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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
    West Chester, PA
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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??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  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 **** 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
    West Chester, PA
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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.
    Blur LT & Highball

  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.
    Blur LT & Highball

  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.

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