The Rocket Ron is one of Schwalbe's most popular all-round cross-country tires. The Rocket Ron is a well-balanced tire that offers good grip while still offering an exceptionally low rolling resistance. When we compare the Rocket Ron to its (also popular) brother the Racing Ralph, the Rocket Ron has a wider spaced tread design that should perform better in off-road conditions while the Racing Ralph has the edge on asphalt.
This is a review of the fastest and lightest Rocket Ron available from Schwalbe which comes with the 127 TPI LiteSkin casing and the new Addix Speed compound. At the moment, this fast LiteSkin version is available in only the 27.5 x 2.25, 29 x 2.10, and 29 x 2.25 sizes. I'm not sure if other sizes will become available as the "standard" Schwalbe product now seems to be moved to the stronger TL-Easy casing.
I've also tested the TL-Easy Addix Speed version of the Rocket Ron which can be found here and the TL-Easy Addix SpeedGrip version which can be found here. You can also compare these 3 versions of the new Rocket Rons side by side here.
For more information about the new Schwalbe Addix compound and Schwalbe's promises about these new compounds, please reference the Racing Ralph LiteSkin Addix Speed review here.
|Model||Rocket Ron LiteSkin Addix Speed|
|Supplied By||Bought in store|
|New or Used||New|
|Specified Weight||520 grams|
Size and Weight Measurements
|Size and Weight Measurements (Bike Wheel: 622-17C, Pressure: 35 psi / 2.4 bar)|
|Specified Weight||520 grams|
|Measured Weight||556 grams|
|Measured Width Carcass||54 mm|
|Measured Width Tread||55 mm|
|Measured Height||53 mm|
|Measured Knob Height Center||2.4 mm|
|Measured Knob Height Edge||4.2 mm|
|Measured Total Thickness Sidewall||0.50 mm|
|Measured Total Thickness Center (excluding knobs)||1.60 mm|
Weight. My sample of the 29 x 2.25 Rocket Ron LiteSkin Addix Speed comes in at a measured weight of 556 grams which is a good bit higher than the specified weight of 520 grams for this tire.
Size. On my 17C rim, at an air pressure of 35 psi / 2.4 bars, maximum casing width of the Rocket Ron is 54 mm. Maximum tread width is 55 mm, and the measured height is 53 mm. It looks like the casing remains unchanged from the older PaceStar compound version as both measure exactly the same.
Knob Height. The center knobs have a height of 2.4 mm, the edge knobs have a height of 4.2 mm.
Tire Thickness. Thickness of the tread and sidewall also remain largely unchanged at 1.6 mm tread thickness and 0.50 mm sidewall thickness.
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|
The rolling resistance numbers presented here are the average of 2 samples (1 from August 2017, and 1 from January 2018). I've retested these tires with new samples as the Racing Ralphs with the new Addix Speed compound didn't perform as promised by Schwalbe. The new sample of January 2018 had a higher rolling resistance (+2 watts) than the August 2017 sample. Both tires had nearly the same weight.
The new Racing Ralphs with Addix Speed compounds (read review) were a big let down as rolling resistance of both the LiteSkin and TL-Easy versions were higher than the older PaceStar compound even though Schwalbe claimed a 10% lower rolling resistance. The new Rocket Ron Addix Speed appears to perform pretty much spot on to the older PaceStar compound as one of the samples performed a bit better and the other sample a bit worse than the PaceStar version.
Puncture Resistance Test Results
|Puncture Resistance Test Result (higher is better)|
|Puncture Resistance Tread||6|
|Puncture Resistance Sidewall||5|
Puncture resistance is similar to other Schwalbe mountain bike tires with LiteSkin casings and pretty much in line with light mountain bike tires from other manufacturers.
Out of the 8 Schwalbe tires with the new Addix Speed compound I've tested over the past months, only 1 (out of 2) samples of the Rocket Ron LiteSkin Addix Speed comes close (-5%) to Schwalbe's claim of a 10% lower rolling resistance when compared to the older PaceStar compound. The other sample of the Rocket Ron LiteSkin Addix Speed actually had a slightly higher rolling resistance than the older PaceStar version.
I'm not sure what's going on with the manufacturing of the new Addix tires, but I still can't confirm Schwalbe's claim of a 10% lower rolling resistance when compared to the older PaceStar tires. If you liked the older PaceStar tires, I suggest sticking with those for now. I still rate these samples of the Rocket Ron 5 / 5 as it's hard to find faster tires from other manufacturers.
VERDICT: Highly Recommended