GOODYEAR COUNTY PREMIUM TYRES

526g 700x35c (35-622) Tubeless Complete Folding £50 each

Goodyear have returned to cycling. Their County Premium is a multi-surface tyre aimed at the everything from smooth asphalt to gravel riding. Fundamentally, one for the all-round commuter-cum-adventurer. There’s no doubting the quality, but jacks-of-all trades have their limitations – even at this price point.

 

Pros: Durable with good rolling.

 

Cons: Compromises are inevitable.

Spec

 

Goodyear’s Dynamic Pace 60 compound is designed to balance weight against durability, but with grip as a priority. And at 562g each these ae far from the heavyweights of the division, even with bead to bead puncture protection and sidewall strengthening R:Wall technology.

 

Described as tyre for all surfaces, the tread has a smooth centre strip, for better rolling, which graduates through hatching to pimples and, eventually, to knobblies for a bit more bite on those gravelly bends. The tread’s design caused some disagreement around the coffee pot. “Worst of all worlds” versus “trade off compromise.”

 

Pressure 45-70psi is pretty much the norm for tubeless tyres of this all-round ilk. Similarly,, the 35m profile is pretty much the standard, though a choice of something slimmer would be helpful for those with older touring-style frames or gravel conversions.

 

Tubeless Complete is Goodyear’s take on, well, tubeless tyres. As you’d expect, specific casings and bead – mentioned above – are part of this. 

The County is also available as part of the Ultimate range, which claims to place greater emphasis on rolling and supple responsiveness, with lightweight sidewalls. Lighter  than the County Premium, 441g, offering less rolling resistance and improved grip in wet conditions.

 

Reflective logos finish things off. You’d not expect a dynamo track on this sort of tyre.

 

It’s worth noting that Goodyear point out on their website that these are designed with a 19mm width rim (internal).

Mounting

 

Went on fingers only on my redoubtable Mavic rims, but needed a tyre lever for newer Ryde Sputniks. They’re non-directional, so no umming-and-ahing.

 

Should be fine on ‘cross and gravel bikes. Went onto old tourer sans mudguards for gravel use. Check clearances, especially on older bikes. Certainly, knobbly edges more prominent than some 35s.

 

Performance

 

Rolling on asphalt and crushed lime is very good, not surprising given the width of the centre strip. The down-side is poorer traction than some on steeper, softly-surface ascents – silt, mud, leaf carpet – when heading into the woods.

Initial concern that knobblies would compromise asphalt cornering, but you’d have to be throwing things about pretty rapidly to reach that angle - so fear did not materialise. And, they give a descent bit on those softer surfaced forest track bends.

 

Drier gravelly tracks are meat and drink, and I’ve felt pretty confident on speedier descents – those knobbly edges come into play.

 

Usually settling at around 60psi for tubeless tyres – for a mixture of decent rolling and grip – I was pleased to find a smooth ride at the 70psi max. Dropping lower made things a bit more sluggish, though asphalt rolling was not noticeably reduced – a plus on wet and muddy country lanes. Grip, overall, has been fine. 45psi, emphasises this; and gives a touch more bite on those softer surfaces.

 

Tugging the trailer along cycle tracks and crushed lime towpath is easy enough. Loaded panniers, at around he 60-70psi, they handled decently on firm surfaces..

 

I’ve not picked up a puncture, though I did manage to get a couple in my bomb-proof Schwalbe Marathon Pluses on the same stretch of flayed-hawthorn lane. That may say something. Certainly, these are pretty clean tyres with no propensity to accumulate sharps, junk, and gunge.

Conclusion

 

These are good tyres of their type and I’ve enjoyed the two hundred plus miles I’ve done on them. However, being contrary, Vee Tire’s Easy Street (not tubeless) may well satisfy the commuter just as well, are half the price, and have a choice of profiles. At the other end of the multi-surface spectrum, Schwalbe’s G-One All Round roll just as well on asphalt and are a gravel specialist – though some eight pounds more expensive and probably less durable. Fundamentally, the County Premium is fine, until you really want to do more than leisurely, firm and dry, forest trail, and in that sphere there’s a lot of competition, such as Clement’s X'plor USH 700x35c £59.99 each, 60tpi or 120tpi versions operating pressures 55-90psi, respectively.

Verdict 3/5 A compromise tyre, but at the pricier end of the market.

 

Steve Dyster

 

www.paligap.cc

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2018

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