The much anticipated new 29" MSC Hot Seat, Enduro / DH tyre has arrived in the UK. Whilst the brand name may be a recent entrant to the UK the development of the tyre stems from a long heritage in MTB racing at the top level. The Hot Seat was designed by Ferran Marias Sorribles, the MSC CEO and former UCI Downhill World Cup rider/manager. During his management, the glorious Maxxis-MSC Team was the first team in MTB history to win four World Cup Team trophies in a row.
This experience in the development and production of tyres for the last 18 years has already been clearly demonstrated by MSC's design and production of the Roller, Rock & Roller and Tractor XC tyres. Between them these models have already been ridden to four 2019 UCI XCO U23 World Cup victories, the U23 UCI XC World Championship title as well as European XC, Marathon and 24hr racing age-group world titles, not forgetting an early 2020 season victory in the Male Solos at possibly the hardest 24hr race in the world, the Strathpuffer winter 24hr by Scottish rider Kyle Beattie.
As a result, we are always very excited to see new models emerging from the Catalonian Headquarters based in Gava, Barcelona. Given the previous Enduro styled model the "Gripper" received a 9/10 and 2nd in the test results in the 2019 MBR Magazine tyre group test, we have high hopes that this squarer profile, very aggressive tyre will also receive high accolades. Where the Gripper has been designed for a high balance of rolling speed and grip suited to courses with more flow and speed, the Hot Seat is designed to be an expert in mixed terrain, performing well in muddier conditions and loose ground through to the most extreme conditions facing riders at national and world-class events. This was demonstrated by MSC supported rider Bienvenido Aguado taking best trick at the US Proving Grounds prior to his debut at the Red Bull Rampage last year and best Freeride line at the 2020 Audi 9's competition.
The HOT SEAT tyre is available in a 2.4" wide (Comes up a little larger) using MSC's new Xtrem Shield Carcass technology. (2.4" is ETRTO EU Standards calculated, in reality when set up on a range between 27-35mm internal width rims the Hot seat measures between 2.5" - 2.6") This is a 4 ply layup which provides a double layer of sidewall protection and an extra two layers over the top creating a 4 deep layer of protection from punctures capable of handling the increased speeds and technicality of modern Enduro and Downhill racing.
The Hot Seat side tread has been profiled to give utmost consistency in cornering. The eagle-eyed will notice how the side treads exterior face contours down to meet the sidewall at a lower point than most tyre designs. This provides enhanced tread block support preventing squishy performance and driving each tread block consistently into the terrain.
Now it's time to get to the "Tyre Geek" level details... Those small elements that the majority will never notice... Every side tread block ( All 196 of them in 29") has been purposely detailed with what I call "Traction Pockets" on the exterior side and tread block support ramps on the interior side. This provides four, all be it small, but additional forward-facing micro bite points on every individual block meaning there are an incredible 1176 additional directional bite points across the side treads alone. This impressive level of thought and detail is what makes these tires so exquisitely designed and provides simply exceptional side tread performance.
The centre retains traditional offset square block patterns that have proven time and time again to be effective in providing excellent braking and climbing traction as well as resisting the accumulation of mud. However traditional style meets modern technologies with the addition of micro-sipes on the carcass sidewalls and on the centre tread carcass surface giving extra traction and resistance to cuts. The forward face of the centre treads are ramped to provide a good interface with the terrain as the wheel rotates around. They are not angled quite as much as the Gripper which by virtue of its design, we believe, is one of the fastest rolling Enduro tyres on the market. Instead, the slightly steeper ramps tied in with the alternate paddle-style tread blocks give a simply incredible climbing / braking ability. All the variants are E-Bike Rated and we have tested ours and can confirm that with the additional power, Hot Seat traction and excellent compounds we were able to climb some insane gradients and overcome rough and loose surfaces braking with unrivalled performance.
The HOT SEAT is the ultimate model in our range for confidence and performance in steepest roughest and muddiest natural trails