The Schwalbe tires are presented for 2011 with a new casing, using and combining three different layers of compound for increased performance.
The Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires use the PaceStar compound, optimized for Cross Country racing, but also for All Mountain. The difference between these tires and the previous years’ models is felt as soon as you start cycling. Traction is excellent, especially on climbs or push bike portions. Ground grip is simply excellent.
Whether you run on trails covered with leaves, grass or gravel, they provide very good performance. Inflated to the pressure recommended by the manufacturer, the Rocket Ron tires will reward you with a good running speed on the above mentioned trails. Nor will they let you down at cornering: due to U-shape positioned knobs, at 20 degrees to the outside of the tire, they will allow you to turn tight and very tight corners at decent speed. So they will help you save time, especially if you attend a competition.
Minuses are noted on tracks with bigger stones, especially on downhill segments, when the bike starts bouncing around, making it more difficult to control when pedaling at a high speed. The same problem can be met when crossing over protruding roots. When biking on asphalt, the noise can become annoying, but in this respect there will be only a very small “club” of those dissatisfied.
Another interesting aspect is that the new Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires can also be used without tubes. I mean they are tubeless ready. Be careful though, not all versions have this option. The TL Ready (Tubeless Ready) model discussed in this report weighs only 435 grams in the 26 x 2.10 size and makes you ask yourself: “What more could I want ?”. Absolutely natural, a tire with a weight so small can’t provide very good protection against snake bytes, so there will be only two options: either use it tubeless or use a liquid sealant to be introduced straight into the tube.
As compared to the previous year’s model, there’s a bit more spacing between the knobs. The good thing is that it doesn’t affect the running speed; what is even better is that it has very good cleaning capacity: shortly after passing through portions of mud, the tires instantly shed the earth that accumulates on the tire housing.
In conclusion, the Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires prove to be the perfect choice when it comes to performance. However, Rocket Ron is not the only candidate for the best tire for cross country racing. Keep in mind that the new range of Continental also includes the X King Supersonic tire, weighing similar but a little less thick: 26 x 2.00.
Weight: from 435 grams