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First Ride: All-New Goodyear Newton MTF and MTR

When Goodyear decided to enter the MTB market in 2018, quite a few eyebrows were raised as it is always exiting to see what a major manufacturer can bring to the table in our little world. We were reasonably pleased with the initial line-up although we noted at the time that we felt like a little bit of grip and bite were perhaps lacking, at least in the models we tried then. Fast-forward to today, and Goodyear is releasing two fully new versions of the Newton, dubbed MTF and MTR. Inspired by MX, these front- and rear-specific tires feature different profiles and tread patterns to optimize their effectiveness at both ends of your mountain bicycle, respectively. There are also a number of compounds and casing versions to choose from – and we’ve already ridden a couple of them, so keep reading to learn more and to get our first impressions straight from the trail.

Goodyear Newton MTF and MTR Highlights

  • Newton MTF - large block tread design optimized for straight-line control, cornering confidence and effective braking. Progressive block layout limits dirt buildup, maintaining performance across a wide range of conditions.
  • Newton MTR – drive-focused tread delivers speed and durability with tracking performance that inspires confidence when transitioning from straight-lines to cornering across a wide range of conditions.
  • Both tread patterns are offered in three iterations, using a simplified naming structure based on the suggested usage: Trail, Enduro, Downhill. Each casing layup is then paired with multi-durometer compounds developed specifically for the tire’s intended application and front / rear use.
  • Dynamic Grip3S: Front specific, triple density 40/42/60a compound, offering the ultimate level of grip and slow rebound properties. Found on Newton MTF Enduro and Downhill models.
  • Dynamic Grip3: Rear specific, triple density 40/50/60a compound, offering balanced levels of grip and treadwear. Found on Newton MTR Enduro and Downhill models.
  • Dynamic Trail2: Trail specific dual density 50/60a compound specifically formulated to balance grip, wear and rolling efficiency.
  • Newton MTF/MTR Trail – Shipping Now
  • Newton MTF/MTR Enduro – Shipping Now
  • Newton MTF/MTR Downhill – Shipping July
  • MSRP: Trail - $70 // Enduro - $80 // DH - $85

Initial Impressions

Since every new tire release is immediately followed by a tidal wave of “looks like a…” comments, we’re going to get ahead of the game here: the MTF looks a lot like a Continental Der Baron with Michelin Wild Enduro side knobs, while the MTR is oh-so-close to a Maxxis DHR II. The siping is slightly different in each case, but it’s clear to see where the inspiration for the tread patterns came from.

Goodyear Newton MTR
Goodyear Newton MTF

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Goodyear says that the profile of the Newton range was inspired by the motocross world. By utilizing a rounder profile for the front tire (MTF), the company claims that the damping capacity is increased and the tire footprint is elongated which should translate to improved straight-line control while providing a greater contact patch for braking. The rear tire (MTR) features a much more square profile with uniform and more closely spaced outer knobs. As a result, the MTR’s wider footprint should provide “greater traction and confidence-inspiring transition between center tread to side knobs.”

MTF (left) / MTR (right)
MTF (left) / MTR (right)

On the compound side, Goodyear has three distinct combinations in play here: “Dynamic Grip3S”, a front-specific, triple density 40/42/60a compound, “Dynamic Grip3”, a rear-specific, triple density 40/50/60a compound, and “Dynamic Trail2”, a trail-specific dual density 50/60a compound. To produce these compounds Goodyear collaborated with Rubber Kinetics, a company that also makes the soles for Ride Concepts shoes for example. In order to simplify the tire selection process for customers, Goodyear has devised a formula that should be easy to follow: “pick a tread pattern and pick your riding style.” By pairing casings and compounds with front and rear specific tread patterns, tire selection should become less confusing – example:

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Each of the two new tread patterns exist in three different models: Trail, Enduro, and DH. The trail tires feature the 50/60a compound and a single-ply, 60 TPI casing with bead-to-bead armor. The Enduro tires use the 40/42/60a compound up front and the 40/50/60a out back, with a dual-ply, 120 TPI casing and butyl sidewall protection. The DH tires use the same compound mixes as the Enduro tires, with a dual-ply, 60 TPI casing and extended sidewall protection. Claimed weights range from 1005 grams for a 27.5x2.4 Trail MTR tire to 1420 grams for a 29x2.5 DH MTF tire. Here are a couple of tables with all the different options and weights listed:

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On The Trail

We received a pair of 29er enduro tires to test, a 2.5 MTF and a 2.4 MTR. The MTR weighed in at 1249 grams (Goodyear lists 1160 grams), while the MTF tipped the scales at 1283 grams (Goodyear listed 1300 grams for this one). Not unusual to find these types of variances for any given model. We installed the tires on our long-term trail bike test platform, and we’ve been out for a handful of rides so far, most of which took place on fairly rough and rocky trails.

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The MTF makes a very round shape on the rim, while the MTR is distinctly more squared off (both mounted on Crankbrothers Synthesis E11 rims, 29.5 mm inner width out back and 31.5 mm up front). Both tires were easy to seat with just a floorpump, and have held air remarkably well for the few weeks we’ve been testing so far. Rolling speed is average, the Enduro set-up we’ve been running is neither very fast nor very slow (super helpful input, we know). The tires are not sluggish while climbing and rolling on flatter trails, but they are no speed weapons either.

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We’ll keep testing to learn more, but as far as first impressions go, consider us stoked.

Rougher and steeper trails is what these tires were really made for, and that is indeed where they shine. The casing is fairly heavy to the touch when you install the tires, but this does not translate to a stiff ride at all. In fact, we were immediately surprised by the amount of comfort on offer from such a sturdy construction, even with lots of air in them at the start of the test. This comfort translates to more confidence, as these tires really allow you to pick a line and hold it, no matter how rough the surface is (important info: we’ve only tested in the dry so far).

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Cornering and braking traction is excellent, and the tires feel great when transitioning from the center to the side knobs. Off-camber sections pose no problem at all, and we were once again impressed by how these tires blend comfort and support. The sidewalls seem sturdy enough to deal with low tire pressures, without leaving the tires feeling squirmy at all. We’ve had a fair few encounters with various chunks of rock so far, with no cuts or flats to report. We will continue testing this set as well as other casings in the future and we’ll come back to update this initial review with more information if need be.

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What’s The Bottom Line?

From the incumbents to the more recent protagonists, the tire market has been heating up recently which left Goodyear with some catching up to do, even though their entire range of MTB tires was fairly young to start with. Mission accomplished with the Newton MTF and MTR, an excellent combination for aggressive riding in demanding terrain. Confidence-inspiring and surefooted, these new tires surprised us with a near-optimal mix of comfort and support. They are not the lightest out there, nor are they the fastest rolling tires in the category, but they will certainly reward you on rougher trails and they seem set to last a while too. We’ll keep testing to learn more, but as far as first impressions go, consider us stoked.

More information at: www.goodyearbike.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 49 // Years Riding MTB: 17 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord and Darina Privalko

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