Yes, go schwalbe! (although I'd put a ralph on the front too, unless it was particularly loose or muddy. But then again, that's me - nic's are a perfectly fast tyre, and they do grip better)
Edit: To qualify that somewhat mindless comment, schwalbes are easily my favourite racing tyre. Quite subjectively, I think they roll considerably faster than any other knobby I've tried (which were mainly 'race' tyres - pythons, crossmarks etc), and the new triple compound tyres grip very well as well. Regarding the rolling resistance, they seem to have a particularly thin, flexible casing (that is, sidewalls/tread less the knobs), and as rolling resistance is nearly all from flexing the rubber I believe this is a reason they are so fast rolling.
However this also makes them poor riding around tyres, again in my opinion, as they are expensive, soft and thin/fragile. Fine if you don't mind spending lots of money, I guess.
Tire choice can be a very personal and relative opinion, but I think Kenda Small Block 8s are the fastest of any that have been so far mentioned in this forum.
I have Knobby Nicks on my Ibis SL and Small Block 8s on a Yeti ARS SL...the Kendas are noticeably faster rolling. The Kendas are not an all mountain tire, but on the type of course you mention - especially with smooth climbs - you will notice a difference in speed!
Just a note on rolling resistance - any claims about the speed of tyres I'd take with a grain of salt. Some tyres feel fast, it's true, but there is a difference between a tyre which feels 'smooth' and a tyre which is fast. In theory at least it shouldn't be too hard to do roll-down tests - you'd need a data logger ideally to take the time for each wheel rotation, then pick a flat-ish area, and do lots of passes, coasting from some speed to a slower speed (say, 20kph to 10kph). Then get slopes and intercepts and things, and change the pressures in your tyres, and the tyres you've got on and the surface you're on....
However, this is rather a lot of bother, and you're probably better off doing what everyone else does and pick a tyre which feels fast. You won't even notice the difference unless you do the testing anyway.
Oh, and try lots of tyres! They wear out anyway, so there's no point getting the same tyre again if you aren't sure that it's exactly the one you're after.
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