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  1. #1
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    Expensive Racing Tires with Thin Sidewalls?

    About a month ago I posted a problem I was having with a dented Synchros (DT) rim and tubeless tires not holding their bead. Now I've been dealing with two different LBS mechanics telling me that I shouldn't have purchased a Schwable Rocket Ron Racing Tire because their sidewalls are too thin and won't hold a tubeless bead very well in berms. The tire was $90 and is tubeless ready. I've given up on tubeless and simply placed a tube in there. No problems now, but what's up with bike store mechanics and/or tire companies selling expensive tires that have weak sidewalls? I'm ready to go back to my cheap 2007 Fisher 26'er.

  2. #2
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    They're race tires and therefore weight (or lack of) is everything. There are plenty of tubeless non-race spec tires with good sidewalls that will weigh in at a respectable 700-ish grams.

    If you want super light tubeless there has to be a sacrifice somewhere.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by driver bob View Post
    They're race tires and therefore weight (or lack of) is everything. There are plenty of tubeless non-race spec tires with good sidewalls that will weigh in at a respectable 700-ish grams.

    If you want super light tubeless there has to be a sacrifice somewhere.
    Thanks. Somehow the bike store mechanic mistook me for a racer. I really just need durability. Weight just doesn't matter to me. I was ignorant to say the least. Live and learn.

  4. #4
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    Rocket Ron's do have an extremely thin sidewall. I had a pair and had a sidewall cut within a month of riding. I purchased some Racing Ralphs and the sidewall was noticeably thicker and I haven't had an issue (knock on wood). Don't give up on tubeless just yet. Get the right tires for your conditions and you will love tubeless.

  5. #5
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    Once you've put a dent on that rim sidewall it won't hold air ever again. I'm ready to replace the rear rim on my dh bike for the same reason. Well, actually I beat the crap out of it and it has multiple dents I'm hoping it holds out until the lifts close this season before it self destructs. I'm not a believer in lightweight components and bikes, I'm a little tougher on stuff than a lycra clad racer.
    To appreciate the flowers you must also walk among s**t to know the difference

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim2103 View Post
    Rocket Ron's do have an extremely thin sidewall. I had a pair and had a sidewall cut within a month of riding. I purchased some Racing Ralphs and the sidewall was noticeably thicker and I haven't had an issue (knock on wood). Don't give up on tubeless just yet. Get the right tires for your conditions and you will love tubeless.
    Appreciate your post. I do like tubeless tires and have run them on a Fisher Cobia for 2 years before getting my Scott Scale 930. Never had a problem with the Fisher other than a cracked frame that was covered under warranty. Nothing but trouble with the Scott's rear tire and rim. I guess I should invest in a new rim as stated in other posts. For now I'm going back to a tube on the rear.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterofnone View Post
    Once you've put a dent on that rim sidewall it won't hold air ever again. I'm ready to replace the rear rim on my dh bike for the same reason. Well, actually I beat the crap out of it and it has multiple dents I'm hoping it holds out until the lifts close this season before it self destructs. I'm not a believer in lightweight components and bikes, I'm a little tougher on stuff than a lycra clad racer.
    I'm learning the same lesson quite fast. I had no idea that higher end carbon mtn bikes were so high maintenance and actually less durable. I don't get the idea that people buy these to race. How do they hold up? I'm a casual rider at best. Local trails, 8 mph on average, no features, 57 years old. Maybe I need a 1990 all steel frame bike with no front shock.

  8. #8
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    FYI - rocks have cut two of my Racing Ralphs this season. 32 psi, 220 lbs. At least I got them on sale for 50 a piece.

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    Expensive Racing Tires with Thin Sidewalls?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shmoo View Post
    FYI - rocks have cut two of my Racing Ralphs this season. 32 psi, 220 lbs. At least I got them on sale for 50 a piece.
    Are you using the snakeskin version of the RaRa's? If not, you shouldn't be surprised that you are having problems with the sidewalls.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowPokePete View Post
    Are you using the snakeskin version of the RaRa's? If not, you shouldn't be surprised that you are having problems with the sidewalls.

    SPP
    Do the snakeskin versions make that much difference?

  11. #11
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    SPP, I should have mentioned that - these are not the snakeskin version. On the flip side, my Hans Dampf are snakeskin, and my Chunky Monkeys are EXO. No issues with either tire.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmoore View Post
    No problems now, but what's up with bike store mechanics and/or tire companies selling expensive tires that have weak sidewalls?
    This might sound harsh, but...

    What is up is that consumers have too little clue what they buy. Check the Schwalbe site: Rocket Ron HS 406 | Schwalbe North America

    Notice the warning signs and the text next to it? Schwalbe is pretty honest about what use their tires are for. I am not saying you should not have any faith in shop mechanics, but it saves you a lot of pain if you read product specs and do a little search for user experience, f.e. on this forum.

    What the mechanics say about the tire's capability to stay on a rim is part outdated and part highly dependant on rim choice and tolerances. The older Schwalbes did blow off Notubes rims, because they were extra tight and the bead locks of the rims are extra high to aid tubeless installation. The net result of these combination was that tire beads could not take the strain. Even older Schwalbes blew off, because they had weak beads and fit very loose.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeroenK View Post
    This might sound harsh, but...

    What is up is that consumers have too little clue what they buy. Check the Schwalbe site: Rocket Ron HS 406 | Schwalbe North America

    Notice the warning signs and the text next to it? Schwalbe is pretty honest about what use their tires are for. I am not saying you should not have any faith in shop mechanics, but it saves you a lot of pain if you read product specs and do a little search for user experience, f.e. on this forum.

    What the mechanics say about the tire's capability to stay on a rim is part outdated and part highly dependant on rim choice and tolerances. The older Schwalbes did blow off Notubes rims, because they were extra tight and the bead locks of the rims are extra high to aid tubeless installation. The net result of these combination was that tire beads could not take the strain. Even older Schwalbes blew off, because they had weak beads and fit very loose.
    Excellent points- especially doing your own research.

    I've got a couple of older sets of Stan's rims (that seem to be more forgiving when mounting newer Schwalbe tires) and run a mix of EVO and snakeskin Racing Ralph's on 5 bikes. I mount all my tires by hand and suspect that beads get stressed more often when tire levers are used to mount them. Some Stan's rims back ~2011 or so were much more of a challenge to get a Schwalbe tire on. Not sure if it was Stan's or Schwalbe's issue. I bought a set of Crest's early this year and had no trouble getting tires on them.

    Chainlove had RaRa 2.4 EVO's on sale for less than $40 months back. I reluctantly bought 4, hoping they weren't going to be a pain to mount and was pleasantly surprised

    Riding technique may also be a factor. Choosing lines with less sidewall gushe potential require taking obstacles head on as opposed to trying to slither between them.

  14. #14
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    They are not the Medium-Paced Ralph, or the Moving-Like-Pond-Water Ron.

    Perhaps, just maybe, there is something about the actual name of the tire that might give away its intended purpose?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmoore View Post
    No problems now, but what's up with bike store mechanics and/or tire companies selling expensive tires that have weak sidewalls? I'm ready to go back to my cheap 2007 Fisher 26'er.
    I'm curious about what the shop guys asked you that convinced them that the Rocket Ron was the best option for you. As a part-time bike shop mechanic/floor guy, there's no way I would suggest those tires to anyone but a racer looking for that last little bit of speed with the tradeoffs of durability and traction. Part of what you are paying for when you go into a shop is the "expertise" of the folks working there.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2TurnersNotEnough View Post
    I'm curious about what the shop guys asked you that convinced them that the Rocket Ron was the best option for you. As a part-time bike shop mechanic/floor guy, there's no way I would suggest those tires to anyone but a racer looking for that last little bit of speed with the tradeoffs of durability and traction. Part of what you are paying for when you go into a shop is the "expertise" of the folks working there.
    Well, that's the whole point of all of this. I specifically went in and told them I was NOT a racer, just a casual rider, wanted a tire with good traction with a sidewall that wouldn't tear as easily as my last one. I realize now that I was ignorant and stupid for not doing my research on this. Like I said earlier, live and learn. To the bike store's credit, they have since called and made an offer to let me return the tire for a different one. Not sure at what cost though.

  17. #17
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    Disclaimer: I work with a Trek dealer so my recommendation is not without bias:

    Have a look at the Bontrager XR-3 (previously 29-3). I just fitted the team issue version and run it tubeless at 22psiF and 19psiR ((I'm about 160lbs and ride rigid XC). I've been super happy with them and all Bontrager products come with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee. You dont like it, you take it back...simple !!

  18. #18
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    Thanks. I've had two Trek mtn bikes without any of the problems I've described here. Also have a Lemond road bike with Bontrager tires. Just hit 2,000 miles on them. Seem ok.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmoore View Post
    I realize now that I was ignorant and stupid for not doing my research on this. Like I said earlier, live and learn. To the bike store's credit, they have since called and made an offer to let me return the tire for a different one. Not sure at what cost though.
    I do not think you were ignorant and stupid. It's just the first time shop advice let you down.

    +1 for Bontrager tires, and I do not work at a Trek store or any bike store ;-). Pretty underrated tire brand! Lots of other good options too, besides Bontrager. I guess finding the right amount of protection and tire tread for your riding (probably an allround tread) is key.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmoore View Post
    Do the snakeskin versions make that much difference?

    Yes.

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  21. #21
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    Chalk it up to a lesson learned. I have always had SWorks version of Specialized tires, so when I bought my forst 29er and first time going tubeless-that's what I bought.

    First ride sliced a rear tire. Luckily Specialized has a 90day no questions asked and returned both for the non SWorks versions. No issues in the year since.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeroenK View Post
    I do not think you were ignorant and stupid. It's just the first time shop advice let you down.

    +1 for Bontrager tires, and I do not work at a Trek store or any bike store ;-). Pretty underrated tire brand! Lots of other good options too, besides Bontrager. I guess finding the right amount of protection and tire tread for your riding (probably an allround tread) is key.
    One of the posts above implied I didn't do my research on this issue. I trusted the lbs mechanic on the Rocket Ron tire being "the best" for me. The lbs owner was the one who called to tell me his employee led me down the wrong path and wanted to make it right. Still going to be an expensive fix though. New rim, new wheel build up, new tire. Around $250. Plus I still have the $90 Rocket Ron racing tire that I don't need. Just going to stick a $10 tube in the rear tire, ride it, and hope for the best. I'll know better next time. All around tread and Bontrager sounds like the way to go. Thanks!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Chalk it up to a lesson learned. I have always had SWorks version of Specialized tires, so when I bought my forst 29er and first time going tubeless-that's what I bought.

    First ride sliced a rear tire. Luckily Specialized has a 90day no questions asked and returned both for the non SWorks versions. No issues in the year since.
    What brand of tires? Size? Rims?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmoore View Post
    I'm learning the same lesson quite fast. I had no idea that higher end carbon mtn bikes were so high maintenance and actually less durable. I don't get the idea that people buy these to race. How do they hold up? I'm a casual rider at best. Local trails, 8 mph on average, no features, 57 years old. Maybe I need a 1990 all steel frame bike with no front shock.
    Well, it depends but yes the high end race bikes aren't that reliable. Though a race car isn't as reliable as sedan for daily driving either...

    The problem with carbon bikes is most of them are designed with some form of racing or accommodating racers. Also bike companies use their warranty and customers for R&D so they can make something new every year. Most people that are buying 5K carbon bikes replace them within 5 years tops.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmoore View Post
    Well, that's the whole point of all of this. I specifically went in and told them I was NOT a racer, just a casual rider, wanted a tire with good traction with a sidewall that wouldn't tear as easily as my last one. I realize now that I was ignorant and stupid for not doing my research on this. Like I said earlier, live and learn. To the bike store's credit, they have since called and made an offer to let me return the tire for a different one. Not sure at what cost though.
    Ignorant and stupid? Na, hardly. With all the tire choices, advertising hype, and mtbr forum members spouting jibberish it wouldn't be hard to pick a bike or component that doesn't quite fit what you want. Maybe the shop employee was new or didn't himself understand what you wanted. The trail is forever paved with "I should have picked that one instead". Now you know.
    To appreciate the flowers you must also walk among s**t to know the difference

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