Introduction to Goodyear Tires
Goodyear Tires need no introduction, but for many younger cyclists, the idea of a Winged Foot on a bicycle tire may not be familiar. However, that’s how the Akron, Ohio, based brand was started in 1898, with a bicycle tire, and they continued making them until 1976. While the story of Charles Goodyear’s accidental discovery of vulcanization resulted in the advent of rubber tires, it was more than 50 years later that the namesake brand would be founded by Frank Seiberling.
Goodyear’s Rubber Compounding
Fast forward more than a century and Goodyear’s rubber compounding has become equal parts art and science, and now it’s back on the bicycle. Launching with an impressively wide range of tires, the entire line is performance focused and covers everything from road to gravel to trekking to commuting to XC to enduro to downhill. Yes, all that, and with a long list of options within those categories. We’ll start with road, but there’s a lot going on with their tech – so, first, an overview of their technologies…
Goodyear Bicycle Tire Technology
Two casing options are available, Premium and Ultimate. Goodyear isn’t disclosing the actual TPI (threads per inch) count, but the Ultimate looks to get a finer thread and double the count. We’d guess 60tpi and 120tpi, but that’s just our guess. For all of the options shown here, you’ll find verbiage or acronyms on the tire sidewall calling out which features are included. If you’re unfamiliar with TPI, a finer thread with a higher count generally means a lighter, more supple tire, which is good for things like road, gravel and XC. The larger, coarser thread used in lower TPI casings requires more rubber to cover it, which makes the tire heavier, but it’s usually more resistant to cuts and punctures, which is good for enduro, DH and some trekking or commuter tires.
Goodyear Rubber Compounds
Those casings are covered in a variety of rubber compounds, including:
- Dynamic:Silica4 – Formulated to maximize rolling efficiency while providing class leading grip in wet conditions. Found on road, Transit, and All-Terrain models.
- Dynamic:A/T – All-Terrain compound providing excellent rolling efficiency while maintaining a high level grip to minimize power transfer loss.
- Dynamic:R/T – Rugged-Terrain compound specifically formulated to balance grip, wear and efficiency.
- Dynamic:RS/T – Rugged Soft-Terrain compounded formulated for maximum grip.
- Dynamic:Pace60 – Developed for multi-surface and off-road usage, with a focus on grip.
- Dynamic:Pace70 – Formulated for on-road applications, with an emphasis on durability.
Looking just at the MTB compounds, from hardest to softest, it goes A/T, R/T/ and then RS/T. Like the TPI, Goodyear isn’t calling out specific durometers, but as we’ve learned from other brands, the actual number doesn’t mean as much as you might think. It’s the alchemy of ingredients that determines useable grip, and after riding some early samples, we’re inclined to think Goodyear knows what they’re doing. More on that later.
Casing Constructions and Protection
Three casing constructions are used. The Standard Construction gets no additional protection. The EN casing adds a single extra ply of protective material to offer more support and puncture/pinch flat protection. The DH casing uses two full extra layers with an additional butyl insert for more durability. For more specific protection, they have various materials placed where needed.
Wall Layer and Shield Protective Layer
The “Wall” layer comes in three flavors:
- R:Wall – A lightweight fabric layer found on our performance tires
- M:Wall – Durable Mono fabric, found throughout our Mountain range where cut and abrasion resistance is paramount.
- A:Wall – A butyl layer located within the casing plus that provides additional sidewall support.
The Shield Protective Layer sits under the tread cap to protect against punctures and has two options:
- F:Shield – The Force breaker belt gives the tire that extra layer to improve puncture protection while maintaining optimal rolling characteristics.
- K:Shield – A Kevlar® belt located under the tread provides the ultimate in lightweight puncture protection.
And the R:Armor is simply a lightweight nylon “race” fabric that runs bead to bead to offer a modicum of puncture protection without hurting the performance characteristics. For their touring/trekking/commuter tires, they have Shell protection options dubbed S:1, S:3, and S:5, which simply refers to the thickness of the a low hysteresis, aramid-infused rubber insert to prevent punctures. So, S:3 has a 3mm thick insert, etc. The “Secure” version combines an S:5 Shell with M:Wall to create a virtually flat-proof tire. On some tires, you’ll also see an “Rk” box icon. This stands for Rubber Kinetics, which is the rubber development and design firm they worked with to create the new range.
Goodyear Road Bike Tires
The Goodyear Eagle All Season road bike tires borrow the name of their auto division’s performance touring and street tires, which implies their intended use. Using a silica-infused rubber for maximum grip with minimum rolling resistance, they come tubeless ready and with R:Armor protection. Like their automotive tires, they use grooves and sipes to move water out from under the tires and provide traction in all directions and all conditions. The Eagle comes in four sizes: 700×25 (300g), 700×28 (316g), 700×30 (326-336g), and 700×32 (337-387g). Retail is $70 for any size. The smaller two sizes are recommended for rims with a 19mm internal width, the larger two for rims with 21mm inside. The larger two sizes also come with reflective sidewall graphics, which are the heavier end of the claimed weights for those sizes. These, along with all of the other tires shown unless otherwise noted, are rated for use with e-bikes rated up to 25km/h.
Goodyear Gravel Bike Tires
Two tires make up the Goodyear gravel bike range. Above, the Goodyear County uses a smooth center strip with file tread transition sections leading to rectangular knobs on the sides. This graduated pattern keeps you rolling fast on the straights while adding just enough traction for cornering on looser surfaces. The County comes as a 700×35 tire in two versions, County Premium Dynamic:Pace (526g, $60, uses their Silica4 compound for a good mix of durability and grip), and County Ultimate Dynamic:A/T (441g, $70, emphasizes grip). Here’s where all the features start stacking up in the name, which calls out the layers each tire has throughout the entire range. If it weren’t for its 700×40 size, the Goodyear Connector would make for a great dry conditions cyclocross tire, too. As is, the low-profile knobby uses a tightly-spaced center section to reduce rolling resistance, with intermediate knobs leading to longer ones at the edges. It comes in Connector Premium Dynamic:Pace (542g, $60) and Connector Ultimate Dynamic:A/T (463g, $70). All gravel tires are designed for a 21mm internal rim width, get R:Armor protection, and are tubeless ready.
Goodyear Touring/Commuter Bike Tires
The Goodyear Transit Speed is aimed at fast commuting on rough urban streets. Both it and the Transit Tour below are rated to E50 (for e-bikes with a maximum speed of 50km/h) and come in a wide variety of options – check the chart at bottom for details. The Transit Speed comes in a 700×35, 700×40 and 700×50. The Transit Tour is modeled after Goodyear’s Assurance all-weather automotive tire and is designed to excel in wet, nasty conditions. This is the tire if you’re constantly riding in bad weather and need to know you’re not going to flat. All Transit options get reflective tape all the way around on both sides.
Goodyear Mountain Bike Tires
The mountain bike tires introduce one more feature to the line. Called “Electronic Discharge Molding”, if you look closely between the knobs of the MTB tires, you’ll see small textures. This is the result of EDM, which is intended to prevent mud building up between the tread blocks. Goodyear says too much texture and mud will stick, but a totally smooth surface between the knobs and mud will stick to it, too. Those small nubs help shake it loose to keep your tires clean.
Goodyear Peak (XC)
Starting with XC, the Goodyear Peak comes in 2.25 widths for 27.5″ and 29er wheel sizes. It’s a low-profile knobby with ramped front edges and siping on every knob. All versions use their Dynamic:A/T compound.