Specialized and FMB team up for Flanders tyres

FMB casings plus Specialized treads

Whereas in previous years Specialized-sponsored teams would race on rebadged FMB tubular tyres, the two companies have now formally paired up for this year's spring classics campaigns. The new tyres use FMB's ultra-supple handmade cotton casings – widely regarded as among the finest in the world – with Specialized's own Gripton rubber compounds and tread patterns.

"This year at the spring classics we have tyres that blend the famed FMB cotton casings and our Gripton compound," said Specialized tyre product manager Wolf VormWalde. "Omega Pharma-QuickStep raced them already in some run-up races to the classics campaign. Saxo and Astana have them, too."

VormWalde told BikeRadar that the two companies actually started cooperating last spring but the final tyres are only just recently making their debut. Our own experience with Specialized's latest clincher tyres and FMB's tubulars suggests that the pairing could indeed yield a phenomenal hybrid with an ultra-fast roll, outstanding traction, and unmatched suppleness – exactly what's needed for attacking and surviving the cobbles of Belgium and northern France.

Specialized and fmb have formally joined forces for team tires at this year's cobbled classics. the hybrid tubulars use fmb's ultra-supple handmade cotton casings and specialized's gripton rubber compounds and tread patterns:

Specialized and FMB have made the tyres available to team riders in 26, 28 and 30mm widths. VormWalde said a "limited quantity" will be sold to the public, too. Pricing hasn't been announced yet but interested buyers should certainly be prepared to pay a pretty penny.

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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