Light-colored sidewalls which contrast black tread rubber are back in fashion, and we’re lucky enough to have access to modern production of a couple classic MTB tire designs from the 1990s, but I realized that no available tire incorporated the following design elements, which ideally suit earlier mountain bikes.
Large, tall, simply-shaped tread elements
The 80s called, and they’re bringing big blocks back
A slightly directional, but not position-specific, tread pattern
Use the same tire both front & rear; a simple flip changes the grip
A round tire profile
Consistent cornering control over all surfaces, from soft through hard
No graphics printed on the beige, 120TPI sidewalls
How much more beige could they be? The answer is none – none more beige
Folding, yet not tubeless-compatible, beads
The only thing harder than mounting some tubeless tires to old rims is removing them
BACKGROUND TO TERRA ONE AND THE RIDER T1
It’s a new, premium tire, designed to achieve optimized fit, superior function, and period-appropriate style on vintage, retro, classic, cult, and old school mountain bikes.
No, it’s a me production. I closely studied many of the most popular mountain bike tire designs from the 1980s while designing the RIDER T1. You may discover hints of your personal favorites, but this is the tire that I would have designed in 1987, if I had been around since the beginning of our sport, and not just getting started in it at that time.
Terrance Kevin Malone, Founder and Managing Director of Terra One GmbH.
From the Terra One website, as well as through a few, trusted organisations committed to spreading our passion for vintage mountain biking.
Bike Ninja, UK
Mountainbike Museum, Arnhem, Netherlands – https://www.mountainbikemuseum.nl/home
Génération Mountainbike, Grenoble, France – https://generationmountainbike.com/
Chouchin Cycle, Tokyo, Japan – http://www.chouchincycle.jp/
dp Bike Garage, Seletan, Indonesia – @bikegarage.commuter on Instagram
To preserve MTB history, ride more frequently & build our community. After you’ve tracked down the vintage mountain bike of your dreams, don’t lock it away for another thirty years. Swap out the irreplaceable, original tires with RIDER T1s, get your treasure back on the trail, and inspire others to upcycle classic MTBs instead of recycling them.
Removing the middle of my legal name revealed the name of my brand: Terrance Malone, the individual, became Terra One, the company. We only have a single world to explore and enjoy: our earth, a.k.a. Terra One. Riding bicycles more often improves our own health, as well as that of the planet we’re fortunate enough to call home. Terra One products for vintage mountain bikes are designed to preserve history, build community, and allow us to ride our classics more frequently.
RIDER T1 SPECIFICATIONS
Only one available at the moment: black tread with beige sidewalls.
Only one available at the moment: 26 x 2.125″, legally known in Europe as 54-559.
A second Terra One tire design, in 26 x 2.0″ (50-559), is in development. Unfortunately, the boom in demand for bicycle tires caused by the COVID 19 pandemic will likely delay its availability until early 2021.
The weight range of the RIDER T1 in production is 750g ± 40g.
For comparison, the 26 x 2.125 tire which was specified on one of the first, mass-produced mountain bikes, and shares its model name, was claimed to weigh 890 grams in an advertisement from 1985.
Aside from rubber tread blocks which are significantly taller than most modern tires, none.
I considered and tested two specifications with additional puncture protection, but initial feedback suggested that most preferred the RIDER T1 to be as light and efficient as possible.
While folding bead mountain bike tires were extremely rare prior to 1987, I suspect fellow enthusiasts will overlook this period-inappropriate detail in the name of improved performance.
Also, while a version with a wire bead could cost significantly less, because it couldn’t be packed into as small a carton, it would cost significantly more to ship in small quantities due to dimensional weight calculations and oversized parcel surcharges.
No, but it is mildly directional.
While the first front and rear specific tire designs were available by the end of the 1980s, the initial designs didn’t yet fully deliver on that concept’s promise.
My design doubles up the direction of every third transitional tread block, so the tire creates additional lateral grip when oriented to the front and more driving traction when reversed for use in back.
It has been designed for optimal fit and function with vintage, 26″, crochet-type rims.
The tighter tolerances required for proper tubeless function make many modern tires a very tight fit on many popular rims from the 80s & 90s. I designed the RIDER T1 for you to ride on as many of your classic bikes as possible, so I intentionally didn’t make them tubeless ready.
DO NOT USE THE RIDER T1 TUBELESS, OR WITH A TUBE ON MODERN, TUBELESS RIMS WITH LOW SIDEWALLS, SMALL BEAD HOOKS, OR NO BEAD HOOKS!
I studied many tires while designing the RIDER T1, from motocross bikes where the original, off-road, two-wheeled tread patterns came from, through BMX, where they were adapted to bicycles, and finally to mountain bikes, where they were scaled up to 26″ diameter.
Mitsuboshi (later re-branded as Tioga) Comp II
National (later re-branded as Panaracer) knobby
IRC Racer X-1
The tire whose name inspired the Rumpstomper MTB races, held between 86 – 88 in Sonoma, CA
Fisher Fat Trax
The RIDER T1 measures slightly larger than the nominal 54-559 size would suggest.
The tires measure 57.5mm wide between the outer edges of opposite tread blocks, when inflated to 50 PSI / 3.5 bar, mounted on a rim with 25mm inner width.
If your rims are narrower (most are), and you run lower pressures (most do), then the tires are likely to measure between 55.0mm and 57.0mm in daily use.