We caught up with David Gabrys, Brand Manager for 45NRTH, this spring to pose a few questions about what looks like it will be, an incredibly exciting year for fat-bikes.
45 NRTH had an incredible first year. What do you think contributed to the brand’s almost instant success?
45North is the first brand to focus solely on the needs of winter cyclists. We have come out and said that our mission is to provide comfort and control through hands, feet and traction and this has caught the attention of people who like to ride in cold weather. With the growing trend of fat biking, our brand position resonates with the many gear junkies and early adopters who are jumping on to the fat biking trend. With more people riding in more cold weather, 45North is serving the direct needs of this fast-growing and passionate market.
Did you predict that the Hüsker Dü would be so wildly popular with the fat-bike race crowd?
Absolutely. The design objective for the Hüsker Dü was to create a fast-rolling tire with tons of traction at a reasonable weight. When we rode prototypes in August of last year we immediately knew that we nailed our design objective right on the head. The fat bike racer crowd is looking for these exact performance characteristics, and we delivered it to them. The Hüsker Dü is also a really catchy name, and the visual design of the tread pattern has a technical appearance that resonates with the performance-oriented crowd.
When do you think that they’ll come back into stock?
We maxed out the capacity of our supply chain to get the first run of tires to the market in time, and now we’re playing catch up. We’re introducing a lightweight 120tpi folding version at the end of June. It should come in at less than 1300 grams, which should make Hüsker Dü fans really happy!
Will we see a studded fat-bike tire from you next year?
Yes. We will be the first to introduce one. We expect it to set a new bar for weight, low rolling resistance, and traction on snow and ice.
Do you have any other Fat-bike tires in development for next season?
I am at our overseas factory right now working on them! 45North will be the first brand to offer a studded fatbike tire. For people how like riding on icy single track or icy beaches, they will be pleasantly surprised when they see what we’re bringing to market this fall. There is one other special tire that we can’t talk about yet.
Is 45 NRTH developing a winter riding boot?
Feet are an important part of our product strategy.
You shared that you’ve been extra busy since we saw you at Frost Bike. Can you give us some hints as to what we might see from 45 NRTH at Inter-Bike?
45North will not have a booth at Interbike, but we will be present with some of our new products to show the media and key retail partners. Our product focus is on hands, feet and traction (tires). We don’t like cotton. We love wool. We love big fat tires with metal in them. We also like things that are rust resistant. And we also like keeping our feet warm and comfortable. Stay tuned to the Chronicles section of www.45Nrth.com.
Do you have any great fat-bike trips planned for this year?
I’ve been so busy working on product development for 2013 that I haven’t really thought about riding trips yet! I am tentatively planning on a beach-riding trip to Alaska in November, and another beach trip to Northern Michigan in December. Some friends and I have also been talking about riding the entire Bear Grease Sled Dog race route in the backcountry of Minnesota. I’m also hoping to get out frequently during regular work weeks to ride frozen single track around the Minneapolis area. This style of fat bike riding is a ton of fun, and is well-suited for many of the products we’re bringing to market this autumn. I’m crossing my fingers that we have a better snow year so we can actually get out and do more true winter riding!
The upcoming year is going to be really exciting and dynamic for fat-bikes! Stay tuned to these fat pages for new developments!