29 agressive tires
I got my 2012 RF with stock Bontrager 29-4, 2.3" wide F/R.
Most of my rides are half day singletracks, and in 2-3 weaks I'm gonna go back to all day desert trails (25-30+ mile rides).
The 29-4 really do the job well, but I feel they have lots of rolling resistance so the bike are slowing me down.
Heard the 29X2.25 Maxxis Ardent rolls faster.
Does the Ardents really rolls faster/less rolling resistance? Can I really feel any difference?
If your looking to reduce rolling weight, you have tons of options. I dont wanna sound like a jerk, but Try a search on this forum first...I see 2-3 tire threads on the first page alone. I would also talk to riders who have actually ridden the trails you plan on riding. What rolls fast and grips well at my local trails may or may not work on your trails. Also depending on the season/weather, that can complicate things more.
Ardent would be a nice tire in the front, but may actually increase rolling resistance if you put one in the rear. For the rear try looking at racing Ralph, crossmark, ikon, sb8, or anything similar. I always ride a less agressive smaller tire in the rear, and a wider more knobby tire up front. Up front you can look at a nobby nic, ignitor, high roller, nevegals, Hans damp, etc. either way, try to talk to local riders and see what they have had good luck with.
As said, searching will turn up a lot of results. Also as said, go to the local forum for your region and search and then ask questions to see what others are riding in YOUR terrain and trails. Haven't ridden the 29er version of your tyre, but a dude I ride with has the 26" versions and they're def very knobby, soft and slow and I'd sure like to give them a try for the rough, tech trails I love.
Your idea to get a Ardent for the rear is a good one as that's where you feel a slow rolling tyre, much more so than on the front.If it were me, I'd just get the 1 Ardent for the rear and see just how much it improves the bikes ease of acceleration. Personally, not a huge fan of the Ardents, but they definitely roll very well and work well outback, upfront is where I dislike them and although I have and run them, not my #1 choice by far.
I'm a big fan of specialized captains.
No experience with the 29-4, but I've been running either a Purgatory or Ardent (both 2.4 width) on the front with a 29-3 in the rear for a while now. Ardent rolls faster than the Purgatory. Both have excellent grip.