Schwalbe Racing Ralph 36x2.4

Eric -

Which of the methods you have tried do you think is best? This one seems a lot different than your 29" to 24" downsizing example. I understand due to the casing not peeling from the tread as easily you were somewhat forced to do it this way, but in a perfect world you’d prefer which method after riding on them all?

Also, do you think these methods would hold up to use on a bicycle where you would reach higher speeds and where the tire would experience more stress when cornering? My fear is the tire rolling off the rim due to a weaker bead, tearing the thread on rocks, or blowing at the seams from more impact while riding technical trails at speed.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

For what it’s worth

Schwalbe does runs in a minimum of 5000 tires, so they would have to see a “large demand” to justify the R&D plus $50k needed to make the mold, or they would need a unicycle manufacturer looking to do an OEM run of tires to essentially buy the whole run (how many 36ers are sold each year I wonder?).

And then you’d likely have a $150 retail tire, which would be cheaper than making your own as Eric has done, but a bit of a shocker otherwise.

You sound like you know something about tyres…

Yes, it may have been wishful thinking on my behalf, but surely a man can dream the impossible dream and wish for an affordable, lightweight offroad 36er tyre like the ralph?

The 29er version is a great tyre, i think the 36er version would be swell as well! I’d buy one, so that only leaves the rest of you to snap up the other 4999…haha :stuck_out_tongue:

No, only what I learned from Schwalbe USA today :slight_smile: I was hoping for something more like less than 200, that would at least be something a small group could sell themselves if Schwalbe were unwilling, but 5k tires at 150/ea is WAY outside that budget.

I think we’re all wishing for the same thing - anything better than 4lbs of rotating mass with “ok” grip. I did send a note to Schwalbe Germany as well questioning the level of demand they would need to ultimately chase that dream down for us and to give them an idea of the market that may exist. We’ll see what they say.

I am curious how many offroad 36er tires are sold in a year. I’d think something like the RR would corner that market pretty tidily and make 36ers more attractive in both the unicycling and bicycling communities. I’d take 2 today at just about any price.

Make mine a double…

Yeah that’s a valid point, make mine a double as well! That’s 4 tyres down, come on people, get in quick, only 4996 left! :stuck_out_tongue:

Whilst Schwalbe are at it, I’ve got some friends with 54" penny farthings that would snap up a decent off road tyre… 54" Racing Ralph, now we’re talking! :smiley:

They are quick to respond at least:

"thank you for your interest in our products.

I’am sorry that we don’t produce such big tires for bicycling. Our biggest tires in our product range are our 29 inches tires. Like our Racing Ralph, Nobby Nic and Rocket Ron.

We aren’t planning to produce 36 inches tires in the near future. That tire dimension is unfortunately to spezific."

For some reason the promise to take 4 tires of 5000 wasn’t enough :wink:

How predictable: the German’s taking this dead serious

I suppose your friends won’t have clincher rims on their 54" pennies… and I can’t quite imagine that you could just have a small batch of them extruded to your specifications…

But Tubular cyclocross tyres could be the solution. Tubulars are easier to “resize” than clinchers.
I’ve been told that they do also require a rim that’s different from the solid rubber ones, even though both kinds of tyres have the same simple torus/doughnut shape. But this kind of rim is definitely possible to source. Wooden tubular rims can be handcrafted in any size you like (aluminium: see above, carbon: surely not, you would need to make a new mold). And yes, rim brakes work on wooden rims.
So I think those friends of yours you mention really might be interested in trying a tubular system, if what you wrote apparently in jest has a serious essence. It’s the only available solution I know of.

It was 99.9% jest… but in fact one of my mates does have a custom manufactured Velocity rim on his 54" penny. It’s got a similar profile to the production Deep V.

square cut, strait across. I figured that was the best way to insure equal stretch/roundness throughout the tire.

So far I have done my first 32" tire, the downsizing of the 29 to 24", the second 32" tire, and the 36"

The first 32" tire had cut wire beads and only one side of the casing peeled clean. I just overlapped the casings and sewed the peeled one under the treaded casing leaving the bead broken and trusting the bead hook to hold the tire on.

The broken bead resulted in dips at the joins. but was able to ride with pressure anywhere from 35 to 85 PSI with no bead popping off the rim issues. (the original tires were rated 40-65 PSI)

The 24" tire basically has the casings sewn together then the tread rubber glued on-top. It worked really well but it was a major pain making sure that everything was lined up for every stitch and I was not pulling the casing out of alignment.

This one worked really well but was a major pain to do.

The second 32" tire was only sewn together at the overlapping beads and the rest was glued. I glued the casings together letting them cure with the tire inflated so everything would be lined up then glued down the flap of tread rubber (peeled from the bottom casing)

This tire turned out great but it had a fairly thick casing with extra anti-puncture layers built in and the double layer of casing made for a slight bump but it was otherwise round and works great.

I tried doing the 36 like the last 32 but couldn’t peel the tread so had to leave it attached to the top casing in the join. Tired doing a glue only join but the join was a bit to short and bulged out. I was able to rip apart the join after cutting the threads joining the beads and try again this time sewing the outer join just enough to prevent the tread from bulging when I inflated it. I didn’t was to sew the tin sidewall as I plan on testing the tire tubeless some day and don’t want extra holes in the casing I didn’t need. next time though I am going to sew from bead to bead as it let the sidewall bulge about 1mm on either side.

With the thin casing and high volume I can not detect the joins at all when riding. I think this is the best one yet.

I don’t think I would want to try the broken (unattached) bead method like my first 32" for extreme riding but think all the other tires would do just fine on a bike. The beads a joined really well with threads going around and through the aramid/kevlar beads. The stitching on the 36" tire was basically to hold things in place while the glue dried and the glued sections should be stronger than the single walled areas. It would still be a good idea to check the joins before and after rides to make sure they aren’t separating though. so far I haven’t had anything glued with marine goop separate.

I also like the idea of the tubular tires but have no experience with them. I like clincher tires simply because I have clincher rims. I would love to see someone build a huge sew up to replace the hard rubber tire on a big wheel.

Not bad. This is really interesting. So he lengthens tyres himself like saskatchewanian?

I’ll try exactly that and report. Sooner or later.
Sorry, the decision would be easier if I had more money.

His 54" penny still runs a solid rubber tyre, I think it’s custom, but I will have to talk to him in detail about how the tyre fits onto the rim.

Just pulled my wheel apart to inspect the joins and get a accurate weight for the tire.

One of the joins still looks perfect but the other is just starting to peel back on one side of the sidewall where it was not sewn. The threads sewing the tires together are showing some wear in the tread section but when I pulled at one from the inside with pliers it still held when I was concerned with tearing the casing.

The tire has has been used about 200km on road, 120km off road, and about 50km on crushed limestone (sharp pointy gravel, very hard on tires).

Finally weighted the tire and it came out to a very respectable 760g.

I was surprised that it was so much lighter than my previous guess at 840g and looking at my numbers I used 590g on a 26" tire instead of 29". That moves the calculated theoretical weight from 841g to 757g. Almost spot on.

Taking orders?

Wow, that is quite light for such a big tire!
Wonder if something like a kevlar thread would be better for wear?
So when do you start accepting orders ? :wink:
I’d take 2 for this thing (seriously):

:astonished: :astonished: Is that a Jones space frame 36er? :astonished: :astonished:

wow I thought I was keeping up with the 36er bikes that were out there but that is the first time I have seen that one.

As to making tires to sell, my current job is ending in 3 weeks and I am in the process of moving my stuff back south and won’t be able to build until after that but throw me a PM and I will let you know what I am thinking.

No, it’s a Black Sheep ZAMer built in Ti. I’ve had it a week so far and loving it, except the wheels are HEAVY. Almost 20 lbs in wheels and ~12 lbs in the rest. The weight isn’t bad at all on flats or descents but climbing is a chore as I’m sure you’re aware.

This thread had seen a bit of discussion on MTBR forums by the biking crowd. There are a few builders making 36ers but also a few guys building their own so the crowd asking for lighter wheels is growing. You seem to have hit onto the easiest way to drop 4-5lbs.

I’ll shoot you a PM.

Here are a few more, not to hijack the thread too much :wink:

So the RaRa blew its bead after about 800km (500mi) of use. quite disappointing that the bead went as I thought that that part of the join was particularly good.

It had survived some good rides with plenty of lumps and bumps then blew up sitting in the back of my car parked in the sun with the windows closed.

I had noticed a week or so prior to it blowing out that the bead has stretched some over time and it was sitting looser on the rim than when it was new.

I wasn’t heartbroken though. While it was a great tire for loose conditions and good for the rough stuff it felt a bit unstable with the large volume and paper thin sidewalls. I threw on my old TA and started scheming about a new tire.

Introducing the Vredestein Tiger Claw 36x1.9

The join:

tire clearance:

Took the tire out on “Rob’s Ride” the morning after finishing it for a shake down cruise and it felt great. I had to run a bit higher pressure but it felt much more alive on the road and handled itself admirably on the trails. Only place it had any troubles compared to my other tires I have used was in loose gravel.

while out there Jim took a quick video about the tire, here it is:

I was really liking this tire and the next morning I took the tire off the rim to make sure I could separate the tube from the tire where the splices are and after I put it all back together pumped it up and about 1km into the next ride pop, ping, fump. The tire popped off the rim on one side and jammed on the frame stopping me dead. Looks like I joined this one too big and upset some sort of fine balance when I took it off and re-installed.

Everything looks fine on the tire, but after it pops off the rim like that I don’t think I can trust it. They are both going to be shrunk down for the 32" and I will make another 36"

So RaRa 36 DOW after about 800km and the new Vred last all of 30. not such a good track record.

I will be happy when a tire I sew goes at least 1000km and looks like it will keep going until the tread wears out.

Very tidy - you even got the logos nicely spaced this time :wink:

Didn’t take you long to make it then… it was only a couple of days ago that the RR broke wasn’t it?


Hey- very nice job. Will you ever have to touch up the work, or is this a permanent job?

That’s a pretty trick head tube set up on the Black Sheep :slight_smile: