August 1, 2010
Goodyear treads outside the block
So starting at the inner side, the Goodyear “foot” has a row of chunky lugs to help dig through the mud, then a strip of highway-friendly tread followed by a strip of typical mud terrain tread, capped by an outer strip of bold lugs, with an open tread pattern spilling down the sidewalls for useful side traction. This last feature was similar to the previous Goodyear MT/R design and several other manufacturers use variations. Each shoulder block is stepped “in” and “out” to help give continuous biting edges as the tyre turns through mud, although that feature’s by no means unique to Goodyear.
I was given access to the results of some in-house Goodyear testing that showed the asymmetric outperformed its predecessor in mud, sand, rock crawling and off-road handling and “significantly” outperformed it in sidewall traction. It also significantly outperformed its predecessor in wet stopping, wet start-up traction, wet and dry handling – all the good things you need on-road – and in all areas of sidewall toughness, thanks to Kevlar reinforcement.
The design is inspired. I’m willing to lay a modest wager that the MT/R may become a blueprint for the generic mud tyre of the future. I’m running a set of 17s on my Wrangler Rubicon (yes, I did pay for them) and will report back from time to time. Initial impressions are really positive.
Update: A number of people have doubted that the tyres are any good in the mud because the "all terrain" bit won't self-clean well. That may be, but take a look at those side lugs; they're big, bold and self-clean like crazy. My experience so far is that in mud they're at least equal to the BFG Mud Terrain, with which I'm particularly familiar. But if you're a competition or super-tough-truck guy, no, they won't mud-plug like your Centipedes.
at 12:09 PM