Michelin Pro Race Violet



When I lived in Texas, I lost more (tan sidewall) tires to UV-induced
deterioration than to treadwear, though I rode up to 15,000 miles per
year. Black skinwalls are a huge improvement in their resistance to
sun rot, and the better (thinner) ones do not seem to carry a weight or
rolling resistance penalty vs. tan sidewalls.

I think the perceived superiority of tan sidewalls traces back to when
all bike tires had thick rubbery sidewalls, and the plain gum type
exhibited less rolling resistance (than those with tread rubber on the
sides) due to lower hysteresis in the sidewall.

I simply can't understand how any two tires of equal casing
construction, one with thin black skinwalls and the other with thin tan
skinwalls, would have any difference whatsoever in RR or ride quality.
Given these two choices, the black one would be preferable, since it
provides some protection against UV degradation.

Chalo Colina
 
Interesting, didn't know that tan sidewalls would make a difference in
rolling resistance or degrade from UV rays. I thought one of the
advantage of tan sidewalls was it made it easier to look down and
detect a leaking tire.
 
C wrote:

> In article <KygAd.274337$V41.87956@attbi_s52>,
> Mark Janeba <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>OK, now that we're discussing tire colors, I'd like to know if tan
>>sidewalls are ever going to return to common availability. An guesses?

>
>
> Doesn't Continental still make tan sidewalls?


Right you are. Thanks for the thought.

I've been avoiding Contis. I know lots of folk swear by 'em, but I've
heard lots of stories of sidewall blowouts. I've witnessed one such
blowout, on a new tire - a neat 1cm tear in the sidewall, incurred on
seemingly clean pavement. While I am pretty sure the blowout wasn't
spontaneous, it and the many stories make me think Contis are more
vulnerable to sidewall damage than other tires.

Despite this, I may try a set when my current stockpile of tan sidewall
tires runs out, but I'd rather not. I'd be much happier if tan
sidewalls come back into style, giving me a range of choice.

Mark Janeba
 
Mark Janeba <[email protected]> writes:

>My specific question: Is it cheaper for manufacturers to make sidewalls
>black?


I think that the "durability compounds" used in the sidewalls of
today's tires are either black, or they make it difficult to produce a
tan-sidewalled tire. When I need tan clinchers here is what I
purchase :

Continental 2000/3000/Ultra-2000/Ultra-3000

anthracite tread and "transparent" (or brown) sidewalls

=> not a very satisfying retro tire since the tread is too
light - grey - and the sidewall is too dark - dark brown.

Panaracer Pasela Tourgard

still available in tan sidewalls, once marketed as Schwinn LeTour.

Clement Ventoux Clinchers

still available in tan sidewalls, cotton-tubular feel, made in
Thailand but pretty retro !!

Veloflex Tires

still available in tan sidewalls, handmade in Italy by ex-Vittoria
sewing artisans !!!

- Don Gillies
San Diego, CA
 
Donald Gillies wrote:

> When I need tan clinchers here is what I
> purchase :
>

[several brands snipped]
> Veloflex Tires
>
> still available in tan sidewalls, handmade in Italy by ex-Vittoria
> sewing artisans !!!


Very nice tires, but I can't find them in tan sidewalls WITH black tread
anymore.

Mark "fussy, fussy" Janeba
 
bfd who? writes:

> Interesting, didn't know that tan sidewalls would make a difference
> in rolling resistance or degrade from UV rays. I thought one of the
> advantage of tan sidewalls was it made it easier to look down and
> detect a leaking tire.


The difference arises from the additional rubber that coats the
sidewall. That is not black dye but rather a thin coat of rubber.
Although it gives better weather resistance, this has not been a
problem with people who ride much, just as it was in the days of
tubulars, that the "yellow" side wall tires emulated. As fashion has
overtaken function in this business, we don't see much attention to
rolling resistance and traction. Color is where it's at!

Jobst Brandt
[email protected]
 
On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 17:17:31 GMT, Mark Janeba
<[email protected]> wrote:

>My specific question: Is it cheaper for manufacturers to make sidewalls
>black?


Maybe a wobbly molded tread edge is easier to hide with black
sidewalls?
 
> Mark Janeba writes:
>>OK, now that we're discussing tire colors, I'd like to know if tan
>>sidewalls are ever going to return to common availability. An
>>guesses?

-snip-
>>I've got a small stockpile, but even Ebay is running low on tan
>>sidewalls.


[email protected] wrote:
> There was a time when black rims and tires were the rave and few
> people would even consider a bare (tan) sidewall tire. At that time
> most tires switched to black. There needs to be a market force to
> move back to bare walled tires but I don't see any. My stash of such
> tires is getting thin.


Both IRC and Panaracer still make a range of widths and
styles in 700C skinside with black center tread.

--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971
 
Chalo wrote:

> When I lived in Texas, I lost more (tan sidewall) tires to UV-induced
> deterioration than to treadwear, though I rode up to 15,000 miles per
> year. Black skinwalls are a huge improvement in their resistance to
> sun rot, and the better (thinner) ones do not seem to carry a weight or
> rolling resistance penalty vs. tan sidewalls.
>
> I think the perceived superiority of tan sidewalls traces back to when
> all bike tires had thick rubbery sidewalls, and the plain gum type
> exhibited less rolling resistance (than those with tread rubber on the
> sides) due to lower hysteresis in the sidewall.
>
> I simply can't understand how any two tires of equal casing
> construction, one with thin black skinwalls and the other with thin tan
> skinwalls, would have any difference whatsoever in RR or ride quality.
> Given these two choices, the black one would be preferable, since it
> provides some protection against UV degradation.


I was told long ago ( before I worked in a bike shop) that
the tan sidewalls are softer and so won't crack like
blackwalls. It seemed true then. But today's modern tires
don't check like the heavy black sidewalls of the sixties. I
believe it is just fashion at this point. I agree that
'performance' isn't a variable here.

--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971
 
Andrew Muzi writes:

> I was told long ago ( before I worked in a bike shop) that the tan
> sidewalls are softer and so won't crack like blackwalls. It seemed
> true then. But today's modern tires don't check like the heavy
> black sidewalls of the sixties. I believe it is just fashion at
> this point. I agree that 'performance' isn't a variable here.


Well that's not for sure... in a negative sense. With (rubber
covered) black sidewalls, you can do as Continental has for years, use
coarser cords (fewer TPI) of cheaper thread without it being visible.
The package cord sidewalls on Continental tires is, in my estimation,
the source of the side wall failure reputation... looking carefully
the UPS cord is visible. One of the wonders of the great tubulars of
the past was that you could see the strong and fine 120 TPI silk.
THose casings of 0.008" thread were far finer than the fire hoses we
ride on today.

http://tinyurl.com/6fkj5

Jobst Brandt
[email protected]
 
> http://motorcyclistonline.com/features/122_0307_gear11_z.jpg
>
> example.
>


Those tires are actually traditional tire carcasses re-treaded with the
colored tread.

A motorcycle magazine review shing these tires to the limit several years
back when these came out reported very positive results. I'm inclined to
believe there was payola.

--
Phil, Squid-in-Training
 
"bfd" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> If you're looking for 26" tires that are black with tan sidewall, look
> for Avocet Fasgrip and Avocet Cross tires, available in both 26x1.25
> and 26x1.5. The fasgrips are a true "slick" with no tread; the Cross
> have the "inverted" tread. Both roll nicely on smooth pavement and are
> excellent tires. Gaerlan and G to G tandems still appear to carry these
> tires. Try them!


These are very different tires. The Fasgrips are nice, light tires, the
cross tires are heavy slugs.
 
On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 08:07:27 GMT, "Phil, Squid-in-Training"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>> http://motorcyclistonline.com/features/122_0307_gear11_z.jpg
>>
>> example.
>>

>
>Those tires are actually traditional tire carcasses re-treaded with the
>colored tread.
>
>A motorcycle magazine review shing these tires to the limit several years
>back when these came out reported very positive results. I'm inclined to
>believe there was payola.


Dear Phil,

Your suspicion is understandable, but probably mistaken.

Even thirty years ago, it was notorious that motorcycle
magazines embraced the philosophy of Will Rogers--they never
met a machine they didn't like.

Carl Fogel
 
Interesting. On my commuter, I'm currently running an Avocet Fasgrip
26x1.25 in front, Avocet Cross 26x1.25 in the rear. Seems to roll find
with me. When the rear wears, I'll move my Avocet Fasgrip from the
front to rear and put a new Fasgrip on the front.
 
Mark Janeba wrote:

> I've been avoiding Contis. I know lots of folk swear by 'em, but I've
> heard lots of stories of sidewall blowouts. I've witnessed one such
> blowout, on a new tire - a neat 1cm tear in the sidewall, incurred on
> seemingly clean pavement.


This is the usual failure mode. I rode Conti Grand Prix for many years
and tiny flints killed off a couple of them. I once lost a sidewall 50
yards from home on the way back from a 57 mile ride. That was rather
fortuitous.

The mid-1990s GP tyres also deteriorated quickly in sunlight and the
sidewalls (which were brown rather than amber) became dried-out.
Coupled with their tendency to lose odd threads from the casing, I'm not
sure why I persevered with them for so long!
 
"Mark Janeba" <[email protected]> wrote in
message news:lAoAd.248331$5K2.31355@attbi_s03...
> Donald Gillies wrote:
>
> > When I need tan clinchers here is what I
> > purchase :
> >

> [several brands snipped]
> > Veloflex Tires
> >
> > still available in tan sidewalls, handmade in Italy by

ex-Vittoria
> > sewing artisans !!!

>
> Very nice tires, but I can't find them in tan sidewalls WITH

black tread
> anymore.
>
> Mark "fussy, fussy" Janeba


You are fussy! Tan sidewalls are mud-colored sidewalls after
about two days of commuting here in Portland. And like Chalo
said, the old style tan-walls rotted out in the sun. Not that I
like colored tires, but price and ride quality are far more
meaningful to me than color. Really, so I have violet tires! At
least I am not wearing a vivid pro team outfit (including socks)
like half of the poseurs riding around the popular parade routes.

Also, my recent experience with certain tires with "silicum" or
silica based binder/filler has been pretty good. I am taking a
run at returning to old-guy racing and have been riding on some
Pro Race tires and like them. I would buy another pair for fast
riding (but not commuting due to the expense and durability).
They are far better than the first-generation colored tires with
clay-based pigments which were like riding on banana peels in the
rain. The Pro Race are probably not as good as Avocets or
SuperCompHDs as far as wet traction, but getting close. Gee, I
love it when new technology catches up with old technology. --
Jay Beattie.
 
dianne_1234 wrote:

> On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 17:17:31 GMT, Mark Janeba
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>
>>My specific question: Is it cheaper for manufacturers to make sidewalls
>>black?

>
>
> Maybe a wobbly molded tread edge is easier to hide with black
> sidewalls?


Often it's the boundary between the black tread coating and the sidewall
which is wobbly. I have many pairs of Specialized Turbos like this (the
tyres themselves are perfectly well made).
 
Jay Beattie wrote:
> "Mark Janeba" <[email protected]> wrote in
>>Donald Gillies wrote:
>>>Veloflex Tires
>>> still available in tan sidewalls, handmade in Italy by
>>> ex-Vittoria sewing artisans !!!

>>
>>Very nice tires, but I can't find them in tan sidewalls WITH
>> black tread anymore.
>>
>>Mark "fussy, fussy" Janeba

>
>
> You are fussy! Tan sidewalls are mud-colored sidewalls after
> about two days of commuting here in Portland.


Same thing 50 miles south here in Salem. I've got a muddy commuter bike
for that. As I had said earlier, the tan sidewalls are for my "good"
bike, which doesn't go out in the wet.

And like Chalo
> said, the old style tan-walls rotted out in the sun.


That process (UV rotting) makes sense to me, but it hasn't been my
experience.

> The Pro Race are probably not as good as Avocets or
> SuperCompHDs as far as wet traction, but getting close.


I like the SuperCompHDs for my "rain" bike. I've got a couple of new
ones left.

Regards,

Mark "only 3 new road bikes in the last 21 years, honest!" Janeba
 
On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 05:57:18 GMT, [email protected]
wrote:

>Andrew Muzi writes:
>
>> I was told long ago ( before I worked in a bike shop) that the tan
>> sidewalls are softer and so won't crack like blackwalls. It seemed
>> true then. But today's modern tires don't check like the heavy
>> black sidewalls of the sixties. I believe it is just fashion at
>> this point. I agree that 'performance' isn't a variable here.

>
>Well that's not for sure... in a negative sense. With (rubber
>covered) black sidewalls, you can do as Continental has for years, use
>coarser cords (fewer TPI) of cheaper thread without it being visible.
>The package cord sidewalls on Continental tires is, in my estimation,
>the source of the side wall failure reputation... looking carefully
>the UPS cord is visible.


A wise and experienced cyclist once stated a preference for
gumwall tires because they made inspection for sidewall damage
trivial.

This was particularly poignant for me today as I scrubbed the
sidewalls and rims of my rear wheel. The tire, which is a Continental,
showed unmistakable 45 degree "tattoos" of grey aluminium slurry
within the sidewall. This, after about two months of light use.
 
On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 13:25:58 -0500 Sheldon Brown
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Sheldon "Dunlop HPRR?" Brown


I wonder how many people out there know what this refers to? If you
do, prove it by naming the Schwinn tire which copied it.

-
-----------------------------------------------
Jim Adney [email protected]
Madison, WI 53711 USA
-----------------------------------------------