The Maxxis Ardent has been around for many years and is aimed at cross-country and trail riders wanting a fast-rolling tyre with reliability from the beefed-up EXO casing for additional sidewall support.
Maxxis describes it as a do-it-all trail tyre that grips in most terrain conditions and excels in the wet.
- Using as a front tyre
- Wetter conditions and more technical trails
- Pairing with a lighter weight rear tyre for improved speed
Maxxis Ardent EXO TR 29 x 2.25in product details
The Maxxis Ardent is an XC and trail do-it-all tyre with a directional tread pattern that can be used on the front or rear.
Closely aligned ramped centre blocks improve braking while ensuring low rolling resistance, and there’s plenty of mud shedding space between the large angled shoulder blocks.
It’s available in 26in, 27.5in and 29in sizes and 2.25in and 2.4in widths with wire or folding beads, and single or dual compounds to meet your needs and budget.
The EXO reinforced casing provides ample sidewall support and durability for XC riders who want to not hold back on aggressive trails.
Maxxis Ardent EXO TR 29 x 2.25in performance
The Ardent is a fast and versatile XC come trail tyre, feeling sturdier than most lightweight XC race tyres.
You pay the price on the scales for that stability because compared to other, racier XC tyres like the Continental Race King, the Ardent is on the portly side. You notice this when sprinting out of corners and building up speed over crests and any time you’re climbing. It doesn’t have the zip of lighter weight rubber.
The closely packed central tread pattern and reasonably low profile block height do mitigate the weight penalty to some extent, and once you’ve built up speed they maintain momentum nicely.
However, the shoulder blocks are massive compared to other XC tyres and that means you can take more liberties into corners, where the dual compound sticks well to the dirt.
Away from the white heat of XC racing to trail riding and marathon distance events, these tyres start to make more sense. The EXO casing gives massive reassurance when hammering down rocky trails with good casing durability and cut resistance compared to more lightweight offerings like the Schwalbe Racing Ralph or Continental Race King.
It copes well across a range of trail conditions but works better on damp to wet trails than super loose terrain, and the ramped blocks give good braking traction compared to a lightweight low profile tyre like the Bontrager XR2.
The Ardent felt cushioned over rocks and roots, so if you want a smooth and comfortable ride, the Ardent is a good pick. I found tubeless installation to be hassle-free on the DT Swiss XR1501 control wheels.
Maxxis Ardent EXO TR 29 x 2.25in bottom line
A reasonably fast tyre with good grip in wet and damp conditions and the extra weight will suit trail and more extreme XC riding well.
It also makes for a good front tyre when paired with a lighter and faster rolling rear option like the Maxxis Crossmark.
How we tested
We pitted 10 of the best cross-country-style tyres against each other to find out which we think is worth your time and money.
- Bontrager XR2 Team Issue TLR tyre
- Continental Race King BlackChili Protection tyre
- Maxxis Crossmark II EXO TR
- Schwalbe Racing Ralph Evo TLE 29 x 2.25in
- Schwalbe Rocket Ron Super Ground SpeedGrip
- Schwalbe Racing Ray Addix Speed 29 x 2.25i
- Specialized Ground Control
- Vittoria Barzo TNT tyre
- WTB Ranger TCS Light Fast Rolling