Maxxis Ardent EXO TR review£33.00

Versatile big-volume all-rounder

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Maxxis' Ardent isn’t a heavily reinforced ‘enduro’ tyre but it’s significantly tougher than most XC tyres of a similar speed. The EXO carcass version adds a bit more protection than standard without affecting the smooth rolling, rock shrugging ride too.

Related: six of the best fast-rolling MTB tyres

It’s also taller than most 2.25in tyres so there’s more to cushion the blows from blocks and drops. The 2.4in versions are massive. They’re also some of the easiest to set up tubeless, sealing onto most rims with just a few seconds of track pump action.

The dual compound tread is broad and flat for easy rolling but there’s still enough bite to brake and get power down reliably most of the year at the back and even on the front in summer. Bigger, softer side knobs mean you can corner with reasonable confidence too.

While they roll fine once you’ve got them going their tall height and weight makes them harder to accelerate from slow speeds. Their height also makes the unstable at lower pressures so while the tread isn’t as aggressive we actually prefer the more agile and predictable handling of the lower, lighter Ardent Race when we’re pushing hard on less punishing trails.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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