FMB Cobbles TLR handmade open tubular highway bike tires get supple tubeless replace


A brand new set of handmade FMB tubeless-ready TLR highway bike tires is the newest signal that perhaps going tubeless doesn’t require a sacrifice in efficiency or journey high quality relative to traditional race tubulars. These new supple tubeless-ready clincher tires made totally in a small workshop in northern France are for now restricted to simply a few all-rounder Classics-ready highway tires – the Flanders & Cobbles – however trace at a doable broader tubeless providing from the premium tiremaker.

FMB Cobbles 29mm tubeless-ready TLR open tubular highway tires

French handmade tire maker FMB is greatest identified for producing race-ready tubulars and supplying them to professionals driving the Spring Classics or racing cyclocross. However already final yr they revealed new open tubulars, i.e. a clincher tire possibility that shared the identical tremendous 330tpi polycotton building as their professional tubulars. Meant to make the buttery-smooth journey and improved grip of premium handmade tire accessible with out the effort of gluing tubulars, we already suspected that handmade tubeless-ready variations had been already within the works.

Tech particulars

FMB Cobbles tubeless-ready TLR 29mm tire, handmade-in-France supple open-tubular tubeless clincher road bike tire in-hand

Like these earlier non-tubeless clinchers, these two new bigger quantity TLR tubeless-ready Spring Classics fashion highway tires – the 26mm Flanders & 29mm Cobbles – function pure latex AND sealant-impregnated casings for sturdiness & air retention.

The TLR tires function stretch-resistant PBO Zylon beads (related however greater power than aramids) that don’t have a distinguished blocky form like most vulcanized tires. However FMB says they’re appropriate with hooked or hookless tubeless rims, simply not sharp-edged rims like ENVE’s. (I personally am reluctant to mount these tires on hookless rims because of their seemingly looser than common match.)

FMB Cobbles tubeless-ready TLR 29mm tire, handmade-in-France fabrique-en-France herringbone tread patternThe tubeless tires use FMB’s normal in-house made herringbone rubber tread, molded from a Grip+ rubber compound that claims dependable flat safety. It is a race-oriented tire although, and whereas FMB charges it for lengthy endurance rides, cobblestone racing, and even coaching on unhealthy roads, it doesn’t embrace any extra anti-puncture inserts.

These tires make the aware selection of prioritizing velocity, consolation, and low-rolling resistance over final flat safety. However that’s additionally one of many fundamental causes of including tubeless-ready compatibility, to guard towards the extra frequent small punctures.

Pricing, choices, actual weights & actual widths

FMB Cobbles tubeless-ready TLR 29mm tire, handmade-in-France supple open-tubular tubeless clincher road bike tires, 300g average actual weight

FMB shares a pair completely different weight claims for his or her open tubulars, but it surely seems to be like the marginally heavier figures on their web site are for the brand new tubeless-ready TLR highway tires -230g for Flanders and 270g for Cobbles. (Their internally circulated tech sheet lists the tube-type Flanders at 220g and Cobbles at 245g.) The tubeless-ready TLR tires are also only a bit costlier.

FMB Flanders TLR & FMB Cobbles TLR tires each formally retail for 60€ about 5€ greater than their tube-type counterparts (though they promote for a couple of euros much less straight from the FMB webshop.)

FMB Cobbles tubeless-ready TLR 29mm tire, handmade-in-France supple open-tubular tubeless clincher road bike tires, 31mm actual width on 20mm internal rim

The 2 Cobbles TLR 29 samples we bought in to check weighed in at a mean of 300g (295g & 305g) with a ten gram variance that appears cheap primarily based on their handmade building. That’s nonetheless 30g over FMB’s declare, possible because of their further tubeless sealing  course of vs. the usual tube-type clincher tires?

Our take a look at Cobbles TLR 29 tires additionally truly measured out a bit wider, at 30.8mm when aired up totally to 6bar/87psi put in on DT Swiss ARC1100 wheels with a 20mm inner hooked tubeless rim profile.

Subsequent steps for FMB TLR tubeless tires

FMB Pro Carbon tubeless-ready TLR 26mm road tire handmade-in-France
c. FMB

For now, FMB tubeless-ready TLR is formally restricted to the Flanders & Cobbles highway tires. We now have already seen TLR variations of FMB’s all-cotton 26mm Professional Carbon, however they are saying that manufacturing TLR tubeless tires will all use the stronger polycotton mix that’s equally as supple, whereas additionally being extra sturdy.

FMB has assured us that every one of their open tubulars will quickly be supplied within the new tubeless-ready building, together with cyclocross! Apparently solely the 24.5mm Racing highway tire received’t get a TLR model.

First Impressions – FMB Cobbles 29 TLR tubeless setup

FMB Cobbles tubeless-ready TLR 29mm tire, handmade-in-France supple open-tubular tubeless clincher road bike tires, on Campagnolo Bora WTO 60 DB wheel

What are our first ideas of setting them up tubeless and driving with them? That is the place it will get difficult. In order for you a straightforward & hassle-free highway tubeless setup, you’re possible greatest to stay with standard vulcanized tubeless-ready tires. There are many good efficiency choices from the likes of Schwalbe, Continental, Pirelli, Goodyear, and extra… simply to call a couple of. However you didn’t learn this far to journey on inflexible tires, you’re searching for that unmatched fast-rolling, tarmac-smoothing journey high quality of handmade tubulars… however with out huffing glue fumes or scraping worn-out tires off your rims.

FMB Cobbles tubeless-ready TLR 29mm tire, handmade-in-France supple open-tubular tubeless clincher road bike tires

So, buckle up for a more durable set up. These tires really feel gentle in your palms, and when you go to place them on the edges. FMB says that they don’t match ultra-tight, as a result of they don’t need you to wreck them mounting them to your rims with tire levers. That additionally signifies that they more than likely won’t air up and seal in your tubeless wheels with out an air compressor.

Out of 4 hooked wheelsets (alloy & carbon) that I had beforehand put in standard tubeless tires with a high-volume flooring pump, solely on the brand new DT ARCs may I air up the FMB Cobbles TLRs WITH a Schwalbe/Airshot Tire Booster – none with the ground pump alone.

A high-flow, high-pressure air compressor seated a tire on three of these wheelsets with out sealant (add Hunt 4Season & Campagnolo Bora), one wider set not even with the compressor (Hunt Gravel). Including sealant throughout the preliminary bead seat course of in the end made the DT setup simpler, however everyone knows how messy that may get.

The takeaway, your setup outcomes could range.

FMB Cobbles tubeless-ready TLR 29mm tire, handmade-in-France supple open-tubular tubeless clincher road bike tires, on DT Swiss ARC1100 62mm wheels

So is it price it?

That’s in all probability nonetheless as much as you to determine. I’ve aired them up on the DT wheels, sealed with Stan’s, and solely began to journey them a bit. The journey is nice – quick and {smooth}, as hoped. Just like the early tubeless Vittoria Corsa Pace tires, it appears the FMBs do lose some strain over time like tubulars, perhaps much more when not ridden for a few days.

However to date, chilly & moist winter climate has stored me extra on trails & gravel, slightly than lengthy rides on gritted & salted roads recently. So I’ll have to attend a month or two earlier than I can provide a real-world overview on how the FMB TLR tires carry out over time.


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