PARSIPPANY, N.J.The Goodyear brand bicycle tire is back after a 36-year hiatus.
Goodyear has licensed Kent International Inc., which bills itself as the second largest producer of bicycles and accessories for the mass market in the U.S., to use the Goodyear name on bicycle tires and tubes in the U.S., its territories and Canada.
Kent President Scott Kamler said the deal will revolutionize the bicycle industry and meet the growing demands of cycling.
Parsippany-based Kent has begun outsourcing production of the tires and tubes overseas, said Mr. Kamler, noting the license agreement with Goodyear covers five years. The boxed products are expected to be available for purchase at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Dunham's Athleisure Corp. stores this spring.
Bicycle tires were among the first products Goodyear manufactured after it was founded in 1898, said Nancy Ray, Goodyear's director of licensed products. A Goodyear spokesman said the Akron-based tire maker stopped manufacturing bicycle tires and tubes in 1979.
Kent said that once the tires and tubes are manufactured, they are folded into smaller boxes about the size of a softball and shipped. Kent has been outsourcing production and importing bicycles and tires into the U.S. since 1958 and will continue to do so, he said.
Mike McNulty is a reporter for Rubber & Plastics News, an Akron-based sister publication of Tire Business.