Winter doesn't have to bring your bike vibes to an all-time low, 45 North offers cold weather solutions for adventuresome cyclists everywhere. Designed for trail riding in loose snow, the 45 North Vanhelga brings traction technology to an entirely new level. Dual compound rubber lengthens tread life in the center of the tire while enhancing cornering control on the sides. Triple-siped shoulder knobs boost traction on ice. 45 North'stubeless ready design delivers a super supple ride quality, further enhances grip, and saves weight. In addition to these technological advancements, Vanhelga’s deep and open tread pattern sheds snow and tracks flawlessly when the trail becomes soft and sloppy.
4 Stars only due to ridiculous price of fat tires. Excellent in all conditions... It's a faster rolling nate. Bigger knobs than nate in height. Grippy as it ain't the hudu or fatbnimble. Full knobs to edge that protect that thin sidewalland make cornering nice. If you have less natural (manicured and dry) trails they might be overkill but for rugged natural gnarly they can't be beat. They are lightweight so expect that kind of toughness 120tpi vs surprised the day they tear open on some horrible day. Rolls nicely and easily for any fat tire let alone grippy one.
Not running tubeless as conti light 26 tube at 130grams is far less hassle/mess and works as required while super light already. Sealant and tape probably weighs more than conti light simplicity. Thorn issues are rare for me so tubeless is pointless mess unless you like pulling 100 thorns out first vs the 1 that popped your tube before you put the spare tube in.
Wish they gave it to me for this review so no disclosure needed.
PROS: Easy To Install, Durable, Knobs Right To Edges, Lightweight
These tires grip rocks and trail chunks like nothing else. They are super aggressive and hold corners better than any tire I have ridden before. A big part of this is the 4" width on them but also the aggressive tread pattern. The down side to these tires is that they are heavier than the Jumbo Jim's I came from, and you definitely feel that at the end of the day. Also, the cost is way up there. So far though they have held up well to some heavy abuse both on the pavement and trails as well as the rocks and show very little signs of wear.
I've put 1000kms of winter riding on these and have been very pleased. I've ridden them in powder, heavy snow, groomed trails, and even a bit of ice. They performed well at a variety of pressures with tubes (I start at 1 bar rear and 1/2 bar front and let air out as needed) and have run a fair distance with next to no air in the tubes. They have lots of grip so you will run out of float first.
The tread is very aggressive so the ride is rough and noisy on hard packed dirt/gravel trails but that is not what I bought them for (I have a set of summer tires).
My complaint is poor puncture protection. At the start of the winter season I was riding on mixed dirt-snow trails and every other ride ended up with a thorn thru the non lugged part of the center tread. I have ridden 1000's of kms on those same trails with my summer tires and didn't get one. I think you want to run tubeless if you have a decent chance of punctures (I will be next winter).
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