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While looking for new tyres that would fit my bike from a design point of view, it turned out that none of my color wishes could be fulfilled. Most tyres on the market are black, with a handful of exceptions (some mentioned here)

There are headsets, clamps, brake levers, saddle posts etc. available in all colors, why not tyres?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The highest volume use of carbon black is as a reinforcing filler in rubber products, especially tires:

Practically all rubber products where tensile and abrasion wear properties are crucial use carbon black, so they are black in color.

Two of the pictures of 'orange' tires show that while the sides of the tire are orange, the tire is black 'where the rubber meets the road'.

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To protect against ozone and UV damage, a stabilizer molecule called a “competitive absorber” is blended with the tire polymer. Competitive absorbers work by capturing and absorbing UV radiation and converting it to heat which is dissipated harmlessly. All tire manufacturers use the same competitive absorber, carbon black. This is why all tires are black.

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You can get other colors of tires, but they aren't usually available because if the tire is made with the tread actually a different color, they must use different more expensive additives to increase durability. (See Carbon Black answer above)

In addition, on colored tires, the tread portion of the tire rarely looks good for any length of time after being ridden. So customers aren't often satisfied with the product for very long.

Since the same matching effect can be achieved by the sidewalls being colored, most manufacturers go that way instead.

Lastly, most retailers prefer not to stock a tire that is limited in use to only the few bikes which match the tire color. Tires are expensive, and bulky to store. So why fill your wall space with 5 colors of one model of tire, when you can give better service to more customers by stocking one color of five models in the same space.

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And all-white tyres suck the most. The cream ones are almost as bad. Often just wheeling them across a clean-looking floor marks them up enough to make them look dirty. My LBS leaves the plastic on white grips (and charges a premium to fit them), and carries bikes with white tyres (plus test rides before fitting the tyres, if repairs are done as well). They stock one or two types of narrow 700c tyres for fixies in ~5 colours each, but that's it. The fixie kids love them. –  Мסž Jun 22 '11 at 0:22

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