The latest Racing Ralph takes Schwalbe back to the top of the all-round speed game — if you can afford it.
With the almost treadless Furious Fred now joining the Schwalbe line-up as its fastest race tyre, the Ralph has moved from a generally rear-only option to a proper all-rounder.
It’s not as rocketship-fast in a straight line, but the low, slotted block tread now gives it enough bite to lean it pretty hard through corners or brake hard on muddier surfaces without just sliding straight on. It clears clag out quickly, too, so it’ll grip as soon as you’re out of the gloop.
The triple compound rubber also gives an excellent balance of adhesion and stability on hardpack and rocks, although it doesn’t last long at all if you’re working it hard.
The extra shoulder tread does give more protection to the skinny carcass ﬂanks, though, so there’s less risk of tearing the sides out soon as you take it somewhere like the Peak District or Lakes.
The Evolution carcass still underlines the new tread with an almost ‘tubeless’ ﬂoated feel, at a weight low enough to put a real rip into anyone’s sprint. The Ralph is still insanely expensive, but if you can afford it it’s worth it.