The Continental Trail Kings on my Nomad have seen a lot of action. Including trips to Sedona and Moab as well as a summer of mountain biking at home. I’ve enjoyed them so far, but they are partially worn which leaves something to be desired now that South Shore Vancouver Island trails are slick as snot.
I had a Kenda Excavator [26 x 2.35″] in the spares bin so I was only one aggressive tire away from a set of new rubber. I’ve been wanting to try some Maxxis Ardents [26 x 2.25″] for a while so I thought I’d give one a go on the front.
I’m still in my first year of running tubeless mountain bike tires, but I can’t imagine installing tires with tubes. Initially I was a bit nervous of the whole tubeless thing and felt tubeless ready tires and rims was the way to go. These days I’m getting bold and will give anything a shot.
I am lazy and the Trail Kings have another summer season in them so I’m going to leave them mounted on my Velocity P35 rims. The old stock Nomad DT Swiss wheels were bare so they got the nod. Neither these rims nor the fresh rubber was designed for tubeless so it was a risk.
I got both tires on the rims easily. Fired in 2 scoops of Stan’s sealant and seated the beads with a CO2 cartridge. They both held air right away and there were no significant leaks. I took some time to swish the sealant around in each tire and then laid them both on their sides to deal with any small leaks I couldn’t see. I flipped them over once per hour while I was working.
The Kenda Excavator has a widely spaced tread pattern with square edges knobs for ultra traction at the back when I need to power over slippery rocks and roots.
The Maxxis Ardent has a medium tread spacing with nice square edges on the knobs for braking and directional control.
The DT Swiss EX 5.1D rims aren’t uber wide for an all mountain wheelset so I stuck with the narrower version of these tires to maintain good sidewall support.
I’m excited to shred some new rubber! :)