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Who knows the history of FMB tires more than me?
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Guy Browne's profile photoGeoff Williams's profile photoDL Byron's profile photoChandler Snyder's profile photo
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I don't wanna tell you something you already know. 
 
I have a set of them on a wheels and I'm like, huh, those look nice, what are they all about. Also this is for a post.
 
Here's how I know it. FMB = Francios Marie Bouyoux(sp) the guy who makes them. He was one of the original members of the Dugast tire company. For some reason he broke away from it and started his own thing on his property in France. He has 2 people who work for him. Everything is hand stitched and made, i think he makes his casings and basetape there, nothing is prepurchased except tread. He does not make his own tread, he gets someone else to do that for him. He WILL take a tire tread that you send him and make whatever you want. Roughly does about 30-60 tires per month. The pro teams use his stuff for the spring classics, most noteably paris-roubaix. He uses true latex tubes and doesnt dye his sidewalls, which makes them super supple. Makes both cotton and silk versions of his stuff. Road, Cross and Track.

There's also an article in velonews from around the time of paris-roubaix last year that Nick Legan did, with photos of his workshop and tires. The shop I just worked for imported them. Ive glued about 20sets up this year. They are some of the most amazing tires ive seen. However, and this a big one, the road tires are definitely a low use, single day tire. we saw some treads delam from the casing, and he doesnt use aquaseal for the sidewalls, its some type of shilack(sp) that when heated pretty good will run and become super sticky.

If you want anymore info, let me know. Hope that helped.
 
Oh, and to expand on the pro team use...they buy them from him outright. he doesnt give anyone a "deal". Thats how good they are. Everything is stamped with month and year made. since the pro teams buy them because he doesnt sponsor anyone, they all make their own team stamps to stamp the sidewalls so they dont get "in trouble" with the UCI.
 
excellent, how do you want me to cite you?
 
Check with +Molly Cameron. One of the first importers of the tires. Might have more info, also IIRC Dan may have written an article that covered much of FMB for Cyclocross Magazine.
 
stupid question, but how do you normally cite someone? lol
 
yeah, my shop imported them. i can email you info if you need anything. Im a mechanic, live in denver. im also for hire! haha
 
oh yeah - i remember seeing that image pop up on your screen...
 
ive never heard people comment on ride quality of a tire like i did with FMB. "Like riding on a pillow/cloud."
 
I'm using them to ensure I'm not just Dead Fucking Last in the elite race, but second to DFL.
 
meh - they won't make up for no legs unless somehow they teach you how to corner properly, but then once you learn you can ride any tubular (blasphemy i know)
 
My take is that I used lots of body english on the bike, steer with my fast ass, and other tires don't track true. These do. It's remarkable, So they've got the pillow, but also go where you want them too.
 
its the undyed sidewall. it keeps the casing supple, which is what you want esp on cross tires. couple that with true latex tubes and they let that tread stick
 
schwalbe uses latex tubes fwiw (and Doc Blue seals em REALLY well).

shift your weight to the front tire and stop steering with your ass and you'll turn better... usually
 
+Chandler Snyder right and on other tires, the tire is squishing around and can ge sketch on tight corners or where there are tracks in the mud you're following or want out of. Also, I do like the Tufo Flexus Primus for the same reason.
 
Yeah they do. That dyed black sidewall is not nearly as supple. I've compared them side by side. Id love to take a racing Ralph tread and send to FMB for some custom threads.
 
like the Grippo (old Racing Ralph tread on FMB) winner tire for all but sloppy mud and hard tack dry grass traction slick tire courses.
 
+Geoff Williams as conditions warrant, it's not ass steering all the time; the belly, where I derive my unstoppable power, also steers.
 
That's the beauty, you can take a vittoria file tread and send it to him. Like I said though, that shilack tends to run over time. Kinda sucks, especially when you've paid money for something like that. Also, the delam-ING was a super big surprise. Haven't seen it on cross tires. Probably because the heat factor is almost half of what it is during road season. 
 
+Guy Browne Schwalbe's name got dropped in this thread, so tune in.
 
This from Velonews, a while back, not long after Cancellara won some races on this guy's tires. I've seen pictures of either these or Dugast tires with Ralph Treads on them. Another winner would be the Rocket Ron treads, a bit more bite as cross season gets a bit more damp. As for delamination, it can happen to any tubular. While heat is not necessarily a factor, there are entirely different stresses on a cross tire than on a road tire.

http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/03/bikes-and-tech/frances-fmb-tire-maker-for-the-cobbled-stars_164665
 
If I had unlimited resources I would w/o a doubt have three sets of Zipp 303s for CX (okay in a real fantasy world there would be 6 pair, one set for race bike and one set for pit bike). One set would have the FMB super mud, one with the the Grippo (Racing Ralph tread) and one would be the sprint.

I had one of the original FMB Racing Ralph prototypes and it really was an amazing tire. Really pretty amazing.

That said the current (last years) Racing Ralph Tubular from Schwalbe is a solid all around tire, and is surprisingly supple.
 
Guy, I was hoping to get a set of the Rocket Rons in tubular form this year. I've had such good luck commuting on the Marathon Plus and training on the Durano Plus that I'm admittedly a bit of a fan of the products.
 
These are like the equivalent of riding Lightweights, which I did and had a similar, "wow." Moment. The Mean Girl Bike Snob lies in wait for me to review stuff like this, so he'll get at least 3 posts out of my new found FMB love. I'm going to put a temporary tattoo of a heart on them.
 
We were hoping to get some of the Rocket Ron Tubulars this year too..... sore subject. For all the great things that I believe Schwalbe tires to be, too often lately we can't get all the tires we want/need for the North American market. It is my opinion (and not an official Schwalbe North America opinion) that we shouldn't put a tire in our catalog that we can't deliver. Our entire CX order delivery has been pushed to December or later, which isn't very effing useful.
 
we have TONS of goatheads out here in CO...damn things
 
No I'm in rocks and roots country aka New England.
 
Ahh, just thought that with your affinity for Schwalbe "Plus" tires that perhaps goatheads had profoundly affected your tire choices.
 
I come from the land of the goathead where a tire didn't roll without slime and mister tuffys, where we even tried Specialized's foam tire. 
 
I've got something worse, Seagulls. They drop shells and well the only thing that seems to keep me rolling through the mussel and clam carcasses are the plus tires.
 
Doesn't my comment above, sound like an Irish Bar Ballad, "let me tell you son about flats."
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