It’s fun to be a part of the emergence of a new genre of biking, namely FatBiking, but that means we also had to accept limited choices as the genre gained traction. We mean this literally. The first FatBike tires on the market were made with volume in mind, but as a means to float over snow, sand, or other loose terrain while travelling on relatively flat ground in a relatively straight line.
That’s great, but it didn’t take long for FatBikers to think about taking their FatBikes on less flat, less straight rides, and the existing tires didn’t have much in the way of traction because that’s not what they were designed for. Fortunately manufacturers saw that we wanted more options and met our needs with knobby FatBike tires like the Surly Nates. Frankly they swung the pendulum completely to the other side by designing the Nates as quite aggressive, though we have no complaints. Their single downside? Yeah, they weigh a lot. That’s not a complaint – it’s more the acknowledged necessary evil of a 4″ wide tire with lots of tread.
But what if you don’t need all of the aggressive traction of a Nate, and what to go a bit lighter, but still need some knobs? Well, you could buy a Husker Du. They’re more of a cross country racing tire built for a FatBike – a nice middle ground for many applications.
In our opinion the Nates work really well for local winter riding through more technical single track, whereas the Husker Du’s are great for the occasional ‘off the beaten path’ excursion while usually remaining on well travelled roads and trails. We also think they’ll make great summer FatBike tires for almost every warm weather application, though we obviously haven’t been able to test them out in warm weather yet. Ideally we’d have a guy waiting at the entrance and exit of every trail with a set of Nate or Husker Du equipped wheels ready to swap ours out to match with the terrain we were about to ride, but seeing as that’s a bit unrealistic you’ll have to pick, at least from ride to ride.
We have a few 120 tpi Husker Du’s in stock now. At $190 each they’re a pretty expensive piece of rubber, but rationalization has never been a problem for FatBikers.