By Colin Dennis
Size: 700 x 33c
I view Schwalbe's Racing Ralph Evo’s Cyclocross Tyres as my insurance cover whenever me, or the weather, can’t make up our minds.
The Racing Ralph Evo has it all: lightweight folding construction at 127 threads per inch, a do-it-all tread pattern that’s just like Schwalbe’s popular XC mountain bike version, and a hard-wearing compound that’s likely to get you through most of the CX season.
Tech-wise, the Racing Ralph Evo are constructed utilising Schwalbe’s three-way Pacestar compound that gives you an easy rolling base layer, a faster, slightly less aggressive tread along its centre, and an almost vice-like deeper shoulder tread pattern for those all-important berms and corners.
There’s plenty of sipping cut into the tread for grabbing extra traction at every opportunity. This also makes the tread pattern a little softer which helps with softening the ride a little.
I rode the Racing Ralph’s a little harder than normal to just over 50PSI to see just how far I could push the comfort-levels, and with the dry weather continuing to amaze us all, the dry ground is offering plenty of traction as we roll into week seven of the local cyclocross season.
I hope you recognise the dilemma though? Warm, early season weather ensures a welcome dry and fast-rolling surface, and then, last minute dot com, the heavens open and by the time the seniors get going that smooth, Billiard table surface, has tuned into a quagmire.
So what’s a rider supposed to do? Answer: take along a set of Racing Ralphs and you get the best compromise of grip and speed all rolled into one.
Notwithstanding the continuing Indian Summer of late, during any given CX race we often experience four seasons in an hour, let alone in a day. But we all want to go as fast as we can, regardless of the weather or terrain. Let’s face it, the British weather is as fickle as Kim Kardashian’s jewellery box.
This is where I feel the Racing Ralph’s really come into their own. Not all of us can afford a second set of wheels waiting patiently in the bus stop of the race pits, but by investing wisely in a set of tyres that offer the Goldie Locks effect is what most of us will live with.
Tyres aren’t cheap either, so getting a set of tyres that works for most conditions must be a viable option. This is where the Racing Ralph’s cyclocross tyres score top marks.
In summary: at home in all but the muddiest of conditions, it’s hard to fault the Schwalbe Racing Ralphs as the complete performance cyclocross tyre.
If you’re looking for a tyre that has suppleness of ride and provides confidence-inspiring levels of grip over intermediate and changeable terrain, the Racing Ralph has it all.