Maxxis Ardent / Forekaster - Which one front & rear?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Maxxis Ardent / Forekaster - Which one front & rear?

    Hi, after a decade of riding a 2007 Giant Trance, I've finally upgraded my bike to a Merida One Twenty XT with 29" wheels. I/m loving the advances in technology over the 12 years!

    The Merida came stock with Maxxis Forekaster and my LBS also recommended Maxxis Ardent for my style of riding. I managed to pick some Ardents up at 75% off.

    So what do folk recommend for the front and rear combo? Options are to run Ardents front and rear for summer and Forekasters front and rear for winter or mix them up. I've seen some reports that the Ardent, although a good front tire, does not transition well in hard cornering. That's the one thing that gives me pause for putting it up front.

    I take it easy on trails. No technical trails or jumps because I'm in late 50s and we don't mend quickly at our age. I mainly ride fast, flowing, single track for fitness and fun. If I corner hard, its because it got away on me. My usual loop is 8 miles with a 1,200 foot change in elevation - climbing steadily to the top and then fast down. Track is mostly hard-packed dirt/clay with occasional rock and roots. I try and avoid muddy conditions - I don't tend to go out unless it's been dry for a few days.

    The tires are:

    Maxxis Forekaster, 29x2.35 folding, Tubeless Ready, EXO, Dual Compound

    Maxxis Ardent, 29x2.4 folding, Tubeless Ready, EXO, Dual Compound

    Grateful for advice. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Normally the rule of thumb is to have the tire with more grip up front and if one tire size is bigger normally the bigger tire goes up front ("BMX style")

    I think you would like the Ardent 2.4 F and Forekaster 2.35 rear combo. I am a big fan of the forekaster and think it's a great overall tire for weight, grip and volume. I have run the 2.6F and 2.35r on my Long travel bike and 2.35 F/R on my XC bike.

    Works great in the front and rear and very good in the winter if your riding slick, wet trails. Have less time on the Ardent.

  3. #3
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    the Ardent is my least favorite tire that I have ever run. I would never run it as a front tire and the brief period that I have, it was filled with constant washouts. I have run the forecaster in front, but only as an XC tire for xc marathon races. The forekaster has surprisingly good grip for it's weight, and it performs well in a wide range of conditions (dry loose over hard all the way to slightly greasy clay) but it is no doubt, a reduced rolling resistance xc/trail tire.

    I have since gone to a 2.4 bontrager xr4 as a front tire over the forekaster. It provides better grip, nearly the same mud shedding capacity, more volume and more or less, the same weight.

    IF you MUST run an ardent, certainly run it on the back, although I would chose the maxxis rekon or ikon over an ardent every, single, time.

  4. #4
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    I agree with Minimus, the Ardent is not a great tire. If it wasn't wider than the Forekaster, I'd run it out back. I wouldn't run it on the front no matter what. Honestly, I'd get rid of the Ardent.

  5. #5
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    I've run the Ardent/Forekaster combo and it was better than a Forekaster on both. Ardent definitely has more cornering grip specially in loose terrain. I'd say try both and see which one you like for where and how you ride.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I agree with Minimus, the Ardent is not a great tire. If it wasn't wider than the Forekaster, I'd run it out back. I wouldn't run it on the front no matter what. Honestly, I'd get rid of the Ardent.
    This, I Hate the Ardent. No other tire had my face in the dirt. On my XC hardtail I've used Ardent Race (The race is a totally different tire)and Icon and Forkaster 2.6 front 2.35 rear. I prefer the forkasters if damp or loose. The ardent race and icon if mostly hardpack trails

  7. #7
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    I will join in on the I don't like Ardent camp. It always felt sketchy when really leaned into the corner.

    I'd run an Ardent out back but not up front unless I had no other choice for some reason.
    Ragley Big Wig, Sunday Soundwave (BMX), Nashbar CXSS (workout)

  8. #8
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    Forekaster are great all around tires, Adrdents are still ok tires IMO but honestly since riding 2.35 Forekaster and 2.4 Rekons I cant ever see riding an arent again either. Never hated it but it simply has been surpassed by other tires (XR4 in that camp as well as mentioned above). However since you already have them:

    Option 1 : Since you don't sound like you are worried about Speed just stick with Forekasters

    Option 2: Try the Ardent in different combs one thing I would differ from opinions above on if you are light weight, can run low pressures the ardent may not be as bad as led to believe if you can get it a squarish profile. Be careful carving corners at speed,though build up over time.

    option 3: Ditch Ardents or trade for something faster rolling in rear to pair with Forekaster

    Honestly though based on description of how you ride just keep what you got and go have fun do not worry about changing unless you need to for tire failure reason.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  9. #9
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    Thanks all, for the advice and recommendations. I had a funny feeling that mentioning Ardents would draw some very good responses.

    I'm 84kg (so can't run them too low) and run them both tubed.

    The difference in size is negligible (2.4 vs 2.35) so I'm now leaning towards (excuse the pun) putting the Forekaster up front with the subtly wider Ardent at the rear. The responses about Ardents letting go up front are the key thing. While I don't push it, it'll be that that one time when you least expect it ...

  10. #10
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    I'd do Ardent in front and Forekaster rear. The Forekasters don't have as aggressive side knobs as the ardents plus the forecaster will roll faster.

  11. #11
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    Tough crowd tonight.
    I like an Ardent on the rear, I know it doesn't grip the best but it rolls pretty good and I find traction to be predictable which I prefer over sudden slides.
    Niner Jet 9 RDO, Scalpel 29, XTC 650b, 04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Trek Rigid SS - No suspension, no gears....no problem

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    This, I Hate the Ardent. No other tire had my face in the dirt. On my XC hardtail I've used Ardent Race (The race is a totally different tire)and Icon and Forkaster 2.6 front 2.35 rear. I prefer the forkasters if damp or loose. The ardent race and icon if mostly hardpack trails
    Was it an Ardent 2.4 width that let go on you? The reason for asking is because some people have commented in other threads that the 2.4 width seems to perform better (I'm guessing because you can run the pressure slightly lower).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by matadorCE View Post
    I'd do Ardent in front and Forekaster rear. The Forekasters don't have as aggressive side knobs as the ardents plus the forecaster will roll faster.
    Disagree, I think the forekaster corners way better then the ardent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulairi View Post
    Was it an Ardent 2.4 width that let go on you? The reason for asking is because some people have commented in other threads that the 2.4 width seems to perform better (I'm guessing because you can run the pressure slightly lower).
    I've run the 2.2 and the 2.4 ardent. Both are terrible as front tires and tolerable as rear if I want to drift and get sketchy (which I do, and I have run the ardent in the back for precisely this purpose).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulairi View Post
    Was it an Ardent 2.4 width that let go on you? The reason for asking is because some people have commented in other threads that the 2.4 width seems to perform better (I'm guessing because you can run the pressure slightly lower).
    2.4 the transition knobs are too close to the side knobs and the sideknobs aren't big enough causing the tire to not grip unpredictably. The Forkaster solved this problem even if the knobs are not as large. If you want a big knobbed tire you're looking at the wrong tires though. Forkaster and XR4 are great XC tires. If you want more grip than a trail version of DH patters are better.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by minimusprime View Post
    Disagree, I think the forekaster corners way better then the ardent.


    Not on the terrain that I ride. Forekasters are good tires but the front felt vague and lacked bite when pushed a little aggressively on corners; I got tired of feeling like I was going to low-side on every corner.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulairi View Post
    Thanks all, for the advice and recommendations. I had a funny feeling that mentioning Ardents would draw some very good responses.

    I'm 84kg (so can't run them too low) and run them both tubed.

    The difference in size is negligible (2.4 vs 2.35) so I'm now leaning towards (excuse the pun) putting the Forekaster up front with the subtly wider Ardent at the rear....
    I would second(5th???...) this. I would recommend getting setup tubeless you might find the Ardent will work better that way, especially in back.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  17. #17
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    The Ardent is decent as a rear tire, but to echo what many others have already posted, I would definitely not run them as a front tire. When that tire loses cornering traction, it loses it right away and does not hook back up easily. This is a comparison of the Ardent versus some other fast rolling tires, albeit all in a narrower width as this comparison was for XC oriented tires: https://www.dirtmerchantbikes.com/sp...omparison-test
    Dirt Merchant Bikes
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  18. #18
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    There was an interview of a Maxxis marketing guy on NSMB, he openly stated that he doesn't like the Ardent at all and there are better options from maxxis that do the same job better (Recon). Part of why they still have it in their line up is that it's popular as OE (cost reasons I guess).

    I've only tried as a rear for a short while, I didn't hate it, didn't like either. It didn't even feel fast for how low the center tread is. My favourite fast but still functionally grippy rear is the Ardent Race. Very different tyre despite sharing knob shapes. The casing proved to be too fragile for where I ride though and it only lasted 200km before the sidewall got slashed. But for a reasonably speedy XC tyre with some extra braking/climbing grip it's a good option.

  19. #19
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    I thought I started sucking at cornering all of the sudden a few years ago.... really it was the 2.4 ardent in the front making me eat dirt. Never again!

    Love the forekaster up front on my hardtail though.

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