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 test of the Rocket Ron TL-Easy Addix Speed. When compared to the LiteSkin version of the Rocket Ron, the TL-Easy version comes with a stronger casing that should be much easier to set up tubeless. In the 29 x 2.25 size tested here, the TL-Easy casing adds 70 grams to the weight of the tire. In the past, the weight difference between these casings was the biggest difference as I've never found there to be a large difference in rolling resistance between the LiteSkin and TL-Easy versions of the previous generation (PaceStar) of Schwalbe MTB tires.
I've also tested the LiteSkin 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 TL-E Addix Speed|
|Supplied By||Bought in store|
|New or Used||New|
|Specified Weight||610 grams|
Size and Weight Measurements
|Size and Weight Measurements (Bike Wheel: 622-17C, Pressure: 35 psi / 2.4 bar)|
|Specified Weight||610 grams|
|Measured Weight||674 grams|
|Measured Width Carcass||54 mm|
|Measured Width Tread||55 mm|
|Measured Height||52 mm|
|Measured Knob Height Center||2.5 mm|
|Measured Knob Height Edge||4.5 mm|
|Measured Total Thickness Sidewall||1.10 mm|
|Measured Total Thickness Center (excluding knobs)||1.40 mm|
Weight. While specified weight of the 29 x 2.25 Rocket Ron TL-Easy is 610 grams. The average weight of four tested samples came in at 674 grams. One of the samples came in at a very heavy 698 grams which is pretty unacceptable in my book. I would have returned that tire if it wasn't for this test.
Size. Just like the other 29 x 2.25 Rocket Rons, the TL-Easy version has a casing width of 54 mm, a tread width of 55 mm, and a height of 53 mm on a 17C rim at an air pressure of 35 psi / 2.4 bars.
Knob Height. The center knobs have a height of 2.5 mm, the edge knobs have a height of 4.5 mm. The Rocket Ron looks like a good compromise with fast rolling center knobs and grippy edge knobs.
Tire Thickness. The thickness of the tire at the center of the tread comes in at 1.4 mm. The sidewalls have a thickness of 1.10 mm. As the LiteSkin version of this tire has sidewalls with a thickness of just 0.50 mm, it's not hard to see why this tire will be much easier to set up tubeless.
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 4 samples of which 3 were bought in August 2017 and one was bought in January 2018. I've retested these tires with new samples because the results didn't come anywhere close to Schwalbe's claim of a 10% reduced rolling resistance for the Addix Speed compound. Unfortunatey, the newest sample bought in January 2018 didn't perform any different than the older samples.
I didn't test a TL-Easy version of the older Rocket Ron with PaceStar compound so unlike the Racing Ralph's test (read review), we can't compare these side by side. I did test a 2015 Rocket Ron LiteSkin and from experience I know that the PaceStar TL-Easy versions of the Schwalbe MTB tires added somewhere between 0 to 2 watts of rolling resistance depending on air pressure and sample weight.
As can be seen from the numbers, once again it's obvious that the Addix Speed doesn't provide the claimed 10% lower rolling resistance when compared to the old PaceStar compound. To make it worse, and unlike the LiteSkin version of this tire, rolling resistance of the new Addix Speed compound has actually gone UP by 10%.
Puncture Resistance Test Results
|Puncture Resistance Test Result (higher is better)|
|Puncture Resistance Tread||6|
|Puncture Resistance Sidewall||6|
Puncture resistance of the tread is decent for a semi-light MTB tire. The sidewalls are a bit more puncture resistant which is to be expected from a tire with reinforced sidewalls.
Just like all the Racing Ralphs with Addix Speed compound that I've tested, the Rocket Ron TL-Easy with Addix Speed compound doesn't live up to Schwalbe's claimed 10% lower rolling resistance when compared to the older PaceStar compound. While the LiteSkin version of this tire was at least equal to the old PaceStar version, rolling resistance of the reinforced TL-Easy version has actually gone UP by 10%.
While this tire doesn't come close to Schwalbe's claim of 10% less rolling resistance, it still performs great when compared to other tires from competing brands. I rate this tire a 4 out of 5 mainly because the Addix Speed tires don't live up to expectations set by Schwalbe.
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