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  1. #1
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    Racing Ralph or Fast Trak

    Hi, looking for opinions on 29er Racing Ralphs or Fast Traks for an all around racing tire for Michigan. Currently using the Fast Traks and was wondering if there's any performance gains with the Ralphs. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Everyone will have their own opinion here of course. I personally prefer the FastTraks. The RRs roll well but didn't seem to grip as well for me.

  3. #3
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    The Racing Ralph is one of the most popular race tires in Michigan, and it is well suited to the trails. The lightweight 'Evo' casings are plenty durable for MI trails, so there is no need for the heavier 'SnakeSkin' models. I like the 2.25" width version since I can run lower pressures which helps out on the sandy courses.

    I will say that the Racing Ralph seems to be optimized as a rear tire. It has close spaced low knobs on the center of the tread which make it roll fast, but it packs with mud and it is a bit weak at braking in loose conditions. I recommend the Rocket Ron as a front tire. It has bigger and wider spaced knobs which clear mud better (still not a mud tire though) and offers better braking/steering in loose conditions. I don't mind if my rear tire slides around a bit, but I really like to have a grippier tire on the front. The rear tire carries the most weight and contributes the most to the rolling resistance, and this is why I like to use the Racing Ralph on the rear.

    I've never used a fast track, so I can't compare. I would assume that the S-Works version would roll pretty fast. Pick a tire you are confident on, because you will lose a lot more time cornering slowly than you can make up for by rolling faster on the straights.

  4. #4
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    I have rocket ron's right now on both front and rear. I like them a lot in lots of different conditions, except when my front tire washes out and I go down. That is unfortunately a big issue that I've found and have become tentative in turns.
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  5. #5
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    My vote would be for the Continental Race King supersonics. I LOVE these tires. I run the biggest size, and they have a very big casing, and short, grippy knobs that work well with the terrain. The black chili compound is grippy, and the tread profile makes for good transitions into corners.

  6. #6
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    I have a ralph on the front and fastrak LK on the rear. I didnt feel confident on the fastrak as a front at all. The ralph felt a bit more planted. But I cant say enough about the fastrak as a rear. It still suprises me how well it grips on the climbs.

  7. #7
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    I've used the Racing Ralph Evo SS and the S-Works Fast Trak on the rear. I like the Fast Trak better as it lasts longer and seems to more stable in the turns. The Racing Ralph wore out after two months of moderate use...which hurts when it costs $90.00.

  8. #8
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    I used the Fast traks for 3 seasons as my race tire. They are hard to match on hard pack, however once the trail got a little greasy or rocky, they certainly got squirmy.

    I've been using Racing Ralphs this year and I much prefer them as an all around race tire. I fell far more confident on them for whatever I might see during a race. Did a rocky/rooty race this year that was damp and they performed far better than I ever would have expected out of my Fast Traks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post
    I have rocket ron's right now on both front and rear. I like them a lot in lots of different conditions, except when my front tire washes out and I go down. That is unfortunately a big issue that I've found and have become tentative in turns.
    What pressures are you running? I use 22 psi in my front Rocket Ron, and 25 psi in the rear Racing Ralph. I am 160 lbs for reference.

    Since I use the Racing Ralph in the rear it tends to slide before the Rocket Ron up front. I much prefer this type of handling. I don't like to feel like the front tire is about to wash out either. Every tire washes out eventually, though. Cornering technique and line choice are really important also. I'm only in my 3rd year of racing and I have been working hard on that myself.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillTheGreat View Post
    What pressures are you running? I use 22 psi in my front Rocket Ron, and 25 psi in the rear Racing Ralph. I am 160 lbs for reference.

    Since I use the Racing Ralph in the rear it tends to slide before the Rocket Ron up front. I much prefer this type of handling. I don't like to feel like the front tire is about to wash out either. Every tire washes out eventually, though. Cornering technique and line choice are really important also. I'm only in my 3rd year of racing and I have been working hard on that myself.
    I've had a few people mention that tire pressure in the RR can be especially important. Thanks for the suggestion, I'm 150 or so so I'll tinker around with that. I've never been one to check my pressure on my mtb tires, I like them really really blown up for some reason. I hate the feeling of a low tire. The RR's came on my new bike and it's a 29er which is a first for me. So it could easily be a result of too much braking and how much I've turned the handlebar. I have to say that other than being a little nervous at times in certain cornering conditions, the tires are pretty amazing in every situation. I've been on them in mud, damp/slick, rocks, roots, climbing, and hardpack and they really are a solid tire.

    I should mess with the tire pressure first before I make blanket statements like I did above.
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