Thanks to BikeBox (the Australian distributor for Schwalbe) I’m running a brand spanking new Racing Ralph 27.5 x 2.25 as a rear tyre on my Mojo HDR. What’s so interesting about that I hear you ask? The Racing Ralph is old news right? Well… yes and no.
This 650b Racing Ralph comes with Snakeskin, Schwalbe’s version of sidewall protection which comes in very handy when riding in rocky terrain on a regular basis. But take a look on the Schwalbe site and you won’t see it listed as available. What gives?
In a very cool display of preemptive customer service and commitment BikeBox Australia recognized the need for a Snakeskin version of the Racing Ralph 650b down under and organized a custom production run. Since then other countries with similar rocky terrain, such as South Africa, have come on board and also are making the tyre available to their customers.
Schwalbe Racing Ralph 650b Snakeskin 27.5 x 2.25 First Look
The regular Racing Ralph 27.5×2.25 weighs ~530 grams. My 650b Racing Ralph Snakeskin weighed in at 585 grams, pretty much inline with the 40-50 grams that Snakeskin adds to any Schwalbe tyre.
Mounting the Racing Ralph Snakeskin on the ZTR Flow EX rim took some effort. A floor pump wasn’t up to the job, especially given that the valve stems I’m using ATM don’t have removable cores…DOH! I considered temporarily fitting a tube to help shape the tyre, but after a few attempts was able to mount the Racing Ralph using a compressor.
Once inflated the tyre held pressure and it was time to hit the trail. I’ve been running a regular Racing Ralph on the rear of my Mojo HDR so performance-wise it was more of the same with the Snakeskin version, perhaps a little harsher at the same psi given the stiffer Snakeskin casing. The Ralph is rated 26-54 psi. Being reasonably lightweight I run my tyres around 23-25psi with no problems.
How will the Racing Ralph 27.5 Snakeskin hold up to the rocky Central Victorian terrain? It won’t take long to find out as tyres without any sidewall protection don’t last long around here. But so far, so good!
Thanks to BikeBox Australia