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?
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.
|Model||Racing Ralph TL-R PaceStar|
|Supplied By||Bought in store|
|New or Used||New|
|Specified Weight||535 grams|
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
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 / 8 m/s, Load: 42.5 kg / 417 N)|
|Inner Tube||Conti MTB 29 (225 gr butyl)|
|Rolling Resistance 55 psi / 3,8 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 45 psi / 3,1 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 35 psi / 2,4 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 25 psi / 1,7 Bar||
|Use the formula: RR (watts) = CRR * speed (m/s) * load (N) to calculate rolling resistance at a given speed and load|
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.
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.
VERDICT: Highly Recommended