When it comes to htting the trails at speed with technical terrain and high-speed corners there is no more important factor than traction. Tires are what keeps us locked to the trail, sliding round corners, boosting jumps and just flat out pinning it. We took a look at MSC Tires gravity offering the ‘Hot Seat’, a tire that is designed for when the gradient points downward and the riding gets rowdy….
Product: MSC Hotseat 27.5 x 2.4
RRP: $94.99 AUD, £49.99
The Nitty Gritty
The Hot Seat is MSC Tire’s downhill and free ride offering and it’s built to go downhill fast, rail corners and boost big free ride lines. Rider’s like Bienvenido Aguado have tested the metal of these tires on the steeps of Utah at Red Bull Rampage and their durability is one of their greatest attributes according to MSC.
Weight: 1255g, available in 29″ and 27.5″
SPECIFICATION:Tubeless Ready2.40″ – 3CDH Soft Twin Compound: 62a/48a/42a BlackNEW – XTREM SHIELD: Bead to Bead Protections with 4 Ply Design
SIZING: 2.40″ model (Carcass size) measures 2.6″ from outside tread to outside tread on a 30mm rim.
With nothing but sunny days and dry conditions, we whacked a pair of Hot Seats on a downhill rig and spent four months testing them. Loose and dusty trails were the menu of the day, with Boomerang Farm Bike Park and a few local DH trails putting the MSC tires through their paces.
The first thing you notice with the MSC Hotseat is the big open tread pattern which is claimed to help with mud shedding, the depth of the knobs is quite large indeed and this seems to help with cornering; perhaps assisting with the all terrain design of the tire. The front wheel traction at high speed in loose conditions was great with plenty of confidence in turns and minimal slippage despite the occasion two wheel slide from coming in a little too hot on a few corners (that’s half the fun right?)
The Hot Seat seems to roll just as well as most other tires we have used on a downhill bike with the exception of semi slicks. The reality is that as long as it’s pointing downhill, momentum should take care of the rolling. When it came to traction they delivered in the dry, loose conditions we tested them in and we would have loved to have tried them in other conditions for testing….but Eastern Australia is nothing but sunny most of the year round.
One of the biggest factors that we loved about these tires, is how bombproof they really are. The Xtreme Shield is basically four layers of sidewall protection, two complete bead to bead layers plus the tire compound and tread. Not a puncture, not a scrape, not a cut. They were thumped down their fair share of rock gardens and even endured a few cases, the tires holding up to any punishment thrown their way.
The Final Word
Tires are a preference almost as much as grips, pedals and bar width. One thing stands true with all riders though, grip is paramount and traction is key. The MSC Hot Seat is an excellent tire with a good mix of grip, rolling speed and durability. In the loose conditions of Australia these tires performed extremely well and I can see them donning my downhill bike for some time to come. The predictable grip of these tires made it super easy to know your traction point and the reliability of the sidewall protection certainly made life simple. MSC Tires are paving their way into the gravity tire scene and if you want to check out what these tires can really do in the right hands, check out Bienvenido Aguado’s Freeride video below…