Last Sunday more than 12” of snow fell in our hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was a perfect opportunity for us to get out on a set of Dillingers to enjoy the weather and appreciate the unparalleled design characteristics of the Dillinger studded fatbike tire. We strapped on a pair of Wölvhammers and set out on a Salsa Beargrease mounted with Dillingers to have some fun in the snow.
We designed the Dillinger with 4mm treads in the center of the tire and 6mm treads on the edges. Not only does this give the tire a slightly squarish profile, but it also gives the tire more depth on the edges for cornering in loose snow. We also intentionally designed lots of open space between the 6mm tread blocks so the tire would effectively shed snow. When a tire does not effectively release snow on the upstroke it creates a flat plane across the profile of the tire on the downstroke, sort of like filling a waffle iron with fresh batter - the surface texture is lost. Having fully exposed treads on the downstroke (when the tire meets the snow) is what allows the tire to bite and provide grip. When you ride the Dillinger in deep wet snow you see fresh tread blocks on every revolution of the tire. The picture above illustrates this.
The Dillinger also has paddle treads in the center. These paddle treads enhance acceleration and braking traction. Each paddle tread is angled back 65 degrees to create a cupping effect. Here's the pro-tip: run your front tire with the paddle tread angled back and you will get more braking traction. If you run your rear tire the opposite direction (paddles angled forward) you will get more acceleration traction. Most of your braking power comes from the front wheel and most of your acceleration traction comes from the rear wheel. See the photo below for an example of how to orient your rear tire for maximum acceleration traction.
Rear tire orientation for acceleration traction. Note: the snow on the tire is from it sitting on the ground and being rotated without pressure on it.
The snow-specific tread pattern combined with the careful placement of aluminum-carbide studs results in a fatbike tire with unmatched cornering, acceleration and braking traction. If you are serious about riding on snow and ice a pair of Dillingers is a necessary component to your fatbike setup.