45NRTH Dillinger 5 – Six Week Test Ride

Back in March, our test pilot, Michael McColgan, shot spy photos of Jesse LaLonde’s race bike that helped to debut 45NRTH’s new Dillinger 5 tire. A couple of months ago, I traded test tires with Jesse. We swapped a pair of Vee Tire H-Billy sneakers for the Dilly-Five and I’ve been running it on the front of my Fatback, Otis. The D-5 is mounted to a 90mm Umma rim with a 24 x 3 specialized tube. The test rides took place on beach, gravel and pavement, along with a heavy dose of singletrack. Six weeks is long enough to get a really good variety of conditions and applications for our test.

chair ramp fatback dillinger 5

The Dillinger 5 shares the same tread pattern as it’s little brother the Dillinger 4. The D-5 can also be custom studded with an additional stud kit. Winter was finally over by the time that I laid my hands onto the D-5, so I started my testing on dirt. The D-5 is a pretty low rolling resistance knobby. 45NRTH seems to have found the formula for both low rolling resistance and traction in Husker Du’s, the Dillinger 4 and Dillinger 5. P1000045When I mounted the tire, there was no disappointment in the casing size at all. This is a true wider class, fat tire. Having had the time to ride this tire for a half a dozen weeks gave me the opportunity to ride trails, everywhere from bone dry to rain slicked and the D-5 never blinked. After a little experimenting, I settled into a 8-10 psi range for road gravel and single track. I had one puncture during the test period caused by a Hawthorne. It caught me with no spare tube in my frame pack and I decided that I need to go tubeless on my walk back to my truck. (More on that later)

With the particularly wet spring that we’ve had in America’s Dairyland, the trails have been too wet to ride, some of the time. The beach is always a great alternative to trails, when singletrack is too wet. I’m a pretty big fan of the venerable Endomorph or Big Fat Larry for beach riding, so I thought I’d find the D-5 a little hard to push in the sand. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Dillingers floated over our Lake Michigan beaches. Much of our beach includes rocky sections and the D-5 was as sure footed and a goat.

45nrth dillinger 5 fat bike tireMounted on Otis’s 90mm Umma Rims, the D-5’s plumped up to 113 mm wide and the bead to bead measurement is 245 mm. Usually the first thing we do with test tires is weigh them on our Park Tool scale, but somehow this tire escaped our scale untill after Jesse ran them tubeless and then I ran them through the mud. I tried to clean all of the mud off of them and did my best at cleaning all of the Stan’s boogers out of the inside and after all of that, our test tire weighed in at 1518 g.  I’ve only used the D-5 as a front tire and I haven’t been able to ride it in the snow yet, but I look forward to doing just that! All of the other conditions that I encountered were tackled with ease on the Dillinger 5. I really think I found the 5 inch tire for me. This D-5 is a great all conditions tire. I give the 45NRTH Dillinger 5 fat-bike tire 4.5 out of Five Gnomers!

4.5 of 5 gnomes


I’ve also been evaluating a Bulldozer from Vee as my back tire. I’ll post my thoughts on that next week.


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4 Responses to 45NRTH Dillinger 5 – Six Week Test Ride

  1. Zachary Brown July 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    Hey Gomez,
    I am reading right that you were running a 24×3″ tube to start with? Why the smaller diameter? I have set my nates up tubeless and was gonna keep a couple spare 2.5-3″ tubes in place of the one surly toob.

    • Gomez July 29, 2014 at 8:04 am #

      You read correctly Zach. I tried a half a dozen of those 24 x 3 tubes and still have a couple of them, currently in use. I found that a couple of the tubes in question failed at the valve stem, so my next batch of tubes that I purchased, just recently, were back to 26 x 2.7 Q-Lite Tubes that I had used before.

  2. Hank Whynotski July 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    Would this fit in the rear of the Fatback or was the D5 too big and that is why you only ran it as a front tire? I’m looking for new winter shoes for my fatback on uma 90s running 1×10.

    • Gomez July 29, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

      It would fit the rear of my fatback 190 with no problem – 2 x 10