The not-so-minor details
Schwalbe Racing Ralph 26 x 2.1” Evolution Series Double Defense
Bikebox - www.bikebox.com.au
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26 x 2.1"
Light for a 2.1 tubeless with sidewall protection.
Tread compound was slippery on rock/hard surfaces when worn.
Low value for money (wears quickly).
The Racing Ralph, from Schwalbe, is a designed for speed, and the tubeless ready Evolution model with ‘Double Defense’ technology adds that extra bit of durability to the sidewalls for those who need it.
We got to test these at our local trails in Sydney and found them fantastic – albeit they wear a little quickly. [private]
Set-up was easy and we got these to seal (tubeless) with relatively little effort. Also, the tyres kept their seal and remained flat free for a solid 300km of delicious trail riding.
The tyre rolls fantastically fast, and while there is not a huge amount of depth to the tread, traction was decent in all but the loosest trail surfaces.
Cornering was also very predictable thanks to the soft compound tread and the round profile of the tyre. We did however find that we lost confidence once the tread started to wear as the knobs would flex significantly. This was more evident on rock surfaces -which led to a few hairy moments.
The durability and relatively quick wear was our only beef. As with most performance tyres, it’s a trade-off between performance and durability and for those not willing to make the trade-off for performance, maybe a longer wearing tyre would suit.