45NRTH Hüsker Dü Fat Bike Tires

10 Jul

I live near North Point Marina on Lake Michigan and have often heard yacht owners say that a boat is a “hole in the water into which you pour money.” Sometimes I feel that way about my Fat Bike, a Surly Necromancer Pugs. In the first two years I’ve owned that bike I’ve spent more money on tires than most people pay for a new road bike. I’ve gone through four sets of very expensive tires—the old tires didn’t wear out, I just kept looking for a better sets. Fortunately, 45NRTH came out with what I believe to be the finest tire ever made for a Fat Bike—the Hüsker Dü. This is the tire that ought to come standard on every Fat Bike!

45NRTH Hüsker Dü Fat Bike Tires

45NRTH Hüsker Dü Fat Bike Tires

By Fat Bike standards, the Hüsker Dü is a lightweight tire (under 1,250 grams each). While this tire would be the equivalent of a lead weight on a standard mountain bike, it is much lighter than the other choices you will find in a 26×4″ Fat Bike tire. In addition, this tire rolls like a dream! I have used it on mud, sand, dirt and pavement and it has a superb ride. I did not use this tire in the dead of winter since I have a set of 45NRTH Dillinger studded tires for snow and ice.

45NRTH Hüsker Dü Fat Bike Tires

45NRTH Hüsker Dü Fat Bike Tires

Hüsker Dü tires have a thread count of 120 tpi (threads per inch). Higher tpi tires are usually lighter, more supple and more expensive. Thanks to the Kevlar bead the Hüsker Dü is the easiest tire to change that I’ve ever had—which is pretty good since the first time I took the tires out I got a puncture just six miles into the ride! I am not going to blame the tire for this one—I was riding in an area that no sane person would take their bike in the first place.

45NRTH Hüsker Dü Fat Bike Tires

45NRTH Hüsker Dü Fat Bike Tires

My Surly Necromancer Pugs came stock with 3.8″ Surly Larry tires on the front and 3.7″ Surly Endomorph tires on the back (often called the Larry/Endo combo). These tires are great for folks who are lucky enough to ride on groomed snowmobile trails and hard packed (consolidated) snow. The Larry/Endo combo is also good on packed sand (the sand near the waterline around a lake). However, on mud or loose snow I always had trouble getting decent traction with these tires. The Hüsker Dü tires will give you a great grip in adverse conditions while still providing less rolling resistance on pavement or packed trails.

One interesting observation: A few weeks ago I wrote an article about my new Felt F65X cyclocross bike. I use the Felt F65X on routes where I have to travel over both pavement and off-road trails. The Felt F65X is faster than my Pugs on off-road trails when I am riding in a straight line, but I always have to slow my cyclocross bike down in the turns because if I overbake a corner I will wind up in the Des Plaines River. On the other hand, the Hüsker Dü tires on my Pugs have such an amazing grip that I don’t even have to hit the brakes in the turns! If you own a Fat Bike don’t limit yourself to just riding in the winter! Fat Bikes make great off-road trail bikes and beach cruisers as well.

45NRTH Hüsker Dü tires retail for $150 each. I know—that is more than most people pay for the tires on their car (and the tires on their car will last at least ten times longer). However, you need to remember that the Fat Bike market is still relatively small and the laws of “supply and demand” are in full effect.

In case you are wondering how this tire got its name, Hüsker Dü was the name of hardcore punk rock band from St. Paul, Minnesota (the group existed from 1979 to 1987). 45NRTH is headquartered down the road in Bloomington, Minnesota.


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13 responses to “45NRTH Hüsker Dü Fat Bike Tires

  1. hughonabike

    July 10, 2013 at 5:45 AM

    Agreed, they are a damn fine tire and I would highly recommend them. But 300 bucks a set! Ouch!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 10, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      Not cheap, but you get what you pay for — and I paid for a lot of fun on the trails!

  2. billgncs

    July 10, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    When I needed tires for my road bike, I was quite surprised at the cost… I suppose kevlar comes at a cost.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 10, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      This is just a Kevlar bead, but Kevlar puncture protection. But the Kevlar bead (instead of a wire bead) makes for a folding tire that is very easy to instal and remove.

  3. Joboo

    July 10, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    You get what you pay for; and what you are paying for is….. like the man said is……”the best FatBike tire out there now!!”
    I’ve been running the “ultra lights” (sounds weird doesn’t it!!!!) Lol for well over a year now. Snow/sand/pavement/woods/no trails/mud/the “red rock” of Minnesota’s iron range, you name it, and these tires kill it, have grip like velcro, and shed mud like nobodies business!!!
    well over 3,500 miles on my current set and plenty of tread left. I have dollars put away for my next set also!!
    I guess the bottom line is, find out what works for you and go with it; I have my FatBike tires covered, now to stop that hole in the water problem I have also!!! ;)
    I guess it could be worse??? Lol
    Pedal On!!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 10, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      Over 3,500 miles on a set! WOW! I am impressed. I have never gotten that many miles on any bike tire before. And as discussed, the hole in the water problem is now solved. :)

  4. Dan

    July 10, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Awesome tires for dirt, sand, mud road, but I found them to spin out/wash out too easliy on snow. I first put a Nate up front and it made a huge improvement. The Nates offer better for grip on the snow, unless of course you have Dillingers.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 10, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      I loved the Nates in the snow, but they were heavy. Like I said in the article, the switched out to a set of Dillingers during the heart of winter so I never used the Hüsker Dü tires in the snow (those studs make a lot of difference!).

  5. Irish Katie

    July 11, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Those look SUPER HUGE! omg.

  6. Sydney Gill

    August 2, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Very positive first ride (and second, third and fourth rides at this point). I managed to get out on snow twice with the tires. Admittedly both times were about as perfect as winter riding can be; temps in the mid 20s and nicely packed snow on the trail face. All tires were gripping well both days. However, once you did exceed the limits of traction or got off line just enough to get in to the deeper, looser snow at the edge of the trail face, that’s when differences started to appear between the Husker Du and the competitors. It was very easy to pull the tire back from the brink with some body english and judicious brake application. After spending lots of time on the original fat-bike tires, it’s been my experience that once you start to lose it, it’s way to late. The larger margin of error provided by the Husker Du is a nice change. Fresh and/or deep snow conditions have unfortunately not presented themselves yet, but given the performance so far; I can’t wait to try them.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      August 2, 2013 at 10:03 PM

      I love these tires. Like I said in the review, I think these tires should come stock on every Fat Bike — they are the best all-around Fat Bike tire I’ve ever seen.

  7. Adam

    January 5, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    The Husker Du is a great tire for a fat tire bike in the summer, but they are almost useless in the snow. it only takes a couple degrees of steering input for the front to slide and wash out. Fat bike tires are very expensive. Buy these tires, but not for the snow, you have been warned.


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