Schwalbe’s Racing Ray was developed to meet the increasing demands of modern cross-country race courses with a front-specific tread pattern that should provide a balance between cornering, acceleration, grip, rolling resistance and braking performance.
It’s designed to deliver excellent steering control and be used in tandem with a Racing Ralph rear tyre.
Schwalbe Racing Ray Addix Speed 29 x 2.25in details
To balance the demands of rolling speed and grip, the new Racing Ray uses an aggressive tread pattern composed of rounded blocks shaped to ensure cornering and straight line performance.
Shoulder blocks that should remain stable under extreme cornering are complemented by lengthwise-orientated off-set centre blocks for low rolling resistance.
The new tyre is only available with Schwalbe’s Addix Speed rubber compound that’s designed to balance optimum grip, speed and durability.
It’s available in 26in, 27.5in and 29in sizes and up to 2.35in width in Evolution or Performance tubeless-ready versions.
- Using as a front tyre
- Budding XC racers
- Pairing with a lightweight rear tyre for ultimate speed
Schwalbe Racing Ray Addix Speed 29 x 2.25in performance
The forward-pointing arrow-shaped and closely packed centre blocks ensure the Racing Ray is an extremely rapid tyre. It feels blistering quick compared to tyres with blockier tread patterns and when paired with a powerful driving rear tyre is a good setup for ultimate speed on a variety of courses.
It works well in most conditions with the Addix Speed compound delivering ample traction in the wet and dry, and a good predictably on slippery roots and rocks.
It clears well in most mud types but the Racing Ray can struggle to clear particularly sticky mud quickly. In all other conditions, such as dry and damp, it copes impressively.
In the corners the large angled shoulder blocks are easy to smoothly transition onto and they also hook up well, which means increased cornering speed is made possible. This is a benefit of the directional tread design.
The casing gives the tyres a supple feeling, damping rough terrain, and the sidewalls are supportive at lower pressures, taking impacts well. Durability is good for a tyre that is on the light side, with a low wear rate on the tread.
Tubeless installation was a cinch on my DT Swiss XR1501 control wheels. They’re an XC racer’s dream front tyre especially when paired with a rear-specific tyre, such as Schwalbe’s Racing Ralph.
Schwalbe Racing Ray Addix Speed 29 x 2.25in bottom line
The Racing Ray delivers exceptional front wheel control in a range of conditions with great straight line rolling speed, reassuring cornering traction and good braking control, and it clears quickly in all but the claggiest of mud.
How we tested
We pitted 10 of the best cross-country-style tyres against each other to find out which we think is worth your time and money.
- Bontrager XR2 Team Issue TLR tyre
- Continental Race King BlackChili Protection tyre
- Maxxis Ardent EXO TR 29 x 2.25in
- Maxxis Crossmark II EXO TR
- Schwalbe Racing Ralph Evo TLE 29 x 2.25in
- Schwalbe Rocket Ron Super Ground SpeedGrip
- Specialized Ground Control
- Vittoria Barzo TNT tyre
- WTB Ranger TCS Light Fast Rolling