Before you wonder what Goodyear is doing in the bike-tire business, remember that Continental, Maxxis and of course Michelin are also well established in the auto industry. Bridgestone even made mountain bikes in the ’80s and ’90s. Truth is, the first tires Goodyear produced were for bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. They only stopped making bicycle tires in the mid-’70s.
The full lineup will extend to road and hybrid sizes, but half of Goodyear's new offerings will be tubeless-compatible mountain tires, all aimed at serving the high end. They're showing up with four tread patterns: the XC-oriented Peak, the more trail-y Escape, and the enduro/DH-oriented Newton and Newton ST.
Beyond that, Goodyear offers several options in material and build, but somehow keeps it deceptively simple. There are three compound choices, A/T for all-terrain, R/T for rugged terrain, and RS/T for rugged soft terrain. Think hard, medium, and soft respectively. Casing, construction, and reinforcement options are just as intuitive if you take them step-by-step. There's either a low or high-thread-count casing Goodyear calls Premium or Ultimate. Then the casing can be either be Standard, Enduro, or DH, which is essentially 1-ply, 1.5-ply, or 2-ply. And finally, there's two options in sidewall reinforcement. M-Wall is an extra layer of durable fabric, mostly aimed at abrasion and tear resistance. A-Wall has an extra layer of butyl rubber sandwiched in the casing for extra support. All the tires are wide, but Goodyear took a narrow focus, with nothing skinnier than 2.25 inches and nothing fatter than 2.6. Each tire size is designed to work with a given, appropriate rim width.
Goodyear's matrix of options could help make tire nerds of us all. For those who put any thought at all into casing or sidewalls when buying tires, it's often as simple as 'thick' or 'thin.’ Goodyear’s options make it easier for you to draw clear distinctions between what is meant to be light, what is meant to be tear-resistant, and what is meant to be supportive at low pressures, and it distributes those choices into appropriate sizes and tread patterns.