• 07-09-2013
    morkys
    Schwalbe Nobby Nic and other Alternatives to Racing Ralph
    I have Racing Ralphs on my Giant AX1-29. They perform well and the trails I ride are not too rocky, but there are rocky/gravel sections and roots, and it's been rainy lately. I try not to ride when it's wet, but sometimes some wet sections remain after waiting for the trails to dry.

    The Racing Ralph is performing fairly well, but I find in the mud and on roots it does not deliver.

    I was looking at Nobby Nic as an alternative because they seem like they aren't much slower, and yet the more open tread looks better for mud and roots.

    Is the Nobby Nic a logical alternative choice considering my needs? I see the HD is also well liked, but I don't quite think it's necessary for my needs, as it is heavy and even lower rolling resistance.

    While we're at it, what about the differences between evolution, performance, pace star, trail star and double defence vs snakeskin...lol. Any thoughts?
  • 07-09-2013
    edubfromktown
    I run 4 sets of tubeless 29er RaRa's EVO's and a few snake skin's (front tires are all 20 psi or below on wide rims like Bontrager Duster; Stan's Crest & Flow). These tires grip fine on wet rocks for me (in the US Mid Atlantic region). I recently switched to a Nobby Nic 2.35 snake skin front on my full suspension 29er mostly for better traction in dry conditions. The snake skin is definitely stiffer and the combination of that and the added grip allows me to rail turns faster (I would not attempt in soggy conditions though).

    Wet roots are a challenge for any tire and Nobby Nic's are not much of an improvement if that is the primary reason you want to switch IMO.
  • 07-09-2013
    MSU Alum
    The Evolution is a higher quality material and more expensive than the Performance. The Snakeskin has added sidewall protection. The double D even more so. The Pacestar is a faster rolling composition that wears better than the Trailstar compound which is grippier, but doesn't wear as well and has more rolling resistance. Often, folks will put a Pacestar on the back, for better wear and faster rolling and a Trailstar on the front, for better grip in the turns and braking, since the increased rolling resistance in the front is less noticeable.
  • 07-09-2013
    Flat Again???
    In my experience Nobby Nic has noticeably more traction and stability in the corners, as compared to Racing Ralph. I'd highly recommend trying one on the front of your bike while keeping the RaRa in the rear. I run the 2.35 Snakeskin/Triple Compound model on a couple bikes.
  • 07-09-2013
    morkys
    Thanks for the feedback folks.

    I am finding its the rear that is giving me grief on roots and the front and rear do have issues with mud. These Ra Ra are very new and hardly used. I've less than 10 rides on them.
  • 07-09-2013
    ColinL
    In between the Nobby Nic and the Racing Ralph is the Rocket Ron. I didn't like the previous generation RoRo because the shoulder knobs were too tall and squirmy, and they tended to slip or even rip off entirely cornering at the limit on hardpack. However, the Rocket Ron was redone in 2013 to address that concern and make other improvements.

    Agree on the wet roots-- very tough for any tire. You can mitigate with momentum and well-timed pedaling efforts. There is no doubt in my mind that a soft compound helps, however. So you'd certainly expect the trailstar to be better although I haven't personally done any back-to-back tests.
  • 07-09-2013
    moefosho
    I have some nobby nic evo ust and at low pressure they have amazing grip in just about anything I have put them through. I am a big fan of the amount of cornering grip that they give and how light they are. They wear pretty quick, but I think they are worth it.
  • 07-09-2013
    morkys
    I should clarify that I don't think any tire will help me over wet roots. I should have separated those two problems. Wet for mud and slippery dirt conditions, and dry to damp roots. I think I will give the NN a try at some point. I'll keep the Ro Ro in mind to.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    I have some nobby nic evo ust and at low pressure they have amazing grip in just about anything I have put them through. I am a big fan of the amount of cornering grip that they give and how light they are. They wear pretty quick, but I think they are worth it.

    Pacestar or Trailstar?
  • 07-09-2013
    Vulcanius
    I run a Captain Control on the front and absolutely love it, though when it's done I plan to give the Nobby Nics a try. On the back I used to run a RaRa but due to living in the southeast during an especially wet year I swapped it out for a RoRo. The RaRa would pack up with mud very quickly and never shed it so it turned into a racing slick. The RoRo is a bit better at handling mud, but is still not great.
  • 07-10-2013
    primoz
    I didn't use Nobby Nic enough to tell much about it, since it was just too slow for me. So until now, my combo was Racing Ralph on back, and Rocket Ron on front (for last 2 weeks or so, it's Conti X-king front and Race King back). It's great combo for dry, but as soon as it gets wet (not even muddy) you fight to survive. Neither of those two tires works on wet, and Nobby Nic didn't feel all that much better either in those few rides I have been using. Now if you need it only for few kilometers to pass that wet section, and normally you ride on dry (sort of like I do), then it's no big deal. You take care a bit more through that section and that's it. But if you would regularly ride on wet, then I would say this combo is not the way to go (didn't try my current Conti tires on wet yet, and hope I won't in next month or two either, since I'm hoping for nice summer weather :))
    PS: All my Schwalbe tires until now were Evolution with PaceStar compound.
  • 07-27-2013
    guamjim
    I have AX 29er, also, that came with Racing Ralphs. My problem was that the mud we have here would pack the RaRas and jam up the bike so bad that it wouldn't even roll in the space of about 10 yards. I put on some performance grade Nobby Nics just this week, and today went miles in the same mud and never had to stop to clear mud from the tires and bike once. And even as a relative NOOB, I could feel a significant improvement in control over the course in general. I think I'll save the RaRas for races in dry conditions.
  • 07-27-2013
    mountainbiker24
    Tire compounds have more to do with traction on wet roots and rocks than tread, in my experience. Go with a softer compound, such as Continental's Black Chili. I'm not all that familiar with Schwalbe's compounds, but I'd look into that.