Have you ever been skeptical about changing your tire setup because you have been so happy with it? Our customer Jeff, recently found himself in the same situation and actually went out and tried something new. Jeff tried out a wider Maxxis Ardent Race tire and this is how he felt after those first couple rides.
I got the Maxxis Ardent Race 2.35" to replace my trusty Maxxis Ardent Race 2.25". Everyone talks about how great the fatter tires are blah blah blah. I have always said I'm not adding extra rotating weight for a smoother ride. Well after searching, the 2.35" in the non EXO version was not much heavier. I figured I would try it and not tell anyone I did. Worldwide Cyclery was the only place on the internet (that I could find) that had the non EXO version. I ordered it and patiently waited so I could prove this fat tire theory was in everyone's head. The tire was going on a Stan’s Crest Wheel. I was thinking that the tire may be too wide for the crest rim but it popped on the wheel instantly. This was one of the easiest tires I have ever mounted. I also used the Orange Seal Tubeless Sealant. So now it was time to go try this thing out.
I got to the trails by myself so I could try this bigger tire and have my own opinion based off my riding level and speed. I'm strictly a cross country rider and this is mounted on the front wheel of my Niner Jet9 RDO with a Ikon 2.20" mounted on the rear. I started at 22psi. My initial thought was what a joke this thing is horrible. Probably the first half mile of trails I was riding was sandy. Once I got into the hard packed stuff this tire started to shine. To me the tire didn't seem to roll as fast. But it could all be in my head. The lower psi and wider contact patch made the roots feel so much smoother. I was able to carry more momentum into turns and not feel like I was going to wash the front end out. I rode roughly 15 miles that day and was convinced that this maybe the best tire combo. I tried several more trips playing with the air psi. I'm running anywhere between 20-22psi.
Overall I am happy with this tire. Living in the southeast I do see a decent amount of sand. The Ardent isn't that great in my opinion in the sand. I'm willing to give up a little in the sand to be able to carry my speed through turns on the hard packed stuff. I can speak for how well it does in the mud. But if you ride mid to hard pack trails I would definitely consider this tire for the front.
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