Schwalbe Racing Ralph Tire

3.44/5 (90 Reviews)
Weight : 470 grams MSRP : $78.00

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Product Description

Nearly a decade ago, riders of that era's spindly XC bikes experienced the lightweight, low-profile, and high-volume ride of Schwalbe's Racing Ralphs. Chainstays lost paint, opinions swayed, and those twitchy XC bikes evolved into the trail-taming monsters that they are today. And during that...

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Reviews 1 - 15 (90 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Scott a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: February 21, 2015

Strengths:    tire is very light and fast rolling

Weaknesses:    rips very easy too thin

Bottom Line:   
i bought this tire to try out I had heard good things about the brand. Lucky for me I got this on sale. I can say it's very light, the bead on the tire is very tight. I seated the tire on tubeless carbon wheels first try. That is the only thing good I can say about the tire. I rode on it twice. The second ride while riding on 1/4 stretch of road a stick punctured the tire. It agent straight through between the tread. The sealent would not stop this leak. I had to put a tube inside. Unfortunately I rode another few miles on the trail and suffered a pinch flat with two holes in the tube. I was not riding hard just going down hill on a pretty normal trail for SoCal. In conclusion I would never buy these tires again. For the price at $80 a tire there is no excuse for them to fail like this on the second ride. I'm glad I got it on sale, maybe that is why!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   This tie two rides

Similar Products Used:   maxxis Ikon

Bike Setup:   santa Cruz tall boy Ltc

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by canuck_tacoma

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2015

Strengths:    Non-Snakeskin.....Very predictable, light, and fast rolling.

Weaknesses:    Didn't like them tubeless...not enough support...sidewall too weak. It's a super light race tire so I can't really complain too much. I'm going to try the snakeskin version out because I like everything else about the tire.

Bottom Line:   
It's a great tire for XC racing and if you use it for that. I find the sidewall too weak for my tastes so I will be trying the Snakeskin version next. Personally I would roll them with Double Protection and take the weight penalty if I could find them in stock. Hopefully the snakeskin is enough. I'll report back in a few months.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by marco tarafa

Date Reviewed: October 15, 2014

Strengths:    Great grip on wet and dry conditions

Weaknesses:    difficult to seal with the stans sealant and it came with some odd imperfections on the side wall.

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the Liteskin version on 2.25 Racing Ralph. I had much trouble sealing this tire I ended up sticking in some water to be able to find all the side wall leaks. some say its tubeless ready but its not as the manufacture told me after I purchased. they say the orange sealant is better than the stans for this tire. there is no weight savings from the regular tubeless ready one that seals perfect. after finally finding and sealing all the holes it was stored for 2 days and then I went riding and lost 50 of the air while riding and now I cant find any holes? trying to return to LBS.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by lsimoes

Date Reviewed: September 21, 2014

Strengths:    Bought it on sales, so price
Low rolling drag

Weaknesses:    Too soft, and thin rubber!
Even using magic/rapid seal (whatever the version), it punctures a lot!
Never I had such problems with my old tires (not under production anymore)


Bottom Line:   
I wouldn't recommend this tire to anyone

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Neuroklinika

Date Reviewed: April 3, 2014

Strengths:    Light, great rolling resistance, fast.

Weaknesses:    Thin sidewalls, corner knobs extreme wear.

Bottom Line:   
Schwalbe RR EVO 29 2.1
This tire is made out of a very soft rubber compound but after 3-4 rides I noticed the rear tire becoming of age. I'm very heavy rider 250+ so I will try to be objective considering this fact. I guess its a good tire for the speed freaks out there but I would not recommend it for highly technical and climbing trails. It can work well as a rear but for low to mid weight riders. Rock gardens are not this tires specialty because of the thin sidewalls, also the corner knobs ware out very fast.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Varaxis a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: March 5, 2014

Strengths:    Fast
Low rolling resistance
Very light for a 29x2.4
Decent traction

Weaknesses:    Flat-prone
SnakeSkin didn't save it from sidewall failure
Flimsy casing and stretchy bead
Very porous

Bottom Line:   
Got the EVO PaceStar SnakeSkin 29x2.4 version, which claimed to be 595g. Ran it tubeless happily for about 200 miles, but it oddly needed a sealant top off already. Sidewalls were webbed with sealant and a nice sized Stan's "booger" was bouncing around. About a dozen rides later, I burped it landing a drop a little sidewalls and that surprisingly tore the sidewall a little (under 1" long). All the sealant inside was dry too, with an even bigger "booger" that drew a gallery which took pics of it. Threw in a tube and it flatted within 2 rides, as did the next tube. Tried to see if Orange Seal could plug the sidewall after trying to cover it with some 1" wide gorilla tape, but no go. Looking at the tire and looking how to save it, perhaps with a needle and floss to stitch it, but it's been nothing but trouble. Recalling the times I washed out the front, but saved myself...

Only switched since I thought a 2.4 would be cool up front, but it turned out to be not be any better than a 2.2 Ikon.

Expand full review >>

Purchased At:   Backcountry

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by robbieb80

Date Reviewed: February 9, 2014

Strengths:    Extreme handling and exceptional grip

Weaknesses:    Not light.

Bottom Line:   
These tires have boosted my confidence on the trail more than any other tire I have used, and I have tried plenty.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Rob a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: December 4, 2013

Strengths:    Lightweight
Supple and soaks up small bumps
sealed up well tubeless
large volume for stated size

Weaknesses:    tears very easily
ok grip, maybe not for heavier riders

Bottom Line:   
I got this tire because I wanted something lighter than the Kenda Slant Sixes that came on my bike. I rode the tire for months as a rear tire and liked it although it didn't seem overly grippy but it was definitely lighter. After riding locally here in NJ on mostly hardback roots trails I took my bike with Ralph on the back to PA and rode a rocky trail called Blue Marsh. Well, that was the end of Ralph, not one but two gashes and one gash wasn't even the sidewall but rather in the tread area. I don't considering myself an aggressive or hard rider and this is the first time I ever and a tire rip like that. I contacted Schwalbe and in their defense they did send me another Ralph which I've now setup tubeless as a rear tire on my bike. I'm running it at 25psi on my 29er and I like it quite a bit, I just won't take it on rocky trails but for rooty bumpy stuff it seems quite good. In summation I'd say it's a worthy candidate if you're looking for a lightweight tire and don't ride really rough stuff but if you ride anywhere with rocks it'll surely destroy your Ralph. I didn't have the snakeskin sidewall and my Ralph weighed in at the manufacturer's listed weight.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   5 months

Purchased At:   Planet Bike NJ

Bike Setup:   Pivot Mach 429 Carbon, Syntace W35 wheels, Fox Float 32 120mm @ 70psi, 18psi front tire, 25psi rear

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by croatiansensation

Date Reviewed: November 4, 2013

Strengths:    - Light tire with a large volume carcass.
- Low rolling resistance; feel like they will roll for days once you get going.
- Super easy to mount up tubeless. I got them to seat with a floor pump
- Good grip as a rear tire at lower pressures.

Weaknesses:    - Weak and very porous tire carcass. After about a month I already have quite a few sidewall cuts. Also, they ended up being impossible to run tubeless for long periods because the sealant would dry out in a few weeks due to the porous sidewalls..
- Extremely fast wearing. The center knobs look like they are crumbling and the inside edges of the side knobs are all torn out after about two months of riding.
- Absolutely terrifying as a front tire. Constantly feels like it is on the edge of washing out.

Bottom Line:   
These tires came with the stock build of my 2013 RIP 9, and are the "Performance" grade of the 29'er Racing Ralph. I definitely do not recommend them. They check all the boxes when it comes to the typical Schwalbe complaints: Fast wearing, fragile, and a bit sketchy in the handling department. Though to be fair, I think in my case the "budget" carcass and tire compound are what let this tire down. I have a TrailStar/Snakeskin/tubeless-ready Hans Dampf as a front tire, and it does not suffer from these issues (great, great front tire by the way). Also, I kind of liked them as a rear tire at around 25 PSI, lots of grip for so little tread.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by George a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: September 25, 2013

Strengths:    grip is just fine, as a 1.95

Weaknesses:    EXTREMELY EASILY punctured. VERY THIN sidewall

Bottom Line:   
this tyre came from my 2012 giant anthem, the first 4 rides is fine, I don't push it too hard as the new break didn't perform well.
The front tyre flat at the firth ride when fast speed downhill, changed a self healing tube.
Yesterday, the rear tyre flat at the same downhill section, changed a normal tube and flattened in 3 minutes again! Of course I have checked the inside when fixing.

Im regular to this track , used to use maxxis high roller, never has any issue. Every time u ride here will always meet some riders. if the track doesn't suit ridding why it's so popular?

the sidewall is really so thin, can easily find where is broken cut by the rocks. if the track you ride has small and sharp rocks, it will happen some day...

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   100km

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by aspiringmechanic

Date Reviewed: September 10, 2013

Strengths:    Good traction when laid over, good on climbs, rolls pretty well

Weaknesses:    I would say weight, but these came stock on my giant anthem 29er 2. I do wish it was closer to 400 grams, but you can only get so light with tires before you lose it's desirable characteristics.

Bottom Line:   
Like I said, this came stock on my anthem. I ride/race very aggressively, and I love to lay these tires into the turns. I have heard some bad things about tearing sidewalls on shwalbe tires, but these tires have over 500 miles of aggressive riding on them and show no damage. I run them with tubes between 32-35 p.s.i. So far so good! I do wish they were lighter though, me being an XC rider at heart.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Kris Kaup

Date Reviewed: August 31, 2013

Strengths:    Cheap

Weaknesses:    Terrible for climbs came with my niner jet would neve recommend. Wtb exiwolf with nano raptor up front bet grip I've had to date

Bottom Line:   

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by TropicalPassage a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: April 21, 2013

Strengths:    Light weight. Fast.

Weaknesses:    Durability. Air leak (I run tubeless).

Bottom Line:   
These tires came with my Giant XTC 29er. When new, everything is good but after using for a year, the rear tire knobs are beginning to tear. The rubber is also starting to harden as I can see more cracks appearing after each ride. This bike is only used for XC rides and I would use my other bike - a full-suss for technical single track rides. Given that I don't use this bike often, the wear is considerably fast.

The side wall on both tires are also worn (white thread under the rubber is beginning to show). As mentioned, I only use this for XC rides. I am really puzzled about this and wonder if the rubber actually degrade by itself.

Since I am running tubeless, the tire used to be able to hold the same amount of pressure for 2 weeks. Nowadays, it would loose about 10psi after 4 days.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by SlowriderAZ a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: April 18, 2013

Strengths:    Fast rolling and light

Weaknesses:    Easily punctured. Burps often when tubeless. Expensive.

Bottom Line:   
I got these when I got my new Intense Carbine 275. Been thru two rears since December 2012. Thin sidewalks can't handle rocky terrain. Poor traction during technical climbs. Rocks go right thru these weak tires. Very disappointing for the price. Don't waste your time or money. There are other tires that roll fast and more durable.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Captains, Specialized Purgatory, Maxxis Ardent,

Bike Setup:   Intense Carbine 274, Fox 34 CTD Kashima fork, Fox CTD Kashima shock, i9 Torch hubs with Trail 24 rims.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Alex

Date Reviewed: March 15, 2013

Strengths:    Light, solid grip ('bite') on trail surface - even loose terrain

Weaknesses:    Flimsy, thin sidewalls = CONSISTENTLY unreliable durability

Bottom Line:   
As a racing tire, I will start by admitting that the RR has a great balance between strong handling/performance characteristics (great trail hook-up, with either high or low air pressure) and weight. There's just enough tread to make for a comfortable ride on looser/technical terrain. But in my many experiences with the RR, these pros are outweighed by unreliable durability - consistently. I've tried to give these guys the benefit of the doubt and run the RR from time to time on my race bike, and I literally haven't gotten more than 3 rides out of a set before tearing a sidewall or sometimes even puncturing the tire around some of the knobs. It's worth mentioning that I'm not an aggressive rider, and I'm probably pushing 145lbs wet. Most of the rides I've done on these have been ultra-XC races on what usually involve a majority forest road / double track, so these haven't really been run through anything too rocky. Now, if I saw this type of damage when running other tires, I'd be the first one to question my finesse and handling abilities, but I rarely have problems with other brands - especially related to sidewall damage. For example, I've been running a set of Ikons (EXO) on my SS bike for 2 years without ever having a flat (the Stan's goo has long been dried up, and they still hold air well) - and that bike has been through some REAL singletrack! Overall, I could care less about weight / handling if I can't trust the durability during a race. I'd much rather run something heavier and sacrifice a few seconds/minutes difference over a 100 miles than blow out a sidewall and end the day prematurely. If these were $50 tires, fine - at least the durability would be reflected in a more reasonable price. But for $85-90 a pop, these have become the butt of a joke around my local trails ("Ha - you blew up your Schwalbe Racing Ralph [or even worse, Furious Fred] tire during a road ride - you should have known better than to run those in the first place!")

Reviews 1 - 15 (90 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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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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