Tire Compounds and Shore Durometers – MSC Tires Oceania

Tire Compounds and Shore Durometers

A really important aspect of a good tire is the use of the right tire compound for the right conditions. The rubber in bike tires are measured by durometer. Shore durometer is a measure of hardness of a material by measuring the depth of the indentation into the material. Softer rubber compounds are represented by lower numbers like 42a, 50a ie the lower the number the softer the rubber. 

Shore Durometer Tool

While you don't need to nerd out on durometer testing tools and standards it's good to know how rubber compounds effect your bike tires.

More complex tire structures can use up to 3 different compounds to balance, grip, traction and durability and its not just a matter of setting a tire with the softest compound possible.

Too soft and you will get increased rolling resistance and high lug wear and in some cases knobs shearing off (some brands are really good at this).

So it's important to design the lugs to work with the different compounds to maximise durability, grip and rolling resistance - this is where our 20-years experience pays off. We've designed some of the fastest tires the World Cup has ever seen - so we know what makes a good tire great.

We've made it easy to get the right tire

Our Triple compounds are the best of the best. A special base layer that offers support for the dual compound outer layer. Our Triple compounds are harder to make but offer the best grip, traction without negating durability.

MSC Tires Compounds

3C and 2C Race Compounds 

If you are racing against the clock (strava if you must) then the Race series tires offer the best in grip, traction and lowest rolling resistance. They will wear faster than our standard 2C or 3C tires but that's the tradeoff of boosting your grip and traction points. These are the choice of our professional teams especially when every second counts.

Race Compound Tires for winning and racing against the clock

3C XC RACE (62a/60a/50a) - Optimal grip and low rolling resistance when every second counts.

3C DH RACE (62a/48a/45a) - Ultra Soft and Grippy compound for all out gravity racing. The best of grip and traction with a stable baselayer

MSC Tires 3C Compound


 2C XC RACE (60a/50a) - For Racing against the clock, excellent grip and traction.

2C XC (62a/60a) - For training and racing, the harder compound offers the best in terms of durability.

2C AM RACE (56a/50a) - For racing or just when you want the extra traction, soft outer edges and grippy center track for increase traction and braking.

2C AM (62a/60a) - For training and racing all types of trails

2C DH (60a/55a) - This compound is suited towards Bike Park and EWS type tracks. It offers good durability with the 60a center track and softer outer edge.

MSC Tires 2C Compound

While tire compound is a part of the equation its important to look at all aspects of tire design and construction to make sure the tire balances all performance measures. Our Tractor features unique ribbing that joins the mid cornering lugs together. This increases stability and knob durability and allows us to use a softer rubber without the risk of tearing off knobs or promoting excessive wear.

MSC 2C AM and XC Compounds


How to choose your tire?

  1. Choose the type of riding you do. XC, AM/EN or DH, next decide on your compound
  2. Are you racing against the clock and want the grippiest and stickiest tires? Opt for the Race compound, this is the option for outright grip and traction in all types of conditions. Next decide on your sidewall protection
  3. If you constantly tear sidewalls step up to the SuperShield casing. SuperShield offers more protection than the ProShield and also increases tire stability.



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