Schwalbe Racing Ralph Tire -27.5in
SchwalbeRacing Ralph Tire -27.5in

Dominating.

To make the Racing Ralph the ideal cross country tire, Schwalbe uses the PaceStar compound for the tread. By using a center strip with a medium durometer and shoulders that have a softer durometer, the Ralph is able to roll fast on straights while gripping turns so you won’t have to sit on your brakes. It’s basically free speed. And, so that a flat won’t end your day, Schwalbe’s Ralph comes in two different levels of puncture resistance. If your ride or race covers rocky sharp granite and cacti, the SnakeSkin is the optimal choice. This option makes tubeless conversion simple with no need for sealant. If your trail is slightly less "sharp," the LiteSkin is ideal; this option also takes 70 grams off the weight of each tire.

  • 27.5-inch compatible
  • PaceStar compound
  • Snakeskin option optimal for tubeless setup
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Excellent

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have run a handful of different tires over the years but keep coming back to the Racing Ralphs as the perfect tire for our terrain; Mt Diablo, Morgan Territory, and East Bay hills. Clay, some softs, some shale, some gravel, some leafy tree-covered stuff… Only on a few short sections of Diablo's sketchiest loose-over-hard marbles do the RR feel like not enough tire compared to something bigger like a Nobby Nic.

I've not tried the lighter-but-thinner Lite version as Snakeskin have been so trouble-free that it seems worth its weight. Snakeskin shrugs off the endless thorns and goatheads here, only occasionally showing some moist spots where the sealant is doing its thing.

Schwalbe’s production definitely has some variance tho: I have had some tires seep sealant through their sidewalls, and some which don’t at all… Same goes for weights; sometimes a little under, sometimes a fair bit over. I’ve had some RR’s mount up perfectly true, and some go on with a lateral wobble despite the rim being true.

Ease of mounting really comes down to rim profiles, but so far nearly all my RR installs have required a quick hit of high-pressure air to get to seat up initially (this is on various Mavic, Reynolds and Giant rims - none of which have been the latest hookless profile).

Perfect Race Tire

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

When it comes to race tires this is my go to. I have been sponsored by them for a couple years now and I love them. The tread pattern is amazing. It is fast rolling and grips like no other in the corners. You can really let it hang out there in a corner on any terrain in your next xc race. It is the perfect compound you could ask for in a race tire.

Fast! Rolling and wearing.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is for the 27.5x2.25 Racing Ralph, Snakeskin (describes the level of sidewall protection) Pacestar (tread material. This is faster, but less grippy compared to Trailstar) TL (tubeless easy). These seat easily and seal completely with Orange seal. I'd say the 2.25 has about the grip of a Maxxis 2.35 Ikon and rolls much better. Wear is fast, but they roll fast as well. I'd say 300 miles of northern Utah riding is about what you'll get out of them, but you'll be leaving your friends in the dust in the process. On a typical buff Park City climb of about an hour, I'm usually 3 minutes faster on these than a similarly spec'd Nobby Nic or even an Ikon. I wouldn't take them to Moab, though, as the rock would wear them down fast. I run them at about 24 PSI rear on an SB5c with 23 MM internal width rims.

Thanks for the awesome review! You definitely know your tires

Weeping sealant

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is the second set of Schwalbe tires that have developed small pin hole fluid spots on the exterior of the tire in the tread pattern. Happened after the first ride on both sets of tires. Like the tires but not super confidence building when the immediately start to develop small leaks.

Tim, this is a very delayed comment, but just wanted to let you know that this is SUPER typical of Schwalbes. If you're using Stan's, I hear switching to Orangeseal, it's thicker counterpart, is a good way to prevent this. I haven't made the jump yet, but honestly it's not a big deal because the crystals that cause Stan's to seal isn't what's leaking through, so you shouldn't worry.

Great tire

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I'm using the 27.5 TL ready easy 2.3 on my Topfuel 9.8 and I love it. No issue with puncture so far. I have used this on a 12 hour race with no tire pressure problem. My experience no tire will grip on slick roots or rock. Fast rolling. I'm using this all winter long in Memphis, TN. Not planning of trying any other tire soon. I think I'm sticking to this tire from now on.