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What kind of rubber is a tan sidewall?

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What kind of rubber is a tan sidewall?

Old 08-08-19, 01:02 AM
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What kind of rubber is a tan sidewall?

The tread is butyl, right, and the sidewall is what, latex?

Anyone know if you can dye it?
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Old 08-08-19, 05:17 AM
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I suspect that it is the same rubber as the rest of the tire, just without the carbon black added.
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Old 08-08-19, 09:34 AM
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I've always figured it was just latex with coloring added as necessary to maintain the desired color. Tread rubber has all kinds of compounds in it for grip and durability that I doubt they would want to put into the casing.
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Old 08-08-19, 09:41 AM
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I always thought it was pencil eraser !!
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Old 08-08-19, 09:55 AM
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I feel like this came up in a thread about a year ago. I remember reading an article -- maybe it was from Jalopnik -- that went into a deep dive as to why tires are black. The very short answer was that it had to do with material shortages in WWI.

But yeah, I think tanwalls just don't have the carbon black added.
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Old 08-08-19, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
I suspect that it is the same rubber as the rest of the tire, just without the carbon black added.
I suspect the same thing. The carbon black adds some UV protection, and I think that's the main reason the gumwall, tanwall type of sidewalls you see on old tires of that type are often badly degraded (dry rotted, cracked, etc), while the black portion of the tire is in much better shape.
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Old 08-08-19, 10:17 AM
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That's a little like asking what kind of fabric is a red shirt. Some tan sidewalls are little more than the cotton or silk casing.with a little perhaps shellac. (I'm guessing 100 years ago, this was most tires.) Some are dyed rubber/butyl. Some are a near transparent coating over a tan colored synthetic cord. If you want a definitive answer, you have to specify the tire.

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Old 08-08-19, 11:17 AM
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Tan.
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Old 08-09-19, 07:25 PM
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Back in the olden days when men were men and such things were common we used to call them "gum walls".
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Old 08-09-19, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
That's a little like asking what kind of fabric is a red shirt. Some tan sidewalls are little more than the cotton or silk casing.with a little perhaps shellac. (I'm guessing 100 years ago, this was most tires.) Some are dyed rubber/butyl. Some are a near transparent coating over a tan colored synthetic cord. If you want a definitive answer, you have to specify the tire.
Yeah, fair call. I'm talking Vittoria Corsa tubulars; I want em to look like old school Conti GPs.
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Old 08-10-19, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Yeah, fair call. I'm talking Vittoria Corsa tubulars; I want em to look like old school Conti GPs.
I'm pretty sure they are available in black sidewall. The Corsa G+ clinchers were. I have a pair. VIttoria's website is good so I would go there and take a look.

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Old 08-10-19, 01:50 AM
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Didn't want black, and I wanted the Corsas, so I want to try dyeing them. Vittoria's idea of tan is way too light for my taste.

I figure I can mix the dye with cornstarch or something, and smear it on and leave it for a few hours.

Apparently you can dye rubber with fabric dye? But that's not very specific, since there are different types of both.

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Old 08-10-19, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Yeah, fair call. I'm talking Vittoria Corsa tubulars; I want em to look like old school Conti GPs.
The new Conti GP Classics are true skinwalls, not gumwalls, and translucent against bright light. I'm assuming that's the base for the entire tire, and the tread is laminated onto that base. But it's 700x25 clinchers only, no tubs. I just got a set, only ridden 'em twice for 15 miles each. They seem good. I'm gonna try 'em again this morning at lower pressure.
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Old 08-18-19, 08:04 PM
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So I got some brown fabric dye. Figured I needed something to thicken it, like cornstarch, got arrowroot instead. Mixing it up, I accidentally dumped a fair bit too much of the stuff in, and it was a gluggy mess... couldn't dissolve all of it.

Anyway, I thought what the hell, and pressed on. Painted one side of each tyre, checked back in an hour, hadn't done much. Not much more another hour later, so left it overnight.

Cleaning it off was a mission, took twenty minutes or more for each tyre. After which, disappointing results were revealed. The dye mixture was about the colour of dark chocolate, and the original colour of the sidewall was kinda creamy with a slight green tinge. The dye kinda went with the green; all it really did was darken the existing colour some, to the point it just looked like an old tyre, and pretty blotchy too.

Oh well, I knew it was a cross your fingers and hope sort of scenario... and come to think of it, since this is my first set of tubulars since the 90s, I'll need some spares. Ordered another pair in anthracite.
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Old 08-19-19, 11:31 AM
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I don't think there is much real rubber in modern bike tires - they are mostly or completely made from synthetic polymers. I could be wrong about this, so please tell me if I am.

Anyhoo, polymers are all colourless in their natural state, if my college materials course recollections are correct. Carbon is added to the tread portion for duability (I think) and any other colour in your tire aside from clear or opaque whitish are added just for looks.
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Old 08-19-19, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Tan.
Can't believe it took 8 posts.

Thanks.


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Old 08-19-19, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
I don't think there is much real rubber in modern bike tires - they are mostly or completely made from synthetic polymers. I could be wrong about this, so please tell me if I am.
Panaracer Gravelking SK are natural rubber.

They smell amazing and perfume the entire house when they are delivered.

It reminds me of my father taking me to get new tires on the family car when I was a wee lad.


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Old 08-19-19, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Panaracer Gravelking SK are natural rubber.

They smell amazing and perfume the entire house when they are delivered.

It reminds me of my father taking me to get new tires on the family car when I was a wee lad.


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Old 08-19-19, 03:07 PM
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Aren't most tires of any sort made of natural rubber? Butyl is for keeping air in.

Edit: about half of production is natural rubber, the other half is styrene-butadiene.
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Old 08-19-19, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Vittoria's idea of tan is way too light for my taste.
I have nothing useful to add to this thread but just want to acknowledge this statement.

Corsa are more of a cream color.


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Old 08-19-19, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Corsa are more of a cream color.
Yeah, I already sort of knew that in the back of my mind, but when it said 'tan' on the website, I was like, oh hey, cool. Pff
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