So last year the good folks at 45NRTH decided that they wanted to improve one of our favorite fat bike tires, the Hüsker Dü. I have to admit that the luddite portion of my brain kept on telling me that this was pure madness. I thought Hüskers were one of the best all around (trail and groomed snow) fat-bike tires available, and I was having some difficulty understanding why they wanted to mess with my go-to singletrack tire. At first glance the new Hüsker Dü looks like they just decided to remove some of the knobs, but when you look closer and overlay the new tread over the old tread (like I did) on the computer, you would see that some of the elements of the tread near the center, of the tire, are similar, but the other 2/3 of the tread pattern is a completely new design. The new Hüsker has fewer knobs, than it’s predecessor but the shoulder knobs of the Hüsker Deux are taller and have a beefed up base to them.
The reason that the retro grouch side of my brain lost and I ended up purchasing this 60tpi version of the new Hüsker Dü, is because I suffered a large bore puncture in one of my old Hüsker Dü’s on a night ride. Have you ever noticed that almost every photo that you ever see of a large bore puncture (big pointy stick) on a fat-bike is a 45NRTH tire? 45NRTH designed the Hüsker Dü to be a lightweight groomed snow tire and that leaves them more vulnerable to pointy sticks. That’s why I tried to get my hands on a Vittoria Bomboloni 26 x 4.0 tire, but like all of you have probably run into, during your quest for bike parts, they were out of stock. I looked at the rest of the tires available and purchased this tire for $90 from Universal Cycles.
We weighed the new Hüsker Dü and the actual weight was 1330 grams, when you subtract 2 grams for the zip-ties that we used to keep the tire rolled up and centered on the Park Tools digital scale. My guess would be that the 120 tpi version might be slightly lighter (and more expensive $115) but I can’t seem to find any other weight data, even on the 45NRTH web-site. One of the things that is different about the new Hüsker Dü is that it has the new tubeless ready beads so when we set the new tire up tubeless, there was a lot less seepage around the tire bead than the older version. The new tubeless ready version also looks like it gained about 200 grams in the process. Our new tire is very much the same size and height as the old version. Mounted tubeless on an 80mm rim the new Hüsker Dü measures 113 mm wide.
It’s been one of the wettest summers on record in Wisconsin, so the first ride that I took the New HD out on dirt, it was kind of muddy (photo below). I managed to find a spot, where I buried both tires in soft muddy sand, about a foot deep. It made me think about quicksand and gilligan’s island. No tire would have floated me across that spot, but it makes for a cool picture. The next ride, conditions had improved and our loamy black dirt trails were drying to traction sweet chewiness. With the new HD mounted on the rear, I had a great ride with no traction issues and the same old familiar Hüsker Dü ride characteristics, like low rolling resistance come to mind…….but we should ride the new tread design a bit more before we pursue any meaningful conclusions. It sure was fun getting them muddy! We’ll check back some time in December, with a review of the gnu Hüsker Dü deux. Till then……