Fastest 2.35 MTB Tire


After doing some bucket list triathlons last year, I bought a mountain bike this summer and have been loving it ever since. I am riding a Cannondale Cujo 3 which came with “WTB STX i35TCS, 32 hole, 35mm inner” wheels. Currently I am riding a 2.8 tire (came with the bike “WTB Ranger Comp, DNA Compound, 27.5x2.8”) and that width is giving me a lot of confidence as a new rider and making every day riding very fun. I am interested in doing some mtb races and offroad triathlons next year, and want to know: what is the fastest/raciest tire I can put on this wheel. I read I can fit down to a 2.35 inch tire.

For some detail, Im good (not great) technically as Ive been riding only 5 months (average 2 times per week) but feel I am getting a lot better, I have good fitness (thank you TR!), and live in New England, where I think we have more roots and rocks than hard packed dirt, though I understand some race courses might favor smoother and less rock garden-y trails. Im 5’8" 140 lbs if that is necessary information.

Hope this is enough information to provide input, happy to answer any follow up questions.

My suggestion would be a Schwalbe Nobby Nick…a bit more aggressive than a race tread but still pretty fast…will work good on rocks and rooted trails.

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This website may be helpful:

If you are looking to really optimize rolling resistance, might require dropping below 2.35”

Can your bike fit 29er wheels with a small tire eg 2.2”?

Maxxis Ikon or Ardent Race are great XC tires. The Ikon being a bit less agressive.


I use 29" Ikon 2.2 on the rear, and Ardent Race 2.3" on the front of my S-Works Epic - perfect for our local conditions which are generally hard and dry, but they are reasonably good in the damp and wet too. Welcome to MTB!

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Some info about Maxxis tyres

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I’ve had WTB tires on all my mountain bikes for several years. Been very happy with that brand. Currently running the Trail Boss and I had the Nano before that.

Another vote for the Ardent Race - 2.35 front and 2.2 rear for me.

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Thanks everyone for the input - I will check out a few of these options!

The fastest 2.35 MTB tire is the one that won’t flat in the middle of your race. :slight_smile:

Fastest 2.35 MTB Tire

The one on the bike in front of you.

Schwalbe all the way. I have ridden one of everything it seems and schwalbe just makes the tires I like for dirt.

I’ll throw in my $0.02… I really love the Maxxis Rekon. It’s fast, lightweight, and has significant grip. I ran the 27.5x2.8 for a while, but I believe they have branched the Rekon into other sizes now, including a Rekon Race version.

Personally, I avoid Schwalbe. Great grip and tread design perhaps, but very expensive and not very durable. Schwalbe MTB tires are infamous for sprouting holes and tears.

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+1 for WTB, love my Vigilante