Maxxis Ardent 29 X 2.25
An all around great tire for all around conditions« Back to News & Reviews
Source: Matthew Mallory
The choice of rubber to use is a very personal decision. Thick, thin, durability over weight, tread pattern (ribbed for his or her pleasure?), soft or hard for more or less friction and of course the ever important sizing.
The Maxxis Ardent has become a staple in the all mountain rider's quiver, it has a nice mix of rolling speed and the ever important traction that lends itself to climbing but still lets you grip the roots and rocks on the way down.
Even more important the Ardent is available for 29ers. Big wheeled bikes have come a long way in the last couple of years but the rubber choices have not kept up to speed with the development. There is a very limited selection for the aggressive all mountain rider. Do all of the manufacturers think everyone on wagon wheels are only riding fire roads and double track?
With few tires to choose from I was lucky enough to get my hands on some Ardent's for my 29er.
The first ride had me smiling. it was a wet day in Whistler and I was feeling good on the bike. I didn't notice immediately that the tires were sticking to the ground so well which is a very good sign. About half way through the ride it dawned on me that I should be slipping and sliding around a lot more than I was. This insight dawned on me when I had sped around a flat, if not slightly off camber corner that is just a slab of rock. I have lost control on this corner before with other XC/all-mountain tires when it is dry but the Ardent's held their line across the greasy rock.
Since that first ride I have put several miles on the Ardents in all kinds of conditions and have been left smiling. Dust, mud, rocks and roots they chewed it up and spit it out. Using the 60a compound the Ardent was not tacky like the 3C downhill tires that Maxxis manufactures but it was hard enough to give you good rolling speed yet still retain traction on the trail. Having used downhill tires on my all-mountain bikes before I was always stoked with their performance when the bike was pointed down but as soon as you had to start pedalling up something or hit the road to get home the drag from the heavier tread and sticky rubber really slows you down.
Nothing sucks more than pedalling 8km to Thrill Me Kill Me, riding the trail, then hitting the road for a 9 or 10km pedal back to the house through what always seems like a wind tunnel hitting you head on and having to fight the traction of a sticky DH tire the whole way.
Ardent Mountain Features
29 X 2.25-foldable bead
60 TPI-Single compound
65 Max Psi
The Ardents feature an open and short tread pattern that allows for fast rolling, with it's cornering knobs you can lay the bike over and hold through most cornering situations. The tread pattern was more than adequate for almost all conditions that you will encounter on a ride but again you must remember that this is designed as an all-mountain riding tire so there are some compromises made. Do not expect the downhill performance of the 3C or Super Tacky Minion. In extremely wet conditions and on steep rock you will feel the Ardent slip around. But again the trade off is that on the uphill pedals you will be smoking by the guys with downhill rubber on their bikes.
Single-ply, XC/all-mountain tires quite have another common failing. Light sidewalls that tend to flat regularly in what riders in the Sea To Sky Corridor consider to be all mountain riding. (downhill trails that are either rolling or that you have to pedal up to). To make matters even more interesting is that 29er's with their larger surface area leave even more of the tire's sidewall exposed for the dreaded pinch flat.
When I received the bike the first thing I did was run into Summit Sport and order up a bunch of spare tubes thinking that I would run through a half dozen of them easily over the course of the season. In the end I did use up four of them but not one of those tubes went on the my bike. They were used on another 29 inch wheel that was rolling on another brand of rubber. The Ardents held their air and protected the tubes for the whole season.
Like all of Maxxis' range of tires the Ardent is dialled and lives up to their reputation for producing a quality product. When it comes to 29 inch tires there really is no other choice than the Ardent.
Throw it on, forget, have fun and smile