Another highly-rated automotive brand with a relaunched MTB tyre, this time it's the new Newton MTF Enduro from Goodyear.
Since ambitiously launching a full range of MTB tyres in 2018, Goodyear has been back to the drawing board and spent considerable time completely re-engineering its tyres from casing to knobs with the aim of getting amongst the best MTB tyres on the market.
The result is this all-new MTF (and a rear-specific MTR) with a fresh tread pattern and brand-new rubber formula (called GRIP 3S on this enduro version). With distinctive, spaced-out alternating edge blocks, it looks a bit like a Michelin Wild Enduro, although the central lugs are more conventional.
Enduro and DH versions use a triple rubber blend with the typical firmer base, softer central strip and even softer edge knobs. The durometers claimed are pretty low and soft too with 40a shoulder rubber.
The Newton MTF is available in three different casings with the middle ‘enduro’ one here using two 120TPI (like a Double Down) plies with an extra butyl layer for more cut resistance and sidewall support. It’s plenty stiff too, as Goodyear’s online pressure calculator suggested 22psi in the dry and 20psi in the wet for our weight – and this was refreshingly accurate too in a world of recommended over-inflations.
The sturdiness comes with a significant weight penalty though, and the MTF is almost 1.4kg. Heavier than most DH tyres, the heft brings huge centrifugal forces at speed and is approaching the weight limit most pro enduro riders are comfortable dragging round.
Blowing up easily, the inflated shape is fat, tall, and very rounded – more like a 2.6in tyre on a 30mm internal rim. The curved top is something Goodyear selected for more braking traction (along an elongated contact patch) and comfort, as in theory a taller crown can deform more than a squared-off shape. The roundness also helps pivot more seamlessly from side-to-side, although some riders might prefer how a flatter crown keeps pointing forward for extra stability on the hardest trails until you really lean the bike.
We first rode the MTF in Italy and also put thousands of uplifted metres descending into it in a mix of wet and dry conditions. The tyre feels very supportive and firm, but it’s considerably less conforming than rivals and even a bit pingy. This is most evident when switching between E*thirteen’s Grappler, which is far superior at tracking undulations and staying planted.
The pinginess means there’s a tendency to move more erratically on wet angled rocks and roots in the wet, and the MTF never felt completely glued or secure to the ground when surfaces got rough. This might be a consequence of less rebound damping in the rubber, or vertical stiffness in the casing – our hunch is the former.
We weren’t convinced by the big, gappy edge knobs either, as (like a Wild Enduro) dirt and loam can push through when leaning really hard on the edges over broken up ground.
Swapping directly between brands, other leading tyres felt more stable and planted, so despite Goodyear’s efforts, the Newton still isn’t the tyre we’d choose for racing against the clock or even seeking maximum fun and confidence when mucking about in the woods.