Great as a rear wheel option for trail riding, the Racing Ralph is fast with predictable grip and a sure-footed feel
Kenda’s range of Slant Six Pro tyres is miniscule in comparison to the number of Racing Ralphs available from Schwalbe. There are several rubber compounds and casing configurations, and that’s without getting into wheel sizes or widths, and while choice is a good thing it’s easy to get bewildered.
Our test tyre uses the Pure Star 3 Compound, which as the name suggests combines three rubber compounds — a hard base, medium centre knobs and medium/soft edge knobs. We measured the external compounds at 65a and 55a. It’s an Evolution tyre with a Snakeskin casing, which means it has a slightly thicker sidewall that’s also tubeless ready. It weighs more than the 615g claimed, but it sizes up accurately.
We’ve tested the Racing Ralph in the past in 26in and it felt loose and flighty, but the 29er version feels a lot more planted. Braking is solid and predictable; the tyre hooks up well on the climbs and there was very little casing flex under hard cornering.
The Racing Ralph is on a par with the S-Works The Captain in terms of speed and acceleration, but it’s not as surefooted in damp conditions and it’s nearly twice the price.