Two weeks ago I reviewed a Nobby Nic Performance-line mountain bike tire, which was run for 2.5 years and 3000 km. Today I'm reviewing its little brother: The Schwalbe Racing Ralph Performance. This Racing Ralph has traveled the exact same distance as the Nobby Nic but served on the rear wheel. Wear after 3000 km was only 1.2 mm at the central knobs (Ralph's have 2.5 mm when new) and 0.1 mm at the side knobs. This is very low, partly because it was only run on Dutch trails which are very easy on tires. So how much can you gain when replacing a 50% worn down Racing Ralph Performance with a brand new Racing Ralph Evolution?
This Racing Ralph Performance has the older ORC (Offroad Racing Compound) rubber. Currently shipping performance-line tires from Schwalbe come with a newer dual compound rubber which should be better. Just like the Nobby Nic Performance, mounting the tire on the rim was very easy. The bead definitely is much 'looser' when compared to the Tubeless-Ready Evolution tires. I'm not sure what the effect of this would be when going for a tubeless set up with the performance line tires.
|Model||Racing Ralph Performance|
|Supplied By||Bought in store|
|New or Used||Used|
|Specified Weight||548 grams|
29 x 2.25
29 x 2.10
27.5 x 2.25
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||548 grams|
|Measured Weight||548 grams|
|Measured Width Carcass||54 mm|
|Measured Width Tread||54 mm|
|Measured Height||52 mm|
|Measured Knob Height Center||1.3 mm|
|Measured Knob Height Edge||4.2 mm|
|Measured Total Thickness Sidewall|
|Measured Total Thickness Center (excluding knobs)|
With a weight of 548 grams, the performance line isn't far off the evolution line Racing Ralph (534 grams). Size wise, it's very close as well with the performance being 1 mm smaller than the evolution
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|
Because this is a 2.5 years old used tire with a half worn tread, making comparisons to a brand new tire is difficult. But looking at the numbers, rolling resistance is not bad at all. Almost matching the low rolling resistance of the evolution line at 55 psi / 3.8 bar and a 4 watts higher rolling resistance at 25 psi / 1.7 bar.
Puncture Resistance Test Results
|Puncture Resistance Test Result (higher is better)|
|Puncture Resistance Tread||10|
|Puncture Resistance Sidewall||Not Tested|
Puncture resistance is much better with a score of 10 points vs a score of 7 points for the evolution line.
At a high pressure of 55psi / 3.8 bar, the half worn Performance-line tire comes very close (0.2 watts) to the performance of the Schwalbe Evolution tire. This probably is because of the worn down central knobs. When lowering air pressure, rolling resistance starts increasing fast. At a pressure of 25 psi, the Performance line has 4 watts more rolling resistance when compared to the Racing Ralph Evolution. Rolling Resistance actually is not bad at all when you also account for the puncture resistance of both tires, The Performance line has 43% better puncture resistance. I wonder where this puts the Schwalbe Snake-Skin and Double Defence tires
This tire has the biggest spread between low and high pressures of all tires tested. Rolling resistance at 25 psi is 45% higher as compared to a pressure of 55 psi. Almost all other MTB tires have a spread of about 25%, even the Nobby Nic Performance only had a 27% spread but had very little wear. So what does this tell us? I don't dare to speculate. BUT, check back soon and often, because I'm going to monitor the performance of a Continental X-King/Race-King combo, with measurements every 1500 km.