Well, this is going to be Day Three of playing Mr. Mom at home with the kids. Mrs. Guitar Ted is an R.N. and has to be "on call" once in awhile, which in terms of reality means she spends nearly every waking moment at the hospital where she works. That means I got to take care of the two children we have all weekend and of course today is a holiday. No school. We lost our daycare for the time being, so.........day three it is!
So not much has been happening with me in terms of anything that isn't family related, including bicycles. I did get the Maxxis Ardent 2.4"ers mounted though, and you know what? I almost don't even want to say what I have found.
The Maxxis 29"er tire line has been pretty good so far. First we had the Ignitor, which was and still is a great all around tread design. Then the excellent CrossMark came out which made a lot of XC/Trail riders smile. (Curiously, I have never ridden a CrossMark. Hmmm......) Then the Ardent 2.25 came out and trail riders were practically falling over themselves with accolades for this tread design.
I wasn't one of them.
I thought the Ardent 2.25 was merely "okay". It is pretty close to a Bontrager XR in my mind as far as design and not nearly as good a performer. The Ardent was horrible in mud, and it washed out in the dust over hard pack we get here in summer. I felt it was all right if trail conditions were dry, and near perfect, but a lot of other tires will do that and more. Ardent 2.25? Meh!
Then the word came through that Maxxis was going to do a wider version of the Ardent. Okay, maybe the knobs would be deeper and larger too. And guess what? They are. Cool! A new Maxxis tire that might be a great tread for 29"ers. I was interested. So a pair came in for testing at Twenty Nine Inches. I was excited.
I decided to put them on the Velocity P-35 rimmed wheel I have and a 28mm wide WTB rim as a comparison. So whatta ya know? They came out to be undersized. Not just a little either, but by a fair margin. Like in a "Continental" sort of way. Not very impressive.
I know tires stretch, but at just shy of 2.3 inches after 24 hours, these will have to do an amazing job at stretching to get to what they should be on a 35mm wide rim. You can forget about these getting to 2.4 inches on a 28mm wide rim with tubes. It isn't going to happen. Actually, on a 35mm wide rim, I would expect these to be over 2.4 inches wide. I don't think that is going to happen either. I could be wrong though.
So, I know that the Ardent fans, (pun intended) will not be liking what I have to say to start out with in regards to this 2.4 inch version of this Maxxis tire. Just like they thought I was off my rocker about the things I said about the 2.25 version. But, the calipers don't lie, what am I supposed to say? I just hope the performance is there. I won't be finding that out for a wee bit yet though! We've got this issue with winter to deal with first.