Even though it was more of hot & dusty weekend of racing in Baltimore over the weekend, there appeared to be some hints of mud to come. Pro mechanic Tom Hopper had glued up a brand new French mud tubular design, handmade by FMB for ex-US CX champ Jeremy Powers to do some experimenting (and shared that pic above on his Instagram.)
FMB Grippo Speed tubular cyclocross race tires
The latest new tread from FM Boyaux with its small, narrow tread blocks bears the name Grippo Speed. Its predecessor – the Grippo XL – had more tightly-spaced & extra large blocky tread for use as a multi-purpose wet conditions tire. This design is also much more open than FMB’s current Super Mud (with its Z-shaped tread blocks).
It take some design inspiration from the old Michelin Mud tires, although both extending the heights of the tread blocks and making them much thinner. Like their Super Muds, the newest Grippos look to take advantage of super flexible tread blocks that deform significantly under load to grip in loose soil, but because of that same flexibility don’t provide a stable surface for mud to build up.
Interestingly, the tires Powers is testing use the standard, unprotected cotton construction and not the more expensive Pro sidewalls that are reinforced with latex like the SSC Slaloms we tested a couple of seasons back.
No word yet on exact availability, We aren’t sure how easy they will be to get ahold this late in the season, but FMB has said they will be officially available from November 15. But we expect them to generally hit the same pricing as their other cross tubulars, 77-80€ for the basic sidewall and 110€ in the Pro version.
In more FMB news, earlier this summer they added several 650c tubular options, now for both road & cross. The all around arrow Slalom, file tread Sprint 2, and all-Zs Super Mud are each available in the smaller wheel size for younger and smaller cross racers.