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MaxxisArdent Race Tire - 29
Sale 25% Off$56.25 $75.00

Item # MXX003L

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  • 3C/EXO/Tubeless Ready, 2.2 ($56.25)
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Item # MXX003L

What the Ardent's Racier riders have been waiting for.

It's true that Maxxis makes its beloved Ardent tire in a 29-inch diameter. However, a common bit of feedback that the company fielded about the tire was that it just wasn't quite fast enough to race on harder courses, as per so many 29-inch mountain bike riders. Not one to leave holes in its lineup, Maxxis got to tweaking the Ardent's tread pattern to be lighter, tighter, and faster for 29-inch XC racers and trail riders who wanted the Ardent's toughness and do-it-all capability, but needed a bit more flat-out speed. The result? The Maxxis Ardent Race 29-Inch Tire.

Those familiar with the original Ardent tire will certainly be able to draw some visual familiarity between the two models, while also being able to clearly tell which of the two earns the "Race" designation. The Ardent Race takes the standard Ardent's tread pattern and condenses it, with tighter spacing between now-shallower knobs, to create a faster-rolling contact patch, although the profile and job functions of those knobs are basically the same. Small, ramped central knobs keep straight-line rolling fast, and shoulder knobs deriving in design from the Maxxis High Roller and other of the company's high-speed gravity tires bestow the Ardent Race tire with comparable levels of cornering grip for hardpack or semi-loose conditions. Unlike the regular Ardent, the Ardent Race isn't quite ready for extreme mudslinging or very loose loam, but for everything on the firmer side of the spectrum, the Ardent Race is ready. A 120 threads-per-inch casing keeps the ride smoother than the 90, 60, or 30tpi casings of many competitors, with more threads ready to contour to the trail. Maxxis's Triple-C Maxx Speed compound used for the tread pattern is a blend of three different rubber densities assigned to areas of the tread where they will perform best. Finally, take confidence in knowing that Maxxis's TR Tubeless-Ready casing is one of the toughest and most reliable in the business.

The EXO version of each tire includes Maxxis's EXO sidewall protection, which is a densely-woven layer of especially tough fabric that's integrated into the tire's sidewall. Made for especially rocky and technical conditions to prevent abrasion and cuts, choose the EXO version of the Ardent Race if you occasionally find yourself in the (much) rougher stuff.

The Maxxis Ardent 29-Inch Race Tire is 2.2 inches in width and can be set up tubeless on nearly any tubeless-ready rim, although it can accommodate tubes as well. It comes only in the color Black.

  • XC riding and racing
  • 120TPI
  • Tubeless-ready
  • Available in Race and EVO versions
Tech SpecsWeight
Tech Specs
3C Maxx Speed
29 x 2.2in, 29 x 2.35in
tubeless ready clincher
Recommended Use
cross-country, trail
Manufacturer Warranty

Actual Weight

Actual weights are measured in-house by the Competitive Cyclist team.

Have questions? Chat with a Gearhead



3C/EXO/Tubeless Ready, 2.2
3C/EXO/TR, 2.35

Claimed Weight

Claimed weights are provided by the vendor.

Have questions? Chat with a Gearhead

[29 x 2.2in] 720g, [29 x 2.35in] 745g

Reviews & Community


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Good tire

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This tire works for the type of riding I do (CX, UT/ID single track). Good traction, holds up well but I'm not very hard on my gear.

Great front tire for XC

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have been running the 2.35 Ardent Race for over a year now as my front tire on my Niner RKT with much success. For starters it was super easy to mount and setup tubeless. The tire gives you great confidence since it is so predictable. Pairs nicely with an Ikon in the rear.

Ardent Race for the arduous races

    I've been really pleased with the Ardent Race so far--I have the 2.2" set up on my front wheel (paired with the 2.1" Crossmark on the rear) for my bikepacking race bike. It corners well, is durable, and I haven't had issues with the tubeless seal yet. Overall stoked on this and looking forward to the 1000's of miles to come.

    Great XC Tire

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    These have low rolling resistance and provide substantial grip. I am running the 2.35 front and rear on a Pivot Les. I like the volume for the rear tire as it provides just enough cushion for the hard tail. Set up tubeless really well.

    Speed with Extra Grip Please

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I love the Ardent Race for Utah mid-summer riding. The dust gets a little too deep for my Ikon's to dig in so I swap out to an Ardent race up front and all is right in the world again. I have gotten great mileage out of them and absolutely abuse them.

    Awesome XC Tire

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I used this tire on my front wheel for xc/endurance riding and absolutely love it. It grips so well on surfaces I would never imagine it gripping to. Super lightweight and durable. When I'm riding xc, I like to pair the Ardent with a Ikon on my rear wheel.

    XC front tire

      Choose this for loose over hard conditions and it gives confidence in most conditions. Otherwise use an Ikon up front.


      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      The Ardent race rolls really really well, so performance is spot on if you're looking for a great true XC tire. I've only been running them a month but so far no mechanical issues. I've run a few Maxxis tires but this is my first go with the Ardent race. Cornering is typical of most really good XC tires I've run. they set up pretty easy and have not leaked much over time.

      All-Around Awesome

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      The Ardent Race is, pound for pound, (literally) the best all-around XC race tire there is. After a season or two on a Continental X-King and Race-Kings, I decided to see what all the Maxxis hype was about, and I haven't looked back since. The combination of rolling speed, puncture protection, and grip is literally unbeatable, especially at the price. Don't take my word for it though, ask the current king of XC; Swiss speed-king Nino Schuter. The five-time world champion, and Gold medal winner swapped from Dugast to Maxxis late last season in preparation for the Olympic games in Rio, which he won. I'm gonna roll on these as long as I'm still kickin'.

      Fast Tire

      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      When I bought my bike last July, it came spec'd with Maxxis Ardent 2.25 29'ers. Not a great tire, but not a bad tire by any means. I finally wore those things out a few months back and bought some meats (Minion DHR and Highroller II) and slapped those on there. Great tires for aggressive trail riding or enduro. But, for the kind of riding I like to do (XC and trail riding) they were not the right tire. So, after weeks of research, I decided on the Ardent Race for the front and the Ikon for the rear. This review is for the Ardent Race...

      Keep in mind I have only been on one ride with this tire, but I feel that I have a pretty good impression of what the tire is about. First thing first, this tire gave me a little gruff when mounting. I couldn't get the bead to seat at first. Finally used some soapy water and it popped on. The ride of the tire is amazing. For the kind of trails we have here in my local area (Ventura County/SoCal) I think this is the perfect tire. Hard pack and a little bit of loose over hard pack. Resistance is minimum. Rolls smoothly. However, if you're into aggressive trail riding, this isn't the tire for you. It's ok if you are occasionally pushing the envelope, but prolonged agro riding deserves a tire with more meat.

      Overall, I am very happy with this tire on the front of my Pivot and I look forward to smashing more PR's.

      Hands down my favorite XC tire

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      I race with these tires on XC trails in Austin, Texas. They have a fantastic grip on limestone and granite, corner well and hold a tread longer than most other tires I've ridden, including the Maxxis Ikon, Bontrager XR1-XR3, and Schwalbe Racing Ralph. They also seem to be a fair bit better at resisting puncture and sidewall impact. Overall, it's my go to tire for weight. If I want a longer lasting tire for off season use, I'll go for just the regular Ardent with deeper tread.

      First time on Maxxis. I'm impressed.

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      These setup easier (tubeless) than any other tire I have ever tried. They roll well, are sticky, and seem to be pretty puncture resistant(knock on wood). I think I've become a convert. Once my Nobby Nic wears out I think I may try the regular Ardent(non-race) on the front for a combination with a nod to xc riding.

      Perfect for me

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      I ride these on a Santa Cruz Tallboy, sometimes just front, other times front and rear. I use this bike as a trail bike and ride about 100 miles a week. They have great traction on Norther California dirt, are fairly light, and wear fairly slow. Overall perfect tire for this bike and our dirt.

      Perfect XC Tire

        Bike came with Maxxis Icons, but it was my first 29'er and I wasn't feeling any sort of large contact patch grip. So tried this on the front and now all is right in the world.

        Great tire

          I usually run the 2.4 ardent. The ardent race hooks up almost as well. I just run it with a bit higher psi. I have now been running it on carbon derby 35mm rim. Great combo for the rear of my SS.

          Great Grip!

            The Ikon on the front I was running had no grip and would washout to easily. The Ardent Race is worlds better! I still run the Ikon on the rear, great set up. I run the Ardent on a 25.5mm inner width Stans Flow Ex rim. I am thinking of putting the Ardent Race on the rear also...

            Good front XC tire

            • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

            There is a lot of fast hardpack trail around here, and I'm an XC racer, so I've been riding ikons front and rear for awhile. They're fast but don't have great traction when you get a little bit of looseness.

            When I saw the ardent race it seemed like a good way to get a little more front grip without much of a weight or rolling resistance penalty, and I was right. Have raced and ridden this with an ikon rear all summer and am really happy with the combo. It's fast and I have more grip and cornering confidence.

            Despite getting the non-exo version I have not gotten any cuts, where my non-exo rear ikon has not done as well. So I think if you were going to use it as a rear tire with a regular ardent or something, go with the exo casing.

            Great tire

            • Familiarity: I've used it several times

            I bought these a couple of weeks ago on the advice of a friend. They have amazing traction for the somewhat loose trails in SE michigan, and they are probably the easiest to set up tubeless tires I have ever used.