Ardent Race

    Ardent Race

    • Race
    • Speed

    This race version of the Ardent off-road cycle tyre is designed as a cross-country and trail tyre for fast riders.

    • Dual compound or 3C MaxxSpeed options available
    • Perfect for technical XC racecourses
    • Ardent tread pattern at a lower profile for low rolling resistance
    • High-volume tyre for sure-footedness
    • 60 TPI or 120 TPI casing options
    • EXO sidewall protection
    • Tubeless Ready (TR)

    Recommended use: Dry to mixed cross-country racing trail conditions

    Recommended installation: Front or Rear


    Ardent Race Tyre Test Results

    If you're looking for high-speed off-road or cross-country cycle tyres, look to tyre tests for the answer.

    Mountain Bike Rider
    A go-to UK-based magazine for mountain bike riders, MBR is a great source of reference for independent advice on aftermarket parts and accessories for your bike, and they were impressed with its resilience across various terrain:

    “If you haven’t got along with regular Ardents in the past, the Race version is a different beast, and, with the supple, 3C casing version here using three blends of rubber, Maxxis seems to have nailed the perfect formula to roll well yet feel assured on just about everything from rock, roots and loam to trail-centre kitty litter.

    Cornering traction feels way more predictable and assured with the more continuous trough or ridge between the crown and edge blocks. It’s also a lighter tyre and faster to accelerate. I’ve also had zero issues with sidewall cuts to the EXO protection casing even on gnarly, rocky trails in the Lakes. The Ardent Race isn’t end-specific but it’s a great rear tyre, and, with a High Roller II up front, now forms my go-to summer tyre set-up, delivering just about the ultimate performance compromise outside of wintertime slop.”  – Jamie Darlow,, September 2014

    Bike Radar reviewed the Maxxis Ardent Race tyre:

    “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.

    Traction in dry conditions was stellar – the Ardent Race handled sand, gravel over hardpack, 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. 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.

    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,, November 2013

    Worldwide Cyclery
    Worldwide Cyclery give the stage to their user reviews every once in a while, and this is the glowing conclusion to a review written by a rider of the Ardent Race:

    Conclusion: I’ve since ridden the tyre in quite a few hard pack conditions and can say that the tyre also performs very well on this terrain, perhaps even better than the loose over hard. How did she shape up as a rear tyre on loose conditions? Better than I would have thought, actually. While other tyres such as the Vittoria Morsa, Hans Dampf, and Maxxis Aggressor would provide more traction, I was again confident enough to conclude that the Ardent Race should not be relegated to the ranks of an “XC” tyre in any way, like the Ikon or other similar tyres.

    While I cannot yet speak for wet conditions, the 2.35” width, decently sized side knobs and EXO sidewall have convinced me that the tyre will serve you well in DRY conditions of great variety. I’m not sure which tyre would dethrone it right now for me… I am very happy with the Ardent Race 2.35 for my conditions,” – Daniel Dorr,, February 2017

    Ardent Race Tyre User Reviews

    Sometimes the best reviews come from off-road cyclists just like you.

    Rider,, April 2020:
    “Fitted easily, very comfortable on fast roads and dry tracks.” 

    Rider,, March 2020:
    “Great tyres for hard pack trail centre surface plus more. Fast rolling but good corner grip. Usual Maxxis quality and love the 3C compound.” 

    Rider,, November 2019:
    “This has been a great tyre so far. Good grip on hard and dusted hard trails. Also rolls pretty well. By far the easiest tubeless tyre to fit so far. Inflated straight away on wide lightning 30 rims. Paired with an Ikon 2.35 on the rear is a great combo.”

    Rider,, June 2019:
    “Upgraded from my Swalbe Tough Tom. Wow what a difference. Used as tubeless. Easy to mount, pumped up first time with normal track pump. I have this on the rear with the standard Ardent on the front. Very fast tyre. Surprisingly good grip in the corners even on wet red/black rated single track trails. Can’t see me changing this combo for a long time. Amazing value!” 

    Rider,, October 2018:
    “Best XC race tyre for the rear as it allows great grip and traction with free-rolling, I always pair these up with a more aggressive front for all-round speed and traction.” 

    Rider,, March 2016:
    “I decided to go tubeless last season, and the tyres have been absolutely amazing. I took the recommendation from my local bike shop and I am glad I did. The traction is great, and the ride comfort and durability have been to notch. I have not experienced any punctures or sidewall damage as of yet. I have ridden them on XC single track trails from bone dry to getting caught in a thunderstorm. They handle everything like a champ, and they roll very fast as well. If you are looking for a perfect all-round tyre, I wouldn’t look any further than the Ardent Race.” 



    3C MaxxSpeed

    What is 3C MaxxSpeed?
    The Maxxis 3C MaxxSpeed compound is used primarily in cross country and race tyres. This compound structure features more of the harder, low-rolling-resistance compound for maximum speed, with a lighter covering of the softer, grippier compounds on the outer tread for bite into difficult surfaces.



    An extremely cut-resistant and abrasion-resistant material added to the sidewalls of select mountain tires. This densely woven fabric is also lightweight and highly flexible, ensuring that the performance of the tire remains unaffected. Choose EXO Protection for exceptionally rocky, treacherous trails where the chance of sidewall cuts and abrasions is high.


    Tubeless Ready

    Tubeless downhill set-ups are a great way to shave some weight and spend more time in the bike park or shuttling hot laps on your local runs. Sealant-compatible rubber is used with the familiar Maxxis dual-ply 60 TPI downhill construction and butyl insert for support and rim protection in order to offer the benefits of increased grip and reliability. A Tubeless Ready bead securely locks to the rim and the foldable bead provides additional weight savings.