Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29er Tire

3.81/5 (47 Reviews)
MSRP : $65.49

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Product Description

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.

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Reviews 1 - 15 (47 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jimmy Lewis

Date Reviewed: September 6, 2014

Strengths:    Incredible cornering and climbing traction for such a fast rolling tire

Superior lack of rolling resistance

Light weight

Weaknesses:    Sidewalls are a bit thin and may be prone to flats. (But if you want a very lightweight tire, then this shouldn't matter to you)

Bottom Line:   
Let me start off by saying I am an OCD freak when it comes to mountain bike tires. I have bought and tested about 8 of the most popular 29er XC tires on the market and the Shcwalbe Racing Ralph is by no doubt the greatest 29er tire I have ever had.

I ride in SoCal where loose gravel over hardpack is common in all the trails around here. Having a front tire that grips well in the corners is essential here, if you want to prevent a wash out. Of all the tires I have tried the Racing Ralphs by no doubt deliver the best cornering capabilities. It is a very confidence inspiring tires for when your going fast down the trails and encounter a sharp flat corner without a berm. These tires literally bite down on the dirt.

It gets better! These tires hardly have any rolling resistance!!! Of all the tires I have tested out again these were the fastest ones. It almost feels like a smooth and fast road bike tire made for the mountains! It's also very lightweight (which may not be practical if you're riding rough trails where you can encounter jagged rocks). However if you're a climber that wants to go as fast as possible with minimal rolling resistance and need superior cornering traction at the same time the Racing Ralphs will not disappoint you! I am shocked to see that such a lightweight and fast rolling tire can also provide such amazing cornering traction.

I am a dedicated XC racer and have won many races using these tires. I refuse to ride with any other tire!

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by nicolasswid

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2014

Strengths:    Weight
Rolls fast
Grip in hardpack

Weaknesses:    Grip in loose
a bit fragile on rocky condition

Bottom Line:   
This is a very good tire, light, rolls fast, sidewalls are flexible and tire is very supple, runs well at low pressure. It's predictable. People s say life is short, I think it's OK but the tire begin too look worn quicly due to the layer of soft gum wearing, but the tire keeps rolling. Had the snakeskin version which I recommend for tubeless, as it hve only a few grams more, and the sidewalls keeps flexible. Even with the snakeskin, it's not a tough tire, and not the ideal on rocky trails, had a few holes, I had to change for something beefier.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by alonso

Date Reviewed: November 15, 2013

Strengths:    light and cornering, good for rocks and roots

Weaknesses:    not to fast, weak material

Bottom Line:   
it is a very good tire but .......

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by GranvilleGravel a Racer

Date Reviewed: August 6, 2013

Strengths:    Relatively light, decent all-around tire for different conditions.

Weaknesses:    Two flats during an important race! :(

Bottom Line:   
I've been racing these tires in NUE 100 milers for several years, running them tubeless for the last two years. I typically get a pair to last for a whole season and haven't had any major issues until the latest race. In the Wilderness 101 -- known for its bountiful rock gardens -- I tore holes in both the front and rear on the same high speed, rocky descent. Having only one tube, I was SOL until another good soul threw me a tube. I think I will still trust these for "regular" races, but switch to something heftier for the W101 next year. The first set I ran tubeless weren't specifically made for that purpose -- it took a good amount of sealant to get the sidewalls to stop bubbling air. The newest pair are tubeless specific, but these are the ones that ripped one the rocks. Not sure if they tried to make them lighter or if I just had bad luck on these newest ones.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Matthew Glagola

Date Reviewed: June 14, 2013

Strengths:    Good grip, light?

Weaknesses:    Tire is vulnerable to punctures and sidewall tears

Bottom Line:   
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.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Adventurer 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.

Bottom Line:   
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%.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   8 hours

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Michael a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: March 2, 2013

Strengths:    Lightweight, great grip, no tear issues so far!

Weaknesses:    None yet- after reading reviews just waiting for a ripped sidewall...

Bottom Line:   
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!

Expand full review >>

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

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jes

Date Reviewed: February 26, 2013

Strengths:    Grip and speed and light?? You get what you pay for. And tubeless ready.

Weaknesses:    Pricey

Bottom Line:   
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.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by 292beach

Date Reviewed: January 22, 2013

Strengths:    lite tires

Weaknesses:    I tore the front tire on my second ride with these. The replacement has been better so far.

Bottom Line:   
I would spend my money elsewhere.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 year

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Grant Dempsey

Date Reviewed: November 2, 2012

Strengths:    Light weight
Racing tire

Weaknesses:    Not so good on hard pack
Wear very quickly
Sidewalls thin and cut easily

Bottom Line:   
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

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by yeayup 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Stephen Feher

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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by robert cantrell

Date Reviewed: August 15, 2012

Strengths:    dont no side blow out 3rd ride on a fire road climbing [ 80$ tire ]

Weaknesses:    same as strength

Bottom Line:   
not happy

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by PedalPirate a Racer

Date Reviewed: May 28, 2012

Strengths:    Predictable and sure footed traction
OME on my new bike

Weaknesses:    Paper thin
Wear quickly
sidewall construction

Bottom Line:   
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)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   they're all fun!

Similar Products Used:   Hutchison Pythons
Maxxis Ignitors
Maxxis Crossmarks

Bike Setup:   stock 2012 Cannondale Scalpel 29er carbon 1

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by milletman 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).

Bottom Line:   
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.

Make SURE you add this to your tool box:

Good tire, but not good enough for me to not try the Saguaro or AKA folding tubeless....or maybe the IKON........

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dry Fast Ones

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   Action Bikes San Ant

Similar Products Used:   Conti XKings, Moto Raptors, Mutano Raptors, SB8s, Wolverines, Saguaros, Schwalbe RRs

Bike Setup:   Raleigh XXIX+G, Sun Black Flag Pros, TimeClipless, EC90bars....I weigh 195, bike weighs 27lb12oz

Reviews 1 - 15 (47 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Ardent vs Racing Ralph

My Niner came with Racing Ralphs, which though only about a month and a half old, are starting to lose their knobs (I've put about 500 miles on them and am not shy about locking up). I'm actually not complaining about the tires' life, but a few of my friends swear by Ardents. I ride mostly gravell ... Read More »

rocket Ron or racing Ralph for rear?

For my 650b converted Mojo SL. Can not use tall tire because it will not fit. My rear tire is now conti xking 2.2 protection, been over 6 mths, not much thread left. Front is NN 2.35, still has good life. I don't have experience with both Roro or Rara. I'm planning to get the snakeskin version 2 ... Read More »

Racing Ralph vs Rocket Ron vs..... Spec Fast Trak - my experience

This is just my experience and opinion with these 29er tires, so YMMV of course, but I wanted to start this thread because people (including myself) are always debating between the Racing Ralph and Rocket Ron as a front tire for XC racing. I like them both, but have found a new favorite - the Speci ... Read More »

Which Maxxis Ikon to get? Is Schwalbe Racing Ralph in the running?

Hello there. I am looking to get some more cush on the front of my 29er hardtail. Am thinking of upgrading from my 2.2 Ikons to the 2.35. Would the non-exo version be robust enough for the front? I weigh about 190 and run tubeless. Also does anyone have any opinions on the Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.2 ... Read More »

Racing Ralph "Lite Skin"

I bought a 29er Racing Ralph tire online and it said it was the tubeless ready version. However, instead of the tubeless ready description like the Rocket Ron box said, it says "Lite Skin". I've never even heard of this version and don't see it on Schwalbe's website. Anyone know if this is stil ... Read More »

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