According to 45NRTH, the Husker Du fat bike tire is the ultimate combination of traction and low rolling resistance. To try to make this a fast rolling tire, they've used tightly spaced center knobs and a 120 TPI ultralight casing. The loosely spaced edge knobs have the same height as the edge knobs and should provide a good amount of cornering grip. Unfortunately, the Husker Du doesn't have tubeless-ready beads which will make it hard to seal these tires when used tubeless.
Together with the Surly fat bike tires, the 45NRTH tires are by far the most expensive fat bike tires you can buy. Even the cheaper 33 and 27 TPI versions of these brands are more expensive than most 120 TPI top of the line versions from other brands. With the high prices also come high expectations. Based solely on price, the Husker Du should perform great on our tests and outperform virtually every other fat bike tire out there.
Let's test this tire to see if the top of the line 120 TPI Husker Du really has the low rolling resistance 45NRTH claims it to have.
Bought in store
Wolf Tooth Components
|New or Used||New|
|Specified Weight||0 grams|
|Available Sizes||26 x 4.00|
Size and Weight Measurements
|Size and Weight Measurements (Bike Wheel: 559-65C, Pressure: 16 psi / 1.1 bar)|
|Specified Weight||0 grams|
|Measured Weight||1290 grams|
|Measured Width Carcass||95 mm|
|Measured Width Tread||90 mm|
|Measured Height||83 mm|
|Measured Knob Height Center||4.3 mm|
|Measured Knob Height Edge||4.3 mm|
|Measured Total Thickness Sidewall||0.90 mm|
|Measured Total Thickness Center (excluding knobs)||2.30 mm|
It appears 45NRTH doesn't specify the weight of their tires. My sample of the Husker Du comes in at 1290 grams which is an average weight for a fat bike tire. On my 65 mm inner width rim, at an air pressure of 16 psi, the casing has a maximum width of 95 mm. The shoulder knobs have a maximum knob to knob distance of 90 mm. The total height of the tire is 83 mm.
Both the center and shoulder knobs have a height of 4.3 mm which is decent. The sidewalls have a thickness of 0.9 mm which seems to be an average value for most fat bike tires.
Rolling Resistance Test Results
|Rolling Resistance Test Results (Speed: 29 kmh / 18 mph / 8 m/s, Load: 42.5 kg / 417 N)|
|Inner Tube||Schwalbe SV13J (390 gr)|
|Rolling Resistance 20 psi / 1.4 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 16 psi / 1.1 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 12 psi / 0.8 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 8 psi / 0.6 Bar||
|Use the formula: RR (watts) = CRR * speed (m/s) * load (N) to calculate rolling resistance at a given speed and load|
In the rolling resistance tests, the performance of the Husker Du disappoints. At both the high and low end of the air pressure range, the Husker Du gets outperformed by fat bike tires from other brands. When we look at the rolling resistance at low air pressures, 10-15 watts per tire is lost against the top performing tires.
After testing a lot of MTB tires, I've noticed tires with tightly spaced center knobs really don't provide a lower rolling resistance than slightly wider spaced center knobs that provide much better traction as a bonus. If you consider that these tests are performed on a steel drum which resembles asphalt, the continuous center knobs tires should shine. In real off-road conditions, the disadvantage only gets bigger.
Puncture Resistance Test Results
|Puncture Resistance Test Result (higher is better)|
|Puncture Resistance Tread||7|
|Puncture Resistance Sidewall||5|
In the puncture resistance tests, the Husker Du doesn't impress either. With a tread and sidewall puncture score of 7 and 5 points respectively, performance isn't bad but doesn't impress either.
I must admit, I had very high expectations from the 45NRTH tires because of the very high prices on these tires. Unfortunately, the Husker Du doesn't impress in the rolling resistance test and is slower than most other fat bike tires from other brands. Knob height also isn't that impressive and performance in the puncture resistance is just average. On top of that, this tire isn't even tubeless-ready which I feel is a must have for fat bike tires.
Rated 2 out of 5 because it just doesn't impress me that much. If you look around a bit more you can find better tires for less money. Look at the fat bike tires overview page (overview) to see which tires perform better on our tests.
VERDICT: Not Recommended