The Goodyear brand entered my life in the 1990 movie classic, Days Of Thunder. Robert Duvall’s character told Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) that he’d put special tires on his car to help him win the race. Ever since Mello Yello has been my go to drink, and Goodyear has been my go to automotive tire brand.
But Goodyear existed long before that. The Brand actually got their start with bicycle tires back in 1898, roughly 90 years before I watched Days of Thunder and about 97 years before I found out how cool bikes are…
Goodyear re-launched their premium bike tire line in 2018 with four rubber compounds and four mountain bike tires. The Newton and Newton ST have a tread pattern targeted at the all mountain or enduro crowd. The Newton ST is designed to be a front, steer tire while the Newton is deigned to compliment it and put down power in the rear.
Both Newton variants are available in two models. The EN uses a lighter casing and their R/T rubber compound, while the DH uses a more robust casing with their softer RS/T rubber. Both tires are available in 29” or 27.5” sizes with either a 2.4” or 2.6” tire width.
These tires have been ridden in every condition that British Columbia has to offer. My testing started with the dusty Rocky Mountain conditions of late summer and finished a wet Pacific Northwest fall.
Both the front and rear tires were easy to install, work well tubeless and can also fit a tube easily if needed. Somehow I spent most of the test period with tubes in the tires because I changed my wheels in early September and ran out of sealant and rim tape. I’m going to blame this on COVID because that’s what we do in 2020. I run a higher tire pressure than most due to bad experiences with blowing tires off of rims. My go to pressure is around 30 to 35psi front and rear, which is pretty normal for me but higher than most.
While the Newtons don’t have the most visually aggressive tire tread, they hook up surprisingly well. The tread pattern allows the tires to roll with little resistance on climbs. On descents the tires are predictable with plenty of grip in corners and under braking. There was never a time when I wanted more grip or braking power.
When early fall rains started in the PNW and the trails went from dust to hero dirt, the Newtons put a huge smile across my face. The term “like Velcro” gets tossed around a lot in the fall, but if the trails were the fuzzy part of the velcro the Newtons were the looped side. The conditions almost had me thinking that these tires were flawless.
Velcro dirt doesn’t last forever and with more rain the wet roots and rocks started to creep from the shadows. Unfortunately the two turned out to be the Achilles’ heel of the Newton duo. Predictability went out the window when wet roots and poor line choice united. Often the consequences either put me in the mud or in the woods. However, two factors weren’t in the tire’s favor. To start, my higher pressures don’t aid in traction, but even after dropping air I found myself hoping for more. The second could have something to do with the R/T rubber compound. It’s possible the softer, stickier RS/T compound could solve some of my slippage.
Before writing this review several of my last rides with the Newtons were in the rain, after dark and with riding lights. It was a true test for the Newtons because line choice was limited by tunnel vision. While the Newton’s perform with razor precision on wet soil, wet roots and rocks are a whole other ball game.
All in all, the Newtons are light, fast rolling and not much surprises them. The tread pattern is just aggressive enough that it takes a good amount of force to break traction, but not so aggressive that they roll like a lead weight.
If I had to put them into a seasonal category, I would say they are a great tire for late spring to early fall, which is the riding season that most people experience. They aren’t great for wet season riding, but most people who ride in those conditions have experienced the struggle of finding a tire that really works. Besides, most normal people outside the Pacific North West don’t take to the trails in pouring rain anyway. Now that the rain has come I am going to hang the Newtons up and revisit them when the trails dry out a bit.
Price: $80 – $90