I am excited to offer FMB tubular tyres for sale in North America.
I started this FAQ to offer some more info that may not be totally clear on the FMB website. Portland Bicycle Studio (in Portland, Oregon) will be keeping them in stock over the fall and we can take special orders and answer more questions at this email address.
FMB stand for Francois Marie Boyaux. Boyaux translates roughly to tubular (or sew-up) in French. It may also imply guts or intestines in a non-cycling context.
Francois was a young bike racer in the 80′s. He found it easier to spend time in the workshops of famous tyre constructers than putting in long hours on the bike! He gained valuable knowledge and experience in those workshops.
He started his own company much later in life and for the last few years they have been gaining attention and credibility as one of the superior hand built tubular tyres manufacturers. (not to mention one of the ONLY hand built tyres available.)
Based out of Plurien in Bretange France, Francois continues a great French tradition of attentive and beautiful craftsmanship.
FMB offers 2 different cyclocross tread patterns built onto 3 different casing styles.
SSC or SSC Sprint
And the casing styles:
The Coton, PRO and Superprestige.
“The Pro casing uses a white latex band of 0.35 mm which protects cotton from the cuts and of water there is no more cotton which rotted with washing, but there is nothing more under the tread against the punctures.
The Super Prestige casing is of color tangerine and under the tread there is a latex band of 0.8 mm out of 25 mm broad to harden a little the center and to increase the work of with dimensions the band protect in addition to the punctures (the latex is difficult to perforate).
You can send a tread to mount on my casing.”
All of the FMB tyres have latex inner tubes and, for our purposes, the cx tyres are only available in cotton casing. They are built with a mid length 48mm long threaded presta valve.
The SSC 32mm and Sprint 34mm tyres I have weigh in at 370 grams.
As stated, you can send in your own tread, I have had requests for Michelin Mud and Schwalbe Racing Ralphs treads onto FMB casings. I believe the 2 treads available from Francois are excellent for %90 of the courses and race conditions out there. The custom tread option is excellent for a very condition specific set of tyres or sponsorship obligations.
Keep in mind, shipping to France is expensive and installing a custom tread may add time and expense to the manufacture process.
The PRO casing has a stiffer sidewall and excellent puncture and tear resistance. In addition, the latex sidewall coating helps to shed mud and sand.
The SP has a latex band under the tread for faster rolling and increased puncture resistance. The SP casing is the same coton casing on the standard tyre.
Check out the FMB site.
If you have any more questions about the tyres and casing styles, I will answer them as quickly as possible. Contact me at this email address.