I’ve ridden my share of studded fat bike tires over the years. Back before fat bikes, we used to run Nokian Extreme studded tires on our 26″ mountain bikes to extend the riding season, and since the invention of the fat bike, I’ve ridden a broad variety of studded tire brands, tread patterns, and sizes. The studded tire test that I’ve been pursuing since November 2019 involves the 45NRTH Wrathlorde 26×4.2 tubeless-ready studded fat bike tires. The Wrathlordes feature 300 XL concave carbide-tipped. studs coupled with an aggressively knobbed tread pattern. I wrote a review update of these tires a month after getting them mounted. You can read that update here, but here’s a bit of what I said about the Wrathlordes.
I posted a picture or three of my bike, Ten Beers with the Wrathlordes to our Instagram feed with a Thundercat hashtag. I don’t just throw around references to the T-Cats lightly. It’s one of the highest compliments that I could give to an off-road tire. I believe that Panthro would approve of the cat-like traction that the Wrathlordes exhibit. These Wrathlordes are studded fat-bike tires on steroids!
The Wrathlorde has set a new bar for studded fat-bike tires. 45NRTH combined big gnarly tread with 300 XL concave studs and somewhat miraculously they only weigh 1500 grams!
So it’s pretty clear that I loved these tires but back in 2020, I had only taken a dozen snow rides on the tires. That’s why I wanted to come back now with a long-term report on the overall winter performance of the Wrathlordes.” I’m currently in the third winter with these tires and I’ve ridden them in the full gamut of what a great lakes winter has to throw at us. After three winters, I’m ready to crown these tires as the most powerful studded fat bike tire on the planet!
Since the first of the year, I’ve been running the Wrathlordes in a sort of width-mullet setup. The front is mounted to a 100mm wide rim and the rear is on an 80mm rim because the matching 80mm front wheel is out of commission with a cracked hub. They say necessity is the mother of all inventions, right? The wider rim makes for a nice fat floaty front tire. I’ve done a bunch of riding in the freshies and searching for crust rides lately. I’ve run the front all the way down to zero on a couple of occasions. My Lezyne pump has been getting a workout lately. I like my width mullet setup. I think that it’s a good all-around winter tire/wheel solution – YMMV.
The other day, I was doing a tubeless valve stem tune-up on the front wheel that has the Wrathlorde mounted to it and I noticed that the tire had a few empty stud pockets. I replaced fourteen studs. That didn’t surprise me. I’ve found that over time all studded tires will lose a few teeth. I should probably look at the back tire too, (but it’s working so well!)
My long-term review of the 45NRTH Wrathlode studded tires is that they are the best twenty-six-inch studded fat bike tire available (at this time). They receive the Gnome-Proof Gear Seal of Approval and score a perfect 5 out of 5 danger gnomes. I love these tires. They totally rock! #thundercats