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  1. #1
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    Which bigger 26" Schwalbe or other tires for my XC MTB needs?

    I tried 650B wheels with RR 2.25 tires and it doesn't seem to fit on my 2008 Brodie Mettle (100mm xc mtb) so even though I am planning to get a 650B FS bike next year, in the meantime, my Brodie Mettle has an ancient 2.1 Velociraptor in front and a 2.1 Nevegal on the rear. I am not running tubeless. I am thinking of trying some larger 2.35 or larger tires.

    I ride in Southern Ontario, so mostly regular dirt singletrack without too much rocks or loose gravel or mud. I was looking at RR but it only comes in 2.25's in 26". It could be a great tire choice, but I want to explore larger tires first. I was thinking of looking at 2.35 to 2.4 sizes. In the end, I could end up with 2.25's, but I'd like to explore the larger 2.35 and 2.4 sizes first.

    Which of the Schwalbe tires would be good for my use?

    I was looking at these different tires:

    Nobby Nic?
    Rocket Ron?
    Hans Dampf?

    or what about:

    Fat Albert front and rear?
    Space?

    Which compound?
    Any others I should consider?

    Different tires have different characteristics so I am wondering if one of the above is better than the others for my needs. I don't ride on sharp rocks with very low pressures. I don't need the absolute fastest tire, but I don't want to put on a gigantic 2.7 DH tire either.

  2. #2
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    Rocket Ron is the best performing tire they make IMHO. The 2.25 is a very high volume tire.

    The nobby nic is a bit more durable and offers more traction in sloppier conditions, but is a bit heavier/slower.

    The hans dampf is even more durable and offers even more traction in slop, but is even heavier/ slower still.

    All are great tires.

    I run and love the Rockets for everything except sharp rocks (they cut easily) and mudding.
    '95 M2 StumpJumper FS
    '11 Cannondale RZ 120-two

  3. #3
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    Thanks. That gives me some idea of the relative application intended for each tire. I have friends who swear by the Racing Ralph too.

    I am thinking I may try the 2.35 Rocket Ron. It has been a tire I've been leaning towards.

    Any idea about the compounds? Trailstar? Pacestar? Gatestar is a combination of both but I don't know what each compound is intended for.

    BTW...any particular reason why you don't prefer the Racing Ralph?

    Do you think the 2.25 would be bigger than my 2.1 velociraptor and 2.1 nevegal?
    Any reason you wouldn't run a 2.35?

    One thing I really don't like about these tires is the really high cost. Racing Ralph and Rocket Ron are expensive even compared to the Hans Dampf and Nobby Nic.

    thanks for the feedback
    Last edited by morkys; 09-20-2012 at 06:18 AM.

  4. #4
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    Just how big are the Rocket Ron 2.25 and Racing Ralph 2.25? How would they compare to my front 2.1 Velociraptor and 2.1 nevegal?

    I was looking at some Bontragear XR4 but I am leaning more and more towards the Racing Ralph or Rocket Ron or some combination since they are lighter. Some people run a Ra Ra in back and a Ro Ro in front.

    The Ralph and Rocket both come in snakeskin. Does that make a significant difference in avoiding flats?
    Last edited by morkys; 09-20-2012 at 03:46 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by morkys View Post
    I tried 650B wheels with RR 2.25 tires and it doesn't seem to fit on my 2008 Brodie Mettle (100mm xc mtb) so even though I am planning to get a 650B FS bike next year, in the meantime, my Brodie Mettle has an ancient 2.1 Velociraptor in front and a 2.1 Nevegal on the rear. I am not running tubeless. I am thinking of trying some larger 2.35 or larger tires.

    I ride in Southern Ontario, so mostly regular dirt singletrack without too much rocks or loose gravel or mud. I was looking at RR but it only comes in 2.25's in 26". It could be a great tire choice, but I want to explore larger tires first. I was thinking of looking at 2.35 to 2.4 sizes. In the end, I could end up with 2.25's, but I'd like to explore the larger 2.35 and 2.4 sizes first.

    Which of the Schwalbe tires would be good for my use?

    I was looking at these different tires:

    Nobby Nic?
    Rocket Ron?
    Hans Dampf?

    or what about:

    Fat Albert front and rear?
    Space?

    Which compound?
    Any others I should consider?

    Different tires have different characteristics so I am wondering if one of the above is better than the others for my needs. I don't ride on sharp rocks with very low pressures. I don't need the absolute fastest tire, but I don't want to put on a gigantic 2.7 DH tire either.
    Any off the Tire you mentioned would be better than you are using now. Ro Ro 2.4 is also very good.
    Other tall tires are 2.4 Conti xking, MK2 and Michelin 2.25 tires. All are 2.4 height but 2.3 width.

  6. #6
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    The racing Ralph is a great tire also. It is pretty much strictly a hardpack tire, though. Traction is limited in anything else. It's faster than a Rocket Ron on hardpack, but nowhere else. The rocket has slightly more volume and much better traction on everything except hardpack. I also prefer the overall feel of the rocket Ron.

    The snakeskin is said to make a durability difference.

    I use the Evo compound and like it a lot. Wear is not too bad, as long as you stay in the dirt. Grip is superb.
    '95 M2 StumpJumper FS
    '11 Cannondale RZ 120-two

  7. #7
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    Only thing is , in 26", it's now no longer available in 2.4 / 2.35 size.

  8. #8
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    Would a 2.4 Rocket Ron too big to fit in a Fox 32 Fork? I did see the tire at the local bike show and looks like it runs big relative to other tires of the same size. Any troubles fitting such a large tire with current frames? CRC is having a sale on the Rocket Ron Evo btw.

  9. #9
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    They are big, Mine fit on a rock shox revelation so I think you should be just fine. Im really starting to like them.

  10. #10
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    X-King 2.4's are a pretty good size on my 26" wheels.

  11. #11
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    Continental Race King 2,4
    Kenda Small Block 8
    Maxxis Larsen TT
    Maxxis Crossmark
    Schwalbe Racing ralph
    Michelin Wild Race'r
    ...

    There are many choices. Depends on how much grip VS speed you want.

  12. #12
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    I would go with snakeskin 2.25 Rocket Ron but would prefer 2.35 or 2.4 to get the feel of larger wheel/tire. Could do same size front and back or slightly bigger in the rear. Say 2.35 rear and 2.25 front or 2.4 front and 2.35 rear. Tiny increase in head angle would be ok by me. I don't want larger in front than in back.

  13. #13
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    I run some bikes 650b as well
    If your looking for extra rollover , there's not a lot to speak of. Your big volume 26" won't feel too far off.
    Stick with same size front and rear or add a 650b front if you can. The most benefit from 650b is in the front. You get 29er like stabilty from the larger diameter. Ideally suited to short wheelbase skittery xc bike like yours. It's much more noticeable at 69 degress and slacker but still an improvement at steeper head angles.
    If you want to try and imitate 650B in the front use as big and heavy tire as possible. A 650g neo 2.1 650B tire still has more stability than a 750g Hans Dampf 26". A 750g neo 2.3 has quite a bit more stability than the 26" Hans Dampf.

  14. #14
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    I was thinking of grabbing some 2.3 Conti speedkings locally but I am hesitating for a few reasons. For every good review, I hear people speak of the outside knobs bending under hard cornering. They aren't cheap and the 2.3 aren't really as big as you'd think.

    Honestly, choosing tires is tiring...pardon the pun. Some say Rocket Ron on both front and rear, some say Rocket front and Ralph Rear and some say Nic front and Ron rear. I was thinking of a big tire both front and rear, but I notice some people put the lower rolling resistance tire on the rear to save energy from pedaling. Otherwise I'd use Rocket Ron front and Nic rear for traction. I'm not racing this bike any time soon.

    I also don't want a tire that is too expensive or wears out too fast. The Ralph looks good but the tread pattern doesn't look like it has much space. Perhaps a Rocket Ron and Nic combination of some kind or both Rocket Rons....I should just flip coins and round robin my way through all the tires ever made...

  15. #15
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    Speedkings are horrible and very small anyway. Stay away from Ro Ro if your worried about wear. What about some chaeper tires like Maxxis. The ardent 2.4 is a big tire and chuck on either a 2.25 Ardent or Advantage or icon on the rear. All the same reasonably big size.

    Your 2.1 nev runs big for a 2.1. The Velociraptor are a very old design and probably very small.
    The later design WTB tires run bigger . Maybe have a look at them

    Another option. the Schwalbe and conti tires have budget versions of the same tire. Schwalbe have the Performance range and Conti have standard folding i.e. not Racesport or Protection
    versions. I would go for a Mountain King 2 x 2.4 folding or Hans Dampf 2.4 Performance on the front and a X king x 2.4 folding on the rear.

    The Hans Dampf or Ardent 2.4 would generally be considered an overkill considering your bike and previous tires?
    The 2.4 MK2 / xking combo wouldn't be too out of place.

    Wiggle | Continental Mountain King II MTB Tyre MTB Off-Road Tyres
    Wiggle | Continental X King MTB Tyre MTB Off-Road Tyres



    There's zillions of tires out there. You've really got to nail for you are looking for.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 09-22-2012 at 12:49 AM.

  16. #16
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    Tire reviews are proving uselessly inconsistent for every single tire I look into...

    I think the X-king looks like it's more designed for the front and the MK II looks like it is more designed for the rear. X-king has central asymetrical knobs like the old panaracer dart and the WTB Velociraptor and the MK II has more of a paddle centre knob for climbing like the old smoke or the WTB Velociraptor rear.

    I am still considering the Schwalbe tires but now the MK II and X-King 2.4's look like a good choice in protection, until I read reviews...

    I was going to eliminate the Speedking from my choices bc I keep consistently finding reviews all over the place with people disappointed with it for a number of reasons.....and yet when I read the reviews the MK II and X-King rate even worse than the speedkings. Although after reading tire reviews, almost all tires I look at rate poorly at 3.something out of 5 with lot's of stories of slipping and ripping and then some saying they are great. I think I cannot rely on reviews any more. I think it's all a bunch of crap. Either people paid to bad talk a brand or people who take race tires and ride them through sharp volcanic cinder at low pressures and are surprised they puncture.

    I usually run 40-45 PSI in my tires, but I hear people saying lower pressures can be better, so I am going to try the old standby of 35 PSI.
    Last edited by morkys; 09-22-2012 at 08:28 AM.

  17. #17
    DGB
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    You mentioned your local terrain and the tyres that you are currently using. If you are happy with the 2.1 Nevegal then why not take a look at the 2.35 Nevegal (forget about the 2.1 Velociraptor as it's ancient, small, easily bettered by others and, as far as I know, no longer available). In fairness, there is not much going to be bigger than it at that size. It does IMO drag like a bear's ass on tarmac but if your happy with the 2.1 version and just want a larger tyre then take a look.

    As gvs_nz said Speed Kings are terrible. Conti do better all round tyres than these (XK, MK, MK2, RQ/TK). I've found that Conti tyres come up smaller in width but can be as tall or taller in some cases than Schwalbe's equivalent sizes.

    RoRo and RaRa are Schwalbe's top XC race tyres and as such wear quickly and have thin sidewalls. They are available in Snakeskin versions with extra sidewall protection that I think is worth its weight.
    NoNi is Schwalbe's all rounder; suitable for a wide range of conditions, available with or without Snakeskin protection and in numerous sizes & compound types.
    FA and HD are part of Schwalbe's Enduro range of tyres. They both include Snakeskin by default. The FA's come in different sizes & both come in different compounds.

    Personally, I run larger more aggressive tyres on the front where most grip is needed and where their increased rolling resistance is less of an issue and I run something smaller that rolls easier but still grips out back.

  18. #18
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    Right now actually, I am looking around for:

    2.4 MK II's and X-Kings or;
    2.35 nevegals or;
    Bontrager XR4 2.35

    If the Maxxis Ardent 2.25 is comparable in size to the above tires, I would also consider it. The 2.4 is too heavy for me. If anybody has feedback on the size of the Ardent 2.25 I would like to hear it. I want tires significantly larger than my 2.1's so the 2.4 and 2.35's are good choices, but I don't know the exact size of the 2.25 Ardent. Perhaps it's comparable to the other tires, and at it's weight, it could be a good option too.

    Reasoning = larger tires that aren't too fast wearing and aren't too expensive or too heavy. The Conti's are the lightest of the bunch, even with protection. I don't ride nasty rocky and rooty trails on average anyways.

    I saw that the 2.35 nevegal doesn't isn't heavier than the velociraptor so if I switched to two 2.35 nev's I'd only gain 100 g (My 2.1 nevegal is 610 g while the 2.35 is 710 ish). I'd rather get a lighter tire, but....I am not finding much. I could wait for the fall bicycle show, but I suspect they will just be selling left over stock and finding a specific bigger tire will be difficult.

    While the nevegals have reports of high rolling resistance, I am not racing and my 2.1 nev doesn't seem un-usually slow. I just want to try some bigger tires on this bike for this fall until I can go 650B or 29'er next year. I find it hard to trust the reviews, so I try to only be wary of the same thing being mentioned over and over again. So many people say the same things for the same tire. One says no grip, the next says amazing grip. One thing that is consistent though, is that there are a lot of complaints of fast wear with the Schwalbe tires, so I am hesitant to try em' out at their high cost when I plan to effectively replace this bike with a larger wheel mtb next year.
    Last edited by morkys; 09-23-2012 at 10:43 AM.

  19. #19
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    I run a Racing Ralph 2.25, snakeskin on the back at 28 PSI: gives me 57mm width. Nobby Nic 2.40 SS on the front at 24 PSI gives me 58mm of width. Has been a blindingly fast combo for me in Utah. I have run the Weirwolf LT 2.55 which is about 58mm of width but it is a taller tire, which may be what you're looking for. It's a bit heavy, but rolls really well.

  20. #20
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    Your Ra Ra must be old and your No ni new. From new but stretched I normally get Ra Ra 2.25 at about 55 to 56mm and No Ni 2.4 about 60mm.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by morkys View Post
    Right now actually, I am looking around for:

    If the Maxxis Ardent 2.25 is comparable in size to the above tires, I would also consider it. The 2.4 is too heavy for me. If anybody has feedback on the size of the Ardent 2.25 I would like to hear it. I want tires significantly larger than my 2.1's so the 2.4 and 2.35's are good choices, but I don't know the exact size of the 2.25 Ardent. Perhaps it's comparable to the other tires, and at it's weight, it could be a good option too.

    .
    2.25 Ardent is similar size and volume to a Nev 2.1. Bit faster though.Both slightly smaller than a Schwalbe 2.25.

    Your current tires don't have extra protection. I'd just get the Racesport instead of the protection version. If your on a budget the standard folding are very good value.
    Use MK2 front and rear if your worried about the X king on the rear. The Mk2 in Racesport is not a slow tire. feels similar to a Nobby Nic. X king 2.4 Racesport is very fast and has adequate traction on the back for most conditions. I use a 2.4 x king on the Rear with a Ro Ro 2.4 up front for trail riding on my 140mm bike and a MK2 2.4 rear /Hans Dampf front for more agressive Am stuff on my 150mm bike.

    I think the No Ni 2.4 is a better tire in the Front in loose conditions than the MK2. Just because it is wider. The MK2 has good grip for it's width though. Way way better than your current tires.

    The bonti's sound like a good choice. Also have a look at Specialized tires. They used to measure small but the latest versions look like they are a good size now.

  22. #22
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    Would RR 2.25 be larger than my 2.1 Velociraptor and/or 2.1 Nevegal?

  23. #23
    DGB
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    Quote Originally Posted by morkys View Post
    Would RR 2.25 be larger than my 2.1 Velociraptor and/or 2.1 Nevegal?
    Larger than both but most noticeable over the Velociraptor.

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