Maxxis Ardent Race Tire - 29
MaxxisArdent Race Tire - 29

Race-ready for rocky rides.

The Ardent Race Tire is an updated version of the classic Ardent that not only receives the 29er size, it is also given a lighter and faster tread for maximum speed and cornering on hard-packed XC trails.

While the tread pattern retains the same configuration as the original Ardent, Maxxis removed some of the depth from the knobs while also condensing the entire pattern. Shoulder knobs combined with ramped central knobs create a tire that rolls fast and holds its grip in the corners. This makes for a tire ideal for hardpack and gravely conditions. The casing is sewn with 120 threads-per-inch, which means a more flexible tire than many 60 or even 90TPI casings. It is also a TR Tubeless-Ready casing. The compound of the treads is the Maxxis Triple-C Maxx Speed, a blend of three rubber densities that are arranged across the 2.2-inch-wide tires in the areas where they perform best.

  • XC riding and racing
  • 120TPI
  • Tubeless-ready
  • Available in Race and EVO versions
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

All-Around Awesome

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Ardent Race is, pound for pound, (literally) the best all-around XC race tire there is. After a season or two on a Continental X-King and Race-Kings, I decided to see what all the Maxxis hype was about, and I haven't looked back since. The combination of rolling speed, puncture protection, and grip is literally unbeatable, especially at the price. Don't take my word for it though, ask the current king of XC; Swiss speed-king Nino Schuter. The five-time world champion, and Gold medal winner swapped from Dugast to Maxxis late last season in preparation for the Olympic games in Rio, which he won. I'm gonna roll on these as long as I'm still kickin'.

Fast Tire

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

When I bought my bike last July, it came spec'd with Maxxis Ardent 2.25 29'ers. Not a great tire, but not a bad tire by any means. I finally wore those things out a few months back and bought some meats (Minion DHR and Highroller II) and slapped those on there. Great tires for aggressive trail riding or enduro. But, for the kind of riding I like to do (XC and trail riding) they were not the right tire. So, after weeks of research, I decided on the Ardent Race for the front and the Ikon for the rear. This review is for the Ardent Race...

Keep in mind I have only been on one ride with this tire, but I feel that I have a pretty good impression of what the tire is about. First thing first, this tire gave me a little gruff when mounting. I couldn't get the bead to seat at first. Finally used some soapy water and it popped on. The ride of the tire is amazing. For the kind of trails we have here in my local area (Ventura County/SoCal) I think this is the perfect tire. Hard pack and a little bit of loose over hard pack. Resistance is minimum. Rolls smoothly. However, if you're into aggressive trail riding, this isn't the tire for you. It's ok if you are occasionally pushing the envelope, but prolonged agro riding deserves a tire with more meat.

Overall, I am very happy with this tire on the front of my Pivot and I look forward to smashing more PR's.

Hands down my favorite XC tire

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I race with these tires on XC trails in Austin, Texas. They have a fantastic grip on limestone and granite, corner well and hold a tread longer than most other tires I've ridden, including the Maxxis Ikon, Bontrager XR1-XR3, and Schwalbe Racing Ralph. They also seem to be a fair bit better at resisting puncture and sidewall impact. Overall, it's my go to tire for weight. If I want a longer lasting tire for off season use, I'll go for just the regular Ardent with deeper tread.

First time on Maxxis. I'm impressed.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These setup easier (tubeless) than any other tire I have ever tried. They roll well, are sticky, and seem to be pretty puncture resistant(knock on wood). I think I've become a convert. Once my Nobby Nic wears out I think I may try the regular Ardent(non-race) on the front for a combination with a nod to xc riding.

Perfect for me

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I ride these on a Santa Cruz Tallboy, sometimes just front, other times front and rear. I use this bike as a trail bike and ride about 100 miles a week. They have great traction on Norther California dirt, are fairly light, and wear fairly slow. Overall perfect tire for this bike and our dirt.

Perfect XC Tire

    Bike came with Maxxis Icons, but it was my first 29'er and I wasn't feeling any sort of large contact patch grip. So tried this on the front and now all is right in the world.

    Great tire

      I usually run the 2.4 ardent. The ardent race hooks up almost as well. I just run it with a bit higher psi. I have now been running it on carbon derby 35mm rim. Great combo for the rear of my SS.

      Great Grip!

        The Ikon on the front I was running had no grip and would washout to easily. The Ardent Race is worlds better! I still run the Ikon on the rear, great set up. I run the Ardent on a 25.5mm inner width Stans Flow Ex rim. I am thinking of putting the Ardent Race on the rear also...

        Good front XC tire

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        There is a lot of fast hardpack trail around here, and I'm an XC racer, so I've been riding ikons front and rear for awhile. They're fast but don't have great traction when you get a little bit of looseness.

        When I saw the ardent race it seemed like a good way to get a little more front grip without much of a weight or rolling resistance penalty, and I was right. Have raced and ridden this with an ikon rear all summer and am really happy with the combo. It's fast and I have more grip and cornering confidence.

        Despite getting the non-exo version I have not gotten any cuts, where my non-exo rear ikon has not done as well. So I think if you were going to use it as a rear tire with a regular ardent or something, go with the exo casing.

        Great tire

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        I bought these a couple of weeks ago on the advice of a friend. They have amazing traction for the somewhat loose trails in SE michigan, and they are probably the easiest to set up tubeless tires I have ever used.