New tires : Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.25"& 2.40"

Schwalbe kindly supplied with tires and tubes for testing. All are available through European shops as we speak. As the North American market was likely the big driving force towards this introduction, supply should not be long away for riders on that side of the Atlantic.

Out of the box, the tires seemed high-volume and relatively low weight. In the hands, a top quality product.

The scale gave :
2.4 : 630/641g
2.25 : 569/574g

SV19 28×1.5-2.35″ : 179-201g.
SV19A 28×1.5-2.35″ : 128-137g.
The latter seemed to be of slightly wider (+~1mm) when rolled up.

Identical treads in 2 sizes, to be used as either front or rear, with corresponding direction arrow on the sidewalls. In “rear” mode, there is extra climbing traction at the cost of braking traction and (I expect) slightly higher rolling resistance.

Casing and tread width are of course greatly dependent on rim type and pressure.
For the 2.4’s I’ve found tread widths well over 60mm on a NoTubes Arch rim, and up to 57mm for the 2.25″. Casings are 1 or 2mm narrow.

Basically, the 2.4″ is the widest tire in 29″ I’ve ever seen (including the WTB Weirwolf LT 2.55). The 2.25 is not far off. Racing Ralphs (RR’s) are wider than they are tall. You may have some WTB Nanorapter where this is the other way around.

Schwalbe totally re-designed the RR’s tread for this 2008 model. For the occasion, they are also adding it to their 29″ line-up which previously only consisted of the narrow’ish Little Albert 28×2.1.
The odd-shaped stepped knobs which ruled in the sand but were useless in the wet have been replace for more square “U-block” knobs are used on their already famous Nobby Nic tires. RR just has smaller ones, and more of it.
Interesting with the RR is that the side knobs are angled the other way than we’re used to. Schwalbe engineers claim that this improves cornering grip. Stories of riders turning around their front tires for this very reason have come to me before, but I’ve never tried it myself.

For those new to Schwalbe Evolution (top) level tires : The carcass is woven is a special way which is to improve rolling resistance. The RR also features triple compound technology.

Schwalbe technician (and formidable MTB racer) Markus Hachmeyer about the new Racing Ralph : “Our goal was to achieve the optimal compromise between grip and low rolling resistance. We have now bridged this gap substantially better than before”.

As additional background info, the RR in 26×2.25″ in the old tread and dual-compound was already among the very fastest in German magazine tests.

For now I’ll say that for me as a rider/racer on mostly “tame” sand-based singletrack, these new tires have all but disappointed, despite my great and long anticipation. I pretty much begged Markus Hachmeyer for a 29″ version of the RR some 4 or 5 years ago but was left waiting. The waiting does seem to have been worth it.

More detailed ride-impressions soon.

Schwalbe news link

Happy trails,



No Responses to “New tires : Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.25"& 2.40"”

  1. Max_Cat Says:

    Did you inflate the Ralphs tubeless on the Arch rims and if so how tight was the bead? In another review, they mentioned that the tire went on with a loose fit, which makes me nervous as I ride tubeless on the Bonty x-lites.

  2. Cloxxki Says:

    Max_Cat : these tires are for use with tubes only.

    I would not call the fit loose, just average. They did require a good 40psi to find their position on the rim. I use a single layer of einforced tape, thickness less than a Velox.

  3. Desert9r Says:


    Oh and I can’t find thw Marathon Extreme/XR in a 50mm Anywhere! ?

  4. Dirt McGirt Says:

    The name “Ralph” never really screams “racing” to me. I always think of some fat sweaty trucker all hopped up on crank trying to find a truck stop hooker….. but maybe that’s just me…

  5. Cloxxki Says:

    Mr. Ralf Bohle is pretty much the boss at Schwalbe. Tire was named after him I believe.
    You could also call it Raging Ralph.

  6. Guitar Ted Says:

    Cloxxki: Could you comment on the sidewall thickness as related to tires you have used before in 29″er, such as the Bonty XR’s? I find the weight hard to believe without the tires having super thin casings, but I will wait on your reply and see what you have to say about this.

  7. Lionel Says:

    Hi Desert9r!

    Photos can be found here:×2-4-t-202-1.html

  8. Desert9r Says:


    I see photos of Raphs, but not the Marathon Extreme/XR(50mm), besides I don’t read german(?) where can I buy?

  9. Cloxxki Says:

    Come on…

  10. Stevo Says:

    Looks like Oz are getting some too. Beauty!

    I can see a 2.4 and 2.25 gracing the front and rear respectively of my rigid Soma Juice soon!

    Bring ’em on!

  11. racing ralph Says:

    […] […]

  12. Performance Tires Bargains Says:

    Performance Tires Bargains…

    Credit for this impressive stick goes to the new generation Viper s stiffer frame, improved suspension geometry and the staggered- sized, Michelin Pilot performance tires. [ Read More]…

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