While Goodyear as a brand has been around for aeons, their bicycle tires have only been around since early 2018. Goodyear collaborated with Rubber Kinetics, a company specialising in performance bicycle tires, to bring their wing-footed logo into the bicycle world as we know it good and proper. The bicycle tires are made in Taiwan, where Goodyear claim that their scaled down machines give them an advantage compared to the other brands with much larger equipment meant for more automotive manufacturing.
That initial line-up of tires back in 2018 already included the Newton name. Now, four years on, Goodyear is into the second iteration of the Newton with many a change and addition to the name in the form of the MTF and MTR.
With an often overwhelming amount of tire versions coming from different combinations of tread pattern, casing and compound from some other manufacturers, Goodyear sought to simplify the new Newtons a little and just give the options of tread pattern and riding style to the customer. It took this simplified mantra through to the design of the tire, attempting to create some tread patterns and profiles that would work for as wide a range of conditions as possible. That simplified idea should result in it being much easier for a rider to be on the right Goodyear tire for their needs, and avoid as much buying anxiety as possible.
While simplifying the buying process is one thing, Goodyear also created an online tire pressure guide
to get riders in the right ballpark from the get go. The best product is nothing without proper setup, so it's a nice touch to make sure the rider has a good starting point to go from, and then adjust to more specific riding terrain and style if needed.
The Newton MTF uses a taller, larger and wider spaced tread pattern. Coupled with the MTF's rounder tire profile this is said to give the tire more ability to absorb impacts from the bigger tire volume, more straight line and cornering control from the elongated contact patch as well as encouraging the rider to lean the front tire over due to its rounder profile. The longer contact patch puts more tread blocks in contact with the ground, but lined up behind one another. Goodyear claims that this helps the front tire brake effectively.
Newton MTF Details
Wheel Sizes: 29" & 27.5"
Casings: Trail, Enduro & Downhill
Compounds: Trail2 & Grip3S
Weights: 1005g to 1300g claimed, depending on version
The wider tread pattern spacing allows the tire to shed mud and keep their performance over a wider range of conditions. All the tread blocks include a ramped leading edge to aid in rolling. Vertical, full length sipes are also present on each tread block except the widest centre ones, where the siping is for only a fraction at the rear of the block.
While the F in MTF denotes front, the MTF is also very at home on the rear of the bike. Its more grip and control focus is something that many of the Goodyear sponsored athletes have been enjoying when the conditions have warranted it.
The MTF Trail uses a single 60 TPI construction in conjunction with an anti-cut puncture protection layer that runs all the way from one bead to the other. For the compound, it uses a dual 50/60a compound, dubbed Trail2, to give a more rigid tread block foundation covered in a softer compound that has balancing grip, wear and rolling resistance in mind.
The MTF Enduro uses a double 120 TPI casing with an additional butyl sidewall layer. On the MTF Enduro, there's a triple 40/42/60a compound, called Grip3S, to give a bit more grip and damped feeling compared to the Trail, but at the expense of some rolling speed and wear.
The MTF Downhill uses a double 60 TPI casing with the additional butyl sidewall layer, but on the Downhill casing it creeps much further up the sidewalls than on the Enduro. It uses the same 40/42/60a triple Grip3S compound as the MTF Enduro.
29" and 27.5" versions of the Newton MTF are available, all in 2.5" widths. Claimed weights for the Trail are 1070g in 27.5" and 1140g in 29". For the Enduro it's 1235g in 27.5" and 1300g in 29". For the Downhill it's 1340g in 27.5" and 1420g in 29".
The Newton MTR has a bit more of a focus on drive, braking traction and cornering confidence. The tire profile is more square, allowing for a wider footprint that puts more tread blocks in contact with the ground, side by side. Combined with the tighter spacing between blocks, this means the tire effectively deploys more anchors into the ground when you're pedalling or braking.
The tread pattern spacing isn't too tight as Goodyear also wanted the MTR to perform well in a wide variety of conditions.
Newton MTR Details
Wheel Sizes: 29" & 27.5"
Widths: 2.4" (29" & 27.5") & 2.6" (27.5" only)
Casings: Trail, Enduro & Downhill
Compounds: Trail2 & Grip3
Weights: 1005g to 1300g claimed, depending on version
The tread blocks on the MTR feature less ramping on the leading edge, but are more tightly packed, so that one block rolls onto the other a little better than with a larger gap in between. The tread blocks are also more rectangular to give more edge for climbing and braking traction, and the sipes on the centre blocks are horizontally across the blocks, alternating from full width to a small centre sipe. The outer tread blocks alternate from a rectangle to an L-shape to give even more edge to the tires both in climbing and braking traction, but also lateral grip.
And while the R in MTR stands for rear, it's possible to run it up front when the demands on the tires are a little less aggressive.
The MTR Trail also uses a single 60 TPI construction with the bead to bead cut and puncture protection layer along with the same dual 50/60a Trail2 compound as the MTF Trail.
The MTR Enduro uses a double 120 TPI casing with the additional shorter butyl sidewall layer. On the MTR Enduro there's still a triple compound, but this time it's a rear specific 40/50/60a mix, called Grip3, to balance the grip and wear a little more.
The MTR Downhill uses a double 60 TPI casing with the additional higher butyl sidewall layer, with the same 40/50/60a Grip3 triple compound as the MTR Enduro.
29" versions of the Newton MTR are available in a 2.4" width, with the 27.5" version having 2.4" and 2.6" widths. Claimed weights for the Trail are 1005g in 27.5" x 2.4", 1105g in 27.5" x 2.6" and 1050g in 29" x 2.4". For the Enduro it's 1080g in 27.5" x 2.4", 1130g in 27.5" x 2.6" and 1160g in 29" x 2.4". For the Downhill it's 1200g in 27.5" x 2.4", 1250g in 27.5" x 2.6" and 1300g in 29" x 2.4".
Availability & Pricing
All Trail and Enduro versions of the Newton MTF and MTR are available right away, with the Downhill version coming in July.
Newton MTF and MTR pricing is €71.50 / £64.90 for the Downhill, €66.08 / £60.48 for the Enduro and €59.40 / £53.90 for the Trail.
For more information about the Newton MTF and MTR, head to goodyearbike.com
First off, actual weights are a fair bit heavier than claimed. For our pair of Newton MTF Enduros in 29" x 2.5", the actual weights are 1409g and 1423g, which is some 109g and 123g heavier than claimed. For our MTR Enduro in 29" x 2.4" the actual weight came in at 1267g, 107g heavier than claimed. And for our MTR Enduro in 27.5" x 2.6" the actual weight is 1290g, some 160g heavier than claimed. That's quite a bit on paper, which definitely translates into more when you're out spinning that weight around.
Weights aside, our initial rides on the new Newton MTF and MTR were at the Bike Connection Agency Winter event down in Tuscany, Italy. With an ever expanding trail network that ekes out every last metre of elevation from the hill as possible, it's actually a really good spot for tire testing. The trails have a fantastic mix of climbs and descents that take in everything from man-made turns and features, that can load the tires pretty heavily if you hit them hard enough, to natural sections of rocks and roots that often drop the grip levels dramatically in the morning dew. There are rises and falls that load and unload the tires as well as plenty of fast, flat turns that often get more and more loose as they dry out, encouraging you to lean the tires over and see just how they transition from grip to sliding and whether or not you might be sampling the dirt with your face anytime soon.
Often riding a new product needs a bit more of a gentle slide into the shallow end, rather than a full-on running bomb straight into the deep end. But from the first few corners on the Newtons it was clear that you didn't need to tip toe around. The grip is positive and easy to feel while the bike is more upright and under braking. But where I often find the proper character of tires is when they start to lose grip. That transition zone before you need to deploy an appendage is the time when you need feedback and confidence to play with the available levels of grip and slide. The MTF certainly has the confidence to lean it over and let it go, in both the hardpack and softer conditions that we were riding in. Recent rains had dotted the trails with puddles, and as the day went on the puddles were dragged further onto the trail by the riders. Even in these conditions, where the wheels often seem to ping and dart around like a slippery salmon, the confidence in the tires remained steadfast. And this was all aboard a completely foreign bike.
The MTR certainly has a different feel to it than the MTF that works well with the demands at the rear of the bike. Its braking traction is good and builds nicely as you brake harder and harder. With the bike leaned over, there was no sense of a sudden drop in grip as you put the anchors on. It grips well and gives you a good feeling to be able to let the bike slide and drift underneath you.
The trails contained a great mix of man-made features that act like g-force buckets when you hit them at speed, and some pretty chunky and sharp rocks. Nowhere did the puncture or burping problem ever raise its head, despite hucking into jagged rocks at speed. Recommended pressures from the online guide were pretty damn close to my preferred starting point of 22 psi front and 25 psi rear and I didn't feel the need to drop or raise that to fix any problems or find more grip. The tires are carrying a bit more timber than claimed, though, either in rubber or casing. So their durability in jagged terrain up to now isn't so surprising.
We've got some of the Newton MTFs and MTRs to try for longer in and around the Swiss hills where we can add in more metres climbing to test their ideas of tire profile and tread pattern for climbing traction. I'm also not only looking forward to sticking to the front and rear recommendations, but also trying the MTF as a rear tire to see how the more front specific design with its rounder profile and wider tread pattern rides out back.
It's a little easier to imagine the performance of the MTF on the back of the bike, but I'm also curious how the MTR works as a front tire. But so far, the new Newton MTF and MTR have been a good set of tires that I'm happy to keep on my bike and put more miles in without hesitation.