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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:08 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider

Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:16 pm
Posts: 8658
I'm not always the best informed about all the nuances of retrobike authenticity but what precisely is specifically retro about amber skinwall tyres. During our hayday of retroness was this the only tyre option for mtb's. I'm pretty sure all black bicycle tyres have existed since the year nought and thus presume all black mtb tyres have existed since the begining of our sport. If this is not correct then please tell me.
Just wandering as in mention of retro classification for the next IOM end to end race a suggestion was all retro entrants should have amber skinwall tyres ?
Baring in mind how difficult its getting to find NOS amberwall tyres, wont such a specification become dfficult in future retro races. I know modern amberwall tyres exist such as splashbacks but technically isnt that cheating as they are not actually retro.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:30 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:52 pm
Posts: 1387
Location: the Netherlands
Good question. BITD I avoided them and fitted blackwalls, they lasted longer and looked better, in my opinion. Now I got back into retro bikes since a couple of years, I started to appreciate the retro look of the skinwalls and fit all my bikes with them, but I don't really know what has triggered that.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:32 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
Posts: 16907
Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
They don't do it for me. But that's no surprise.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:52 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:12 am
Posts: 680
Location: Anglesey
I used to colour in my skinwalls with black marker pen :)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:00 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:40 am
Posts: 160
Location: Cheshire
As skinwalls are not really used on modern bikes then the retro image is reinforced by using skinwalls as it instantly evokes memories of when they were commonplace.
Having said that though my next build will have a pair of blackwall Onza's.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:37 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 6840
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
This is one of those questions that go round and round.

There were plenty of black tyres BITD; I recently gave away some Velocaraptor tyres which came factory fitted to my GT STS-2 in 97, equally the much loved Panaracer Smoke Dart combo was only available with skinwalls, as were much of the Continental and Specialized ranges.

As I recall, skinwalls were usually lighter than most blackwall tyres, and that probably has more to do with why we used them, plus, there were some pretty good tread patterns available and as far as I was (and am) concerned, that was the main deciding factor.

Making skinwalls compulsory for a race is a dangerous game, as unless the entrant has found modern tyres, such as the Smoke/Dart reissues, Geax, Splashbacks et al, then the chances are they will be racing on some pretty old rubber. I recently rode a Lloyd CATS WISKAS belonging to Ringo, which was still wearing a pair of original Continental Cross Country tyres and they were absolutely superb, but if old tyres have not been properly stored, then they are an accident waiting to happen.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:49 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider

Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:16 pm
Posts: 8658
Thus from whats been said, amber skinwall does not define retro its just a nostalgia thing that makes folk think retro.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:09 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider

Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:45 pm
Posts: 2614
Location: Near a tree, by a river in a hole in the ground....
Heyday was 91 to 97 so fits with the main Retro Period we all so enjoy

Until I bought my DH tyres in 01 I had only ever used skin walls and (still) hate the look of black walls...


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:13 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 7:25 pm
Posts: 4977
Location: Edinburgh
boxxer wrote:
Heyday was 91 to 97 so fits with the main Retro Period we all so enjoy

Until I bought my DH tyres in 01 I had only ever used skin walls and (still) hate the look of black walls...


I bought my first "proper" mountain bike in around 92 (Kona Fire Mountain) and it had blackwall tyres. It was one of the things that made it look cool and business like to me. I've always preferred them look wise.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:43 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:10 pm
Posts: 212
Location: Lancashire
Think they look best on retro steel bikes with skinny tubes they just look neater than black tyres more balanced. Black tyres look best when running thin slick tyres and look even better with black rims again just look more balanced with old steel tubes


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