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.


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!


Some info about Maxxis tyres


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.


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.


+1 for WTB, love my Vigilante