29 mtb tyres for 100 mile race

Hey all, any recommendations for 29 mtb tyres for a 100mile race? I’ve had some bad marathon races in the past with torn knobs and sidewalls so needing something heavier duty than xc race tyres. I’m in the UK so something that will cover wet and dry conditions. The race I’m doing is quite rocky in places aswell.

Terrain/surface is your guide. Next, weight (you and the bike) will narrow your choices. Lighter riders with wide treads don’t need as much tire pressure. There’s probably an optimal mix of width-weight-tread for the given rider and rig combo. Experiment. Also, skills and abilities of the rider matter.

I run minimal tread (Vittoria Mexcal or Terreno depending on how loose the surface is. Mezcal is better in lose/moist conditions. Terreno is almost a slick with side knobs for turnin’) but I also like higher tire pressures than most. See tire manufacturers’ recommendations based on weight.

Maxxis Aspens are pretty good XC tires. I’ve also used WTB Ranger Light tires. Those liked looow pressures. Like 13-15psi. I have no experience with Schwalbe but they seem to have a good reputation. I don’t know of any really crap tires if the rider takes care of them.

Tubeless is the way to go, but know how to change a tire and carry boots, tubes, inflator, and latex gloves.

And have a good race!

Maxxis Ardents are popular for the Marji Gesick 100/50. @MI-XC what are you going to run at the Marji?

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I run Vittoria Mezcal 29 x 2.35 (Anthracite) front and rear. I run them for XCO, XCM and MTB 100 to include the Marji Gesick 100. I find them very fast rolling, durable and predictable in corners. I like them in wet (not muddy) conditions as well. I ran 2.25 last year but I like with the bigger 2.35 tire so I can run lower pressures (19/21 psi). I’ve tried to like Maxxis Aspens but I was just loosing traction all the time in corners. So those tires either don’t work in Michigan or I don’t know how to ride them. A more aggressive tire from Vittoria is the Barzo that seems to be popular, but I tried it and didn’t like it.

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As has been said, let the terrain be your guide. If they work out for your terrain I’ve loved the Maxxis Ardent Race. They retain the cornering of the Ardent, but much better rolling resistance.

I’ve done a few 100km races and multi day stage races and usually run 2.35 Ardent Race front with 2.2 Ikon rear with EXO, not the lightest tyres but I’ve never had an issue with flatting either. As I’m not going for a podium sacrificing some weight for reliability to me is a no brainer.

If the ardent is not working for you consider trying the Maxxis Rekon, I have just put a 2.2 Rekon front and 2.2 Rekon race rear combo on my hardtail to try something different and i am very happy with them, seem to roll faster and may be a bit lighter than the Ardent Race/Ikon combo. They also have as much if not a little better bite and on the slightly wider rims on my hardtail (Crest mk3) the front Rekon bags out to look equivalent to the 2.35 Ardent Race that is on a narrower bontrager alloy xxx rims on my dualy.

I’m not so worried about the treat pattern ect… I’m ok with that. Its the toughness of the casing ect I’m after. I’ve torn knobs off specialized and scwalbe tyres under braking on the road and during marathon races

The ardent exo sound like the way to go depending on how they size up? I ride a hardtail so need good volume I can run at lowish preasure s.

2.35’s make such a big difference. Worth the extra weight for this amateur XCM racer.
I have to say I’m interested in trying out a set of the Vittoria Mezcals. The review on the Rolling Resistance website holds them in high regard along with some on this forum.

Here’s a shot of an Aspen, Ikon and Ardent Race from left to right.

I ditched the Aspen after a couple hundred kms of training. There were several knobs damaged.
The other two had done probably several hundred kms before retirement. They’ve held up much better as I feel the fuller tread pattern helps spread the load on abrasive surfaces.

Note: The Ikon (rear) tagged a sharp rock when I jumped a gap and sealed up fine with a plug. The Ardent Race (front) had a forced redundancy after trying the the 2.35 version.

Good luck in your race.

Sounds like 2.35s with Exo will help you and worth the weight penalty for the peace of mind. Our local trails have some very sharp rock in places and I’ve never torn a knob off on the ardent race / ikons I’ve been using. I guess making sure the 2.35s fit your frame is the big issue, forks are usually fine but clearance between the stays can be tight on some frames.