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So I semi-recently purchased a new Trek Top Fuel and am looking to switch out from the stock Bontrager XR1's 2.2 that are on the bike. I live in Arizona and most of what we have here is loose over hard, hardpack, or right about in between.

My big question at the moment may seem small, but I've been going back and forth for a bit now and just want some other opinions.

Ardent Race 2.2 vs 2.35 for the front
Ikon 2.2 vs 2.35 for the rear

I'm not really super concerned about weight, although if I went the 2.35 route I would be gaining about 100g and if I went the 2.2 route I would be saving a mere 20g.

As the bike suggests, almost all of the riding I do is XC and I'm planning on working towards the state's race series that's starting soon so this wouldn't just be for riding around on the weekends.

So, thoughts? For racing, how many of you guys out there use something bigger than 2.2?
 

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LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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Use bontrager xr2/3 2.35 front and xr2 2.2 or 2.35 rear.

The xr2/3 are lighter than the 2.35 maxxis. The 2.2 are about the same.

Xr3 is a tad more aggresive compareable to the ardent race which suck. And then the xr2 is a lighter better xc tire than an ikon

The 2.35 xr 2/3 are only 30-40 gms more than your current xr1 2.2 if yiu use team issue.

And youre on a trek so trek tires are ideal. If your lbs doesnt hook you up you can order for 45 shipped from Germany
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I think the benefits (lower rolling resistance, increased grip) of a 2.35 are worth the weight penalty.

Ardent Race versus Ikon really depends. Personally I prefer the Ikon on Loam where as the Ardent Race works considerably better in the dry and loose. On pavement the Ikon is a bit quicker rolling, although neither are particularly fast on pavement. On dirt I don't think there is a noticeable difference in rolling resistance.
 

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So I semi-recently purchased a new Trek Top Fuel and am looking to switch out from the stock Bontrager XR1's 2.2 that are on the bike. I live in Arizona and most of what we have here is loose over hard, hardpack, or right about in between.

My big question at the moment may seem small, but I've been going back and forth for a bit now and just want some other opinions.

Ardent Race 2.2 vs 2.35 for the front
Ikon 2.2 vs 2.35 for the rear

I'm not really super concerned about weight, although if I went the 2.35 route I would be gaining about 100g and if I went the 2.2 route I would be saving a mere 20g.

As the bike suggests, almost all of the riding I do is XC and I'm planning on working towards the state's race series that's starting soon so this wouldn't just be for riding around on the weekends.

So, thoughts? For racing, how many of you guys out there use something bigger than 2.2?
I ride in Az and love the 2.35 Ikon in front. I run a 2.2 XR3 team in the rear. Some guys like the XR2 team issues. Overall I believe here given the rocks we have 2.35 is idea in front and 2.2 is good in the rear. I have liked the 2.2 Ikon in the rear, but not as much for long backcountry rides due to how the sidewall reacts to cuts. This not a factor in short XC race since if it cuts you are done, but for a 5-8 hrs race it starts to make a difference.
 

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Get yourself on Trek's Great Athletes Ride Trek (GART) program. Get Bontrager tires at half price.
 

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I run Ikons only for races. I've settled on (after a BUNCH of trial and error) Ardent Race 2.35 front and 2.2 rear. I just couldn't get the Ikon to keep from slipping in back while braking. It climbs reasonably well (not as well as the AR's), and I don't mind the slippage when racing so much, but it's a lot more fun to maintain control when braking and the AR's DO have a bit better climbing traction, so I run those most of the time. Rolling resistance is close enough with all these XC tires, regardless of what some stupid test done a metal drum might tell you.
 

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15393008_10154814553572720_6487591276518488081_o-e1481677021187.jpg

I have the same bike and ride the Ikon 2.3, so far so good. I didnt notice anything as far as weight. The carbon wheels keep it light anyhow. Cheers
 

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Any thoughts on the new Soecialized Fasteak in the new 2.3 size. I felt the ikon 2.2 in the exo was a hard rubber that didn't have best cornering. I like schwalbe but wear out super fast.
 

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I have a Specialized Epic and ride a 2.35 Ardent Race in the rear. IMHO better breaking traction than a 2.35 IKON. I prefer the IKON in the front though, seems to have better traction in turns on leaf covered rooty trails in the east. Rolling resistance might be less in the AR. On muddy winter trails, I swap the IKON for a regular Ardent 2.4. The AR stays on the rear regardless of season. Best rear tire IMHO.
 

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Use bontrager xr2/3 2.35 front and xr2 2.2 or 2.35 rear.

The xr2/3 are lighter than the 2.35 maxxis. The 2.2 are about the same.

Xr3 is a tad more aggresive compareable to the ardent race which suck. And then the xr2 is a lighter better xc tire than an ikon

The 2.35 xr 2/3 are only 30...
How do you guys like the XR2/3s as compare to Schwalbe Racing Ralphs? RaRas have treated me well but I am considering trying other options.
 

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LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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How do you guys like the XR2/3s as compare to Schwalbe Racing Ralphs? RaRas have treated me well but I am considering trying other options.
In pure rolling speed the rara would be ahead.

2.35 rara 705 gms claimed
2.35 xr2/3 690 claimed

The xr2 slides a little before it grabs like a rocket ron. The rara i feel is always hooked up. The xr3 is like glue like an xking type of tire.

The 2.35 xr2/3 will be a bigger tire than rara.

It all depends on the size and schwalbe casing you choose to compare comfort. The xr2/3 are very supple and ride with cushion. The snakeskin 2.35 rara was a basketball to me same pressures. On the rear it was not as forgiving on every bump as xr3. Ive ridden xr 1-4. The 2/3 are where its at for all purpose use. 3 front 2 rear or 2 front 1 rear for real hardpack.

The ardent race i feel slides and then grabs similar to the rocket ron and xr2 in the front. You need to lean it into side knobs then it bites. The ikon just slides. In the back in Michigan it doesnt matter so other than comfort traction is about the same on our tame trails. Some of these models slide then grab and some just grab on the back.

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In pure rolling speed the rara would be ahead.

2.35 rara 705 gms claimed
2.35 xr2/3 690 claimed

The xr2 slides a little before it grabs like a rocket ron. The rara i feel is always hooked up. The xr3 is like glue like an xking type of tire.

The 2.35 xr2/3 will be a bigger tire than rara.

It all depends on the size and schwalbe casing you choose to compare comfort. The xr2/3 are very supple and ride with cushion. The snakeskin 2.35 rara was a basketball to me same pressures. On the rear it was not as forgiving on every bump as xr3. Ive ridden xr 1...
Great comparison - thank you. Your comments on suppleness of the tire are especially interesting to me since I race full rigid and I have noticed myself than if I am anywhere over 25 psi on the RaRas 2.25 snakeskin I am bouncing around like a basketball as you say and that is not a good situation for me to be in. It would be nice to have something that allows me to charge through the braking bumps and plow through rough corners a little better. Would you suggest trying the Bontragers for that reason?

My experience with grip on the RaRas has been a bit different... fine in the front but in the back I can slide it pretty easily. Maybe that means the Bontys will be even slicker?
 

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LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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Great comparison - thank you. Your comments on suppleness of the tire are especially interesting to me since I race full rigid and I have noticed myself than if I am anywhere over 25 psi on the RaRas 2.25 snakeskin I am bouncing around like a basketball as you say and that is not a good situation for me to be in. It would be nice to have something that allows me to charge through the braking bumps and plow through rough corners a little better. Would you suggest trying the Bontragers for that reason?

My experience with grip on the RaRas has been a bit different... fine in the front but in the back I can slide it pretty easily. Maybe that means the Bontys will be even slicker?
All my rides have been rigid SS on the tires im talking about.

I was mainly talking about front tires thats why i mentioned at the end that on the rear some slide and some dont.

On the rear the ikon, rara,xr2,xr1 type tires do slide then grab cornering, slide braking, and have less straight ahead traction than ardent race,xr3. Those and xking bite in and feel glued but fast in all situations. Xr3 f/ xr 2 rear 2.35 f/r if you can. A 2.35 xr isnt much more than a 2.25 snakeskin rara in weight but much less bouncy. Im around 25psi but haved use 23 im only 170 but i dont want rim hits.

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All my rides have been rigid SS on the tires im talking about.

I was mainly talking about front tires thats why i mentioned at the end that on the rear some slide and some dont.

On the rear the ikon, rara,xr2,xr1 type tires do slide then grab cornering, slide braking, and have less straight ahead traction than ardent race,xr3. Those and xking bite in and feel glued but fast in all situations. Xr3 f/ xr 2 rear 2.35 f/r if you can. A 2.35 xr isnt much more than a 2.25 snakeskin rara in weight but much less bouncy. Im around 25psi but haved use 23 im only 170 but i dont want rim hits.

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Okay interesting... I probably will try that Bonty combo then since I noticed on my winter bike that with a 2.3 fat pig of a tire it sucks climbing but I can plow the descents and not get tossed off. Good excuse to do leave some sweet skid marks with the last of my RaRas anyway. :)
 

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LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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Okay interesting... I probably will try that Bonty combo then since I noticed on my winter bike that with a 2.3 fat pig of a tire it sucks climbing but I can plow the descents and not get tossed off. Good excuse to do leave some sweet skid marks with the last of my RaRas anyway. :)
A 2.2 rara is like 660 and 2.35 xr 690. And the size goes up a lot in those extra grams.

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Use bontrager xr2/3 2.35 front and xr2 2.2 or 2.35 rear.

The xr2/3 are lighter than the 2.35 maxxis. The 2.2 are about the same.

Xr3 is a tad more aggresive compareable to the ardent race which suck. And then the xr2 is a lighter better xc tire than an ikon

The 2.35 xr 2/3 are only 30-40 gms more than your current xr1 2.2 if yiu use team issue.

And youre on a trek so trek tires are ideal. If your lbs doesnt hook you up you can order for 45 shipped from Germany
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What German website has them for $45. Also is the XR3 2.3 similar in size to the XR 2.35?
 

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The ardent race i feel slides and then grabs similar to the rocket ron and xr2 in the front. You need to lean it into side knobs then it bites. The ikon just slides. In the back in Michigan it doesnt matter so other than comfort traction is about the same on our tame trails. Some of these models slide then grab and some just grab on the back.
I have an Ardent race on the rear of my XC hardtail. After a few rides, a small stick punctured the sidewall when I was running tubeless. It was about a 6-7mm hole, so I replaced with a tube and have been running it that way for over a year. The sidewalls are too thin IMO, I know it saves weight but another issues comes into play.

It is tire squirm. When I'm on a slightly DH fire road spun out on a 32-11, I feel the tire squirms at 31 psi and I'm ~165lbs. This is about 21mph...

I don't race, just keep an eye on the WC circuit. I watch the local Sea Otter Classic races for years.
 

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In similar loose over hard conditions, the Ikon 2.35 front works well here in SoCal area (including Big Bear and Temecula) races. For the back in my opinion, it is a toss up to go with the Ikon 2.2 or 2.35. If there are sharp rocks and/or longer endurance races, I prefer to go with the Ikon 2.35 as it tends to float better under loose conditions.

FWIW I will use the Ardent Race for training or other times when possible but prefer the Ikons for race day for their lighter, quicker acceleration, and response. I've also used the xr3 front/xr2 back, but felt the Ikons would bite better and the compound was longer lasting.

Good luck in the upcoming AZ series ! It looks like the venues they have planned will be solid and challenging. I'm hoping to fit in the Havasu race and maybe a few others.
 

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Ardent Race 2.2 is my favourite rear non Winter tyre ^^

Rolls fast enough for me, good grip when climbing & is slightly drifty on steep descents.

The tread is a little thin, obviously when compared to more nobly options.

Have never had problems w/ sidewalls, even in really rocky terrain.

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Reading all of these comments is interesting. Keep in mind I am new to MTB and prior to this my plan was to try the AR on the front, seems that most like on the back.
 
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