Tire Test - Schwalbe Racing Ralph TL-R

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Schwalbe Racing Ralph TL-R mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

The Schwalbe Racing Ralph is probably the most famous cross-country mountain bike tire of all time. Well known for its low rolling resistance while still offering enough grip for most riders. The Evolution line is the best possible, with the highest quality materials and the latest technology from Schwalbe. This tire features a 127 TPI casing with a triple compound PaceStar compound, which is Schwalbe's fastest rubber. Can good old Racing Ralph still live up to its name?


Check Schwalbe Racing Ralph TL-R Prices at Amazon.com


This Racing Ralph Evolution is the Tubeless-Ready version, which means it can be used tubeless but needs a tubeless fluid to seal completely. Although the tire is Tubeless-Ready, I'm using a tube during all tests. This tire is made in Indonesia.


Manufacturer Specs
Brand Schwalbe
Model Racing Ralph TL-R
Year 2014
Supplied By Bought in store
New or Used New
Mileage 0 km
Price Range High
Price Amazon.com
Part Number 11600256.01
TPI 127
Compound PaceStar
Bead Folding
ETRTO 57-622
Size Inch 29"
Width Inch 2.25
Specified Weight 535 grams
Max Pressure 54
Made In Indonesia
Available Sizes 29 x 2.25
29 x 2.10
27.5 x 2.25
27.5 x 2.10
26 x 2.25
26 x 2.10

Test Results


Schwalbe Racing Ralph TL-R  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

Size and Weight Measurements


Size and Weight Measurements (Bike Wheel: 622-17C, Pressure: 35 psi / 2.4 bar)
Specified Weight 535 grams
Measured Weight 534 grams
Measured Width Carcass 55 mm
Measured Width Tread 55 mm
Measured Height 53 mm
Measured Knob Height Center 2.5 mm
Measured Knob Height Edge 4.3 mm
Measured Total Thickness Sidewall
Measured Total Thickness Center (excluding knobs)

The measured weight of 534 grams is spot on to it's specified weight of 535 grams. With a measured width and height of 55 and 53 mm respectively, it comes very close to the rated size of 2.25. On a 19 or 21C rim, it should even be a bit wider. Although the Racing Ralph is a fast XC style tire, it still has some decent knobs with knob heights of 2.5 mm in the center and 4.3 mm on the edge. This makes it a more all-round tire than the Continental Race King.


Rolling Resistance Test Results


Rolling Resistance Test Results (Speed: 29 kmh / 18 mph, Load: 42.5 kg)
Inner Tube Conti MTB 29 (225 gr butyl)
Rolling Resistance 55 psi / 3,8 Bar 19.1 Watts
Rolling Resistance 45 psi / 3,1 Bar 19.7 Watts
Rolling Resistance 35 psi / 2,4 Bar 21.2 Watts
Rolling Resistance 25 psi / 1,7 Bar 23.9 Watts
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 55 psi / 3,8 Bar 0.00573
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 45 psi / 3,1 Bar 0.00591
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 35 psi / 2,4 Bar 0.00635
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 25 psi / 1,7 Bar 0.00716

Rolling resistance at an air pressure of 25 psi is 23.9 watts. This is slightly higher than the Continental Race King which came in at 22.4 watts. I think this is quite good if you factor in the higher side knobs of the Racing Ralph. When upping the air pressure, rolling resistance eventually drops to 19.1 watts at 55 psi.



Puncture Resistance Test Results


Puncture Resistance Test Result (higher is better)
Puncture Resistance Tread 7
Puncture Resistance Sidewall 5

Puncture resistance is average with a score of 7 points. Also, worth noting is that the tread of this tire has the same width as the carcass, which should help protect the sidewalls against cuts.




Conclusion


Schwalbe Racing Ralph TL-R  mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

So does Racing Ralph still rule? Yes, I think it does. Compared to the Continental Race King, you get increased side knob height, a Tubeless-Ready rated tire and a wider tread; at a cost of 35 grams and an increase in rolling resistance of 1 to 1.5 watts per tire. This is a more all-round mountain bike tire than the Race King for sure. I would consider it as a front tire, unlike the Race King.


The Racing Ralph still is the gold standard in cross country mountain bike tires. It seems to have struck a great balance between rolling resistance, grip, and weight. You can't go wrong with a pair of these.


Check Schwalbe Racing Ralph TL-R Prices at Amazon.com


RATING: 5 / 5
VERDICT:
Highly Recommended


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Schwalbe Racing Ralph TL-R mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Schwalbe Racing Ralph TL-R mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine
Schwalbe Racing Ralph TL-R mountain bike tire on a rolling resistance test machine

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