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  1. #1
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    A9C full rigid comparo Maxxis Aspens/Ignitor/Ardent

    Another post had me thinking about going from fully rigid to a Reba XX on my A9C. I spent the good part of 5 months on three different Maxxis tires so I thought I would share what I've noticed. It's been a while since I've geeked out on tires like this...

    My proto A9C started out life in April with a Maxxis Ardent 2.4" front and Maxxis Ignitor rear for 3 months. The bike rocked the technical terrain just about like you would think a 2.4 F / 2.1 R with big full knobbies would. The only down side really is the weight of the Ardent 2.4". The setup is really ideal for most of my ~2 hour rides and the Ardent up front rolls really nice yet handles literally anything I ride with my RIP9 and WFO9.

    I was in one of our shops one day earlier this summer and asked the guys if there were any Aspen tire reports yet. 500-ish grams with minimal tread in our terrain for a 29er tires has got to have fly-paper thin sidewalls and I've always thought "race only" tire. One customer training for Leadville overheard us and mentioned he had 1000 miles on his - no problems - he had replaced Ignitors which are one of the best "all arounders" locally and rode Apex which is one of the favorite local rough techy downhills 2x weekly. So being the ex-WW I am I weighed all 8 on the slatwall rack and settled on two 530 gram tires.

    The Aspens are SKINNY and first ride I thought these were not going to work just based on the size compared to staring down at an Ardent 2.4 for so long. My first ride was a 2 hour normal loop for me that is fairly rough and loose in spots. What I noticed immediately was the harshness once things got really rough...more so going down. Ardents have a point, shoot and "hold on" type of comfort while the Aspens were really like threading the needle around anything bigger than a fist sized rock. Climbing though it felt like a pound of weight came off, and it really did. I basically took the bike from 19ish pounds, down to 18ish pounds - - just in a tire swap. I started doing more longer 4 hour rides on the weekend focused more on speed and time in the saddle rather than riding my favorite trails which are more short/ technical rides. The speed uphill on a rigid 1 speed is truly wicked with 530 gram tires. Coming down took some getting used to for sure but the high speed traction of the Aspens is really about as good as the Ignitors and Ardents which I've been riding for years. On slower, rougher super loose and technical terrain the Ardent/Ignitor combo shines for sure - you can pick a way sloppier line and the volume swallows up more "chunk" than the skinnier Aspen. But super fast, high speed descents these Aspen tires really hook up. I'm pushing them really hard in corners and they just don't break loose. 24-25 up front and 26-28 in the rear seems to be the sweet spot at my #160.

    In the pics below I was riding an Industry9/Arch wheelset with the heavier enduro hubs (1850 grams) and shed almost close to another pound of rotating mass when I got the new Stans ZTR "Race" wheelset (1440 I believe). It's pretty amazing what a light wheel set can do on the long climbs....and the power transfer a light weight rigid carbon bike lays down is staggering. I really like the Aspen tires for all around riding now. Bigger tires might go back on for the shorter rides after the days get shorter, but do I think the Aspens might find their way on a JET9 soon as well.

    Brett
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A9C full rigid comparo Maxxis Aspens/Ignitor/Ardent-a9cjune.jpg  

    A9C full rigid comparo Maxxis Aspens/Ignitor/Ardent-a9c-aspen.jpg  

    A9C full rigid comparo Maxxis Aspens/Ignitor/Ardent-a9c-rigid1.jpg  

    A9C full rigid comparo Maxxis Aspens/Ignitor/Ardent-a9c-rigid2.jpg  

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  2. #2
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Nice Bike

    Thanks Brett good write up on tyres.

    But on a down note those alloy bottle cages on a carbon frame, Is there not a law stopping people from doing that.

    If you send me that bike I promise I will put some nice carbon bottle cages on it.

  3. #3
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    GOOD NEWS.....
    I built a ONE9 primarily for racing and the SMALL BLOCK EIGHTS were nice and light but lack effective cornering KNOBS. So after looking up weights and taking a good look at the tread patterns offered, I ordered ASPENS

    Just a note to anyone considering buying ASPENS... there are two DIFFERENT 29" Aspen tires
    one with 120tpi ( 530grams) and one with 60tpi (585 grams)

  4. #4
    more skier than biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyule

    one with 120tpi ( 530grams) and one with 60tpi (585 grams)
    good point.

    nice thread.

    Not only is the 120tpi version a bit lighter than the 60tpi version, it also feels a bit more "supple" in my opinion and gives a better feel on the trail (this is while running them tubeless). Maybe "softer" is a way to decribe or they seem to deflect and bounce less than the 60's.

    The 120's may be a bit more prone to shredding in rocks than the 60's, but I've been running & racing hard on them on my single speed since April with no issues. Favorite single speed race tires at the moment for non-rocky courses by far.

  5. #5
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    Tubeless?

    Nice write up on the Aspens. I too am running Aspens on my MCR, also in Colorado. I also find they really stay glued to the trail on fast, sweeping turns on loose-over terrain.
    At the risk of offending someone, I've got to ask, are you guys running these tubeless or otherwise? Details will be much appreciated. Thanks, CK

  6. #6
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    When I got home tuesday the ASPENS had arrived so I made a couple of calls and mounted the tires and was in the Durham forest with a few guys from the race series by 5:30
    My ONE9 is my first 29'er and only my second single speed.
    I built the ONE 9 with Kenda Small Block Eights as they were LIGHT and seemed a popular choice with the people I knew racing 29SS's

    The Aspen is really quite amazing.
    Rolls really fast and the 120TPI carcass rolls much smoother than the KENDA even with the same thread count.
    Where the ASPEN really exceeds the KENDA is cornering. I had gotten used to fishtailing corners in dry conditions , the ASPEN hangs on in corners amazingly

    Weight wise, the ASPEN is listed at 5 grams heavier...... Personally, I can't feel FIVE GRAMS, even if it is rotating weight.

    Grunting climbs it grips well ( I always felt the KENDA did as well)

    A great lightweight 29 inch tire

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comrade K
    Nice write up on the Aspens. I too am running Aspens on my MCR, also in Colorado. I also find they really stay glued to the trail on fast, sweeping turns on loose-over terrain.
    At the risk of offending someone, I've got to ask, are you guys running these tubeless or otherwise? Details will be much appreciated. Thanks, CK

    Stans Notubes in every tire. I have not been riding with rubber tubes since 2003-2004 or so.
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  8. #8
    not so super...
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    The Aspens are super fast - aren't they. They worked very well for me in the chunky rock laced hard pack down here in AL. Had them tubeless on Flow rims. Their biggest drawback for me was braking. They got up to speed so fast but it took a bit longer to slow them down.
    Nothing to see here.

  9. #9
    Purveyor of Fine 29erness
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    I have Aspens on my A9C right now, and was also disappointed by the lack of volume. They are fast as heck though, and they really work well on our New England trails. Except for the volume. I think a 2.4 Aspen is going to be the only answer. How about Niner gets on Maxxis to make em?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Monkey
    I have Aspens on my A9C right now, and was also disappointed by the lack of volume. They are fast as heck though, and they really work well on our New England trails. Except for the volume. I think a 2.4 Aspen is going to be the only answer. How about Niner gets on Maxxis to make em?

    There is another potential new tire that I'd like to see in a 2.4 first. It's like the Aspen on steroids.
    Nothing to see here.

  11. #11
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    Great report Brett. I find the Aspens are good but for every day riding I still think the Ignitors are the biz. Had a friend blow out the sidewall of one his Aspens recently. Was a new tire too. They are quite thin but that isn't going to stop me from using them. I agree with others a 2.4 or at least 2.25 Aspen would be very cool.

    BTW.... that bike is beautiful

  12. #12
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    I would buy 2.4 Ignitors if they made them that is for sure.

    Having run 2.1 tyres for years I'm liking the 2.4 Ardent on the front of my Jet9 & Rip9,I'm running 2.2 race kings on the rear.

  13. #13
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    Had a friend blow out the sidewall of one his Aspens recently. Was a new tire too.
    Damn my friend had another sidewall blowout today at the King of the Rockies. I wonder if he got a defective batch of tires or just horrible luck. Either way he'll never run the Aspens again. I'm curious to test them out.

  14. #14
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    Any tire that has , as it's main feature. LIGHT WEIGHT is going to have an inherent vulnerability to sidewall damage.
    My girlfreind LOVES Conti Twister Pro tires and knows she has to live with getting more flats from thorns ect as one of the costs of a sub-400 gram tire.
    I run ROCKET RONS on my 26'er and I know the sidewalls are very thin.

    If someone chooses to NEVER use a LIGHT tire again because of torn sidewalls, thats a sensable choice, but not a DEFECTIVE TIRE.

    I'm sure that the area in which one lives has more to do with your likelihood of certain types of tire damage and we'd all be wise to consider such things when we make choices

    Continental makes a line of tires with a feature called PROTECTION that is sidewalls with a layer of KEVLAR or something like it, for those who are changing their priorities from VERY LIGHT to VERY UNLIKELY TO TEAR.......

  15. #15
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Monkey
    I have Aspens on my A9C right now, and was also disappointed by the lack of volume. They are fast as heck though, and they really work well on our New England trails. Except for the volume. I think a 2.4 Aspen is going to be the only answer. How about Niner gets on Maxxis to make em?
    Just wait until you see what is unveiled at Interbike. I've been testing some goodie, goodie stuff the past few months that you will like....

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow
    A

    I was in one of our shops one day earlier this summer and asked the guys if there were any Aspen tire reports yet. 500-ish grams with minimal tread in our terrain for a 29er tires has got to have fly-paper thin sidewalls and I've always thought "race only" tire.

    The Aspens are SKINNY and first ride I thought these were not going to work just based on the size compared to staring down at an Ardent 2.4 for so long. My first ride was a 2 hour normal loop for me that is fairly rough and loose in spots. What I noticed immediately was the harshness once things got really rough...more so going down. ...... The speed uphill on a rigid 1 speed is truly wicked with 530 gram tires. Coming down took some getting used to for sure but the high speed traction of the Aspens is really about as good as the Ignitors and Ardents which I've been riding for years...... But super fast, high speed descents these Aspen tires really hook up. I'm pushing them really hard in corners and they just don't break loose. 24-25 up front and 26-28 in the rear seems to be the sweet spot at my #160.

    In the pics below I was riding an Industry9/Arch wheelset with the heavier enduro hubs (1850 grams) and shed almost close to another pound of rotating mass when I got the new Stans ZTR "Race" wheelset (1440 I believe). It's pretty amazing what a light wheel set can do on the long climbs....and the power transfer a light weight rigid carbon bike lays down is staggering. I really like the Aspen tires for all around riding now. Bigger tires might go back on for the shorter rides after the days get shorter, but do I think the Aspens might find their way on a JET9 soon as well.
    Brett, nice report and I like your bike wash helper.

    Aspens are great on the JET and I think they really come alive on the wider XC rims (28mm) as far as traction and suppleness without sacrificing speed. I've worn my pair out (they lasted 13 months which is not bad at all).

    You could keep an Ardent 2.25 up front with an Aspen in the rear if it wouldn't overweight your WW Air 9 Carbon too much.

    BB

  17. #17
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    If someone chooses to NEVER use a LIGHT tire again because of torn sidewalls, thats a sensable choice, but not a DEFECTIVE TIRE.
    You know I've been riding long enough to understand the Pros and Cons of running light weight gear. I'm sure you're just trying to be helpful but I think you're wrong in this case. Considering how easily his tires blew out for a 140lb guy my guess is that he had a defective batch. You know it does happen it surely has happened to me. Hopefully the set I have will stand the test of time. I plan to test them for the off season to see for myself if I like them.

  18. #18
    30-ton War Machine
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    How are the Aspen's holding up for people? It isn't an option for me here in wet and muddy WA, right now but, I am hoping to run them this Summer.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyule
    When I got home tuesday the ASPENS had arrived so I made a couple of calls and mounted the tires and was in the Durham forest with a few guys from the race series by 5:30
    My ONE9 is my first 29'er and only my second single speed.
    I built the ONE 9 with Kenda Small Block Eights as they were LIGHT and seemed a popular choice with the people I knew racing 29SS's

    The Aspen is really quite amazing.
    Rolls really fast and the 120TPI carcass rolls much smoother than the KENDA even with the same thread count.
    Where the ASPEN really exceeds the KENDA is cornering. I had gotten used to fishtailing corners in dry conditions , the ASPEN hangs on in corners amazingly

    Weight wise, the ASPEN is listed at 5 grams heavier...... Personally, I can't feel FIVE GRAMS, even if it is rotating weight.

    Grunting climbs it grips well ( I always felt the KENDA did as well)

    A great lightweight 29 inch tire
    Just one addition... with the KENDAS, a few raindrops will render the tire completely useless... the ASPEN is certainly not a MUD tire but is considerably better if things a bit damp

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