Surprisingly lightweight, the Schwalbe Racing Ralph TL Ready 29 is made for exactly what it's name says -- racing. It's Schwalbe's most successful race tire ever, and it's fast enough that you'll wonder if you're on Furious Freds, though it's far more durable. In comparison to the Rocket Ron, this tread pattern that's designed for flat-out speed means that its ultimate grip is less, but not by much. When you lay into the turns, an increase of open space through the transition knobs allows them to dig in and grip the trail. The secret to optimizing the Racing Ralph's performance wherever possible with regards to grip, durability, and rolling resistance is Schwalbe's Pacestar Triple Compound rubber. Its cornering is outstanding thanks in part to the soft rubber compound and to the U-shaped tread blocks on the shoulders. They're angled 20 degrees or so towards the outside of the tire, with siping that doesn't quite divide the block, creating the "U". These siped U-Blocks can deform easily and mold over the trail surface, working to counteract the lateral forces when you're cornering hard.The tire is designed to be tubeless ready (TL), which means you can say goodbye to pinch flats. A tubeless system allows you to run less air pressure, again enhancing the grip of the tire's tread. Better traction, less vibration, and no flats lead to a great ride. It's necessary to use a liquid sealant within the tire to seal the bead seat and to quickly seal thorn or debris punctures on the trail. The Schwalbe Racing Ralph TL Ready 29 is available in 29 x 2.25" or 29 x 2.4" widths.Tubeless 101: The Why and the How Explained.
Weaknesses: Tire is vulnerable to punctures and sidewall tears
I love the tire except that like other reviewers have noticed, it takes a lot of sealant to make them seal up, the sidewalls are weak, and really, I've destroyed a couple of them well before the tread wore out. That's not good.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 5, 2013
Strengths: Low rolling resistance, light and fast.
Weaknesses: Very dangerous tyre. I had the tyre roll off the rim at 40kph and was lucky to be alive.
I got this tyre with my recently purchased Giant Anthem 29er. At first I thought the tyre was fantastic with the speed, grip on the dirt (dry) and low noise on the asphalt. I jumped a kerb and got a pinch flat. Not something I've had before, but put it down to thin tubes. Thicker tubes (Schwalbe) & got another one on the rocks. Tyre pressure at 30psi. Anyway I tried out the tubeless system using Stans NoTubes and found that the tyres would stay up a day and then go down. I put this down to the loose tolerance - the tyre literally falls on the rim and the thin walls of the tyre. I went back to tubes on a ride due to a deflation, carefully drying out the casing and rim, (an yes it was dry and yes the tube was properly inserted) All was good until one high speed run down hill and a slight nudge on the gravel. The tyre popped off the front rim at 40 + kph and I rolled several times, luckily into a grassy verge. These tyres in my books are extremely dangerous and should be removed from the market. Never have I had such an experience and hopefully never again. The next day I bought some Kenda Nevegals and can say my confidence improved 100%.
Strengths: Lightweight, great grip, no tear issues so far!
Weaknesses: None yet- after reading reviews just waiting for a ripped sidewall...
I recently bought a bike that included these stock. I had demoed a few other bikes, all with tubes (I wish shops would demo tubeless!) and was frustrated with all the tires I used- either they bounced all over the place, I got pinch flats, or both. These tires (tubeless) have been a key component of making my C'dale flash 29er a blast. Providing a bit of suspension and great grip. I run the front at about 26 and the rear about 32 psi. On one of the first rides I got a bad puncture probably from a nail, and new to tubeless, threw in a tube to ride home. Then I brought the tire to the shop to complain, and with fresh stans, they showed me that the tire was basically good as new.
Recently rode with too little pressure in the snow. Felt great, although I also felt the rims touch a few obstacles. Still have not had a burping issue, although my pressure in front is sometimes in the low 20s by the end of a longer ride when I haven't added Stans in a while.
These tires leave me feeling fast, confident, and in control climbing, cornering, and braking. Only tire I've ever preferred was a Continental Mountain King 2.2, which saved me from pinchflats in Moab. Also really liked the panaracer XC Fire Pro (2.1?), but with less stiff sidewalls and a tube, they were a pain to deal with- pinches too frequent and very hard to get on and off rim. Tubeless is so great!
Favorite Trail: With this bike, the Wissahickon in Philly
Duration Product Used: ~250 hours
Purchased At: Keswick Cycle
Similar Products Used: S-works renegade (no fun) Conti Mountain King 2.2 (great, used with tube) Panaracer XC Fire Pro (good, glad not to have it anymore)
Bike Setup: 2011 Carbon Flash 29er, These guys are tubeless
Date Reviewed: February 26, 2013
Strengths: Grip and speed and light?? You get what you pay for. And tubeless ready.
This tire will handle everything but the most brutal rock gardens where more meat is needed. If these aren't grippy enough for you then it is probably pilot error. Pull up on the bars and you can climb a tree.
Weaknesses: Not so good on hard pack
Wear very quickly
Sidewalls thin and cut easily
I got these on a new Giant Anthem 29er and struggled to get them working well. I ride mostly hard pack and rocky trails and these are definitely not suited to that. They are a racing tire so I guess that is their strength so if you ride softer terrain then these might be for you
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 27, 2012
Strengths: very lightweight tire, grips well, very high rolling resistance++++, and converts to tubeless easily. the price at amazon is good for the quality. I think with s&h you get it for 45 -50 bucks
i road this tire front and rear. I think its a good rear tire and decent front.
Weaknesses: sidewalls will be destroyed if you ride it throw any rock garden. I ride fair hill, md and this place does not have much to offer for rock gardens and the side walls were torn by rocks there on both tires on two different occasions.
lightweight tires also wear down fast. consider these tires for 4-6months of riding if you ride 3x a week and thats their life span.
If your looking for lightweight and rolling resistant tires, then this is the tire you want. rock gardens will eat your tires because all it takes is one mistake and rub against a rock at a decent speed and you have yourself a flat tire.
Date Reviewed: August 31, 2012
Strengths: This tire is fast, and though the knobs aren't big it grips well in most situations I encounter in the desert Southwest. These came on a new 29er I bought to replace my old bike that broke a top tube in a fall I took. I had Kenda Nevegal in the front and really liked that, and this new bike is so much faster downhill and I don't know if it's the bike, the tires, or the combination.
Weaknesses: The grip is not good on hard pack with some sand, as is the case where I ride, especially after rain. The front wheel wants to slide out in broad turns I'm taking fast. This didn't happen with the Nevegal. Also, for small knobs, it picks up rocks a lot more than before, either hitting the down tube, and this morning, a small rock landed in my helmet, a first for me. Rocks seem to get picked up and hit the rims also.
Overall it's an OK tire, but I will switch to other tires as these wear. The bike shop where I bought the bikes loves these, as they are quite expensive and people seem not to waver paying about $90 apiece, much more than I'm willing to pay for tires that have these limitations. Actually, much more than I am willing to pay for any bike tire. I pay more than twice as much for motorcycle tires, but I go five times as fast on those.
Date Reviewed: August 15, 2012
Strengths: dont no side blow out 3rd ride on a fire road climbing [ 80$ tire ]
Weaknesses: same as strength
Date Reviewed: May 28, 2012
Strengths: Predictable and sure footed traction
OME on my new bike
Weaknesses: Paper thin
I have the tubless ready version. These tire "stick" to the gournd. Some of the best XC tires for cornering I've ridden. However, I've had to use over three times the amount of Stan's to seal them up. The first round of sealant shot out of the sidewalls like someone stepped on the tires with golf shoes. Second round of sealant still had rivers of sealant streaming down the seam where the tire tread meets the sidewall. After 100 miles (no pavement) the rear is already showing sign of wear. Ran over a larger rock and ripped a 1/2" hole in the tread stan's can't seal; so now they're in the trash. I love the way these tires feel and corner, but I can't justify sealing them three times to so they'll hold air, nor replacing them after runnning over a rock. Good-bye Racing Ralph, Hello Maxxis Ignitors (my trusted tires for over 3 years)
Similar Products Used: Hutchison Pythons
Bike Setup: stock 2012 Cannondale Scalpel 29er carbon 1
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2012
Strengths: Light weight, EASY tubeless set up (seat and seal well on sun Black Flag Pros..even with hand pump).
Weaknesses: Puncture resistance poor. I have the snakeskin version, no sidewall problems, but I have gashed the tops of the tires twice (Comfort TX, McCallister Park San Antonio) on loose rock. One gash 1/8" wide, the other 3/8".....Stan's will NOT seal these. If you run these, keep one of these in your tool box (I got at O'reilly auto for $2 and some change):
I have successfully patched my rear tire twice. Get the rubber clean and dry (towel and spit worked to get Stan's residue off....alcohol wipes would be better), don't abrade the rubber much b4 applying rubber glue as you get to the threadcasing immediately (tires are THIN).
I have the 2.2Snakeskins set up tubeless on Sun BF Pro wheels. Breeze to install, no burps or blowoffs in 650+ miles. Traction good in rocks and good/decent overall, I don't find this tread pattern so stellar compared to Wolverines or Saguaros......but the lower/weight quick/spin-up out of a slightly slower corner speed makes these faster on avg (over my WIRE bead TUBED Saguaro).
A FOLDING bead Saguaro is only a 60g penalty over this tire........cheaper, tread pattern better IMO, and more durable(based on 750 miles on Sagauros....which are barely showing wear on the R tire I might add).
I'd hate to be in a race and have my tire slashed like I have on these....been riding the same trails for years....never had a tire slash like this, at least they are patchable and not a complete wa$te.
I am impressed with TUBELESS ride in general(less bounce=more control=momentum)......I bet if this tire were set up tubed you'd find out how "average" the tread pattern really is(when you remove the tubless grip/control factors). At least the lugs don't rip off like my Conti X-Kings did (every ride pieces missing).
Decent tire overall, wouldn't race them on a course with loose/sharp shale or limestone....or equip failure might F u.
Bike Setup: Raleigh XXIX+G, Sun Black Flag Pros, TimeClipless, EC90bars....I weigh 195, bike weighs 27lb12oz
a Cross Country Rider
from St. Louis, MO, USA
Date Reviewed: April 9, 2012
Strengths: Weight, Made to be run tubeless
Weaknesses: Sidewalls, Price
I had a guy at my bike shop tell me the only problem he had with Schwalbe tires was that he couldn't get enough of them. Everyone in the area who was running tubeless was using Schwalbe because they are so tough and can't be flatted. Even at $85 people came running to by when a new shipment arrived. I thought that was interesting and went on my way with my $25 Wolverines and though nothing more of it. Then I had a sidewall tear. I have yet to wear out the tread on a mountain bike tire because of the sharp rocks that cover Missouri trails. Sidewall tears get me every time. So I went back to the shop to talk some more about the Schwalbe. The snakeskin, EVO sidewall was the way to go, according to the salesman. I went for it. I like to run tubeless, and I hate flats. I decided to run a nobby nic on the front and a racing ralph on the rear. 175 miles later, small hole in the sidewall. Big enough that Stan's couldn't seal it up. This is not a criticism of the tire. This happens to mountain bike tires. But was it worth the extra money? No way. The tires are good. If I was to do it over again, I would get a nobby nic for front and rear and reverse it on the rear. The rolling resistance on the racing ralph is great, but traction over roots and rocks while climbing is not good at all. This tire will spin and cause me to lose momentum in those spots where other tires have been fine. I think the nobby nic would handle this better. The real problem is the value. I am willing to spend more if I see a value in it. While the tire is fine, I want to fall in love with it for this price. I am not in love. I think I will go back to buying whatever OEM bargain bin tire I can find when the need arises. I can get three of those for the same price as one of these. Considering the warranty on a mountain bike tire lasts pretty much from the time you take it out of its packaging and get it onto a rim, I'm going cheap from now on.
I think if I lived in an area that is less rocky I would consider the nobby nic. You can really lean it into corners aggressively. I guess the the racing ralph would be good if you raced on courses with a lot of fire roads and prairies.
a Cross Country Rider
from boulder, co
Date Reviewed: January 15, 2012
Strengths: light, rolls fast
Weaknesses: a bit on the pricey side
rolls fast and at 570 grams each, they are light. They actually hold air well for such a light tire. Sidewalls have been duable too. Downside is price and weartime on the tread. Great for dry, or wet rocks and sand. Not a good mud tire, but acceptible. All in all, I have been suprised at how well these tires have held up, considering they are a good 100-200 grams lighter than other tires in its class.
Similar Products Used: Renegade, Butcher, Purgatory, Ikon.
Bike Setup: Stumpjumper HT Comp Carbon on American Classic rims.
from San Marcos, Texas
Date Reviewed: December 16, 2011
Strengths: excellent traction, wet rocks, loose gravel, some snow conditions, hardpack, roots, you name it...
Weaknesses: operator Error is the only weakness I've seen with this tire
I've been using this tire now for just over a year and a half and I'm on my second set. I've mainly used it for a front tire (the 2.25)I cant even count the times its saved me from sliding out taking a turn too hard or hitting a bad line, its always caught hold and kept me upright. The tread doesn't wear down as fast with the snake skin version so you don't have to worry about spending tons of $$$.
I've raced this tire in the mud, dirt, sand, lots of rock beds where I come from, even rode it in the snow at one race (although it eventually melted where the trail was and turned to mush)
I will continue to use this tire until they either stop making it or I find something better.