Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Schwalbe Racing Ralph

I've been running the Racing Ralphs for over a year now and here are some thoughts on these sneakers. The Racing Ralph's I currently use are tubeless ready and have a 127tpi EVO casing which makes them extremely supple. I run the 2.10 X 29 which comes in at 495 grams, the 2.25's come in at 535 grams per Schwalbe's web site.  If you typically ride in fast, dry conditions the Racing Ralph is a great choice for XC events. Rolling resistance is excellent and a strong point of the tire. Once in the wet they become rather slick and require low low pressures. Since going tubeless I can now run easily in the low 20's if I need to with no burping of the tire rim. The sidewalls are a little thin but I've never sliced one either, in fact I did puncture a sidewall with a good size hole but the slime sealant did the trick. All in all a very good tire but their racing intended so durability could be a question. To offset the durability factor I highly recommend running these tubeless as they feel like a different tire and I haven't flatted yet in tubeless form. If you are running tubeless don't fill your tire over 35 lbs. (Schwalbe recommends this) as the sealant will seep out around the rims. If you want extra protection Schwalbe makes a Snakeskin version of the Racing Ralphs which adds 40 to 50 grams per tire and has a more durable sidewall. Here in Connecticut we have the luxury of having lots of sharp rocks or sometimes referred to as axe heads, so if they hold up here I imagine they'll be fine elsewhere.

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