I rolled out of bed and did an 'easy' ride out to the Headlands before work. It was really foggy and cold, but it felt really good to be out, having had too many pork buns and beer yesterday while watching the Niners lose. I had some major creaking happening on bike over the weekend, and spent a bit of time on Sunday getting the kinks out. This morning was the perfect time to test the tweaks.
I also, on a whim, decided to go back to my Racing Ralphs for a true comparison to my new Maxxis Ikons. I can say that there's a difference between the two. First, the Ralphs I have are about a half pound lighter, and feel so much more nimble than the Ikons. That extra rotational weight can be felt especially when sprinting out of the saddle and long sustained climbs. Corning is also a big advantage with the Ralphs as I'm able to just lean into anything without much hesitation. I never quite got comfortable with the Ikons. The Ralphs U-Block side knobs really make a difference.
I will say that the Ikons feel more secure overall with the larger and more supple casing, plus the confidence of knowing the sidewalls won't tear, but I've only done that once. I think I'll be riding my Ralphs until they need to be replaced, which is somewhat soon, another knock against them as they wear pretty fast. Don't get me wrong, I think the Ikons are an amazing tire, considering how well made they are, the weight and overall responsiveness of the tread design. I just think the Racing Ralphs are better for me and my style of riding.