Maxxis Ardent Race Tire: Rider Review

Our "Rider Review" article series features honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for. 

How can you not love the feel of a brand new tire? Nothing beats the amazing grip and predictability of a fresh Maxxis tire. Our customer Bret was in need of a new rear tire and decided on the Maxxis Ardent Race. Scope his review to hear his thoughts!

Maxxis Ardent Race Tire Review


I have used this same tire in the 2.2” version in the rear on my gravel bike and was pleased with its low rolling resistance, so my thought was it would make a good rear race tire on my XC bike in the 2.35” version. My only concern with buying another Ardent Race was that the tread on my gravel bike seemed to wear really quickly – especially since the tread is the Max Speed version which is Maxxis’ low rolling resistance, longer-lasting compound because it is constructed with a higher durometer rubber compound relatively speaking. Partly, of course, wear is fast simply because the knobs are quite short, to begin with, so there just isn’t all that much to wear. I’m hoping the fast wear was also because I did ride a lot of pavement in that tire and that wore it faster than I’m used to. Time will tell how the 2.35” lasts. Like a lot of others, I have found that Maxxis tires to be durable and consistent. 

Maxxis Ardent Race tire
I know that 2.35” is usually out of the range of XC, but being that I am on the larger side of the typical mass of an XC rider, I actually do better with a larger tire. After almost a month of use so far, I am very pleased again with its low rolling resistance and the traction is plenty good even with its short knobs. The side knobs are in no way large but seem to bite at least like anything else in its class which is a huge reason I like this tire. They are stiff and have two edges which helps tremendously in keeping the tire from drifting too much. I’m using this tire on pavement, gravel, and trails that are not super technical – mostly hard-packed, rocks, and roots with some loose leaves. This tire is okay in loose leaves. I would not recommend it as a front tire if much of your riding is in loose conditions. I have it paired to a 2.6” Maxxis Rekon in the front – again not great in loose stuff but fast-rolling and great roll over – but definitely better than the Ardent Race because of the sheer size of the tire.

Final Thoughts

The attached photo is of the Ardent Race 2.35” on a rim with a 29mm inside width. It looks like to me that this tire was meant to be installed on a fairly wide rim like this. The profile seems perfect on that size rim if you like your rear tire to have a nice round profile. Too square of a profile is definitely not good for racing in that it increases rolling resistance due to a larger contact patch. At the same time, too round a profile isn’t great for traction. At least you can get a sense of what it might look like on your rim from this photo.

Shop Maxxis Ardent Race tire

June 08, 2020

Ardent Race › Maxxis › Rider Review › Tire ›

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