Big ‘n burly.

What’s the best way to make short work of serious gnar? Apart from 200mm of travel and nerves of steel, it’s the Maxxis Ardent EXO 29in Tire. It’s got the size to roll over the chunkiest trail furniture like it’s not even there, the blocky side knobs to corner like it’s on rails, and the ramped center knobs to roll like it’s got somewhere to be. The rolling resistance is surprisingly low, but the stopping power is enough to come to a halt on a dime and bring back nine cents change.

The Ardent’s also situated to run tubeless, so you can enjoy the grip that comes with lower pressures and not have to fuss with tubes. Its dual-compound rubber is perfectly balanced between sticky grip and hard-charging durability, and the EXO casing delivers an extra dose of durability, so big hits into sharp rocks are no big thing.

  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Black Magic

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Tires are a complicated, confusing topic regardless of the vehicle and the surface. Finding the perfect tire for all conditions, in all-terrain is an impossible task. Add in the fact that bikes are radically changing every couple of years, and things get near impossible to figure out. Experience is the only real way to start to try. Sometimes we also have to rely on the experience of others.



In my case, I ride a 2017 Trek Fuel Ex 9.8 in the central and western regions of North Carolina. The tire size I use is the 29x2.4 in tubeless fashion. Conditions range from mud covered in leaves/needles to hard pack with loose over top. With 120mm of travel, I stay more towards the cross country style of riding with occasional all-mountain rides. The Ardent seems to be close to the perfect do everything tire for these conditions. Enough tread to dig through loose stuff in the dry season, but enough space between blocks to allow the tire to clear itself effectively. The tread compound allows for great traction on rocks and roots even as they get slick and steep. The great part about newer bikes is the clearance to run wide tires, as well as the inclusion of 30(ish)mm wide wheels to mount the tires to. The wide wheels allow the sidewall to get properly tensioned, so that you can run lower air pressure while still having good cornering stiffness (turn response) from the sidewall. Because of that these tires have great response as you lean down into the side tread blocks, and transition side to side with good feel. I run these tires at around the 20 PSI Front/23 PSI Rear ranges in most cases. I'm only 140lbs, so some people could say that you could go lower, but it's important to remember that tires need enough air in them to respond in the turns. So if you are a hard charger and/or have a full suspension mountain bike don't get sucked into the idea that lower is always better. I think this is where some people's opinions of this tire being "vague" in cornering situations occasionally comes from.



Balance wise, if you decide to go Ardent Front and Rear, the bike for me tends to have too much rear grip for dryer/grippy conditions, aka the front tire wants to tuck. So I tend to run an Ardent on the front wheel and the Ardent Race on the rear, which also helps get some extra speed. For slicker conditions, you at least need the regular Ardent on the rear unless you are a capable bike handler. I'm still looking for the right step up from the Ardent to put on the front for a "need grip desperately" type of day.



Finally, I've yet to have any issues with punctures, burping, etc... from rough terrain and riding. Including some landings on rock that I though were hard enough to kill a wheel. NC trails have plenty of tiny tree stumps and other sharp objects to test the sidewalls against and the EXO seems to do a supreme job.

Black Magic
Unanswered Question

Will the MAXXIS Ardent EXO TR Tire - 29in x 2.4in fit a DT Swiss wheel (M 1900 Spline) that has a 22.5mm inner diameter?

Great all around tire

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Easy to mount up and rolls fast with good traction. One of the best tires for loose to hardpack conditions.

Great all around tire

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This tire does everything, it’s quick rolling and can really take a beating. I have ridden this tire in all conditions all over the country and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. If you’re looking for a fast rolling and reliable tubeless tire, this is the one.

Great rear tire

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Just added this as a rear tire to my Trek X-caliber along with a Minion DHF in the front. Even with the big beefy knobs of the Minion I dont notice any loss of rolling speed from the stock Bontrager tires (which is a +). I converted to tubeless along with swapping the tires so that could be influencing it but I have a ton more confidence on the Georgia trails with the new tire combo. Highly recommend a Maxxis set!

Great rear tire

Rolls Fast!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Really impressed with how fast these roll considering their size. Spent a weekend on some of the longer rolling hill type of rides in Moab, was really impressed with efficient and fast they are. Curious to get them on some steeper rides to see how good they hold.

Rolls Fast!

Rolls pretty fast for how big it is

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Lightish and rolls pretty fast for a 2.4

Rolls Pretty Well, Grips Great

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Great all around tire for dirt roads or singletrack, and the skinwalls look sweet!

Great all around tire

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been using these front and rear in the 2.4 size for most of the summer and fall on a Niner WFO. These have a great volume and profile on a 29mm Stan's Flow mk3 rim and are true to size at just over 2.4 inches.

Here in Northern Colorado, the terrain is steep and technical with sharp rocks, slick rock, hardpack, and loose over hard conditions. None of it phases the Ardents. I use these for all-mountain riding and I can charge descents with confidence and never wish for more grip. These tires carve high speed corners fantastically well and give me the confidence to push hard. I have had zero issues with sidewall wear or punctures and after several hundred miles of very hard use, the rear is just starting to show some wear while the front still looks new. These are a touch on the heavy side but I'll live with that since they do everything else so well. I was previously running Continentals on this bike and was tired of blowing out sidewalls and wearing them out. I'm sold on Maxxis and the Ardents and just ordered another pair.

Great XC Tire!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is a great XC tire! The tire provides plenty of grip and traction for all types of riding. I would highly recommend this tire!

Just go with Maxxis

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Riding in Utah means finding a tire that hooks up and holds up. Maxxis seems to have that figured out. Depending on your bike and riding style, they have something that will work. Personally, I like a bit more bite than this model, but it's good as a rear.

Great Traction

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

the 2.4 has great traction in anything from hard pack to loose over hard conditions. A great front tire for northern UT where you encounter frequently dry and dusty conditions. EXO offers great flat protection.

Maxxis makes the best

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

A very good rolling tire with good grip. It's not THE best grip but you also do not lose a lot of speed. Aggressive XC tire fore sure...and the compound makes up for anything lacking.

Great efficient front or rear tire

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

have used it front and rear and performs well in both. probably better as a rear, but complaints using it in the front. has held up to abuse and handles the local park city trails with no issues

BEST REAR TIRE SO FAR

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

REALLY GRIPPY AND FAST ROLLING TIRE. THE TOUGH SIDE WALL MAKES IS EASY RIPPING DOWN THE TRAIL THROUGH ROCKS.

Grippy and fast

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Ardent's tread pattern allows for a super grippy and fast rolling tire. I usually run this as a rear, but have no question in my mind if I were run them front and rear that they would still hook up really nice and keep speed.

Best all around tire on the market

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Ardent is a super versatile tire that performs well under most conditions and most kinds of trail riding. On 29ers, I typically run Ardents front and rear in the spring when conditions are loamy and will switch the front out to something like a Minion DHF and keep the Ardent in the back as a lighter, faster tire. Something like a Schwalbe is going to be lighter weight but i like the sidewall stiffness of the Ardents better and they also will wear a lot better than a Nobby Nic.

Peter, do you notice that the DHF is slower on the up than the Ardent?

best ive tried

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

2.4 front, 2.25 rear. on a rip nine carbon, so weight is not the priority. they are tough, grippy, roll fast. go with a little less juice inside and your back to even. the stiffer sidewall is evident in fast turns, these tired dont wash out at all. CC staff are great and customer support is legendary. thanks Cory.

Totally different tire than the 2.25

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had the Ardent 29x2.25 on the front and rear of my Niner Jet 9 and honestly, it wasn't my favorite tire. Coming from the Continental Trail King 2.4 they were a let down. Decent rolling resistance but not a great transition to the side knobs on hard turns. Just felt loose. Enter the Ardent EXO 29x2.4 TR (2.35 really). I run them at 24 psi front and 26 rear (tubeless on Stans Arch ZTR). Grip all day, smooth rolling....great. Completely different experience, would definitely buy again.

GREAT trail tire

Good Trail Tire

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Fast rolling playful tire that grips when needed. I'm running it on the rear right now on a fs 29'r trail bike (Trek Remedy), but may consider a 2.4 front too. So far I've only ridden on dry terrain. I don't care about weight on my trail bike so I haven't noticed it at all with this tire.