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  1. #1
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    Maxxis Ardent race

    Holy blithering heck!

    I'm a bit of a tyre junkie and I hadn't found much 29er stuff that floated my boat. Least favourite of all was the original ardent, it rolled well for its size but that was all it seemed good at.

    When pics came out of the ardent race I figured that looked pretty cool, probably to replace when I would use a crossmark. At least the side knobs line up.

    Getting the tyre in the flesh, it is totally redesigned and bears very little resemblance to the original Ardent. Smaller knobs, more closed tread, more solid corner knobs. Casing was 54mm wide, knobs were probably 56mm wide, so 2.2" is an accurate size!

    I couldn't get the exo version, so I got the ordinary one and mounted it on the front (Norco Shinobi, running a Pike). The sidewall felt pretty reasonable, even in the ordinary version, but I destroy sidewalls on the rear so its ust or exo only. I wasnt sure if it would stay there so I just mounted it with a tube for simplicity. I paired it with a 2.25 racing ralph on the rear as I had the snakeskin version of it and it was the exact same width across the casing.

    First ride -

    I came off high rollers so I knew it was going to feel fast. What I didn't expect was that the level of grip was going to be so high.
    Honestly on hard pack, rock, roots, light dust covered trails it was amazing. Deep loose stuff, not so much. It didnt have the open space or knob height to deal with it. I'm guessing come winter time it will pack up easily.

    By FAR the best tyre I've used for trail riding. If first impressions are correct, this tyre is a game changer the way that the Minion changed DH when it came out. I firmly believe that. It will stay on my bike till I need a winter tyre.

    I will weigh it, tubeless it and go again. I will also start hassling for an exo version for the rear (showed up the racing ralph as the weird, skittery, squirm and skip at the same time thing that schwalbe xc tyres can be) and some 26" versions for my sons bike.

  2. #2
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    Maxxis Ardent race

    I'm in the market for new tires myself. I'll have to check these out!


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  3. #3
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    Looking forward to the weight. This tire was introduced over a year ago and maxxis still doesn't have any specs on their site. Way to go maxxis.

  4. #4
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    Ardent race 3c tr 2.2 x 29 = 687gm

    Thought I'd grab some other weights, to at least give some relevance to my numbers. All weights on the same scale.

    Racing Ralph pace star snakeskin 2.25 x 29 = 710gm
    Ikon exception 2.2 x 29 = 570gm
    Ardent exo 2.4 x 29 = 842gm
    Conti x-king 2.2 x 29 = 770gm
    Conti mountain king 2.4 x 29 = 783gm

    To my mind, the ardent race is about the minimum reliable trail riding weight. I assume the exo version will weigh low 700's.
    I'm not certain that "race" should be in the name, unless you are talking enduro. Certainly far too porky for the traditional xc crowd.

  5. #5
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    I want to see pics. Agree 100% with you on the original 2.25" Ardent, sucked big time as a front tyre for me, can't say I like the 2.4" version much better, but the bigger/taller knobs help. Have the new 2.25" Ardent in 650B and it looks almost the same as the 2.4", but haven't seen the race version of this tyre.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  6. #6
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    This thread needs pics big time. Wonder how it would do as a rear?

  7. #7
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    A Google image search produced better photos than I can.
    I'm sure it will be excellent as a rear, just like the original ardent only more predictable when leaned over. The lower knob height may have a slight positive impact on rolling resistance, the 3c (maxxspeed) compound is pretty good, I'd imagine it will sit between the crossmark and ikon for rolling resistance.
    The center line is solid enough that most people should even get reasonable mileage, even those who have to ride roads to get to the trails.
    I have friends who are blessed with the problem of wheelspin when they climb on a crossmark, when I get a rear I will make sure they have a go. Either my puny chicken legs don't develop the same power or I am amazingly skilled after all these years riding :-)

    The schwalbe tyres will always feel more lively, I'm still fairly certain they are the king of low rolling resistance, but finding the gems in their range can be a frustrating and expensive exercise.

  8. #8
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    Maxxis Ardent race

    Is this tire available yet? I can't seem to find it anywhere .

  9. #9
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    This tire is definitely awesome. It's the hot shit tire for trail riding. I think if you are doing light singletrack riding, the IKON would be the way to go, but as the OP said, for "trail" riding this thing is the best rear tire I've tried.

    Ardent 2.4 front, Ardent Race rear. Done and done.

    -Tom

  10. #10
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    What? Light singletrack riding?

    I used my Ardent race for black diamond enderpo riding on the weekend. Still impressed.

  11. #11
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    Maybe you misread. Light single track = IKON.

  12. #12
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    Are you guys testers for maxxis ? Nobody has this tire listed.

    Hope the exo version is in the low 700s.

  13. #13
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    Mine are prototypes. I was pretty excited when I heard that they were going to make them.

  14. #14
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    I'm not involved in any way, I just bought them from an online shop.
    Maxxis Ardent Race 29x2.20 3C EXO TR Folding MTB Tyre
    I have no idea how they appear to be available in Australia before the US. That never happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by trhoppe View Post
    Maybe you misread. Light single track = IKON.
    I didn't misread, I just have no idea what this is.
    I started and there was mountain biking, then xc or dh, then all mountain, now there are more sub categories than headset standards.
    Race tyres are just that, for everything else you need a pattern that suits your terrain, and a compromise of weight, strength, rolling speed, grip and wear that you can live with.

    The ikon weighs sub 600gm, the sidewall is noticeably lighter. It isn't a tyre I can ride reliably, the terrain I ride has too many sharp rocks.
    I think most riders can work that out for themselves, some tyres may be tough for their weight, but maxxis is pretty consistent. Close to 500gm is light but weak, 700-850 is their middle ground, 1kg or more is shuttle only dh tyres.

  15. #15
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    I wasn't trying to describe a discipline, but more describe the type of trail and/or terrain.

    You said your terrain has too many sharp rocks. I wouldn't describe that as "light singletrack". Your terrain is exactly the type of terrain that I would ride an Ardent on. Except my choice would be Ardent 2.4 regular on the front and the Ardent Race on the back. I just love the grip of the 2.4 and will give up a little bit of the rolling resistance for that grip.

    "Light singletrack" IMO is that sort of ribbon of packed dirt and some rocks/roots as well, but not anything that is rocky enough to tear up sidewalls. As just like you, my experience with the IKON is that it's a great tire pattern but because the tire is optimized for light weight, the sidewalls, even the EXO version don't stand up to rocks.

    I do endurance MTB racing, so 6 hour singletrack as well as 100 mile mixed terrain races. The IKON is just not worth it as one flat will set you back more than running a burlier tire. If I was doing 20 mile XC races on "light singletrack" I would choose the IKON as my weapon

    My fun trail bike (Trek Remedy) has Ardent 2.4 26" front and rear as it goes anywhere and grip > rolling resistance.
    My MTB endurance race bike (29er) has Ardent 2.4 front and Ardent Race rear
    My bikepacking/exploring bike (29er) that I don't take on super rocky stuff is Ardent 2.25 front and IKON rear. That bike sees that light singletrack type of terrain as well as gravel/pavement.

    -Tom
    Maxxis fanboi

  16. #16
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    Interesting, looks like it'll be a good tire to pick up.

    Sidenote, but why doesn't Maxxis have more Exo tires? Being that i run mine tubeless i won't buy anything without a burly sidewall. I've been consistently disappointed to find my favorite tires unavailable with Exo in several sizes.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by weedkilla1 View Post
    The ikon weighs sub 600gm, the sidewall is noticeably lighter. It isn't a tyre I can ride reliably, the terrain I ride has too many sharp rocks.
    My Ikon 2.35 EXO's are 705g
    Bend, Oregon

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by thuren View Post
    My Ikon 2.35 EXO's are 705g
    They were probably talking about the 2.2. I didn't realize they made a 2.35 Ikon Exo though, good to know. How's the *actual* width? My 2.2's are more like a 2.0-2.1.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porch View Post
    They were probably talking about the 2.2. I didn't realize they made a 2.35 Ikon Exo though, good to know. How's the *actual* width? My 2.2's are more like a 2.0-2.1.
    At about 35psi, 2.30" casing, 2.36" knob-to-knob. This is on 24mm ID rims.

    Sweet freaking tires. Very flat profile so the side knobs engage quick.
    Bend, Oregon

  20. #20
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    I'd be curious to know some actual casing height and width numbers. If big enough, I'd love to try the Ardent Race.
    Bend, Oregon

  21. #21
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    54mm casing width, 56mm tread. On a 23mm id rim.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by weedkilla1 View Post
    54mm casing width, 56mm tread. On a 23mm id rim.
    Bummer...... If they made that tire in a 59mm or so casing width, with a tallish sidewall, I'd be all over it. Liking the higher volume tires for expensive carbon rim protection.
    Bend, Oregon

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by weedkilla1 View Post
    Holy blithering heck!

    I'm a bit of a tyre junkie and I hadn't found much 29er stuff that floated my boat. Least favourite of all was the original ardent, it rolled well for its size but that was all it seemed good at.

    When pics came out of the ardent race I figured that looked pretty cool, probably to replace when I would use a crossmark. At least the side knobs line up.

    Getting the tyre in the flesh, it is totally redesigned and bears very little resemblance to the original Ardent. Smaller knobs, more closed tread, more solid corner knobs. Casing was 54mm wide, knobs were probably 56mm wide, so 2.2" is an accurate size!

    I couldn't get the exo version, so I got the ordinary one and mounted it on the front (Norco Shinobi, running a Pike). The sidewall felt pretty reasonable, even in the ordinary version, but I destroy sidewalls on the rear so its ust or exo only. I wasnt sure if it would stay there so I just mounted it with a tube for simplicity. I paired it with a 2.25 racing ralph on the rear as I had the snakeskin version of it and it was the exact same width across the casing.

    First ride -

    I came off high rollers so I knew it was going to feel fast. What I didn't expect was that the level of grip was going to be so high.
    Honestly on hard pack, rock, roots, light dust covered trails it was amazing. Deep loose stuff, not so much. It didnt have the open space or knob height to deal with it. I'm guessing come winter time it will pack up easily.

    By FAR the best tyre I've used for trail riding. If first impressions are correct, this tyre is a game changer the way that the Minion changed DH when it came out. I firmly believe that. It will stay on my bike till I need a winter tyre.

    I will weigh it, tubeless it and go again. I will also start hassling for an exo version for the rear (showed up the racing ralph as the weird, skittery, squirm and skip at the same time thing that schwalbe xc tyres can be) and some 26" versions for my sons bike.
    I've been riding a prototype version of this tire that I was fortunate enough to get my hands on early in the riding season. I am not a racer (couldn't be much further from it), and I ride on rough and rocky east coast trails. In the past the Exo Ikon was my favorite rear tire because it rolled fast, gripped well enough for my riding style and held up reasonably well (I could get 2-3 months on it generally, although a friend trashed his in one ride - I guess I have a little finesse...). However, the Ardent TR Race that I have is IMO the perfect tire for a rider like me. It has been substantially more durable - at 6-7 months of use the sidewalls show minimal scuffing and only a few surface cuts. The tire rolls well, and while I am sure it is heavier than the Ikon (sorry - I didn't weight it before I mounted it), the extra weight is more than welcome for the durability it provides. The most noticeable thing at this point is that the side knobs are certainly looking pretty chewed up. Not to the point where I won't use the tire, but you can definitely see the tire is well used.

    For my $$ I'd buy this tire again in a heartbeat. I can only hope that Maxxis hasn't made any substantial changes from the version that I am running. I'm sure there are folks out there that would prefer it to be lighter but as far as I'm concerned that is what the Ikon is for. I can't wait for the Ardent TR Race to hit the market.

  24. #24
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    Favorite rear tire, or front and back?

    Thanks!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by antonio View Post
    Favorite rear tire, or front and back?

    Thanks!
    It's my favorite rear tire. I've been running a 2.35 Nobby Nic up front and am happy enough with it to keep using it. The Ardent Race TR is the one I rave about though.

  26. #26
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    You should really do yourself a favour and put a HR2 on the front and learn what real confidence and grip is like
    Quote Originally Posted by TurnerConvert View Post
    It's my favorite rear tire. I've been running a 2.35 Nobby Nic up front and am happy enough with it to keep using it. The Ardent Race TR is the one I rave about though.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    You should really do yourself a favour and put a HR2 on the front and learn what real confidence and grip is like
    I have no doubt that the HR2 is impressive as far as grip goes, but it is way more tire than I want to push, and is really overkill for my riding (at least my riding style). I had a Hans Dampf up front (tried both PaceStar and TrailStar compounds), and the extra effort to pedal these on anything flat to uphill was very noticeable for me. Maybe if I can get back to riding >2 times per week, I'd be happier to accept the extra rolling resistance that comes with the improved grip that the HR2 offers. For now the Nobby Nic isn't perfect, but it is a reasonable compromise.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurnerConvert View Post
    I have no doubt that the HR2 is impressive as far as grip goes, but it is way more tire than I want to push, and is really overkill for my riding (at least my riding style). I had a Hans Dampf up front (tried both PaceStar and TrailStar compounds), and the extra effort to pedal these on anything flat to uphill was very noticeable for me. Maybe if I can get back to riding >2 times per week, I'd be happier to accept the extra rolling resistance that comes with the improved grip that the HR2 offers. For now the Nobby Nic isn't perfect, but it is a reasonable compromise.
    funny I experimented with hans dampf and nobby nic in front. The hans dampf is rock solid, but I shaved a ton of weight going to the nobby nic and I could definitely feel it. The nobby nic isnt as sure footed, but is still "just right".

    Right now Im trying to work my skills up so I can ride an ikon in the rear. It is so fast.. Im riding a specialized ground control which is faster than a 2.25 ardent but has a touch less grip. When I tried the ikon I was failing to make lots of technical stuff. Eventually my skills will reach the point where it will be ok.

    A friend of mine rides 590g bontrager tires (look similar to SB 8's) on the same terrain and clears everything because he is a much better rider. If I tried to do that I would be walking everything.

  29. #29
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    Re: Maxxis Ardent race

    Quote Originally Posted by TurnerConvert View Post
    I've been riding a prototype version of this tire that I was fortunate enough to get my hands on early in the riding season. I am not a racer (couldn't be much further from it), and I ride on rough and rocky east coast trails. In the past the Exo Ikon was my favorite rear tire because it rolled fast, gripped well enough for my riding style and held up reasonably well (I could get 2-3 months on it generally, although a friend trashed his in one ride - I guess I have a little finesse...). However, the Ardent TR Race that I have is IMO the perfect tire for a rider like me. It has been substantially more durable - at 6-7 months of use the sidewalls show minimal scuffing and only a few surface cuts. The tire rolls well, and while I am sure it is heavier than the Ikon (sorry - I didn't weight it before I mounted it), the extra weight is more than welcome for the durability it provides. The most noticeable thing at this point is that the side knobs are certainly looking pretty chewed up. Not to the point where I won't use the tire, but you can definitely see the tire is well used.

    For my $$ I'd buy this tire again in a heartbeat. I can only hope that Maxxis hasn't made any substantial changes from the version that I am running. I'm sure there are folks out there that would prefer it to be lighter but as far as I'm concerned that is what the Ikon is for. I can't wait for the Ardent TR Race to hit the market.
    I run the 2.2 Ikon Exo on the rear of my ht and generally like it, especially given the weight. My two minor complaints are volume and climbing grip in loose conditions. How does the Ardent race compare to the Ikon 2.2 in these areas? I'd be willing to give up some weight for a little more cush. Was considering going to an Ikon 2.35 on the rear like I run on the front.

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedS123 View Post
    I run the 2.2 Ikon Exo on the rear of my ht and generally like it, especially given the weight. My two minor complaints are volume and climbing grip in loose conditions. How does the Ardent race compare to the Ikon 2.2 in these areas? I'd be willing to give up some weight for a little more cush. Was considering going to an Ikon 2.35 on the rear like I run on the front.
    I'll check the width tomorrow - however, it isn't an incredibly high-volume tire and I would ballpark it as being similar to the 2.2 ikon. Also, the tread on the Ardent Race is a lower tread height than the original Ardent; I think it's a little taller than the Ikon but not significantly. The place for me where the Ardent shines is the combination of durability and lowish rolling resistance. It seems like most tires that roll well have flimsy sidewalls that I wreck in a handful of rides and most tires that are built to be durable roll like tanks. The Ardent Race (prototype in my case) is the rare combination of these two. As I said before I just hope they haven't changed it much from the prototype I have going into production - otherwise I personally don't think there would be much to differentiate this from the Ikon.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by weedkilla1 View Post
    Ardent race 3c tr 2.2 x 29 = 687gm

    Thought I'd grab some other weights, to at least give some relevance to my numbers. All weights on the same scale.

    Racing Ralph pace star snakeskin 2.25 x 29 = 710gm
    Ikon exception 2.2 x 29 = 570gm
    Ardent exo 2.4 x 29 = 842gm
    Conti x-king 2.2 x 29 = 770gm
    Conti mountain king 2.4 x 29 = 783gm

    To my mind, the ardent race is about the minimum reliable trail riding weight. I assume the exo version will weigh low 700's.
    I'm not certain that "race" should be in the name, unless you are talking enduro. Certainly far too porky for the traditional xc crowd.
    Interesting to see real world weights. Most retailers list the 29 2.25 RR snake skin as 605g.

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    I haven't seen the Ardent race yet but sounds promising. There was a lot of discussion a few months ago on the Ikon 2.35. I just put one on and its def. different tire than the Ikon 2.2. Much taller side knobs, and a lot of volume. Looks to be a great rear tire paired with the new Ardent up front.

  33. #33
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    Re: Maxxis Ardent race

    Anybody have any idea when these are coming out in the US??

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8iking VIIking View Post
    Anybody have any idea when these are coming out in the US??
    Followed, because I want to know as well. Looks like my ideal race tire.
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  35. #35
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    I've been really happy with a "micro knob" type tire in the back for endurance events. Conti Race King rolls real nice and grips great though I put a hole in the sidewall that spwed sealant so I switched back to a tube.

    I'm mainly rolling on a pair of Hans Dampfs in TrailStar compound these days. They roll just fine compared to my Big Dummy with a toddler on the back :-)

  36. #36
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    Anyone find the Ardent Race in 29 in the US?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by White Bear View Post
    Anyone find the Ardent Race in 29 in the US?
    BTI and QBP still don't have any eta on them.

  38. #38
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    With ardent's being a popular front, would ardent race's make a good XC front (XC trails with the occasional race)? I've noticed lots of talk about using it as a rear...

    Thinking about Ardent race at the front and Ignitors at the rear (or would crossmark/ikon make a better alternative)?

    edit: looks like ikon might be on the rear instead of ignitors for 27.5" (ignitors not in 27.5")....hmm or crossmarks?
    Last edited by evilsync; 12-10-2013 at 07:56 PM.

  39. #39
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    Re: Maxxis Ardent race

    From what I've read it sounds like it would be an awesome front tire for xc applications. Or as a rear for a trail bike with a beefier tire up front. Would love to try one but would rather not order one from overseas...

  40. #40
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    If you're looking for tyres for real XC, then I'd say Crossmark R/Ikon F. Crossmarks will still give you an amazing amount of traction and grip out back and the Ikon will match the sort of grip fr cornering as compared to the Crossmark on the rear, IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by evilsync View Post
    With ardent's being a popular front, would ardent race's make a good XC front (XC trails with the occasional race)? I've noticed lots of talk about using it as a rear...

    Thinking about Ardent race at the front and Ignitors at the rear (or would crossmark/ikon make a better alternative)?

    edit: looks like ikon might be on the rear instead of ignitors for 27.5" (ignitors not in 27.5")....hmm or crossmarks?
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  41. #41
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    Re: Maxxis Ardent race

    Ikon 2.35 front/ikon 2.2 rear is a good combo. I suppose ikon 2.35 front/ cross mark rear would work well also. I wouldn't recommend the ikon 2.2 out front though....its just not grippy enough IMO

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by White Bear View Post
    Anyone find the Ardent Race in 29 in the US?
    Just call up Maxxis USA; they should be able to give you an ETA. Maxxis International Locations & Contact Information

    Quote Originally Posted by evilsync View Post
    With ardent's being a popular front, would ardent race's make a good XC front (XC trails with the occasional race)? I've noticed lots of talk about using it as a rear...

    Thinking about Ardent race at the front and Ignitors at the rear (or would crossmark/ikon make a better alternative)?

    edit: looks like ikon might be on the rear instead of ignitors for 27.5" (ignitors not in 27.5")....hmm or crossmarks?
    Every year I would order some special one-off's for my sponsored riders, and one tire would always be the Ardent 2.25 with a 120 tpi casing; essentially a lightweight version of the Ardent for XC for the front, where sidewall protection is not usually needed. I thought it would be better to make an XC race-specific version of the Ardent for the public, though; hence the Ardent Race was developed. So it was really designed as a front tire XC race tread, though the Exo version should make a great rear trail tire.

    I would pair it with an Ikon on the rear. Although if your trail conditions are really loose, you could go with the Ignitor. Or if you ride a lot of pavement to the trail head, go with the CrossMark.
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

  43. #43
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    I just received mine yesterday. I'm in California and ordered internationally from Pushys online. Simple push of the button and it arrived in 2 weeks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMM View Post
    I just received mine yesterday. I'm in California and ordered internationally from Pushys online. Simple push of the button and it arrived in 2 weeks.
    Awesome, what do you think of them now that you see them in the flesh? Ride report to follow?

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    Maxxis Ardent race-maxxis-ardent-race-exo-tr-mounted.jpg

    Just mounted it up last night. It's a good looking tire for sure. 747 grams in EXO/TR version. I like the look of the tread pattern . I am looking for a faster rolling tire with some reasonable grip, and I hope these are the ticket. Will trade off some weight for durability/cornering so long as there is good rolling resistance.

    I will report back after my first ride.

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    Re: Maxxis Ardent race

    Quote Originally Posted by GMM View Post
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    Just mounted it up last night. It's a good looking tire for sure. 747 grams in EXO/TR version. I like the look of the tread pattern . I am looking for a faster rolling tire with some reasonable grip, and I hope these are the ticket. Will trade off some weight for durability/cornering so long as there is good rolling resistance.

    I will report back after my first ride.
    Awesome, looking forward to it!

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    Despite being under the weather (not ideal testing conditions), I headed out to the trails today for my first ride on my Ardent Race EXO/TR. I paired the Race on the rear with the regular Ardent (2.25) Exo/TR on the front. These tires replaced 2.3 High Rollers, which are admittedly in a different category. The HR's are 900+ gram terrain eating beasts. If I get the courage to try an Enduro race, I'd throw those back on.

    Now on to the Ardent Race. Before reaching the trailhead I had to pedal about a mile on paved road. There is a cork screw turn on the road which starts the climbing. I stood up to test the acceleration and was very pleased with how the bike jumped forward. Obviously, night and day different than than the HR's-- no surprise there.

    On the trail, the Ardents scooted along nicely on the fire road climb. (climbed about 1,500 in 5 miles). Now onto the descent: The tires picked-up speed very nicely and cornered very confidently through some fast single track. No problem through the fast rolling hills type rockier sections either. On one steep rock garden descent, the rear tire did break loose. In fairness, the section is a handful for most tires, and I would have been surprised if there was no slippage. I approached the section slowly and didn't really decelerate suddenly. So I think the slippage was a function of the tire more than technique. In this particular section, I am ok with some rear wheel slippage. Fortunately, the front wheel was well controlled.

    At the end of the descent, there is a long fire road climb back to the car. It was nice to have tires with good rolling resistance and reasonable weight. On several sections of the climb, there was some loose gravel, not particularly thick but certainly noticeable. On those sections, I tried to stand and climb to test traction, and here's where the shorter knobs of the Ardent Race were a real weakness. I thought traction in those conditions was weak. Of course, it's best to avoid standing on gravel covered climbs, but there are times when I do it, and there are better tires for this. Here's where I should note that I run tire pressure higher than many on these boards. I like to keep the rear around 30 psi, whereas I see many on these boards in the low 20's. With low profile center knobs, I may drop to 27 lbs and have another go. My experience running lower than that on any tire hasn't been positive.

    Since I've only had my new 29er for a short time, I don't have a bunch of 29er tire experience. So can't offer many comparisons. I definitely prefer the Ardent Race to the HR's, but am not sure it's so much faster than the regular Ardent (which I rode on several demos) to warrant the trade-off in loose climbing. I'm assuming the gravel spin out issue would also manifest itself in loose shale type conditions which I find riding the high mountains in the summer. For my local San Francisco Bay Area riding, I think the Ardent Race will be a fine tire, but I'm not ready to crown it my favorite tire yet. But I'll definitely need to adjust tire pressure before making any final decisions.

  48. #48
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    GMM, never have been a fan of the Ardent, just don't like the lack of intermediate knobs, the only place I'll run one now is on the rear. Saying that, I like to run the HR2 upfront with something faster outback and the Ardent works a lot of the time if you don't have mud, and/or if you don't mind having to work very hard if you do for traction and control. The tyre I wish Maxxis would make a wider version of in 29", for some reason they seem dead set against - would love a 2.35" Ignitor. On my rigid I now run 2.4" Ardent rear/2.4" Chunky Monkey front and it works very well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMM View Post
    But I'll definitely need to adjust tire pressure before making any final decisions.
    Thanks for the review! good job even under the weather!
    You didn't mention whether you're tubeless or tube, and your weight but I'm guessing tube. I'm running a wider rim ~ 27mm internal and find that tire traction is more dependent on inflation than tread pattern, at least for climbing rock and loose. It's about the size of the contact patch, imho, and with NN and others I typically run 20-22 psi tubeless (weigh 185 loaded). When I run 30 psi for the first few miles after putting on a new tire, it's unrecognizable...totally a pos traction wise. After lowering the pressure, the tire dynamics change dramatically. If running tubes then I understand why the higher pressures. It's no fun having snakebites.
    I know you know all this, but just wanted to reiterate the point about how critical tire pressure is to tire function for others.

  50. #50
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    White Bear, I'm actually running tubeless with WTB I23 rims. I also weigh close to 185 lbs, loaded with camelback. I know I have probably been too conservative with tire pressure-- mostly to avoid burping as I've had some bad experiences. Burped twice in a race last year with 26 psi, but I'll admit it was a very rocky course. I should go back out at 27 psi and see how that changes the Ardent Race's performance, which wasn't bad at 30 psi, but probably not ideal. If I need to run in the low 20's, then it probably isn't the tire for me.

    LyNx, I love the grip of the HR2 upfront, and thought of pairing it with a faster tire in the rear, but I may want to enter another race or two again this year with lots of climbing. While that's uncertain, I'd like to find a tire combo that won't punish me on the climbs in case I do race. There is some intermediate drift with Ardents, but I doesn't bother me too much. If tires won't so damn expensive these days, I'd be experimenting more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMM View Post
    White Bear, I'm actually running tubeless with WTB I23 rims.
    While I'm not racing, and not leaning heavily into turns, I have yet to burp at 22 psi. in normal use. That said, I did burp once a year ago when I hadn't checked air pressure and the level of Stan's (dried out), so I don't know if 2 psi or Stan's level would have made any difference. Also, that was on my old set of Stan's Flow rims. I'm now on Enve AM rims which are a bit wider. I am really curious what 25 psi would be like for you.
    BTW, since you're racing, you really should try the Specialized S-Works Fast Track Specialized Bicycle Components in 2.20. You'll love that tire.

  52. #52
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    I'm not really a "racer," but do enjoy entering a few races, more so for the race course than the competition. Funny you mention the Fast Track as I just threw one on my old 26" bike. Years ago I used to ride a WTB Nano and that thing felt like it added 2 mph to my speed.

  53. #53
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    Just wanted to provide an update on this tire. I dropped the psi to 25 from 30, and it does indeed grip better and corners very solidly. However, I would say that it still does slip out more on powdery dirt and gravel when applying power than a tire with taller center nobs. That shouldn't be a big surprise, but it is worth noting to anyone who might think otherwise. The flip side is now that I finally got over a nagging cold and can push a bit more, I am appreciating the rolling resistance of this tire even more. I think this would be a very good tire for endurance type events, and if I get the courage to enter one, I will be using the Ardent Race. On the other hand, for our dry and loose summer conditions, I will probably put on something with a bit more grip, maybe the Specialized Captain.

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    With some more time on this tyre I can safely say my original enthusiasm hasnt waned. It really is a special blend of weight, rolling resistance and grip. The side knobs provide a much more predictable cornering bite than the oe ardent, the low knob height reduces knob squirm, it rolls really well. That same low knob height does reduce its effectiveness in loose situations, especially gravel. It is a trade off I can accept for all the other good attributes, but this may not apply for all people on all terrain types.
    It is similar in loose situations to a crossmark or 2.2 ikon, and better in many others.
    Im happy using it as a front tyre, a pair, or as a rear with a hr2 on the front.

    It is a better tyre on the front with a tube than it is tubeless, but the difference is slight. But that applies to almost all single walled tyres, particularly if you cant remember to ride a trail bike more gently than a dh bike :-)

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    Are these available in the states? Anyone got a lead? Have'nt seen them for sale. Thanks

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    Would like to know this as well.

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    Bike bling has them in stock now. Not cheap, guess on par with other fancy tires.

    Maxxis Ardent Race K tire, 29 x 2.25" 3C/EXO/TR from BikeBling.com

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    Is the weight on the exo much higher?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Learux View Post
    Bike bling has them in stock now. Not cheap, guess on par with other fancy tires.

    Maxxis Ardent Race K tire, 29 x 2.25" 3C/EXO/TR from BikeBling.com
    I called them before ordering those - they're not in stock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Ranger View Post
    I called them before ordering those - they're not in stock.
    Bike bling likes to do that. Universal still doesn't have them listed, so it's likely there aren't any in the country yet.

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    I am running double IKONs for XC racing and was interested if anyone had any feedback on how Ardent Race stacks up as a front tire? Specifically looking to see how it handle over dusty hardpack and gravel type situations.
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    Maxxis Ardent race

    I just bought one from bike bling. I'll report back my findings.


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    Just mounted mine up in the rear. IKON 2.2 up front. Attached a side by side shot for comparison. I traditionally run Double IKON 2.2s. Upcoming XC race is loose trail conditions w/ alot of climbing. Reviews say this is where you see the difference vs. the IKON. We shall see.

    Maxxis Ardent race-20140406_170405723_ios.jpg
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    Nice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty2341 View Post
    Just mounted mine up in the rear. IKON 2.2 up front. Attached a side by side shot for comparison. I traditionally run Double IKON 2.2s. Upcoming XC race is loose trail conditions w/ alot of climbing. Reviews say this is where you see the difference vs. the IKON. We shall see.
    Just an FYI; the ultimate cornering grip of the Ardent Race should be better than the Ikon 2.2. So be cautious while pushing it in the corners.
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    Maxxis Ardent race

    You are saying don't expect to push the corners harder while still running an IKON up front?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty2341 View Post
    You are saying don't expect to push the corners harder while still running an IKON up front?


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    There's a chance the front tire will break free before the front, which is a situation that's hard to recover from. With Ikon 2.2's front and rear, you'd normally have the rear break free first, or enter into a controlled two wheel drift.
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    Maxxis Ardent race

    Thanks for pointing that out. My intent was to have it help with wheel slip on loose climbs, not so much on the improved cornering ability. I know the limit of the IKON front well and try not to push it in loose conditions. If I need it for that I'll end up putting it up front.


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    Wow that looks quite a bit smaller than the ikon...

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    I just bought my ikon 2.2 for the rear and ardent race for the fron. II'll post pics when I get them out on. I'm taking off specialized fast trak 2.2 sworks.

    On MN trails around the twin cities they were fine when dry but garbage in the least bit of moisture.
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    Rolling resistance

    Quote Originally Posted by bholwell View Post
    Just an FYI; the ultimate cornering grip of the Ardent Race should be better than the Ikon 2.2. So be cautious while pushing it in the corners.
    @bholwell: Can you comment on the rolling resistance between Ikon, ardent race and crossmark. How would you rank them and what % difference (approximately of course)

    How much does the Exo protection affect the rolling resistance?

    Would the ardent race have higher cornering grip then crossmark?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Da Bikoholic View Post
    @bholwell: Can you comment on the rolling resistance between Ikon, ardent race and crossmark. How would you rank them and what % difference (approximately of course)

    How much does the Exo protection affect the rolling resistance?

    Would the ardent race have higher cornering grip then crossmark?

    Thanks
    I don't have rolling resistance data, so I can't say with 100% certainty. But based on my knowledge of the tires' construction and from my experience, I think all three tires are very close to each other in rolling resistance. On asphalt, the Crossmark might have the lowest, but on the trail I think the Ikon is the lowest, with the CrossMark only slightly higher, and the Ardent Race maybe only slightly higher than the CM.

    The Exo-protection fabric on the sidewall has a very minimal effect on rolling resistance. This should not play a role in your decision on whether to choose a tire with Exo-Protection or not.

    And yes, the Ardent Race will have higher cornering grip than both the Ikon and Crossmark.
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  74. #74
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    Great reply..exactly what I wanted to know. Looks like the ardent race will be my next trail tires.

    Minion dhf vs dhr 2 vs high roller 2: which one has the least rolling resistance?

    Minion dhf ust: I am curently riding these because they were lighter due to the kevlar bead vs wire. I only recently noticed that the casing is only 27tpi vs 60 for regular wire bead. Am i compromising rolling resistance because of the casing? I dont even run them tubeless and they are getting worned out. Trying to plan my next move and I am always looking for a good balance of grip vs RR

    Cheers

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Da Bikoholic View Post
    Great reply..exactly what I wanted to know. Looks like the ardent race will be my next trail tires.

    Minion dhf vs dhr 2 vs high roller 2: which one has the least rolling resistance?

    Minion dhf ust: I am curently riding these because they were lighter due to the kevlar bead vs wire. I only recently noticed that the casing is only 27tpi vs 60 for regular wire bead. Am i compromising rolling resistance because of the casing? I dont even run them tubeless and they are getting worned out. Trying to plan my next move and I am always looking for a good balance of grip vs RR

    Cheers
    I'd probably rank them DHF, High Roller 2, DHR 2, in ascending order of rolling resistance (assuming similar compound and construction). But you should really choose the tread pattern that best suits your terrain.

    And yes, the heavier UST construction is going to have a little more rolling resistance. I'd choose the tubeless ready Exo-Protection version the next time around (if we're talking trail tires).
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    Gentlemen,

    This evening was my first ride with the Ardent Race EXO mounted on the rear. IKON 2.2 on the front. I gotta say, this is my new rear tire. I have been running Double IKONs for almost 9 months and I've always loved the way they performed. But the Ardent Race in the rear takes traction to another level. I saw no perceptible difference in rolling resistance vs. an IKON. Where you see the huge gains are in traction on loose/gravely surfaces and roots. I took off from the start with the intent of pushing the tire intentionally to its limits.....I.E. standing on climbs when I shouldn't be, mashing on breaks to try to break its grip, etc. It just plain hooks up great. Don't get me wrong, you will break traction on the steepest/loosest climbs, but not near as easily as the IKON. Where I loved it most was one finger breaking in the corners and extremely steep, rocky descents. I always worried about the IKON breaking in sandy/dirty corners and how much 1 finger breaking I could get away with before it started to slip. There is none of that with the AR. It just holds. When I used to bomb loose descents I would brake with both front and rear before sharp corners at the end. Now its rear brake only and I have total confidence its not going anywhere if I take the corner at the bottom of descent with speed.

    Bholwell had a very good point. On fast corners the IKON is going to break before the AR. If your not running a tire with tall side knobs on the front then your front will break first and you will struggle to recover. The next test will be to put it on front and see how it performs. I'm probably going to buy another AR though because I like it on the rear too much.
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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty2341 View Post
    Gentlemen,

    This evening was my first ride with the Ardent Race EXO mounted on the rear...

    I'm glad you like it.
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    Re: Maxxis Ardent race

    Quote Originally Posted by bholwell View Post
    I don't have rolling resistance data, so I can't say with 100% certainty. But based on my knowledge of the tires' construction and from my experience, I think all three tires are very close to each other in rolling resistance. On asphalt, the Crossmark might have the lowest, but on the trail I think the Ikon is the lowest, with the CrossMark only slightly higher, and the Ardent Race maybe only slightly higher than the CM.

    The Exo-protection fabric on the sidewall has a very minimal effect on rolling resistance. This should not play a role in your decision on whether to choose a tire with Exo-Protection or not.

    And yes, the Ardent Race will have higher cornering grip than both the Ikon and Crossmark.
    I'd be curious to know how you think the Ikon 2.35 compares to the Ardent Race as a front tire, especially in terms of cornering grip.

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    Ohh, good idea. An IKON 2.35 front, Ardent Race rear could be a potent combo.

    I personally favor big front grip, especially for racing where I'll be pushing through corners tired, so I use a Ardent 2.25 or 2.4 on the front (depends on terrain) and the Ardent race in the rear. Bryan has said in the past though that the IKON 2.35 in the rear offers more grip than the Ardent 2.25 with less rolling resistance, so maybe the choice for the front should be IKON 2.35 or Ardent 2.4 depending on how much grip you need.

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    And to derail slighty, Bryan, are you saying that the DHF has LESS rolling resistance than a High Roller 2? I felt that the DHF rolled like a bag of doorknobs compared to the Ardent 2.4 What did I get myself into ordering a High Roller 2 for the front of the big rig?

  81. #81
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    What kind of real world mounted up widths are you guys getting with the Ardent Race are they true to size?

    I've been searching for a new rear tire for my Nimble 9 SS for a while now and but have yet to find exactly what I'm looking for. I ran a Fast Trak Control 2.2 most of this past fall and winter, great rolling tire but just not aggressive to feel comfortable when being pushed on the loose, rocky trails we have out here. Tried a RaRa 2.35, looked good on paper, rolled nicely, great volume... only got about 4 rides out of it before the knobs started disappearing. I'm now trying out an Conty X-King Protection 2.2. Again looked good, love the grip and it still rolls pretty well but damn does it run small... measured a hair over 2.0 @ 30 psi when I mounted it up. Got to it barely stretch out to 2.1 after sitting overnight @ 60 psi, but I've had more rim strikes in the past 2 weeks with it @ 25-26 psi than I have with any of the other tires in the past 8 months, and need to make a change before I kill a rim. Higher pressure isn't really an option because the thing feels like crap @ 30 psi.

    The Ardent Race caught my eyes because it looks like a very promising tread pattern with a decent rolling center block but big enough intermediate and side knobs to keep it planted when getting a little rowdy, but I'm a little concerned about the size. I'm also looking at the X-King 2.4 which is pretty close weight wise as the Ardent Race EXO but might just be a little overkill.

  82. #82
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    I mounted up a 2.25 Ardent Race Exo to my CB Cobalt 11's about 4 weeks ago.

    I was already a huge Ardent fan....run a 2.4 F/2.25 R on my Tallboy.

    Really diggin' the Ardent Race....I get just enough drift until I get really aggressive and it just hooks up. Running it up front.

    Found that I have to run 18-22 psi or it feels rock hard....I am 180 lbs.

    Not sure I would run it on the rear...seems like it might wear out kinda quick.
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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedS123 View Post
    I'd be curious to know how you think the Ikon 2.35 compares to the Ardent Race as a front tire, especially in terms of cornering grip.

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    The Ikon 2.35 likely has a little better cornering grip. If I remember correctly, the shoulder knobs of the Ikon 2.35 are just a little taller and spaced a little further apart. You might be able to run a little lower pressure in the larger Ikon 2.35 if your rim allows, and that'll keep the front end planted a little better.
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    Maxxis Ardent race

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post

    Found that I have to run 18-22 psi or it feels rock hard....I am 180 lbs.
    Same here. It is very stiff


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    Maxxis Ardent race

    Quote Originally Posted by bholwell View Post
    The Ikon 2.35 likely has a little better cornering grip. If I remember correctly, the shoulder knobs of the Ikon 2.35 are just a little taller and spaced a little further apart. You might be able to run a little lower pressure in the larger Ikon 2.35 if your rim allows, and that'll keep the front end planted a little better.
    I thought I read that if you ran IKON 2.35 at less than 30 psi you would have issues. Probably the bikeradar review.


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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by trhoppe View Post
    And to derail slighty, Bryan, are you saying that the DHF has LESS rolling resistance than a High Roller 2? I felt that the DHF rolled like a bag of doorknobs compared to the Ardent 2.4 What did I get myself into ordering a High Roller 2 for the front of the big rig?
    Maybe. There probably won't be a noticeable difference between the two tires on the front wheel, with regards to rolling resistance. But I prefer the versatility of the High Roller 2 on the front. It does well in dry, it punches through the leaves in the fall, and if it has rained 24 hours straight the day before, it'll do well on the muddy trails of Pisgah.

    Besides, I'm sure your riding buddies will be glad you have a little extra RR on the front of your rig. You'll likely still be waiting on them at the top of the climbs.
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty2341 View Post
    I thought I read that if you ran IKON 2.35 at less than 30 psi you would have issues. Probably the bikeradar review.
    Don't believe everything you read. Especially if you read it on bikeradar. How low you can go on inflation pressure before the tire starts to roll will depend on your rim width, weight, and how aggressive you are in the corners. And even if you run the tire at the same pressure as a smaller 2.1 tire, there's more air volume in the tire. This means that when you hit a rock, root, etc. and the tire deflects, the resultant force will be more linear than with a smaller tire (similar to a shock with a larger air can.) So the tire will feel (and act) more compliant.
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

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    In terms of straight line rolling resistance, which one is better the Ikon or Race ???

    The reason for asking is that this summer I am doing a 180 mile off road ride so need the best rolling resistance tyre and these 2 are on my trial list.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty2341 View Post
    I thought I read that if you ran IKON 2.35 at less than 30 psi you would have issues. Probably the bikeradar review.
    Poor advice, whoever gave it.

    I don't think I've run a tire as high as 30 psi for years now. The Ikon 2.35 performs great at pressures under 30. No issues...

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by ritchief View Post
    In terms of straight line rolling resistance, which one is better the Ikon or Race ???

    The reason for asking is that this summer I am doing a 180 mile off road ride so need the best rolling resistance tyre and these 2 are on my trial list.
    Do you mean the Ikon 2.35 or Ikon 2.2? The Ikon 2.2 has lower rolling resistance. Then I would think that the Ardent Race would have slightly lower rolling resistance than the Ikon 2.35, but the difference is likely miniscule. And on really rocky, rooty terrain, the Ikon 2.35 might have the advantage.
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

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    Re: Maxxis Ardent race

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    Poor advice, whoever gave it.

    I don't think I've run a tire as high as 30 psi for years now. The Ikon 2.35 performs great at pressures under 30. No issues...
    I'm now running 2.35 Ikons front and rear on my 29 HT: ~20 psi front, ~20-22 psi rear. No problems...

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk

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    Re: Maxxis Ardent race

    Quote Originally Posted by TedS123 View Post
    I'm now running 2.35 Ikons front and rear on my 29 HT: ~20 psi front, ~20-22 psi rear. No problems...

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk
    What is the inner width of your rims? I'm running a 2.35 on arch ex's and I'm slightly concerned with how easy they were to get on the rim...they were pretty loose

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    Re: Maxxis Ardent race

    Quote Originally Posted by 8iking VIIking View Post
    What is the inner width of your rims? I'm running a 2.35 on arch ex's and I'm slightly concerned with how easy they were to get on the rim...they were pretty loose
    Currently running a Bontrager Duster (24 mm inner width) in the front - works great tubeless with the TLR strip. On the rear I have a Flow (non-EX) with 22.6 mm inner width - this also works fine tubeless. I'm also getting a set of LB hookless carbon rims that these tires will be moved to once built up.

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk

  94. #94
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    If a 2.35 650b Ardent Race exo ever becomes available it will probably be my new dry conditions enduro race tire (fingers crossed). Not sure I can ride clean and fast enough to get away with a 2.2 ardent race exo.

    For years the double-ply 2.35 Larsen TT has been hard to top for a rear enduro race tire, but sadly isn't available in 650b.

  95. #95
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    On Bryan's recommendation I'm using the IKON 2.35 as my rear enduro tire. Lot of guys (Jared Graves/etc) used that tire successfully last year as well. HR2 2.3 front, IKON 2.35 rear. If **** gets too serious or wet, then throw another HR2 2.3 on the rear.

    -Tom

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    Still on the fence with with and volume as well. My Ikon 2.2 measured 2.03"ish on a 19 width rim. Smaller than both the Crossmark and Ignitor that are 2.1 tires.

    Anyone got any measurements on the Ardent race? I really don't want to purchase one for the front. Only to be disappointed in the size.

  97. #97
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    Maxxis Ardent race

    I will be moving the AR to front with new IKON 2.2 in back for testing on some loose/techy trail riding on Thursday. Will report back.


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    Took the bike our yesterday for testing w/ AR front and IKON rear. My main concern going in to the ride was knob float when transitioning from center knobs to the taller sides knobs on the AR. Those concerns were quickly quelled. The tire is extremely confident in corners, even at less aggressive lean angles. No noticeable rolling resistance difference vs. IKON. The side walls on the EXO version are not as supple as the IKON and that is noticeable over the bumps. I am 150 lb. rider and running 20 PSI up front (on set of Crests). Not sure how much lower I can go w/o running risk of burp flats. Overall, this will be my front tire on more techy singletrack. Will stick with IKON front on flat/hardpack race courses.
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  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumbi4Prez View Post

    Anyone got any measurements on the Ardent race? I really don't want to purchase one for the front. Only to be disappointed in the size.
    I'll have one here on Wednesday so I'll know firsthand. I've heard from a local guy that they may run a little bit big so I decided to go ahead and try one out. As long as it's close to 2.2 or better yet a little bigger it should have the volume I'm looking for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bholwell View Post
    I don't have rolling resistance data, so I can't say with 100% certainty. But based on my knowledge of the tires' construction and from my experience, I think all three tires are very close to each other in rolling resistance. On asphalt, the Crossmark might have the lowest, but on the trail I think the Ikon is the lowest, with the CrossMark only slightly higher, and the Ardent Race maybe only slightly higher than the CM.

    The Exo-protection fabric on the sidewall has a very minimal effect on rolling resistance. This should not play a role in your decision on whether to choose a tire with Exo-Protection or not.

    And yes, the Ardent Race will have higher cornering grip than both the Ikon and Crossmark.
    Bholwell,
    How does the ardent race 2.2 exo compare to an Ikon 2.35 exo as a rear trail tire? I'm running and Ardent 2.4 up front in CO front range conditions (mix of rocky, loose, some occasional hardpack, but really no wet conditions).

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