By on December 3, 2011

TTAC readers certainly were fascinated with the fascination with white wall tires on the part of the Chinese military (the white is just painted on, don’t worry, and the paint easily comes off.) Now for something REALLY whacky:

What about pink tires under your pink Ferrari California? In China, this is made possible by Double Star Tires from the great city of Qingdao in Shandong province. Double Star developed a patented process to make tires in any color. Fittingly, this new product is called ‘Rainbow.’ The bonbon-colored tires will hit the market soon and likely with great success. At least in China.

Here, the colored tires come down the production line. Double Star sees many possibilities. Apart from adding some color to the otherwise average automobile, there could be green tires for the military, red for the fire department, yellow for school buses. You get the idea. It is not yet clear how much a set of pinkies will cost. Double Star only said the colored tires will be ‘slightly more expensive’ than standard black.

This should be a very popular color in China.

Bright yellow, green and pink at a trade show. Quite a contrast to the uniform color of the uniforms.

I think this is a great idea. Next step is to make tires with more than one color, or fluorescent colors, or some truly rainbow-tires, or pink with white dots, or tires with cartoons on it. Hello Kittie tires? Rainbow tires for, you know?

China, the land of opportunity.

Dutchman Tycho de Feyter runs Carnewschina, a blog about cars in China, from Beijing, China. He also collects die-cast models of Chinese cars.

 

 

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50 Comments on “Black Is Dead: China Introduces Colored Tires...”


  • avatar
    gslippy

    Colorants can sometimes negatively affect the properties of some plastics and rubber products. I wonder if they’ve found a way to overcome this problem.

    Besides that, this will take some getting used to. If you can’t depend on tires being black, what can you count on?

  • avatar
    Terry

    Seen them available for motorcycles for years, have NEVER seen a bike equipped with them.
    For a car, it would make finding a tire that’s been plugged easier…

    • 0 avatar
      strafer

      I’ve seen colored dirt bike tires before in magazines, but not street bike tires.
      And mountain bike tires also went through the color phase over 10 years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve65

        As of about 5 years ago there were colored sport bike tires offered. I considered putting some green ones on my Triumph, but ultimately decided against it. A brief web search just now seems to show that nobody is still making them.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I’m pretty sure that 20 inch BMW tires were available in a variety of colors almost 30 years ago. Not sure if I saw many of them in use, but I recall seeing them in catalogs.

        http://i47.tinypic.com/33w387k.jpg

        I think Sears used to sell BMX tires that were both colored and airless. They were molded in sort of a honey comb construction to be self supporting without inflation. I wonder how easy they were to mount.

  • avatar
    Loser

    Think I’ll just stick with the boring old black tires, not a fan of the clown car look.

  • avatar
    carbiz

    Well, now people might stop making fun of whitewalls!

  • avatar
    V572625694

    A set of those on 22″ center-rotating dubs would look awesome on an Escalade.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    They’ve been available for bicycles for several years. I have red tires on my Schwinn Varsity. There used to be American Flag tires for bikes, but I can’t find them anymore.

  • avatar
    aenea

    Yeah, but do they glow?

    http://www.life.com/gallery/25371/image/2668080/30-dumb-inventions#index/11

  • avatar
    240SX_KAT

    I don’t know about glowing, but if they can put the retro-reflector particles in like highway signs have it would be great for side visibility in bad weather.

  • avatar
    MZ3AUTOXR

    A while back BFGoodrich made the Scorcher T/A tire that had a full tread depth rib that was either red, yellow , or blue. I guess part of the idea was that if you peeled out, you would leave a stripe with color instead of the boring black.

    Here’s a link to pics:

    http://wayneswheels.net/BFGoodrich.html

    Also, my understanding from my days in tire sales is that the black in tires comes from the carbon that is in the rubber manufacturing process. One company rep told me that tires could easily be made in any color, but the inventory logistics (which were a nightmare 15 years ago when low profile tires were in their infancy) would be impossible.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      exactly. Rubber in tires is naturally sorta brownish…Like all rubber. As they add in carbon and then vulcanize they become coal black. I had a set of scorchers, they lit up like a match and it was fun to leave streaks…but yeah.. >.>

      I’m not against the look, I think it would be a nice addition if the color contrast is right but I agree the local NTBs have enough trouble stocking more than 2 of my tire size, imagine if I asked them for violet? I would need to own atleast one full colored spare at all times.

      • 0 avatar
        MZ3AUTOXR

        Funny – I was a manager at a few NTB’s (back when they were NTW’s.) Stocking the Scorchers came up as a option in the region and we decided to pass because of the multiple color stocking issue.

        Worst was when the Corvette came with the Goodyears that were uni-directional AND asymmetrical. 4 different part numbers for one car and guaranteed that you would not have all four in stock when a Vette owner drove in.

      • 0 avatar
        PlentyofCars

        Perfect for online sellers like TireRack.com

        Easy to stock a lot of colors in a central warehouse for shipping nationwide to customers.

        Then just get them installed at a local tire store affiliated with them.

  • avatar
    belfagor

    horrible idea: an inventory nightmare. Now retailers are going to have to carry 4x or 5x the inventory, to basically service the same demand. It’ll die soon once the economics prove it to be a non-starter

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      Retailers would likely carry little or no on hand inventory. It’s the distributor who’ll have the potential problem, if they don’t forecast demand accurately.

      And that of course is assuming that there will ben any demand at all.

  • avatar
    redliner

    I assume police will now sport a red and a blue tire on each side.

  • avatar
    Rick Korallus

    Colored dirt bike tires flopped because they wore out way faster than normal black tires.

  • avatar
    volvo_nut

    It would be nice if there was a colored indicator that gets revealed when it was time to get new tires, like the squeakers in brake pads.
    Just a thought.

    • 0 avatar
      seat safety switch

      Not colour, but some of the Continental tires have this feature – a bunch of letters cut into the tread pattern that get obliterated as the tire wears, so you know when you can’t drive on snow, in the wet, and finally in the dry.

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    What is next? Rainbow?

  • avatar
    docrock

    Great – now Mary Kay sales reps can be all pink . . .

  • avatar
    docrock

    BTW – how do you make lead pink?

  • avatar
    87CE 95PV Type Я

    These sure look neat and I would not mind a set for my Voyager long as they do not cost too much, but since I do not buy tires made outside the United States 98% of the time I will pass.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      87…have to show some love for your comment on only buying tires made in America. I know being patriotic and attempting to support US manufacturing doesn’t carry much weight around here, but I certainly appreciate it. I make the drive to Florida from here in Alabama quite frequently and every time I pass the large (and now closed) Cooper tire plant, it just makes me sad…and angry. I’ll pass on the fruit flavored colors, thanks…

      • 0 avatar
        87CE 95PV Type Я

        You can call me Teddy.

        Well glad to and I did not exactly think of it at patriotism, but can having a desire to support U.S based business be called anything else?

        Part of the reason for buying U.S tires is my thrifty ways and another partial reason is based on this quote. “Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me.” I have dealt with and/or heard enough about China products that I try to avoid them like the plague, but you know how well that works out. Also, I quite like Sandy the Voyager (built in Canada not Missouri) and totaling her just because I knowingly bought tires from a questionable source would weigh heavily on my mind.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Nice. Some thinking outside the box + new manufacturing process could overcome the logistics problem.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    How about trying to find a way to make tires cheaper. For what is basically a chunk of rubber with a steel belt inside tires are incredibly expensive.

    I can buy tires at my dealership cost, and I still spent over $400 the last time I had to have a new set put on.

    • 0 avatar
      benders

      Increasing raw material costs mean that’s probably not going to happen. Synthetic rubber is derived from oil so that’s not likely to get cheaper. Natural rubber prices are being squeezed by decisions made years ago (rubber trees take 7 years to mature) and natural disasters like the floods in Thailand (a major rubber exporter).

      What you’ll probably see in the future is increased performance from your tires rather than reduced prices.

      Oh, and if you think a tire is just a chunk of rubber with some steel in it, you’re sorely mistaken. I should know, I engineer them for a living.

  • avatar
    Bearadise

    Fortunately these weren’t available when VW offered that hideous Harlequin Golf or it would have been an even more embarrassing car in which to be seen.

  • avatar
    astrocortex

    I dunno, if they got the colors right it could be a great thing. Looking at the colors in those pictures reminds me of caribbean homes. Not exactly the hue I’m after for an automobile.

    I can definitely come up with some good color combos, it’s just a matter of whether or not it can be done.

  • avatar
    Advo

    It’s possible that, one day, a dominant Chinese market will be the trend-setter for culture and fashion.

    Anyways, for now, it might catch on in China or somewhere else that likes a lot of colorful things like in India.

  • avatar
    shaker

    They’d have to run these in the Indy 500 before I’d even consider putting a set on my car.
    Oh, and along with the prerequisite frontal lobotomy as well.

  • avatar
    saywhat

    This is a marketing ploy…. TTAC covered it, so it worked. This idea is old news in the tire business. The technology has been around for years. There has not been a demand in the established car cultures of Europe, Japan and North America, therefore you do not see the tires. Time will only tell if this catches on in China. My guess is that it will not. Most Chinese tire manufactures have other challenges in regards to durability and longevity of their products that will prohibit them from growing both internally and externally……fancy colors will not address those challenges.

    • 0 avatar
      69firebird

      Yep.Some manufacturer did something similar and if you did a burnout,the smoke would be colored the same as the tire.Stuff like this is good for a laugh and that’s about it.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I read they add 10 HP each, and cut your 1/4 mile time down by 1/2 second per colored tire in or on your car, that includes the spare in the trunk!

  • avatar
    inamishland

    Actually, there is a good use for colored tire in identifying convicted criminals in your neighborhood that is being overlooked. If you have been convicted of a crime such as DUI, well that gets you yellow tires for the next five years during your probation period. Convicted registered sex offenders, require them to have red tires for life so that the general public can easily track and identify the sex offenders in their neighborhood.

  • avatar
    Boxofrain

    I had a Kuwahara KZ-2 BMX I bought in 1981. It came with red tires. Most BMXs from that era had coloured tires that usually matched the anodized components of the bike. About 5 years later they seemed to fall out of fashion, with most people going back to black tires.

  • avatar
    Bearadise

    Shouldn’t that be “tires of color?” I’m just saying.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    This isn’t so new, Metzeler Blizzard snow tires from the 70s had Blue treads because they weren’t using carbon black in the rubber compound so they could use whatever color they wanted. There were colored tires on the market a few years and and I think Jalopnik or TTAC mentioned that they resulting colored burnouts were used as a form of gang tag.

  • avatar

    Since I deal with used tires predominantly I’m interested in the tire characteristics as mentioned in some of the earlier posts. How does the color additive affect the major tires property characteristics as compared to the standard black carbon tires? As a special order item, I would think there is a market out there for tricked out cars. Moe – http://bingotires-charlotte.com

  • avatar
    Muttley Alfa Barker

    How about tye-dye tires? Could those be popular?


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