The Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.35 tires grew overnight after mounting them yesterday. Today's measurement registered a casing width of 61.4mm even with the psi down to the 20-22 range. They are BIG!
I moved an 11-34 cassette and my 160mm front/140mm rear Alligator rotors from an older wheelset over to the new wheels. The first test on tap of these new wheels will be on my Salsa Dos Niner. At the width they are displaying, that is about as wide of a rear tire that the Dos can handle without rubbing.
I raced the Dos with Ardent 2.4's before, but the rear tire tread would rub on the inside of the chainstay under hard pedal efforts as the wheel flexed. However, these carbon rims are stiff. So we will see if I get rub or not. As I said, this is the initial test. There is plenty of room on my JET 9 and RIP 9 if the Dos Niner proves to be too flexible and tight spaced for these new big meats.
These are certainly big tires for XC racing and riding, but talk about some nice cushion for a hardtail or softail!
I've got the big Ralphs on my Karate Monkey SS as well. In fact, I have been enjoying them so much on that bike that it led me to trying the same RR tires on the new wheels.
Unfortunately, Indianola had nearly 6" of rain last night and 2" the day before for a grand total of around 8" which has caused major flooding and turned all of our Central Iowa dirt into soup. Including today's beautiful sunny weather, we have about 4 days of sunshine, dry and cooler temps along with wind to start working magic to get trails in condition for bikes again. This means I will have to wait to test these new wheels and tires on dirt. I did, however, ride around the neighborhood hopping curbs, piles of rocks and any bumps I could bash into to get an idea of the big cushion tires on the wide rims. I have to say they feel pretty damn good.
One issue is that the casing is wider than the tread with these wider rims which alters the intended transition of the knobs engaging for leaning over in corners. Time will tell on dirt how that works out, but with the advent of wider rims, I must say it seems to beckon for the alteration of tire tread in relationship to the overall casing design in an effort to account for the wider internal rim widths. At the very least, some sort of design that places the tread for enough "out" to still engage on the dirt where it was intended to on narrower rims. On all of my other Racing Ralphs, the tread (knobs) measurement is slightly wider than the casings. However, with this wide rim, that relationship is in reverse.
On another note, I went for a road ride with Tara after work. As expected and after studying the data available, we hit flooding down at Summerset State Park. By my eyes it is the worst flooding received this year as the Middle River was really high, over the banks, and raging as it filled the park. According to a rider who had crossed the flooded sections, if we had gone across the flood waters it would have put water up to our hubs. That was enough to cause us to turn around. On the way back, I ran over a pile of big rocks and gravel on the paved trail from the flooing. I caught one rock pretty hard which subsequently shot out sideways with a very loud PING! A must have had a pinch flat as a few moments later my rear tire was deflated. Since the mosquitoes are the size of 747's at the moment, rather than spend the 5 or 6 minutes in the woods changing the tube, I had Tara ride home to get the car and come get me as I kept walking at a good clip for about 1.5 miles to avoid all the skeeters. I made it home and immediately started up the fire to grill chops, veggies and peaches for dinner.
Here's to dry weather and no flooding for the next couple of weeks. Our basement is fine this time around, but hundreds of residents in Indianola had flooded basements last night with all of that rain. Our two sump pumps are working non-stop to clear the drainage making me happy we had all that basement work done a few years ago. Before that work, our basement would have flooded as well.