I was looking for a light larger volume tire to replace a set of Maxxis DHF and DHR 26 x 2.35 tires I was riding on my Knolly. When I went searching, my quest was to find a 2.4 tire that I’ve heard great things about, these were the Maxxis Ardent. I was so excited by how light they are, I popped for the 2.25 size as well (to be used on my XC bike that were running 2.35 Kenda Nevegals).
First up the 26 x 2.25
Rolling – rolls very good because of the center tread blocks being closely placed.
Climbing – climbs good for what I was doing, not a whole lot of climbing done on these.
Cornering– on loose to moderately loose sandy soil over hard pack they were not confidence inspiring. You have to be on top of them, the give point is much sooner than I would have expected. I did not ride them in wet conditions since we have none in socal. But I would imagine them being inadequate for wet.
Overall: I heard good things about these tires and wanted to try them. The bigger volume had more downside than upside. Comfortable ride, but think monster truck tires for a second — not really designed to corner going fast? They’re a good tire for those who like to get into terrain but aren’t planning on railing turns. Basically the big volume is like riding a beach cruiser with a fat seat. It’s good to absorb a lot of vibration beyond that it just holds air.
Next up the 26 x 2.4
The rolling and climbing characteristics are good as the 2.25 size (again I don’t climb so I’m not worried about that).
Cornering – The Ardents are better at the 2.4 size… not sure why a 2.25 was even made TBH. Riding slopestyle and bermed tracks this tire did okay (I’m back to Minions now). I still did not feel confident and I could feel the bike sliding when other tires (minions) would continue to rail.
Weight – for the size, these are pretty light and was my main reason for trying them.
Overall: These tires are good for those who do not intend to ride aggressively. On certain bikes, these tires would rub the front deraileurs — so the higher volume is hit or miss, depending on your set up.
GOOD: Compared to beefier tires north of 1,000 grams. These are good trail tires for the weight. Under 900 grams is good compared to 1300+ for Maxxis Minions at a comparable size 26 x 2.5. In a couple months worth of riding, I didn’t pinch flat them (running them tubeless might have helped).
BAD: It’s too bad that the same manufacturer that makes my favorite tire (minion) can’t get the Ardents to perform similarly. These tires were on the balloony side and never felt quite right. Just felt on edge the entire time I had them on the bike.
Reviewed by Qwan Pham