CARSON, Calif.—Rubber Kinetics L.L.C., a start-up headed by cycling industry veteran Luke Musselman, has struck a deal with Goodyear to use the Goodyear name on a line of premium bicycle tires that is being launched this month.
This is Goodyear's second foray into the bicycle tire market in the past three years. In April 2015 Kent International Inc. of Parsippany, N.J., launched a range of Goodyear-brand bicycle tires and tubes in the U.S. and Canada.
Kent International's deal marked the return of the Goodyear brand to the cycling business after a 36-year hiatus.
Kent's product lines are considered more mass market, Goodyear said, while the new lines from Rubber Kinetics are at the premium end of the scale. Rubber Kinetics' deal even includes the use of the "Eagle" name for an all-season road bike tire.
The product range being launched by Rubber Kinetics comprises four categories—road, transit, all-terrain and mountain—and covering more than 100 SKUs.
The Goodyear "Tubeless Complete" lines use "refined compounds and casings, each purpose-built for their intended environments," Rubber Kinetics said. The tires are being produced in Taiwan by an as-yet unnamed manufacturing partner, Goodyear said.
The Goodyear line is being distributed in the U.S. exclusively by Hawley L.L.C., a Lexington, S.C.-based distributor of bicycles and cycling components, accessories and apparel. Goodyear also will sell direct to consumers online later this year at GoodyearBike.com.
Hawley also is the exclusive distributor in the U.S. and Canada of the Pirelli PZero Velo range of premium cycling tires.
Pirelli & C. S.p.A. also is relatively new to this segment, launching the Velo business unit in 2016.
Kent International's lines of Goodyear-branded tires and tubes are available for purchase at Walmart Stores Inc.