Maxxis Ardent and Kenda Nevegal Tire Review


My Maxxis Ardent (front) and Kenda Nevegal (rear)

Hi folks. I’ve got to share my thoughts with you on some equipment I’ve been riding recently. It allows me to get more enjoyment out of my rides, and who doesn’t want that?

There’s nothing like a new set of treads to make your bike feel new, and my current tire combo, a Maxxis Ardent 2.4 on the front, and a Kenda Nevegal 2.35 UST DTC on the rear,  (both set-up tubeless) is one of my all-time favorites. Both of these tires are available in a range of widths and rubber compounds to fit your riding style and terrain. It’s a great choice for the conditions we have here on our San Luis Obispo mountain bike trails. Those trails range from sand to hardpack, with most of it being loose rock and loose-over-hardpack mixed with rocks, but I wouldn’t hesitate to run this set-up in real, soft, traction-rich dirt as well (we don’t have too much of that around). Here, most of our turns are earned. Shuttling is possible, but it takes more time to drive than to pedal, and only a few trails are true DH runs where it’s impossible to ride up. Given all that, I look for tires that are wide and aggressive enough to descend in challenging conditions, but stop short of a DH tire so I can still pedal to the top without making everyone wait too long, and these tires seem to do that quite well.

This tire combo feels like it provides more traction the faster you go. It works well in quick, loose-surface turns and excels in drawn-out, high-speed sweepers.

I’m sure no one will contest my choice of the Nevegal as a rear tire; it’s consistently one of the highest-rated tires in the mountain bike media, and for good reason. The Nevegal has traction to spare, both climbing and descending. The square and evenly spaced center and transition knobs dig in to keep you moving forward, without robbing you of too much momentum. The 2.35 version of the Nevegal won’t be found on any XC racers bikes (see the Kenda Small Block 8 for that), but for someone who just wants to get to the top so they can go back down, they roll fine. Descending, the Nevegal is foolproof. The orientation and spacing of the transition and shoulder knobs keep the Nevegal hooked up no matter how hard it’s being pushed through a turn. It will break free, but only for an instant, and only when you want it to, then it stays hooked up and predictable, maintaining control throughout the turn.

With the Ardent guiding the way, you’ll be confident knowing that if you can stay on the bike, the Ardent will stay on your line. Split-level side knobs alternate between “H”-shaped lower profile knobs (remember the Maxxis Hansventure tires?), and taller, dual-height knobs for traction no matter what the terrain profile is. The wide spacing between the center and shoulder knobs (filled with low-profile, directional blocks, which do provide some grip), means the Ardent will break free when you lean it over and the center knobs lose contact, but as long as you don’t put an excessive amount of weight on it, those shoulder knobs will catch and keep you driving through the turn on the line you’ve chosen.

Here’s the set up:

Front – Maxxis Ardent 2.4, folding, 60a rubber ~27 psi, tubeless on Mavic 819 UST rims, with Stan’s sealant

Rear – Kenda Nevegal 2.35, folding, UST DTC ~30 psi, tubeless on Mavic 819 UST rims, with Stan’s sealant

(Kenda expressley prohibits the use of any liquid sealant in their tires! If you add Stan’s or anything else, warranties are voided, people will laugh at you, and general malaise will prevail!)

Check out the website at for specs, pictures, and a huge selection of cycling goodies to enhance your ride.

If you’ve got a tire set-up you love, share it with the world and leave us a comment.