Race Testing FMB’s Gripo XL

There is no shortage of ‘Tubular vs Tubeless vs Clincher’ articles out on the internet right now, especially since we’re in the thick of the ‘cross season, but I’d like to toss my hat into the ring.  I’m not too particular to the marketing-speak of the bike industry and I’ll try to keep the tech jargon to a minimum and focus on the real world feel and performance of the tire. So with that long-winded introduction I’ll keep my review brief: Hot damn. Having raced clinchers for all of this year’s ‘cross season until this weekend I say with confidence that the difference is real.  I felt considerably more confident being aggressive in the muddy, off-camber corners.  The suppleness and compliance offered by the latex tube inside the Gripo equals pure, unadulterated shred through the technical sections. They give visceral feedback, assuring you, “We’ve got you.”  They produce an audible ‘hum’ that lets you know exactly when you’re on it and when you need to “Harden the Fuck Up” (Rule V).  If you’re looking to start upgrading your race setup, skip the carbon and get on a set of tubulars.

(And if you’re still on the fence just ask this guy. Or this guy.)

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