"Official" 29er Tire Reviews Thread

The Marathon Supreme 28"/29" is available in widths ranging from 1.1" to 2.0". Which one do you have?
Meanwhile, I welcome more replies :slight_smile: (Not being impatient or anything.)

Good questions…

Hi KB,

My KH29 Guni came equipped with the Big Apple 2.0 on the 38 mm XC rim and after a few rides on paved trails I promptly swapped out the Big Apple for the Maxxis Ardent 29 x 2.4 – and I’m happy I did.

My reasons for the swap were (1) I wanted to experience 29er XC, and (2) I felt a fatter tire, with bigger footprint, might be more forgiving as I learn how to ride in overdrive and shift on the fly.

While my XC experience is still limited (due to our never-ending winter … it’s snowing in Salt Lake this morning), I’m very happy with my choice, and I think my reason number 2 was dead right. Since I have yet to go back to the Big Apple I can’t give you my impressions on scaling back to the small footprint, but I’m betting it will seem even more “twitchy” after riding the Ardent. And, for what it’s worth, I don’t find the Ardent to have an excessive amount of rolling resistance for pavement – it rolls along on the center line of knobs just fine, and it handles crowned surfaces very, very well – maybe better than the Big Apple 2.0. (I’ll know for sure when/if I switch back.)

As to your questions:

  1. I don’t think the 38mm XC rim will limit your XC possibilities, but I understand that the 47mm Freeride is THE rim to ride for more technical muni since it provides a wider base and therefore greater footprint and stability. (But the 2.4" Ardent does not seem floppy at all when run with decent pressure – 35 psi – but it is a bit bouncy.)

  2. Don’t know about the fit of the Big Apple 2.0 on the Freeride rim, but I’ll bet it would be a stretch.

  3. Scott’s suggestion of the Marathon Supreme is a good one, and, no doubt is based on much more time riding his KH29 on the roads, but I think the Ardent is fine for pavement – of course I’m not trying to race the guni on roads – I’m just trying to master riding it in overdrive and trying to get up the nerve to shift on the fly (some day soon).

  4. Don’t know about the Big Apple 2.35, but from what I’ve read here and elsewhere I’d shy away from it too.

My best advice: The Ardent on 38mm XC rim is amazingly good on and off road. I can’t wait until our trails dry out to really put it to the test! :wink:

(Incidentally, I had the pleasure of riding one of my favorite local trails with Scott last summer, with him on his KH28 with XC rim and Kenda Navigal, and me on my N24 with Duro Wildlife and he had no problem zipping along the relatively flat trail. Matter of fact, he tore it up!)

I hope this helps!


UPD in Utah

(a.k.a. Bert)

There are benefits to the 47mm rim for off-road use at low pressures but the 38mm XC rim is still a very wide rim. I ran a 29x2.5 tire without any problems.

I used the Marathon Supreme 28x2 on my 47mm rim and it worked great. I have since switched to the Maxxis Ardent for off road rides. I really like that too. I’m thinking of having another 29 wheel built for my road tire so I can easily swap between the two. Actually, I should just get another 29" unicycle:D.

Hi Klass,

I have the 2" Marathon Supreme.

Bert, we should try it again sometime. Now that you are a guni guru, I will ask you to take it easy on me.


like minds think alike?

I’ve thought of a second wheelset too, but with the Big Apple 28x2.0 on the 38mm XC rim with KH/Schlumpf hub for commuting, and the Maxxis Ardent 29x2.4 on the 47mm Freeride rim with ungeared KH Moment hub for XC and Muni. My reasoning: Overdrive is too fast for the trails I ride, so I’d never make use of the second gear while riding them, and I suspect I’d like the extra stability of the Freeride rim. However, having both gears and a “roadworthy” tire on my present XC rim would be ideal for commuting, since there are a couple of substantial hills on my 6.5 mile (one-way) commute.

Having two wheelsets would allow for quick swaps between commuting and XC/muni, and would also encourage me to keep those bottom/bearing bracket bolts properly torqued for doing the commuter guni thing.

Right now the things that are holding me back from building the new wheelset are the wait for the new Freeride rim with “improved spoke offsets” (see KH Gear Update - 2011), and the UDC-US backorder status of the Moment Hub with 150/125 dual-hole Moment cranks (which I would likely swap out with the 150 single-hole Moments on my “commuter rig”).

In the meantime I’m having fun with the Ardent on the geared hub/XC rim. In fact, if I keep having as much fun as I have been with the current set-up, I might just decide to give up on the concept of the second wheelset altogether. But before I do, I’d still like to experience the ride of the direct-drive KH29 with wider Freeride Rim and Ardent 29x2.4 for the XC/muni I enjoy locally.

Decisions, decisions.

Oh well – extra wheelset or not I know I’m gonna have some new fast fun when the trails finally do dry out.

And Scott, let it be known I’m no guni guru … yet! And I’d be happy to ride with you again whenever/wherever. (Keep me posted on your next visit to SLC.)

Cheers to All,


While I am a big proponent of wide rims on off-road unicycles I don’t think that you are limiting yourself very much by going with the 38mm rim. 38mm is still quite wide and with the widest tires available in the 2.5" range I don’t think that there are any 29" tires that “require” a wider rim (like a 26x3.0 Gazz does)

General rule is that your tire should not be narrower than your rim 2.0" is ~51mm so should work fine with a wide rim but if used off-road or in loose gravel your rim will be susceptible to damage from rock strikes etc. I haven’t used a skinny tire on a wide rim yet so can’t comment on ride characteristics.

Can’t help you too much on the other points other than to say that if I was going to have a mixed use tire that was mostly dirt and part pavement I would not hesitate to use a WTB Prowler SL. Not sure about mostly pavement and part dirt though.

The last few months I had my 29er I was mostly using it for a short commute over mixed terrain (more pavement than dirt). I really liked the Geax Saguaro 29x2.2 for this use. It feels very quick on pavement and is good in most off-road conditions as long as it isn’t too wet. Tread life is surprisingly good too. When I sold my 29er I kept the Saguaro to use on the rear of my bike.

Still rocking the Ardent 29 x 2.4, running a 26" DH tube at 20psi, no snake bites to date, though occassionally I do get a rim hit.

I was running 18psi, but once the tire broke in I found I could still get a nice ride at higher pressures. I would even consider 22-24psi in some conditions :astonished:

Great tire for 29er muni.

More emphasis on the third bullet now. The Yunnan itinerary has changed, and there are now quite a few offroad stretches in it. So I don’t think that a Big Apple is the weapon of choice, especially in wet/slippery conditions. I gathered from this thread that a Maxxis Ardent 29 x 2.4 would be a nice allrounder tyre. Unfortunately municycle.com, my main supplier, doesn’t carry it. Based on their website, the choice seems limited to Kenda Karma 29 x 2.2, Kenda Nevegal 29 x 2.2 and WTB Stout 29 x 2.3. Can anyone advise which of the three is the better allrounder, taking into account that at least 80% will still be on paved roads?

The Karma has a 120tpi casing which may make it feel more supple in comparison to the Navegal, also the Karma seem to have a tighter pattern so better for road. The Stout is a fine tire too. Karma is also the lightest, I believe.

Ken rode last summer in Mongolia with a big apple and 100mm cranks I think, no very appropriated uni but this is Ken …

I’ve got a WTB Prowler 2.1 on my 29er at the moment. I bought it a year or so ago as an emergency “mud” tyre for racing if it was too sticky for the Racing Ralph 2.4 (which clogs quite easily in sticky mud and doesn’t have much frame clearance). Haven’t needed it until this year’s Mountain Mayhem 24 hour race, which was threatening to be muddy (although actually wasn’t that bad in the end), and I’m really impressed. It handles very well on mud, grass and roots. Haven’t tried it on rocks yet. An excellent xc tyre - slightly heavier than the Ralph, but not by too much.

I’ll leave it on and see how it handles my local rocky/gravelly trails (where the Ralph is excellent - no clogging problems round here).

I’m running it with a tube BTW, although I am a fan of tubeless on the 29er - I was intending to swap it back after the race so didn’t want the faff and mess of setting it up tubeless.


Ardent vs Dissent

I just switched out my WTB Dissent for the Ardent 2.4. What a great ride in comparison! it’s noticeably lighter and more nimble and much less rolling resistance. The Dissent had this characteristic of rolling so straight that you could lean out to the side with no effect on your direction. As interesting as that may sound, it was pretty tiring actually; since correcting/turning meant LARGE movements. I know MountainUni1 was experiencing similar.

Only a couple of negatives for the Ardent that I’ve seen. It’s not great in mud, as expected. I’m a bit concerned with the amount of sidewall actually contacting the ground during regular spinning. I’ve got a pretty good amount of pressure in there, no bottoming out on the rim when hopping. I’ve literally got a 1cm wide strip of dirt around the outside edge of tread. Anyone else notice this?

Pluses for the Dissent: Awesome in loose rock and mud! It feels a lot like the Maxxis Minions I have on my DH bike. The Dissent truly is a DH tire. If I was going to take my 29’er to a lift accessed park, I’d probably put the Dissent back on for the day.

All in all, unless I slice my sidewall open on a sharp New England rock, I’ll keep the Ardent on!

Hey Jay, I have the the Ardent 29 x 2.4 EXO and the Ardent 26 x 2.6 DH.

The 2.4 has half the weight and a much softer sidewall than the 2.6, but it is a durable EXO kevlar sidewall so it is more cut resistant than similar 29er tires. To make it more “resilient”, I run a 26 x 3" Duro HD tube, really makes a difference. I weigh 200# and running 18-20psi with no snakebite issues.

I don’t think they’ll make the 2.6 for the 29er due to the high weight, but in comparison, I run a thinner DH tube in the 2.6 and I can still get away with running 16psi, so the sidewall is much more resilient.

I’d take a 29 x 2.6 if they made one :slight_smile:

Try the super duty tube, it’s the same one that KH and Nimbus put in the 26 x 3 " munis, I think UDC has them for ~$10 or so. I also use this tube in my Larry 26 x 3.8 and it works awesome!

Thanks Nurse Ben! I’ll give that 26" Duro tube a shot. :slight_smile:


Interesting you guys bumped this thread up yesterday & today…

I was just trying to figure out which of those two tires to mount up on my Nimbus-hubed, Freeride-rimed, fixie 29er wheelset to go check out some trails in advance of Ben’s visit to Utah next week.

Josh talked me into buying a Dissent for the new wheelset, and it definitely blasts through the loose rocky stuff, but the Wasatch Crest trail (where I’m headed on Sunday) is a pretty earthy rolling ridge ride. I’m thinking of going with the Ardent because there will be climbing and it’s the ridge runs at 9500’ plus, so lighter should be waaay better. However, I was also a bit concerned about rock-stab punctures too, despite the “Exo” protection.

… of course the Dissent would give me a better workout and will get me in better shape for Ben’s visit. Plus, if I switch to the Ardent before next week, after pushing the Dissent this week, those climbs will seem like nuthin’ next week. (The goal being to have Ben crying “Uncle” and begging for mercy next week. – Nah, not really. – The goal being to ride as many of the ups as my old pumper will allow both weeks.)

Still, it would be interesting to compare the two on the same trail at altitude, so maybe I’ll leave the Dissent on this weekend, and swap out before Ben gets here.

Either way, I’ll try and post a semi-controlled comparison of the two … one of these days.

Cheers from Utah.

(Ben, did you find out if there was an opening in the hypobaric chamber schedule early next week? You might want to plan an overnight stay. :D)

I’ll be fine, it’s not that high, unlike when I fly into Denver and tri skiing Loveland Pass on the same day :astonished:

I rode the Dissent and Kodiak when they first came out, and I know Josh is a big Dissent fan, but I didn’t find the love. For me the Dissent was just not all that special, didn’t seem to shine in any way, almost like it was too much sidewall and not enough width. The Kodiak was a little better, but due to the high centerline, it doesn’t like to track straight.

The ardent is awesome, can’t think of what I would change since it is the perfect balance of weight, durability, stability, and traction. Maybe I’d add some width and height, volume to make it more like a 2.6-2.7

I rode the Ardent in Colorado for two weeks this past June and it did just as well on those “groomed” trails you have out West as it does back home in the hills of East Tennessee :slight_smile: Seriously, having tried nearly every fat 29er tire, it is not suprising that Kris rides one. But, they are expensive.

In terms of durability, I have ridden mine on sharp rock for months now and I have yet to even scratch the sidewall.

Hmm… I just got that tube in. WOW, it’s heavy.
it actually weights just about a lb. (453 grams). The tube I’m currently running is about 220 grams, a little under 1/2 that weight.

I may just cross my fingers and keep that tube on standby. I’m not sure I want to tack all that rotational weight back on.

Jay, think of it this way:

The Dissent is 1400gm, the Ardent is 800gm, you have 600gm to play, so what’s a couple hundred grams of tube?

Your call, but I run that tube in all my unis and it makes up for what many tires lack in the sidewall.

I would not say my 29er is heavy by any stretch and that’s with the K1 cranks which way nearly as much as Moments.

Try it both ways and see which rides better.