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  1. #26
    Austin, Texas
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    Melting Feather talked me into Racing Ralphs awhile back. I found out real quick that they don't respond well to hardpack with loose small rock covered with live oak leaves. Slid right into second I did! After riding them for quite awhile, it seems to me that being more aggressive in the corners with them actually helped. It was that semi-mid leaned over that seemed the slickest, but get past that and it sticks mo' bettah. I am about to build up a bike and ordered a pair of the new RRalphs with a bit more tread on them.

  2. #27
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowler1 View Post
    Do any of you use the Racing Ralph as an all-around tire? I have for a few months and really like it for the most part, but most of my riding is on dry trails.

    I have read reviews of this tire (and other Schwalbe tires) and all have very mixed reviews. . From the reviews I have read it about the Ralphs, it seems that some people say they use these tires for all sorts of riding and others say they should only be used for racing.


    While I have been lucky enough to be able to ride in dry and fairly benign conditions where I live in Williamsburg, VA, but I am planning to make some trips out to other parts of the state and down to Asheville, NC to ride Pisgah / Dupont here this spring.

    As a result I am concerned that these tires may not perform optimally in such varied conditions and I am a little leery of the possibility of a sidewall cut on a trip on an epic trip away from home.

    On the other hand, I have not really had any problems as of yet with the Racing Ralphs other than some so so performance in damp conditions.

    Just curious to hear your opinion.

    I do love the way they roll so fast though!


    Matt
    First, I would not trust the non-snakeskin versions. Paper thin, mine lasted 8 rides. I live in western VA, lots of rocks and roots, but not much sharp stuff. The Snake-skin version has been doing well, though.

    I think the RR is a legit choice for the rear if you want something pretty fast, but the 2.4 I had in the front was lacking, IMO. I like something with more tread up front. I run a 2.25" RR in the rear of my 29er HT for the past year or so, though I do change it out if it is going to be snowy or sloppy in the winter.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd look at something grippier up front, and see how the RR does for you in the rear. The rolling resistance is going to matter less in the front as in the rear.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  3. #28
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    I just ordered a set of Rocket Rons off of Amazon for a pretty amazing price...

    Went with the 2.25 front and rear. My biggest concern is fitting the 2.25 in the rear of my Moots hardtail- but I've been told it should be fine.

    I've been running the Fire XC Pro for years, wanted to try something different.

  4. #29
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    I have been using ralph at the rear and rons in front with great success. Using tubeless on a AC classic race rims and about 20-25 psi.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonub View Post
    I have been using ralph at the rear and rons in front with great success. Using tubeless on a AC classic race rims and about 20-25 psi.
    Ditto on AC race 29s. I want a 2.35x29 RoRo though!!!

  6. #31
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    Been using Racing Ralphs for that last couple years, first on my 26er SS and then on my 29er (after a short fling w/Maxxis Ikon's). I am ~170 and ride a rigid SS. I don't believe in using a different tire for racing unless it is just a fresh set of the same set of tires I always use (just newer and less beat up). When I ran front suspension I had 2.25 RaRa EVO Snakeskins front and rear. Since I went rigid (2 months ago) I have been using a 2.35 RaRa up front with the 2.25 on back. This setup has been solid here in NorCal (Auburn area) trails that include loose over hard, mud, hard, sharp-jagged-rocky etc (not a lot of roots though). I have only tore one sidewall, and that was almost a year ago in the mountains of NC (during an event, damnit!). I love this tire, but it seems that I am always searching for a replacement due to the cost (I have another thread here about that). Still, I will likely keep coming back to this tire as I have been very please with it's all-around performance as a XC tire; from the easy mounting, good volume, grip, weight, etc.(everything but cost). There is that, plus I am use to it. I know how it handles in different conditions, so I know what to expect.
    Good Luck!

  7. #32
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    Thanks for the reply.

    I ended up getting some Rocket Rons (29x2.2) and am mounting the front and rear. I had thoughts about mounting a Rocket Ron just in the front and keeping the Ra Ra in the back. I will give this setup a shot and see what I think. I still have a pretty fresh Racing Ralph that I can put on back if I choose to.

    I just hope the Rocket Rons roll nice and fast like the Racing Ralph does. I know it will be slower, but hopefully not to the point of being too noticeable.
    Matt

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowler1 View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    I ended up getting some Rocket Rons (29x2.2) and am mounting the front and rear. I had thoughts about mounting a Rocket Ron just in the front and keeping the Ra Ra in the back. I will give this setup a shot and see what I think. I still have a pretty fresh Racing Ralph that I can put on back if I choose to.

    I just hope the Rocket Rons roll nice and fast like the Racing Ralph does. I know it will be slower, but hopefully not to the point of being too noticeable.
    Matt
    Hope you went with snake skin version. My 2013 rocket ron only lasted two rides in the rear before a sidewall cut. I loved the tire though. The front is still going strong.

  9. #34
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    Yes...

    Quote Originally Posted by PainkillerSPE View Post
    Hope you went with snake skin version. My 2013 rocket ron only lasted two rides in the rear before a sidewall cut. I loved the tire though. The front is still going strong.
    Yes I got the snake skin version. My previous Ra Ra however was not snakeskin as it turns out, but never had a problem with it despite a lot of hard riding

  10. #35
    Helmetless Crasher
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    Apparently, Schwalbe has addressed the poor-cornering nature of the RaRa: Radical change for Racing Ralph | Schwalbe North America

    Should be one helluva tire if Schwalbe has executed its goal!
    '95 M2 StumpJumper FS
    '11 Cannondale RZ 120-two

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpjumpy View Post
    Apparently, Schwalbe has addressed the poor-cornering nature of the RaRa: Radical change for Racing Ralph | Schwalbe North America

    Should be one helluva tire if Schwalbe has executed its goal!
    Now they tell us. I think they owe me a helmet...

  12. #37
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    You know what, I think that link MAY be to an old Schwalbe page, pertaining to a PREVIOUS version of the tire. A buddy sent that link to me, stating what I parroted above.

    Sorry for the confusion.
    '95 M2 StumpJumper FS
    '11 Cannondale RZ 120-two

  13. #38
    agu
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpjumpy View Post
    You know what, I think that link MAY be to an old Schwalbe page, pertaining to a PREVIOUS version of the tire. A buddy sent that link to me, stating what I parroted above.

    Sorry for the confusion.
    Might indeed be an old link, as the latest Racing Ralph model is HS425. The link above showed the Racing Ralph HS391 (which is now renamed as the Rapid Rob).

    Interesting read though, and it also seems that Schwalbe has gone through 3 versions of the Racing Ralph.

    I've used the HS425's as a 29x2.35 front, matched to a 29x2.25 rear, no problems with traction...though the rear sidewalls have been "skinned" a bit due to a muddy race. I've now got a 29x2.4 (now discontinued) for front use, and will move the 2.35 to the rear. Haven't mounted them yet, though. (Saving them for racing or fast rides hehe)

  14. #39
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    So, I punctured my RaRa today flying down a narrow, rocky (sharp, jagged type) trail. It was punctured in the center of the tire. I noticed before the ride that the tire was a bit low on air, and I even pointed out to my riding partner that it was about time for a new tire as the tread was looking pretty warn on this one (tire is over a year old with a best guess of ~1600 miles). So, low air pressure + low tread + fast rocky decent = flat tire. If I had enough Stans, it might have fixed itself, but I was maybe 3/4 mile from the end of the ride, so I just hoofed it out rather than putting a tube in a tire I am going to replace. I will be staying with the 2.35 RaRa up front, but have a Michelin Wild Grip'R (tubeless ready) that I want to give a long look at. Will likely go back to the RaRa at some point, or who knows, maybe I'll give the RoRo or NoNi a look.

  15. #40
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    I'm coming off Mountain Kings (older version) which I liked quite a bit. Good all rounder. I don't like the looks of the tread on the newer MK2's so I'm looking around. Seems the RoRos might be a good fit? Perhaps a little faster with just a little less grip? How do they perform in the sand?

  16. #41
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    I run them tubeless on my bike and like them for what i do.Whiting and stt.I just picked up another for the front yesterday(replacing kenda slant6) they were on sale for 30 bucks and are the newer versions.

    The rears been on for a few months already.Its been tubeless for atleast 2 months.Both are not the tl ready ones just the performance line.

  17. #42
    g3h6o3
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    RaRas have been my all around tire on my XC bike when conditions are dry or humid. I rode it in wetter conditions as well and found it to be decent or at least better than expected. Moving to a more AM setup, I'm thinking of a RaRa for the rear but looking for more thread on the front.

    Conditions here are rocky with a lot of roots and I would call the dirt "organic sand" (mix of sand and dirt)
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  18. #43
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    Hi all,
    I'd like to ask about similar tyre setup but didn't want to start a new thread because I think there are enough of it. I ride a 80mm hardtail bike with a not too good fork and I use schwalbe smart sams in 2.1 size. They are surprisingly good, but I want something bigger that fits on 17mm rims and takes some pressure off the wheels, because I'm afraid that due the lack of the suspension they won't last long.
    So the tyres should be:
    -2.25 or 2.3 size
    -small rolling resistance
    -good grip in corners and uphill
    -last long (the mountain is 10km away from me on concrete)
    -decent protection against glass and spikes
    -on the front grippier
    -on the rear less rolling resistance

  19. #44
    g3h6o3
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    I would not run wider than 2.1 tires on 17mm rims FWIW.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  20. #45
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    Schwalbe Racing Ralphs as an All Around Tire???

    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil View Post
    I would not run wider than 2.1 tires on 17mm rims FWIW.
    I do it all the time with no significant issues, even on narrower rims. Some tires work better than others, mostly tread design related.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  21. #46
    ~Reformed Mechanic~
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    RaRa is a personal fav all arounder of me also only rear though. I bombed the hell outa pisgah and DuPont with them. They wear fast so be prepared to shell out $200 per season on 1 side of your bike. For that reason Im looking for a new rear tire this season...

    FYI - if your not a VERY confident rider I wouldn't use them in the mountains. MANY people talk about how fragile they are. Although Ive never cut a non SS in the rough in 3 years.
    I do all my own stunts, but never intentionally...

  22. #47
    g3h6o3
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    It was not working well for me on XC717 rims a while back but maybe it's fine with tires which have sidewall protection.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  23. #48
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    Ok, it looks like racing ralph isn't for me because of the costs and the grip. What do you think about Conti X-King 2.2 (racesport or protection whatever) rear and MKII 2.2 protection front?

  24. #49
    g3h6o3
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    In my local conditions, the RaRa was better than XKing on the rear. Overall however, I don't dislike the Conti but it's not as versatile.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  25. #50
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    Okay then. What could you recommend to use on rocky trails? Something versatile. My local trails are quite rocky. Nobby Nics or MKIIs on both end?

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