC Hot Seat XtremShield DH mountain bike tire

2020 MSC Hot Seat mountain bike tire, aggressive enduro gravity DH mountain bike tire

The 27.5 x 2.4″ Hot Seat is the newest addition with big, deep blocky tread and a squared-off profile thanks to tall shoulder knobs. Important to note: MSC measures these tires as 2.4″ wide for the casing. The tread blocks extend out quite a bit more, so it might be around 2.6-2.7″ to the outside of the tread, so keep that in mind when you are thinking about frame & fork clearance.

MSC says it offers grip in almost any terrain & conditions. And while it debuts with just one size, it should expand to more in the future.

The Hot Seat comes in two compounds that share the same XtremShield casing. The dual compound 2C tire sells for 48.50€ with 56a/52a rubber and a claimed weight of 1120g. The triple compound 3C tire sells for 51.50€ with 62a/48a/42a rubber and a claimed weight of 1255g. There’s also a cheaper 43€ version of the same size & 2C rubber that is slightly heavier with the older, less advanced Super Shield casing

MSC Gripper XtremShield DH mountain bike tire

The all-mountain & enduro popular Gripper also gets a DH upgrade with the same XtremShield casings, in even more size options. It also does a 2C 27.5×2.4″ for 48€ at 1200g, and a 3C 27.5×2.4″ for 51.50€ at the same weight. Then there is a slightly more narrow 3C 27.5×2.3″ for 49.50€ at 1150g. And for wagon-wheelers (like ourselves in the riding photos here) a 29er double compound 2C version at 2.4″ for 48.50€ at a claimed 1290g. Now we’re just waiting to get into the Hot Seat on big wheels, too!

MSC Gripper & Hot Seat DH MTB gravity tires, photo by Robyn Wilkinson
c. Robyn Wilkinson



  1. Yet to try these casings but the Supershield casing is already bombproof. Gripper 2.3 in the softer DH 2c or 3c rubber are really fast rolling for the traction they offer. Ie: not as damped and grippy as an Assegai but rolls a hell of a lot quicker. Awesome heavy trail tyres in 2.3 size.

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