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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:37 pm 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8146
Location: Macclesfield Forest
This is probably another example of how 'retro' is too blunt a term. It doesn't necessarily just mean old.

Amber and skinwall tyres were popular with bike manufacturers and consumers around the dates already mentioned. So when it comes to authenticity and period correctness then it makes sense to fit them on bikes from that period.
Some manufacturers bucked the trend though. Marin for example fitted blackwalls from 1993 onwards and Kona were favoured them throughout the 90s.

However, I also preferred black wall tyres back in the day, and I'm also guilty of colouring in side walls with a permanent marker.
I do prefer the aesthetics of skin walls on a lot of early to mid nineties bikes as well as earlier ones now though.

But you are right, blackwall tyres have been around alot longer than skinwalls, so perhaps it's because they had a decade of popularity before disappearing, at least in the MTB market, that they are popular here on Retrobike.

The aesthetic has seen a resurgence recently though. Quite a few tyre manufacturers are producing modern skinwalls.

It's all cyclical in the cycle industry though.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:52 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:11 pm
Posts: 1043
Location: Left Coast of Canada
Good question. I've wondered the same thing myself. I can't remember the first blackwall tires that I owned, but I'm pretty certain that I had them on my 93 Stumpy. I agree that skinwalls do look very retro and are probably the best choice aesthetically for any pre-90's bike. After that I think you're pretty much good to go with any 2.1 or 1.95 XC tire with a traditional tread pattern. If you actually plan to ride the bike in anger, then I wouldn't worry about it at all unless you have some silly vintage race requirement to meet.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:07 pm 
BoTM Winner / Gold Trader
BoTM Winner / Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:36 am
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Location: Burlington, ON Canada
NeilM wrote:
the much loved Panaracer Smoke Dart combo was only available with skinwalls


Here's a pic of my original Paramount. Back of the pic is watermarked FEB 93. Those are Smoke/Dart on it from the previous season, so the blackwall versions were available in 92.

Image

Not the best pic of the Paramount, but the bike I replaced the Paramount with in 93, and those are definitely Smoke/Darts.

Image

The bike came from the factory in 91 with blackwall Paramount KOMs (probably out of the Panaracer factory). Both my 91 Avalanche and Karakoram were spec'd from GT with blackwall Ritchey Megabites.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:39 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:11 pm
Posts: 1043
Location: Left Coast of Canada
FMJ wrote:
NeilM wrote:
the much loved Panaracer Smoke Dart combo was only available with skinwalls


Here's a pic of my original Paramount. Back of the pic is watermarked FEB 93. Those are Smoke/Dart on it from the previous season, so the blackwall versions were available in 92.

Image

Not the best pic of the Paramount, but the bike I replaced the Paramount with in 93, and those are definitely Smoke/Darts.

Image

The bike came from the factory in 91 with blackwall Paramount KOMs (probably out of the Panaracer factory). Both my 91 Avalanche and Karakoram were spec'd from GT with blackwall Ritchey Megabites.


I was wondering about that statement as well. I don't have many photos of those early bikes, but I remember using black sidewall smoke / darts as well BITD. Black sidewalls looked very modern back then.


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