Fatbike winter tires

Here in western Washington, freezing rain and snow are common up in the mountains. Riding my Boris X9 with the Vee Mission 26×4″ tires on the slush-covered Hansen ridge trail a few weeks ago, I was sliding like crazy and knew that new tires would need to be ordered. No wonder, the tread on the Mission tires is nearly non-existent:

Not a winter tire.

Not a winter tire.

After riding my studded Kenda Klondike tires on my commuter bike a couple days later on Hansen ridge, I knew that I needed a studded tire. While cars were sliding on the iced-over forest road, I was riding the 12% grade without problems. The only time I had problems was when I put my foot down :). A lot of oogling and reading mtbr threads seemed to indicate that the way to go is with the überexpensive studded Dillinger tires by 45Nrth. The Boris X9 isn’t designed to accept 5″ wide tires, but the fork sure looked big enough, so I bought one Dillinger 5 to start with. Besides, the actual with of the Dillinger 5 and 4 tires is a lot smaller than their name would imply.

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Fancy concave studs.

Fancy concave studs.

The studded Dillinger 5 came in at 1530 g.

The studded Dillinger 5 came in at 1530 g.

First, I tried to install the Dillinger 5 in the rear, where it barely fit at under 10 psi.

Brand-new Dillinger 5 installed in Borix X9 with tubes and under 10 psi.

Brand-new Dillinger 5 installed in Borix X9 with tubes and under 10 psi. Chain is in closest gear setting on 2×10.

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However, after letting the D5 sit for a few days at 15 psi, the tire stretched enough that it was now rubbing on the frame. Even moving the cassette over by one gear, and slightly dishing  the rear wheel did not make enough space for the Dillinger 5. Too bad, because I really like the size and tread pattern of the D5. Actual tire width is 4.2″ across the knobs when installed on the 80 mm Weinman HL-80 rim (with tube, ~7 psi).

That meant that the D5 would go in the front, where it fit fine, and a Dillinger 4 was ordered for the rear.

The studded Dillinger 4 came in at 1370 g.

The studded Dillinger 4 came in at 1370 g.

See the price tag in the picture? Yes, these things are pricey! More than my car tires. The tread pattern of the Dillinger 4 appears a bit meager compared to the D5, but reviews of its performance seemed fine. The actual tire width across the knobs is 3.8″ on the 80 mm Weinman HL-80 (with tube, ~10 psi). That’s only 10% smaller – so who cares. Except that the tread pattern looks beefier on the D5.

How did it ride? First ride impressions in the next blog.

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One Response to Fatbike winter tires

  1. Pingback: Fatbike Boris X9 | 2wheeltrails

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