|Back when it used to snow. In December. Remember that?
Enough grousing about the weather. Back ten years ago, the deal was that these tires were the bomb for snow riding. That sounds so odd now. But keep in mind that we were a good three years from being able to buy complete fat bikes out of the box. I was well aware of the Pugsley at this time, but it would have been a 2G investment at bike shop employee discount to get one built. Surly sold you the proprietary parts- the frame, fork, rims, and crank set. You supplied the rest. Building up wheels, sourcing the parts, your time, and headaches had to all be figured into the price.
Of course, not knowing that a fat bike would blow my mind and perceptions sky high, I could not justify a 2G investment for a bicycle I thought I would only use for a month, month and a half tops, every year. Yeah...... Unfathomable now, but I used to think that.
Anyway, Racing Ralphs, the original ones, were very supple, grippy tires on consolidated snow and packed snow. They were amazing in that regard. Ultimately they would go on to be one of my favorite tires I ever used before going tubeless. They were awesome on dry to tacky single track. They just weren't tubeless rated. Bummer. Then Schwalbe came out with tubeless Racing Ralphs and changed the tread pattern. The tire was never quite the same for me after that.