Goodyear, one of the world’s leading tire manufacturers, has entered the competitive cycling market with an innovative, new bicycle tire that incorporates graphene technology into its design. Aimed at the high-end of competitive cycling, the tires are optimized for road racing, triathlon, and time trial events where speed is everything.
After a lengthy 44-year intermission, the company resumed its manufacturing of bicycle tires in 2018. Driven by their successful return to market, the company were inspired to develop a tire that Olympic and competitive cyclists would turn to. The company has been synonymous with consistent success and leading performance in all of motorsport and it was, after all, a bicycle tire that launched the Goodyear brand in 1898.
Dubbed the Eagle F1 and Eagle F1 Supersport, Goodyear’s new bicycle tires reveal its ambition to build on its racing heritage in motorsport. The Eagle F1 is the most successful tire in F1 history as the company boasts more driver wins and constructors championships than any other company.
Translating that into a bike tire that can compete with the likes of Continental’s Gp5000 and Vittoria’s Corsa Speed in the world of competitive cycling still requires some smart innovation. Vittoria’s racing model is considered to be the gold-standard incorporating graphene technology into its fabric. According to Goodyear, both versions of the Eagle F1 are designed with “the world’s fastest bikes” in mind and “utilizes technologies” to perform at the highest level.
While the Eagle F1 is a good all-round road tire with ultra, high-performance elements that should deliver enhanced grip to riders it is also touted for its “reducing rolling resistance and longer wear,” according to the company. Both versions use the graphene fusion to shed weight and the Eagle F1 Supersport 23 mm model weighs just 180 g. The aim is for the Eagle F1 tires is to build on the competitive legacy of Goodyears tires.
In the world of competitive cycling marginal gains can make all the difference and graphene technology allows Goodyear to capitalize on athletes looking for that hidden advantage. Goodyear has used graphene to augment their own unique compound which is a “next-generation amorphous (non-crystalline) spherical Silica”, to produce the latest “Dynamic:GSR with R:Sheild”.
The company states the result of their state-of-the-art tires allows for, “quicker acceleration, low rolling resistance and supple ride.” They have a process that allows for greater control and finetuning of the production, but Goodyear remains coy on the exact processes that have gone into the tire’s development.
However, in recent years they have made a significant investment in operations investing heavily in the company’s factory in Taiwan and also expanding their tire factory in China.
Lauded as one of the most promising materials on Earth, graphene is slowly being incorporated into a range of products across a wide spectrum of industry. Already featuring in Huawei’s graphene cooling in the Mate 20 X smartphone and enhancing bass in MediaDevils graphene headphones, graphene also has potential applications in smart wearable devices, water filtration, and sensor systems across a wide range of electronics.
Goodyear is also experimenting with other manufacturing techniques to make it a more sustainable company developing silica made from residual rice husk ash, a byproduct of rice processing. The company is seeking ways to phase out the more environmentally harmful sand-based silica and are committing to, “doubling the use of sustainable silica within the next two years.”
Goodyear will also continue exploring the use of bio-alternatives in their products, like soybean oil, rather than petroleum-based oil which has severe sustainability issues. Furthermore, the tire company has announced the goal to be, “known as having the safest operations in the world.” Goodyear has declared a new corporate responsibility MO as a company for the future.