Throwback Thursdays: 1997 New Tire Standard

24 September, 2014

Everybody is frumpy about tire standards these days.  Too many sizes, too many standards.  Guess what, that's happened before.  In 1997, WTB sought to revolutionize tire size standards with GMS, which stood for the Global Measuring System.  A customer on the phone once told me, "You guys have got that no BS thing for tire size, right? What is it, GMS or something?"  He pretty much had it, a no BS informative manner of listing tire sizing, in a metric fashion.  You get two measurements, the casing width, then the overall tread width as you can see in the quick cutaway illustration of the VelociRaptor, shown above.  That way, you know the size of the bubble you're riding on, and the size of the tread atop that bubble.  Ex: 44/50.  First listing, Bubble, 44, pinner.  Second listing, 50, Tread, slightly less pinner.  Tires are wider today.  You can see below, in the press release, that it was a big deal, and in 1997, there was a new standard in sizing:

For those of you hoping for more fun photos, not so much annoying text, I have you in mind too.  Seemingly unrelated, I stumbled across some fun drawings of Toggle Cams for your enjoyment:

The above drawings were informative illustrations for helping get Toggle Cams just right.  You can see Toggle Cams from a previous post HERE.

So what does all this have in common?  WTB has strived to be transparent for quite some time - measurements telling you exactly what's going on, showing people exactly how to get their brakes just right.  Transparency is because WTB has believed these things really help people, real riders, understand and gain improvements because there has always been the goal to improve the riding experience and make better parts, why WTB was founded in 1982 - better informed riders benefit from this, transparency only happens when something is deeply believed in, all cards on the table.  This still happens today - just look at TCS, tubeless tied directly to international standards, pure transparency, and casings constantly refined, adjusted, altered, and then openly broadcasted from our racers to you.

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