With its medium-height tread, the Ardent Race firmly bridges the gap between the XC-oriented Ikon and the trail-oriented Ardent tyres. 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, like the Ikon. 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 centre tread. The small, ramped central knobs keep straight-line rolling speed, while the shoulder knobs deriving their design from the Maxxis High Roller and other of the company's high-speed gravity tires allow the Ardent Race tire increased levels of cornering grip for hardpack or semi-loose conditions. 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. The 2.35 casing offers a big air volume too and adds to the comofort and stability that the tyre provides.