Whisky 70mm Tubeless Rim/45NRTH Vanhelga Tire

Whiskey parts carbon rims and 45nrth vanhelga fat bike tires


By – Jesse LaLonde

Whiskey parts carbon rims and 45nrth vanhelga fat bike tires.jpg2.jpg3It’s only fair to preface this with a racer guy mentality. Sure, JRA is the peanut butter but pushing personal limits is the jelly. Cooking corners, jibbing rock gardens, and roosting burms, are all part of the game. While the motor is the star of the team make no mistake that the whole machine is greater than the sum of its parts which is why I jumped at the opportunity to test ride a set of the new Whisky tubeless carbon fat rims. At 70mm wide Whisky boasts tubeless compatibility and the strength of Thor’s hammer…. not sure what that means but it sounds tough. In this case tough comes with a weight, 575 grams to be exact. Heavier than some but lighter than most. Considering Whisky’s target of year round riding on even the harshest terrain I’d say they’re on the money. Of course the fate of your build is up to you, mine are built around I9 hubs and DT super comps tipping the scales at a commendable 1969 grams (942g front, 1027g rear). While the weight was appetizing, it was the rim aesthetic, that satisfied my hunger. In an industry lost between Nascar and the 80’s the smooth matte finish and tonal branding was a welcome appetizer.

For my initial set up I chose a set of the new Vanhelga’s w/ultra light casing (1318/1322g) and 2 cups of sealant per tire. At first glance the Vanhelga could be confused with a tread found at a hare scramble start line. With moto like lugs the 4.0″ suggests that it will be the superior “loose” snow tire while the attention to lug siping is primed to offer better traction over obstacles.

Whiskey parts carbon rims and 45nrth vanhelga fat bike tires.jpg2

Where I generally reach for the compressor I attempted the floor pump and low and behold I caught bead. Quickly pumping I was able to get both tires to seat and seal in the same amount of time it would have taken to set the compressor up. I settled around 8psi and noticed the tread profile sitting perfectly on the 70mm rim which is occasionally lost depending on rim/tire width combos. Having ridden everything from 47-100mm rims Whisky’s width is intriguing as it suggests year round riding but what interests me most is experimenting with tire widths in various conditions.

As I set out for dirt church the irony of riding a bike, I had designed for snow, set in. While I don’t think I’ll ever come to grips with how agile my 29 is over my fatty the difference recedes with products like these. With the exception of some minor self steering I was dragging knees through turns and baking cakes out of the burms while regretting not turning my strava on. All kidding aside, the Vanhelga had a rolling style not characteristic of it’s look. In fact, it was about as fast as any other 4.0 tire I’ve ridden on dirt and qualified for velcro status in the turns. Keep in mind a proper assessment will consist of exposing these guys to a proper Minnesota winter, in fact on a 85˚ summer day I was caught reminiscing of those North woods whiteouts and white pow one track courtesy of Whisky Parts Co. & 45Nrth. Stay tuned…

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