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  1. #1
    ~Reformed Mechanic~
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    Racing Ralph the best light trail tire ever?

    I really like the racing ralph for a light trail tire on the rear. The ONLY reason I don't keep running them is the fast wear and high cost, so Ive been looking for a cheaper alternative thats as good, or.... dare I say... even better!?

    The problem is that I simply cant find a tire that equals the same high volume, as light as, rolls fast, and grips like a Racing Ralph. With others its always a compromise. Most that grip as well are heavier or slow rollers...

    Is it possible that the Racing Ralph is simply the best high volume, light, fast grippy rear tire being made currently?
    I do all my own stunts, but never intentionally...

  2. #2
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    Re: Racing Ralph the best light trail tire ever?

    I love them. Your findings are what I have noticed too.

  3. #3
    g3h6o3
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    I agree as well!
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  4. #4
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    I really love the Racing Ralph in the rear and Rocket Ron in the front combo and have been running that combo for the last 2 seasons on my hardtail. I have found them to be very fast, supple and very predictable. Yesterday I received a pair of MICHELIN Wild Race'R Ultimate 26x2.25. Got the pair for just under 100 shipped. Mounted and aired up tubeless easy on a set of DT 5.1 rims. They seem very thin and light but are supposed to be very puncture resistant. The look and feel lead me to think "fast" but the true test will be in the ride. Will report back tomorrow afternoon after their maden voyage.

  5. #5
    Trail Prospector
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    Up front, I really like the Ra-Ra 2.4 when dry, on my local (loose over hard) trails.
    On the rear, I shredded the side knobs within 300 miles (2.25), and have since gone back to a Saguaro
    for a fast durable & cheap solution.
    Wonder what other high volume tire(s) people like on the rear that are both durable & fast?
    The best is the one you want to ride most often..

  6. #6
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    So far I have ben very happy with mine as well, I loved Fast Trak FA's that came out about a year ago for grip, rolling resistance, and weight but was forced to go to something else when I converted to 650b. The tires just feel more voluminous and its weird to me how it can be so grippy yet have such a low rolling resistance, great tire.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  7. #7
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    Re: Racing Ralph the best light trail tire ever?

    I use the Maxxis Ikon for my rear tire and a Nobby Nic for the front. The combination works very well.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace5high View Post
    I really like the racing ralph for a light trail tire on the rear. The ONLY reason I don't keep running them is the fast wear and high cost, so Ive been looking for a cheaper alternative thats as good, or.... dare I say... even better!?

    The problem is that I simply cant find a tire that equals the same high volume, as light as, rolls fast, and grips like a Racing Ralph. With others its always a compromise. Most that grip as well are heavier or slow rollers...

    Is it possible that the Racing Ralph is simply the best high volume, light, fast grippy rear tire being made currently?
    I presume your only talking 29er tires?
    Have you tried the new Ro Ro? Very fast.

    Alternative rear tires I use In 29er:

    I'd rate the 2.2 xking[ only in racesport version] as fast and a better light trail tire. May be a bit smaller volume but it's smooth for it's size and better grip. I've always rated the Geax tires for speed and smooth ride. Bit heavy but looks like they may have revised their casings for next year. Michellin std folding are very smooth and fast, but heavy. The advanced are smaller and lighter and should still be as smooth.Ikon doesn't have the same grip but is as smooth and also pretty fast . All four wear much better than the Ra Ra.

    Best front 29er light trail tire by a long long way is the Pre 2013 Ro Ro 2.25 followed by Xking 2.2 racesport. Hopefully they will get a 2.4 29er racesport this year?????. It would then be my 29er light trail front tire of choice.
    The old Ro Ro is so smooth, light, grippy with good speed. It blows everything away. Pity they ruined it for light trail with the new 2013 version.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 04-26-2013 at 03:16 PM.

  9. #9
    ~Reformed Mechanic~
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    Have you tried the new Ro Ro? Very fast.

    Alternative rear tires I use In 29er:

    I'd rate the 2.2 xking[ only in racesport version] as fast and a better light trail tire. May be a bit smaller volume but it's smooth for it's size and better grip.
    Best front 29er light trail tire by a long long way is the Pre 2013 Ro Ro 2.25 followed by Xking 2.2 racesport. Hopefully they will get a 2.4 29er racesport this year?????. It would then be my 29er light trail front tire of choice.
    The old Ro Ro is so smooth, light, grippy with good speed. It blows everything away. Pity they ruined it for light trail with the new 2013 version.
    I like the X-king but they are rather heavy, do they make a racesport version in 29" because that is something id be interested in.

    I am thinking of trying the new RoRo on the front after my NoNi wears out... What did they mess-up with the 2013 RoRo version? Weight? I thought it looked pretty cool
    I do all my own stunts, but never intentionally...

  10. #10
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    They've been doing the 2.2 racesport for about a year now.

    On the 2013 Ro Ro they've lowered the edge and shoulder tread so it doesn't hang in there as well as pre 2013. A bit more predictable on hard pack and quicker. Better race tire now, pity they've ruined it as a trail tire.

  11. #11
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    Racing Ralph the best light trail tire ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    They've been doing the 2.2 racesport for about a year now.

    On the 2013 Ro Ro they've lowered the edge and shoulder tread so it doesn't hang in there as well as pre 2013. A bit more predictable on hard pack and quicker. Better race tire now, pity they've ruined it as a trail tire.
    Isn't the nobby nic in place as the more trail oriented tire? My 2.35 NoNi gives unbelievable front end grip. I run it on my XC machine so I can hit the corners almost as fast as I want!

  12. #12
    ~Reformed Mechanic~
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    ^ Yes its more "trail" then RoRo or RaRa, great grip, but not quite as fast.
    I do all my own stunts, but never intentionally...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by moshjack View Post
    Isn't the nobby nic in place as the more trail oriented tire? My 2.35 NoNi gives unbelievable front end grip. I run it on my XC machine so I can hit the corners almost as fast as I want!
    I haven't run No No 2.35 in 29er. I have in 650b and I used to run the 2.4 in 26". Quite frankly i wasn't impressed with the 2.35. The soft compound and angled edge tread meant it was vague and lacked the bite that the pre pacestar 2.4 used to have. I did back to back runs with a pre 2013 2.4 Ro Ro 26" and preferred the Ro Ro to the 650B 2.35 No Ni.The Ro Ro is way better as a trail tire than it should be.In 26", I jump straight up to a Hans Dampf when the Ro Ro gets out of its depth. Th No Ni would probably be better when conditions get that sloppy that the Ro Ro edge tread can't touch hard ground. The Ro Ro edge tread is widely spaced and doesn't like it when it's really sloppy. Bit like dragging your open fingers through mud rather than a closed hand. Hd is much better in those conditions. Pity they dopn't do a 2.25 HD in 29er. I'd be a starter.

  14. #14
    Vincit qui patitur
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    Michelin Wild Racer Advanced 29x2.0
    Light, fast and durable so far.
    Vincit qui patitur
    2012 GT Karakoram 3.0
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    2014 KONA Process 153
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    2012 Access TCL

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by owtdorz View Post
    Michelin Wild Racer Advanced 29x2.0
    Light, fast and durable so far.
    I got my first outing on a set of 26x2.25's today. They were very fast on the climb and hooked up well. Didn't have any scary moments on the downhill but do need to develope my confidence level for this new tread. Only time will tell on the durability but I don't see any wear or damage after the first ride.

  16. #16
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    I haven't been impressed with the RaRa. Sidewalls are too thin unless you get the snakeskin version which increases weight. Traction depends on finding the perfect tire pressure which will then increase its rolling resistance (despite what Schwalbe says, yes, it feels like it rolls slower to me). Cornering grip is just mediocre.

    I prefer Ikons, AKA's, or Crossmarks. But even they have downfalls. Ikon corners a bit worse than the RaRa. AKA's wear faster than the RaRa. Crossmarks weigh a bit more than the RaRa. I will take any of these con's over slicing a sidewall any day though. And price of RaRa's=$$$.

    Just my opinion though. Put your money on whatever tire gives you the most fun on the trails.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetboy23 View Post
    I prefer Ikons, AKA's, or Crossmarks. But even they have downfalls. Ikon corners a bit worse than the RaRa. AKA's wear faster than the RaRa. Crossmarks weigh a bit more than the RaRa. I will take any of these con's over slicing a sidewall any day though. And price of RaRa's=$$$.
    I agree with your assessments on these other tires. For me, I have been surprised that I haven't sliced a RaRa sidewall in two seasons... I was sure they were toast last summer bombing mountains/rock gardens in the Pisgah ranger district... They held up! I guess I can hold a good line!
    I do all my own stunts, but never intentionally...

  18. #18
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    In the May MBA mag, they ran a tire shootout and the Specialized Ground Control is #1. 2.3" and 19.6oz or 556 gm. Feedback is really grippy over most terrain. Never used them, but want to give it a try on the front for XC riding. (We have all kinds of conditions in N.Cal) Currently running a 2.1 Bronson on the front which is OK...
    "Don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly"

  19. #19
    Come on, dare me!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bail_Monkey View Post
    In the May MBA mag, they ran a tire shootout and the Specialized Ground Control is #1. 2.3" and 19.6oz or 556 gm. Feedback is really grippy over most terrain. Never used them, but want to give it a try on the front for XC riding. (We have all kinds of conditions in N.Cal) Currently running a 2.1 Bronson on the front which is OK...
    Don't believe all what MBA says (in fact, I'd say, don't believe most of what they say) since they work hand in hand with their advertisers, Specialized being one of the most prominent... That said, I love Specialized and have been riding lots of Specialized bikes and tires, but as far as I'm concerned , the GC is not their best - probably good on hardpack or loose soil, but my experience with the 2.1 Control version (not S-Works) has been far from stellar - many punctures (tubeless setup), noisy and pretty slow, and the grip was not impressive. I far prefer the new Schwalbe tires, especially the NN which came at 550 g (same weight as the 2.1) for more volume, better grip and better rolling resistance (IMO). The 2.25 RaRa, even in Snake Skin version, is still "only" 580 g, which is pretty good for a big(ger) trail tire - remember that the GC comes small for a 2.3.

  20. #20
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    ive been very happy with my racing ralph 2.25 with snakeskin in the rear. the stock wtb moto 2.3 were a bit of a overkill on the GA trails.
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  21. #21
    Trail Ninja
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    Personal considerations > hype. If the hype here doesn't take your terrain and riding style in consideration, you can figure out a whole lot to argue against it, but what's the point? For me, both the rubber compound in the RaRa and Spec compounds seem to not work as well as the Maxxis 3c compound for SoCal dirt. I think they work better in the slightly moist. The RaRa slips out in the loose over hard (kitty litter over concrete-like hardpack) areas, especially where people skid. Ran the Spec tires a long while and they seemed mediocre, never coming alive until after it rained a little, which then became my favorite tires for such conditions. In the dry, I've had the Captain front washout in turns suddenly, which was never cool.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome View Post
    Don't believe all what MBA says (in fact, I'd say, don't believe most of what they say) since they work hand in hand with their advertisers, Specialized being one of the most prominent... That said, I love Specialized and have been riding lots of Specialized bikes and tires, but as far as I'm concerned , the GC is not their best - probably good on hardpack or loose soil, but my experience with the 2.1 Control version (not S-Works) has been far from stellar - many punctures (tubeless setup), noisy and pretty slow, and the grip was not impressive. I far prefer the new Schwalbe tires, especially the NN which came at 550 g (same weight as the 2.1) for more volume, better grip and better rolling resistance (IMO). The 2.25 RaRa, even in Snake Skin version, is still "only" 580 g, which is pretty good for a big(ger) trail tire - remember that the GC comes small for a 2.3.
    Yes, that MBA review is a joke. They compare a Schwalbe Hans Dampf to a Michelin Wild Race'R in trail bike tire shootout. They are two completely different tires and are designed for different things. MBA runs its comparisons like the old WWF (mismatched competition).
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  23. #23
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    I picked up a free copy of MBA at Sea Otter last week and just thumbed though it. As with all mags, they are supported by advertisers so you have to take any product test with a grain of salt.

    With tires, there are quite a bit of variables like setup, conditions, terrain, skill level, etc. so someone that states something is good or bad may be entirely wrong when you/I try it out. (Kind of hard to do with mtb tires)
    "Don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly"

  24. #24
    No good in rock gardens..
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    Racing Ralphs are "high volume"? They always looked kind of average to me.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

  25. #25
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    Re: Racing Ralph the best light trail tire ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sideknob View Post
    Racing Ralphs are "high volume"? They always looked kind of average to me.
    Yeah true. But the 2.4 are as large as my ardent 2.4. Both nice large tires.

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