It is not uncommon for an automobile tire company to cross the bicycle industry. For example, long-time players Continental, Michelin and Maxxis all have deep roots in the motorized worlds, and all three have very broad ranges across the board. More recently, we have also seen that Pirelli plunges into the water, but only with a smattering of models to choose from.
The giant of the Goodyear sector is far from risky with its launch in the bicycle market, however, with almost 70 different tires on tap just to start, covering roads, MTB, gravel and urban categories. Time will tell how much impact Goodyear will have in such a heated competition, but the company is clearly present for the long run.
A LOT OF TECH
Goodyear’s debut in the world of bicycle tires is accompanied by an alphabetical soup of technical characteristics, all designed to best customize the company’s tire models for their intended use.
For example, there are two coating densities (“Premium” and “Ultimate”), three different layers, three different shell protection families and two levels of rubber reinforcements under the tread. However, Goodyear is looking for some details. Although nylon and kevlar are called for reinforcing materials, there is no mention of the coating material itself – although nylon is a good bet – the actual density of the canvas or the durometers of the rubber compounds used.
But having said that, Goodyear is also taking the position that none of this really matters. From their point of view, even buyers of high performance car tires do not inform themselves about these types of technical specifications; they only care how everything works on the road.
This could be the way it works in that environment, but the cycling market is used to having this information, so it will be interesting to see how this approach spreads naturally.
LOOKING THE FUTURE, NOT THE PAST
As a newcomer to the market, Goodyear has the luxury of having a new perspective on where things stand, where they have been and where they are going. And the company is obviously taking a forward-looking position with its tire line, without the weight of tradition.
Case in point: almost all models are tubeless, using a new heel shape that is not only designed to facilitate installation and inflation, but also to repair the road without headaches when needed. Goodyear is also taking an ambitious format approach, as its “Tubeless Complete” casings are presumably already watertight on their own. No sealant is technically required, although some are still recommended for self-repair skills.
The tire sizes are also at the widest end of the spectrum across the board: road tires start at 25c, while the smaller mountain bike model measures 2.3 “. Mixed surface tires start at 35mm and go forward there, there is clearly no interest in meeting the UCI technical restrictions for cyclo-cross races.
Luke Musselman is overseeing Goodyear’s project and Rubber Kinetics, a design and development company specializing in high-performance cycling products and urban mobility solutions, and one that has partnered with Goodyear to develop the new line.
“We want to do something different, that stands out,” said Musselman. “We are on the market as a line of premium tires, from soup to nuts, [but] we are not going to produce tubular tires, it’s not where the market is headed.”
The headliner of the road bike is the Eagle All-Season, which according to Musselman is “formulated to be the last road tire all year round.” Key features include a silica-based tread compound for low rolling resistance and safe wet traction, lightweight heel protection, and a true tubeless construction.
The four available sizes range from 25 to 32 cm, all designed for use with 700c rims with an internal width of between 19-21 mm. The retail cost is US $ 70 and the declared weight is 300-387 g, depending on the size.
For the gravel riders, there is the new 35 mm wide county, built with a semi-slippery, fast-flowing center, a progressively more gnarled shoulder tread and a double-compound rubber. A: Reinforcement reinforcement uses a further layer of nylon to further protect the cut on the “Tubeless Complete” envelope. The declared weight is 441 g for the Ultimate version and 526 for the Premium model.
For softer terrains, there is a 40 mm wide connector, which uses the same constructions as the tubeless body, the heel / heel reinforcement and the bicomponent rubber, but a more aggressive and gnarled model. The stated weight for that tire is 463g or 562g, depending on the model.
The retail price for both mixed tires is US $ 60-70.
Mountain bikers have a wider range of options at the time of launch.
The Peak is Goodyear’s “pedal up, pedal down” model, built with a rounded section, low profile and ramp knobs, and “directional syringe on each knob for a better grip.” Tubeless compatibility is standard, along with a more robust Single-Density Dynamic Wearing: A / T rubber compound and reinforced side walls to protect rock abrasion.
Goodyear will offer Peak in the Premium and Ultimate versions and in the 27.5 “and 29” diameters, but only in a width of 2.25 “. The declared weights are 645-715g for the dimensions of 27.5” and 697-772g for the 29er. The retail price is US $ 60-70.
The Escape is Goodyear’s “all conditions” mountain bike model, designed with slightly higher and more spaced knobs and a dynamic single-density R / T rubber compound. The tubeless construction and reinforced sides are also standard. Three types of housing will be available, including a 1.5-layer Enduro variant for cyclists that require more durability.
The Escape will be available in 2.35 “and 2.6” widths, again for 27.5 “and 29” edge diameters. The declared weights range from 695-1.175 g, depending on the size and structure of the body. The retail price is US $ 65-80.
For the most demanding applications, there are Newton and Newton ST.
Newton ST is Goodyear’s most gravity-oriented tread, built with high knobs arranged in a very open pattern for better traction on rocks and loose terrain. The central knobs are ramped to reduce rolling resistance, while the shoulder blocks are heavily reinforced to prevent them from bending over difficult turns.
Given the extra abuse these tires expect to see, Goodyear offers the Newton ST exclusively in homes with 1.5-layer Enduro and 2-ply coating, both in tubeless and in Dynamic: R / T and Dynamic RS / T rubber. The widths of 2.4 “and 2.6” are available with tap, with either 27.5 “or 29” diameters. The stated weights are 925-1,252 g, depending on the size and structure of the body. The retail price is US $ 70-90.
The Newton combination will probably be used more as a rear-only tire, as it is designed with low-profile knobs in the center that are primarily geared for traction, but similar shoulder knobs for comparable steering capability and the same rubber compounds. Goodyear will offer the Newton in the same variants and dimensions as the Newton ST standard case. The declared weights are 955-1.367 g, depending on the size and structure of the body; the retail price is the same as Newton.
Goodyear is also taking the urban segment seriously, with two tread designs – Transit Speed and Transit Tour – and three different coating options for each, including tubeless models with collapsible beads for riders struggling to get to work on time and more heavily Reinforced versions for cyclists who place more emphasis on durability (or have the help of an electric motor to move things together).
The 700c Transit Speed and Transit Tour models have a width of 35 to 50 cents, and there will also be a handful of 650b dimensions in a single 50 mm width. Given such a wide variety of dimensions and constructions, the stated weights extend over a wide range, from a relatively fast 565 g for the Transit Speed Tubeless Complete 700x35c, up to a whopping 1,260 g for the Transit Tour Secure 700x50c. Prices range from US $ 40-60.
CyclingTips is holding several models of the new Goodyear tires and will soon have a more thorough review. International prices and availability must be confirmed.
Checkout current pricing on Goodyear bike tires on Amazon.