Schwalbe – Interbike 2011

by Brian Mullin on September 23, 2011


Schwalbe released the Hans Dampf at Sea Otter this year, and it used their Triple Star Compound series with the sticky TrailStar variant, which has an easy rolling base, grippy center and extra grippy shoulders. At Interbike, they rolled out two new versions of the Hans Dampf. One has the faster cross country oriented PaceStar Compound (harder variant of the Triple Star Compound series), and the other is part of their single compound Performance series, which has a reasonable price point of $50. I have been thrashing my set of Hans Dampf’s since Sea Otter, and they’re a good all around tire with excellent durability. One of the great aspects of this tire is there do it all character, and the outer knobs don’t need to be rolled over quite as far to hook up while cornering and steering. The 2.35-inch tires come in both a 26 and 29er versions.


Hans Dampf Specs:

  • MSRP: TrailStar $90, PaceStar $90, Performance $49
  • Size: 26×2.35, 29×2.35 (only 26er in Performance)
  • Weight: 26er – 760 grams, 29er 850 grams
  • Casing: 67 EPI, Snakeskin Sidewall on Star versions
  • Compound: TrailStar, PaceStar, Performance
  • Tire Bead: Folding
  • Tubeless Ready on the Star versions


The Racing Ralph gets a new tread pattern this year along, and will utilize the cross-country PaceStar Compound. The new profile has rearranged the knobs, and should give a more consistent feel, with better transitioning and traction. The 29er profile was also tweaked, and is more spread out then the 26er, to take advantage of the big wheels larger contact area. They did a major overhaul on the casing, changing it from 67tpi to 127tpi, giving it a more supple feel, and losing 30 grams and decreasing the rolling resistance by 20 percent. The new tires are certainly light, coming in at 455 grams for the 26×2.1, 495 grams for the 26×2.25, 495 grams for the 29×2.1, and 535 grams for the 29×2.25 size. The tires are all tubeless ready (except for the Performance series), and come in a slew of version and sizes, including 26×2.1, 26×2.25, 29×2.1, 29x 2.25 and a big wide 2.9×2.35. The TL ready tires have some optional sidewall versions, such as SnakeSkin and DoubleDefense, and they even have hand-made tubulars. They also added a 4Cross edition of the Racing Ralph using the new GateStar compound with SnakeSkin sidewalls and come in a 26×2.25 sizing. The GateStar is a combination of the PaceStar for the center section, and the downhill VertStar for the shoulders, giving it great usage for 4Cross, SuperD and Enduro racing.


Racing Ralph Specs:

  • MSRP: Performance $49, PaceStar $84-$95, Tubulars $150-$160, GateStar $90
  • Size: 26×2.1, 26×2.25, 29×2.1, 29x 2.25, 2.9×2.35
  • Weight: 26er => 455 -695 grams, 29er => 495 – 620 grams
  • Casing: 127 TPI, with optional SnakeSkin and DoubleDefense sidewalls
  • Compound: TrailStar, PaceStar, Performance
  • Tire Bead: Folding and tubular
  • Tubeless Ready on the PaceStar versions

The Nobby Nic gets a couple of additions, including a sticky TrailStar edition in the 26×2.4 size, and a 4Cross edition with the new GateStar compound, which has the SnakeSkin sidewalls, and comes in a 26×2.25 sizing.

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