Cross is Coming – Get Your Tires Now!Jan Heine
We’re excited that cyclocross is back this autumn in North America. It’s something we’ve missed more than almost anything else during the pandemic. ‘Cross is so much fun in part because you get to ride multiple laps of the same course, so you get the opportunity to fine-tune your lines. With each lap, you can push a little harder and try how fast you can take each corner. And if you overdo it, you usually slide without falling, and even if you hit the ground, the mud is usually soft.
The fastest racers, like ex-world champion Ceylin Alvarado (above) usually race on hand-made tubular tires, and there are none better then the French FMBs that Ceylin is running. I’ve been racing on the same tires (but not at the same speed!) for 8 years now, and I have to admit that one reason I’m looking forward so much to the ‘cross season is that I get to ride these wonderful tires.
FMB is very busy this year, so supplies of their ‘cross tubulars will be tight this autumn. They’ve also announced a price increase, as all the raw materials have gone up. So if you plan to race on FMB tubulars, be on the safe side and get your tires now while we have them in stock (and before prices go up).
Many riders have switched to tubeless clinchers for ‘cross, especially in races where the UCI’s maximum tire size of 33 mm doesn’t apply. To get the same ride as a 33 mm tubular, you need about a 38 mm clincher.
Our 700×38 Steilacooms – named after one of the most iconic ‘cross courses of the Pacific Northwest – have been extremely popular among ‘cross racers, since they offer excellent grip, a supple casing for great speed, and shed mud very well. We just got another shipment, but supplies are limited. Just like with the FMB tubulars, if you’re planning to race on Steilacooms, it might be a good idea to get your tires now while they are in stock.
If you’re curious about cyclocross, give it a try! It’s great fun, and a great way to prolong your cycling season into the winter months. Races are between 30 and 60 minutes long, which means you can go pretty much all-out, and you won’t get cold even if it’s wet and muddy out. You don’t even need a special ‘cross bike. Gravel bikes, randonneur bikes with the fenders removed, and even old racing bikes from the days when clearances were generous all make great ‘cross bikes. I hope to see you out there this autumn and winter!