Racing Ralph

Discussion in 'Schwalbe Tires' started by mtnbikej, Aug 4, 2017.



  1. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Highball Al SS
    prod21553_IMGSET?wid=500&hei=505.jpg

    This is my second go around with this tire.

    My first experience was a 2.25 Performance Series. Lightwieght, paper thin sidewalls, not intended for Tubeless. Of course I ran it tubeless. It actually set up well for a non tubeless tire. Held air ok after some extra Stans was added. On the back of the SS it hooked up well. Fast rolling, good bite. However Schwalbe's reputation for long lasting tires was correct....it burned out quick. It went from a great rear tire to a crap rear tire in about 3 rides. With the thin sidewalls, never had a problem with punctures or sidewall cuts. Tried it a few times as a front, again it was a good tire, but there were others out there that I preferred over this one. With the weak sidewalls, had to run more PSI than for a usual tubeless tire. This made the tire kinda harsh.

    Move on to about 2 months ago, I started my second experience with the RaRa. This time it would be a 2.35 Evolution/Snakeskin version. Still light, still fast rolling. Stronger sidewalls than the Performance version. The 2.35 has a good amount of volume. I have only run this up front on the SS. Again mounted up tubeless with ease....does a good job holding air. It has been a solid tire up front....but lately have been finding it's limitations. With a couple hundred miles on it, some of the shoulder knobs are showing signs of wear. I am also beginning to get wet spots in the middle of the tread from the Stans. These tires are very finicky when it comes to pressure. 18-20 psi is good, over that....they start to get slippery....under that, they feel flat. The last couple of weeks, as my speeds have increased, I'm finding the tire wants to wander. It does not like to stay on the line in which I put it. At slow speeds it it not an issue. However, for a tire called the Racing Ralph, you'd think it would handle high speeds better. I don't get the same wandering issues with the 2.2/2.35 Ikons.

    Overall, they are not bad tires. I just think there are better options out there. Better options at lower price points that last longer. Of the 3 different Schwalbe tire designs I have tried, I have found that I have had love/hate relationships with them in short amounts of time.
     
  2. UPSed

    UPSed MTB Addict

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Edward Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO Plus
    Your review is spot-on. I am running the 2.25s on my 29in wheelset. Mostly because Jennifer didn't like them and they were in good shape. So far I have only used them on fire roads and somewhat mellow singletrack. They probably have a little over 100 miles and are already showing signs of wear. Snakeskin/Evolution version as well. As you said they seep from the tread but the sidewalls seem to be holding up. I will try the Icons or Ardent Race when these where out.
     
  3. RS VR6

    RS VR6 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Valencia/Simi
    Name:
    Lee
    Current Bike:
    Banshee Shartfire/Chiner 29r
    I used them as a rear tire on my 29r. I think I had the TLR, but non snakeskin. The 2.25 inflated to almost a Specialized 2.3. The smallish center knobs did wear kinda quick. I'm running Rocket Rons in 2.25 now. Makes the 2.35 Hans Dampf and Nobby Nics on the Banshee feel like I'm are rolling through mud.
     
  4. Faust29

    Faust29 MTB Addict

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    Highball SS and Chameleon
    I have really liked it up front... until lately. But I think the volume is what I really enjoyed... The 2.35 RR is easily bigger than my 2.4 Mountain King, even though the RR is mounted on a narrower wheel. It's a balloon! And I've run it successfully at 17 PSI, but 19 seems to be the sweet spot. What other tire comes in at 700 grams and gives that much volume- with protection? Recommendations, please... I'm ready to tire shop. :thumbsup:

    As far as durability, it's been on since October, with only a couple weeks off in April when I tried the RR in 2.25. That's well over 2,000 miles. Granted, I'm not pushing it as hard as you stormtroopers, but it's been to some pretty unforgiving places. Palm Canyon, etc...

    Um... Wet spots? It's not really a case of spots anymore. They've merged. :p In the morning, the whole tire is covered in moisture. I've run it with Stan's and with Orange Seal. It's wet with both, but it never seems to lose more than a pound or two. I'm very tempted to order another one, but maybe you guys will come up with something else... Ikon in 2.35?
     
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  5. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    HorsetownUSA
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    I feel like I've been on RaRa exclusively. People keep giving them to me or they come on my bike. I've run from 2.1 to 2.35. Definitely liked the 2.35 up front.

    I slashed a sidewall in a rock garden a couple of weeks ago at Rim Nordic resulting in a DNF. Just the way it is, I didn't blame the tire. Put a 2.2 Race King I had laying in the garage.
     
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  6. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Cannondale Scalpel
    My favorite tire, not! It's not a bad tire just doesn't work for me. You're welcome Sidewalk sorry my new bike came with real tires and I don't have any to give you. I really like the Ardent races.
     
  7. AKAKTM

    AKAKTM Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Tony A
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Mojo 3
    I like the RaRa for the back. Good tire, but doesn't last too long. I really like the latest Rocket Ron (RR). They roll almost as the RaRa, yet have more knobs, work in more varied conditions and still provide a high volume casing. My preferred SoCal tire combo for general use would be RR front and rear or RR front and RaRa rear. Unfortunately Schwalbe just doesn't make enough sized in the new RR. I've written them urging them to make a 29x2.4 and possibly even a 29x2.6 as I'd strongly prefer them to the Nobby Nic on my new Ripley. I've run them on my 27.5 plus and really liked them.

    TA
     
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  8. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist MTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Gunnar Rockhound 29
    FYI, bike24.com is the go-to retailer for German tires.
    Satisfied customer of many a Schwalbe.
     
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  9. bvader

    bvader Well-Known Member

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Stephen
    J have you ever tried a Bontrager XR3... you might like it, think it is in the same class but a little more sturdy, predictable, cheaper... just a thought. I ran the expert, team is lighter...
     
  10. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer MTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    Scooby says:

    ruh roh.gif
     
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  11. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Highball Al SS

    I have not run the XR3.....currently have the XR2 on the back of the SS. I'll look into it next time.
     
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  12. bvader

    bvader Well-Known Member

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Stephen
    :) And thats the difference between me and you. I would run the XR3 as a rear on the SS, could never think about it as a front, but maybe you...the new XR4 is also just a bit step up.
     
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  13. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD MTB Addict

    Location:
    La Verne, CA
    Name:
    Dennis (AKA Dio)
    Current Bike:
    2013 Trek Slash 9 (26er)
    Per above, consider the Bonteager XR 3. Expert has 60tpi while the team issue has 120tpi. Excellent volume; reasonable weight and tread/traction. But oh the volume!
     
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  14. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Highball Al SS

    I saw it is available in a 2.3 and a 2.4 :thumbsup:
     
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  15. Faust29

    Faust29 MTB Addict

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    Highball SS and Chameleon
    745 grams for the 2.4 team version... Or 740 for the Expert in 2.3. That's pretty solid...
     
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  16. Mikie

    Mikie MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    2012 Yeti ASR 5c
    My first and only experience with a Racing Ralph was OEM on my Yeti in 2012. @hill^billy was there. It was New Bike Day. It punctured spewing Stans everywhere no more than 500 feet into the trail in decomposed granite. Ended the ride before it started. I tried for about month to contact Scwalbe in effort to get some kind of compensation, they never even replied or acknowledged my existence.

    I have used many Nobby Nic's since then, I state "many", since they do not last long for me. Great traction initially but that wears away very quickly. Based on price over wearability I have since moved on to much more bang for the buck Maxxis DHF's and DHR II's. Currently have a Maxxis SS on the rear and love it!

    I'm using up the remainder of my Shwalbe's on Cathy's bike as she is not rough on tires.

    I'm completely over Schwalbe tires. They are just too pricey and flimsy for the type of riding I do. :thumbsup:

    Ps: I know this is a jinx, but to date I have been using Maxxis tubeless for well over a year now and have not had one single flat.
     
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  17. herzalot

    herzalot MTB Addict

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2015 Intense Tracer 275c DVO
    You're welcome!
     
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  18. HBkites

    HBkites Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Sharone
    Current Bike:
    2014 Trek Supperfly
    I tried the XR1 and XR2 before (team edition).
    The XR2 was my go to tire in 2016. Similar to the Ikon in many ways with slightly more volume, and more spacing between the knobs.
    Last time I checked, the Team addition tires were too pricey.


    Never tried the RaRa.
    For some unexplainable reason, I've not attracted to German MTB tires.
     
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  19. DBMX119

    DBMX119 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Rick McKee
    My experience is the Ralphs are great.... When they are new. When they start to go, they go fast. I can go from total confidence descending to feeling like a newb on the same trail in the course of a week.
     
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