Maxxis Ardent Race 3C EXO TR 2.2 tyre review£53.99

Summer trail tyre with predictable performance

BikeRadar score3.5/5

The Ardent Race tyre combines the ground hugging security of the popular Ardent with the faster, racier Ikon. The result is a reasonably fast, yet very confident trail tyre that's suitable for all but greasiest of terrain.

The Ardent Race brings many top-tier technical features together into one tyre. It has a tubeless-ready bead and a 120tpi sidewall with Maxxis' EXO puncture protection. On top, the rubber is triple compound, offering greater speed and durability in the centre with softer, grippier knobs on the edges.    

Traction in dry conditions was stellar – the Ardent Race handled sand, gravel over hard pack, hard pack and sandstone with confidence. In wet conditions, the softer edges adhered well before packing up with mud.

There was a small loss of traction when leaning the tyre edge over, but it was short and controlled as the larger side knobs soon took control.

Maxxis ardent race - a rounded knob profile rolls fast given the grip levels: maxxis ardent race - a rounded knob profile rolls fast given the grip levels
Maxxis ardent race - a rounded knob profile rolls fast given the grip levels: maxxis ardent race - a rounded knob profile rolls fast given the grip levels

There is a slight gap getting to the tyre's edge – after a few rides we started to trust that it would grab hard on the extreme edges

The rounded knob pattern was quick rolling for a tyre with such grip. The stiff EXO casing gave great support and aided stability when combined with the high air volume.

The bead was on the loose side for a tubeless tyre, but we had no problems inflating the Ardent Race tubeless with an air compressor, and experienced no hint of burping.

At 696g (26 x 2.2), the Ardent Race is no loop circuit race day tyre, but its weight is extremely competitive for a trail worthy tyre. It's perfect for use front and rear on a summer trail bike, or the front tyre of a cross-country speedster to give greater cornering control, or as a rear tyre on a burlier enduro race bike.

David Rome

Former Editor, Australia
Dave was the editor of BikeRadar Australia until early 2016.
  • Age: 28
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 79cm / 31in
  • Chest: 89cm / 35in
  • Discipline: Mountain, road and cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Fast and flowing singletrack with the occasional air is the dream. Also happy chasing tarmac bends.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Fuel EX 27.5, SwiftCarbon Detritovore, Salsa Chilli Con Crosso
  • Dream Bike: Custom Independent Fabrications titanium, SRAM Etap and Enve wheels/cockpit
  • Beer of Choice: Gin & tonic
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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