Schwalbe Racing Ralph Tubeless Tire

3.14/5 (29 Reviews)
Weight : 670 grams MSRP : $84.05

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Product Description

The name says it all; the Schwalbe Racing Ralph TL Ready is their most successful race tire. It's light enough to satisfy the weight weenies, and it's faster in a straight line than the Rocket Ron due to a greater concentration of knobs in the center of the tread. That the tread pattern is designed for flat-out speed means that it loses a little ground to the Rocket Ron when it comes to ultimate grip, 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 Racing Ralph uses Schwalbe's PaceStar Triple Compound, their fastest. Schwalbe engineers recognize that it's not possible for one compound to do it all, so they've combined three to optimize the tire's performance. The low-profile tread of the Racing Ralph is fast, and it's still an excellent cornering tire thanks to the U-Block shoulder tread. These tread blocks are angled at 20 degrees or so towards the outside of the tire. A small sipe doesn't quite divide the block, creating the "U" shape. They work to counteract the lateral forces endured when cornering to maintain traction and to keep the bike stable.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 is available in 26 x 2.1" or 26 x 2.25" widths.Tubeless 101: The Why and the How Explained.

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Reviews 1 - 15 (29 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Jeff

Date Reviewed: May 8, 2014

Strengths:    Lightweight tire
Hooks up well on dry terrain (rear)

Weaknesses:    Definitely abandoning these tires when going tubeless. In 6 months I have already 2 sidewall failures. They are VERY thin on the sidewalls. I do weigh 200 lbs but really 2 sidewall failures.

Bottom Line:   
In 6 months I have already 2 sidewall failures. They are VERY thin on the sidewalls. I do weigh 200 lbs but really 2 sidewall failures?

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by jeff smith

Date Reviewed: April 7, 2014

Strengths:    sealed up nicely on Stans rims, decent traction

Weaknesses:    like so many others, I experienced sidewall failure all too soon - especially for such a high-dollar tire

Bottom Line:   
Had this mounted tubeless on the rear on a carbon Tallboy and it seemed to do O.K. as far as grip and control but on recent ride I noticed rear tire going flat in spite of ample Stans sealant. On inspection, there was a small sidewall cut that was leaking fluid and the fabric casing of the tire was showing thru on both sides completely around the tire. Granted, I ride on limestone, rocky trails in Texas hill country but having an $80 plus tire breakdown as premature as this tire did is unacceptable (at least for my budget). On the front, I was running a Knobby Knic Evo and it showed absolutely nothing similar to wear on the sidewalls. I like Schwalbe tires and run other mods on other bikes but since this Racing Ralph disappointment I mounted a Kenda Nev Pro and at half the price and equal if not better performance am more than willing to write off this particular Schwalbe as a bad investment.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Fabian

Date Reviewed: January 10, 2014

Strengths:    Lightweight and looks the part

Weaknesses:    Bad quality control, came with my 2014 giant anthem 27.5 and the sidewall blew out in less than a week.

Bottom Line:   
Went straight back to maxxis and never had issues. Dont waste your time and money

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by wasabiboi

Date Reviewed: September 15, 2013

Strengths:    low rolling resistance, good traction, very easy to set up tubless, and very light weight tire

Weaknesses:    very thin side walls

Bottom Line:   
Great summer and a XC tire, nice grip as both F and R.
not so good with mud and sand (but what tire is good in sand?)
and the side walls are very thin so, a quick scratch from a sharp rock can (and will) end your ride early.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by ElNato

Date Reviewed: July 24, 2013

Strengths:    Grippy, excellent cornering

Weaknesses:    thin sidewall, fails early

Bottom Line:   
Bought these w/ my Santa Cruz Tallboy as a light race tire, and chose them because Schwalbe marketed the sidewalls as being durable. NOT! For the first month or so, they performed beautifully: grippy, light, great cornering on mixed surfaces from slickrock to loose gravel and mud. Then, the woven material on the sidewall started showing more and more. Now, a couple months later, there are multiple areas of failure of the weave, and bulges of the inner rubber pushing through. I'm replacing these w/ Maxxis Ikon EXO's. Unacceptable failure on Schwalbe's part.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by fasterthanyourmom

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2013

Strengths:    Extreamly grippy in the conditions its intended for, very light and supple,

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Annoying that people review this product negatively when they are clearly misusing it in one way or another. This is an XC race tire and an excellent one. Complaining about its use in technical rocky sections and mud, or about how thin the sidewalls are is pointless. Don't buy a sports car then complain how you cant fit 2X4 lumber in the back. If you are using this tire as its intended it pretty much doesn't get better than this. The casing is extreamly supple and the tread pattern provides excellent grip on hard pack dirt trails. It even performs well on slightly looser surfaces, like dust, sand, and fine gravel. Its a very poor mud tire, but again if you ask schwalbe they will tell you this and advise a different tread pattern. Its extreamly fast rolling and there was almost no noticeable difference switching from a near file tread pattern to this tire.

And I want to address those people who have difficulty keeping them inflated. This is because the side wall is so thin, and therefore much more porous. To solve this you just need a little patience. If your racing ralph does this shake the sealant around in the tire until there are no leaks you can hear. If it deflates abnormally soon just inflate it back up to a relatively high pressure and shake the sealant around again. I'm sure most of you already know this, but this tire sometimes does need more atttention to detail in setting up than others like it.

Anyway if you live in areas with hard pack/fast rolling XC trails this tire is incredible. Very fast rolling, supple, light, well made, and extreamly grippy. This tire is worth every penny if you live in an area that makes sense to use it in. If you live in places where rocks can regularly gash your sidewall then look elsewhere.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Morals

Date Reviewed: February 4, 2013

Strengths:    Marketing Department

Weaknesses:    Price, Overall

Bottom Line:   
I managed to get these tires to bead up for one ride. I used plenty of air compressor, the works.

I was mounting them to Mavic C29ssmax rims at the time.

They light and fast, but worthless when they're deflating for no apparent reason. For that kind of money, I expected MUCH more. Not going with these again. I've got them as an emergency tire...hopefully I never need them. If I do, they will be run tubed.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by cda mtb a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: October 10, 2012

Strengths:    low rolling resistance, good traction, light weight tire

Weaknesses:    price $$

Bottom Line:   
I used this tire on the rear (tubless with 30 lbs of air) with an s-works ground control up front. As a rear tire I was very satisfied with the low rolling resistance, grip and cornering abilities. the tire felt planted at speed and the back end didn't have a nervous feeling even at speeds of 34 mph on loom, rocky and pea gravel trail surfaces.
I would recommend this tire to anyone looking for a great xc tire.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   local ones

Duration Product Used:   100 mile endurance race

Purchased At:   lbs

Similar Products Used:   specialized fast trac (junk tire), renegade (pick your trail surface wisely, nervous tire with no cornering ability but very fast!)

Bike Setup:   stock carbon 29er Epic Expert 2012

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

Date Reviewed: September 14, 2012

Strengths:    Light

Weaknesses:    Lack of grip, thin skinned

Bottom Line:   
Ran these with two different tires up front and it didn't matter, no grip in the dry, hard pack Southern California terrain. Just to get some grip I had to lower my tire pressure so much that I was getting flats and dented rims.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Kenda Nevegal, Panaracer Smoke

Bike Setup:   Niner RIP 9, XL frame, 200 lb rider.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Dang

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2012

Strengths:    light weight

Weaknesses:    this tire's carcass or sidewall is just too thin and flexible.

Bottom Line:   
I've come to the conclusion that this tire's overall construction is just too fragile and the sidewall flexes too much during hard fast cornering. This flex,felt mostly in the rear, is not confidence inspiring at all. But I did start to use the flex and predicable slide to turn the bike through corners.I replaced tthis OEM tire with same because I just didn't know what to buy. I'd look around at other tires next time.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by John a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: August 27, 2012

Strengths:    When new this has good grip on hardpack, rock, and soft dirt, and OK grip on roots. Fast rolling and the tire, when new, is predictable in turns. Good as a racing tire if new.

Weaknesses:    Very short life! After several hundred kilometers, nearly every side chevron on my back tire was partially ripped off. Once this occurred, the tire became much less predictable, held much less on side hills and roots, and became trash (it's in the trash can now). This has happened to several Racing Ralphs

Bottom Line:   
Good tire for racing with decent grip and great rolling resistance. Too expensive to use for anything else because of short life.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   lots

Duration Product Used:   one month - then they died

Price Paid:    $100.00

Similar Products Used:   Nobby Nic, Conti race, Kenda, Maxis, etc - have been riding a long time, used lots of different tires

Bike Setup:   Mojo with Chris King Hubs/Stans Wheels, XTR Shadow Plus and mostly XTR drive train, Formula brakes

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Todd

Date Reviewed: June 3, 2012

Strengths:    Fast, nice hook up with the trail

Weaknesses:    Its a tire..... It could fail

Bottom Line:   
Typically I give objectIve reviews - this one may become slightly subjective. I rode Maxxis Ardents for the past 3 years and loved them. GREAT tire for what I wanted them to do. I ride in the UP of Michigan, Northeast Wisconsin. Rocks, drops and flow. Ardents never failed me - and I've ridden some stuff that had they failed me.... I couldn't blame the tire! So - my bar has been set high.

I have moved more toward CC racing which forced me to reconsider my tire choice. Ardents are many things but intended for racing is not one of them. So in spite of all the reviews on the RR and it's failures I decided to give them a shot. Here's where it might get a little emotional for a sec: The RR comes in a ton of options. Yet MTBR has one category to rate the RAcing Ralph - how does that make sense? You get a real blend of people complaining about the tire (but no idea which RR they bought) and people who love it (again no idea which one they have). Wtf?

Here's my initial impression after 10 rides. I bought the RR SS Pacestar. 2.25"(?)........ After 10 rides - wow. It's fast. Very fast. And it hooks up with the trail. It has rained a ton the past 14 days here and I expected handling to be very suspect vs. what I am accustomed to with the Ardents. I've been pleasantly surprised..... They've been fantastic. They slip a little on rocks but so did my other tire when it was wet. Bottom line is: they haven't split in half, they are fast and they have handled the trail equally as well as the Ardents did for me........

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by peter tarr

Date Reviewed: April 25, 2012

Strengths:    none

Weaknesses:    Very susceptible to sidewall gashes

Bottom Line:   
I had these tyres on a Giant Anthem 29er and had to replace them after only 2 months of very gentle trail riding. Rubbish tyres in rocky terrain. Avoid them

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by loutiffs a Weekend Warrior from boca raton, florida

Date Reviewed: November 8, 2011

Strengths:    light and fast

Weaknesses:    Zero durability.

Bottom Line:   
I have gone through about six (6) of these tires and all have failed before tread life. Last one lasted 7 miles before sidewall cut. Do not purchase thinking this tire will survive even mild rock trails as a tubeless tire. It won't. You'll end up running tire with tubes. Great tire for hardpack...but not good for much else.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   markham park

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $75.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Maxxis, specialized, continental

Bike Setup:   trail

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by azb0105 a Cross Country Rider from Cape Town

Date Reviewed: August 21, 2011

Strengths:    Ok on hardpack

Weaknesses:    On anything loose it becomes a nightmare to control your front wheel from washing out. If you ride loose areas this tyre is not for you.

Bottom Line:   
I put the Geax Segaro on my fron tend and it is 500% better in the loose and it gives much better confidence to your riding.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tokai, Jonkershoek

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $84.00

Purchased At:   Cycle Lab

Similar Products Used:   Geax Segaro

Bike Setup:   Gary Fisher 29er

Reviews 1 - 15 (29 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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