2020 45NRTH Vanhelga: anyone try it?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2020 45NRTH Vanhelga: anyone try it?

    I see that the Vanhelga has gotten some changes for 2020. These are the ones I am currently seeing for sale. There is a slight modification of the tread (mostly in the sideknobs) and the size for the 26" version has gone from 4.0 to 4.2 I am going to assume the weight would increase? Also, I think the price has come down from ~$150 last year to ~$115 this year (I may be remembering the 2019 prices wrong).

    For the past year I've been researching what to replace my 27tpi Nates with this fall, and after reading volumes of reviews and comparisons, I decided on the 120tpi Vanhelgas. But now that I am ready to order them, they have changed.

    I have been riding the 27tpi Nates that came stock on my Wednesday. I use the bike almost exclusively for off-season riding: from the time the trails start getting mucky and leaf-choked in the fall, through the snow in the winter, and into the spring until things dry up enough to start riding my 140mm FS bike with 2.4s. The tread on the Nates have been good for this, but the 27tpi version is heavy, slow, and not TR.

    The two tires on my short list were the 120tpi Nates (tubeless ready) or the 120tpi Vanhelgas. I decided on the Vanhelgas becuase direct comparisons tend to give them the edge in rolling resistance without giving up grip. Also, I just want to try something different.

    So, any word on the 2020 Vanhelgas?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  2. #2
    fat guy on a little bike
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    no, but i want to. the old VH is my favorite tire EVAR, so it looks like only the edge knobs have changed. I will prob give it a shot in the spring.
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  3. #3
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    One change that would make it better for snow (not to be confused with a dusting) would be a way softer, more supple sidewall so they can flex or squish more readily. Air is the proper method of adjustment of said squish.
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  4. #4
    fat guy on a little bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeRune View Post
    One change that would make it better for snow would be a way softer, more supple sidewall so they can flex or squish more readily.
    huh? i have both the 120 tp and 60 tpi VH, and they have great sidewalls...
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
    huh? i have both the 120 tp and 60 tpi VH, and they have great sidewalls...
    Since you have used both, is there any reason I should consider the 60tpi over the 120tpi, other than cost (and the fact that the tan ones look pretty cool)?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  6. #6
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    The tan sidewall in the 60tpi is supposed to have a more supple feel compared to the same 60tpi black sidewall. Should feel closer to the 120tpi black sidewall.
    Silly bike things happening.

  7. #7
    fat guy on a little bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redlands R&C View Post
    The tan sidewall in the 60tpi is supposed to have a more supple feel compared to the same 60tpi black sidewall. Should feel closer to the 120tpi black sidewall.
    yeah, "supposedly". the jury is still out on that one...

    i have a tendency of cutting rear sidewalls. so, i run a 120 tpi up front and a 60 tpi in the rear. having a more robust rear tire is worth the marginal weight penalty. YMMV.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
    huh? i have both the 120 tp and 60 tpi VH, and they have great sidewalls...
    They feel stiff and way too starched compared to my liteskin and Bud/Lou. Those have very soft, supple casings where my pair o' VH's feel like a Vee tire by comparison.

    My VH's are 120 V1's
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeRune View Post
    They feel stiff and way too starched compared to my liteskin and Bud/Lou. Those have very soft, supple casings where my pair o' VH's feel like a Vee tire by comparison.

    My VH's are 120 V1's
    ah, liteskin or even snakeskin around here means you are putting in a tube within a few minutes of riding...
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  10. #10
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    FYI, I emailed them on the weight of the new tires as compared to the old 26x4.0 and here's what they said.

    "The older 26 x 4.0" 120 TPI weighed 1250g. The newer and larger 26 x 4.2" 120 TPI black wall Van Helga weighs 1450g and the 26 x 4.2" 60 TPI tan wall weighs 1575g"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisbenji View Post
    FYI, I emailed them on the weight of the new tires as compared to the old 26x4.0 and here's what they said.

    "The older 26 x 4.0" 120 TPI weighed 1250g. The newer and larger 26 x 4.2" 120 TPI black wall Van Helga weighs 1450g and the 26 x 4.2" 60 TPI tan wall weighs 1575g"
    Huh. Thatís kind of a bummer. I was fine with the size of my Nates, and I understand the old VH were about the same width.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  12. #12
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    Yes, the 26 x 4.0 120tpi Vanhelga V1 measures 97mm or 3.8" wide at the knobs on a 65mm Nextie rim setup tubeless at about 5 psi.

    I love them for trail riding both shoulder seasons and summer. Great tire! It's cool they made a bigger version BUT why discontinue the awesome lighter 26x 4.0? SUX!
    Last edited by Kirkerik; 08-21-2020 at 10:16 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkerik View Post
    Yes, the 26 x 4.0 120tpi Vanhelga V1 measures 97mm or 3.8" wide on a 65mm rim setup tubeless at about 5 psi.

    I love them for trail riding both shoulder seasons and summer. Great tire! It's cool they made a bigger version BUT why discontinue the awesome lighter 26x 4.0? SUX!
    Why would they leave it as it was? Damn if the tire segment isn't going round the bowl lately.

    Lovin my 27.5's but why 4.2 was the replacement in 26", I cannot fathom. 4.5 or 4.8 I could understand as an addition to the original 4.0, BUT NO! The establishment is telling us what they will allow US to ride!
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  14. #14
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    I have the 26X4.2's on my Nextie 65MM rims. They work great on groomed snow. I don't have a lot of experience riding groomed trails as I normally self groom trails via my fat bikes. Since I've moved up north I've found at times my 4.8 or 5.1 is too fat for winter races - problem is other people riding at high tire pressures make fatter tires a chore to pedal. Going this route solved the issue. The tacky rubber works great where the trail packs in some icy spots. Didn't have to rely on studded tires once I got these. The 4.2 didn't amount to much, I'm measuring 3.8" at the casing. For summertime ring I prefer my Schwalbe 4.8's on 90MM rims. For general snow riding outside of races I'll use whatever I have that will work best for whatever conditions. These somewhat remind me of Bonty Hodags, so if you don't need sticky rubber for summertime, the Hodags might be a better option for some.


  15. #15
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    So the VH 4.2 is 3.8 casing width, how about the knobs? Maybe it is the same casing w bigger knobs...

    By the way, regarding sidewalls. I like the support they offer. I can run the pressure as low as 4.5F and 5.5R. When I was running the JJ 4.0 Liteskins I had to have at least 7 or 8 psi to keep their shape. They sure are fast though! Not that the VH are slow. This is for summer or shoulder season use. Iím running a Wrathchild in the winter.

    Nice rig! Does that fit the 2XL in the back?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkerik View Post
    So the VH 4.2 is 3.8 casing width, how about the knobs? Maybe it is the same casing w bigger knobs...

    By the way, regarding sidewalls. I like the support they offer. I can run the pressure as low as 4.5F and 5.5R. When I was running the JJ 4.0 Liteskins I had to have at least 7 or 8 psi to keep their shape. They sure are fast though! Not that the VH are slow. This is for summer or shoulder season use. Iím running a Wrathchild in the winter.

    Nice rig! Does that fit the 2XL in the back?
    Scotty built me a Triple B to do the 100mm x 2xl. That combination is a massive tire this frame will not fit. I had no issues with the Van Helga. Iíve not used it in summer, but the race I did in the picture had every condition imaginable, snow, ice, sandy beach, road, and small exposed sections of dirt. Finding more knobs are key for groomed snow, these are keepers. The rubber quality on these vs Hodags is what makes them great on ice. I hate using studded tires, as I donít ride in serious ice, just talking about when snow packs down to ice in spots from heavy traffic. These would likely do well in loose soil as well.

    The 2xl I use for deep sand and grooming local trails around me as Iím pretty much the only one riding those trails. Hikers love my tracks. Typically where Iím at the 4.8 Schwalbe JJ work great in summer. When I lived downstate a lot of this was more niche, now living up north these bikes and variety of wheels and tires have given me opportunities to ride where no normal MTB would work. On the more popular trails closer to downtown, these VHís are going to be the main choice. Too often people ride snow with too high a pressure, making fatter tires a bear to steer in their tracks.

  17. #17
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    Kirk, I cannot complain about my pair of VH gen 1 27.5's. They live on a pair of i64, 70mm wide AlexRims.

    2020 45NRTH Vanhelga: anyone try it?-img_1483.jpg
    FBR front and rear.
    2020 45NRTH Vanhelga: anyone try it?-img_1484.jpg

    2020 45NRTH Vanhelga: anyone try it?-img_1444.jpg
    VH with a notably larger air volume.

    One thing I have enjoyed is the fact that they do ride exceptionally well. I wouldn't expect them to replace the Mayor's JJ 4.8's or 5.05's for snow. Sand has been the experience as well as trail and the routes to the trails from the front door.

    Schwalbe needs to make JJ in 27.5 x 3.8 for Sarge III in a liteskin. Offering em in a liteskin version as well as snakeskin for folks to choose their weapon would be awesome!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
    ah, liteskin or even snakeskin around here means you are putting in a tube within a few minutes of riding...
    Since I refuse to use snakeskin and gave a pair of Nobby Nic 3.0s to a friend due to them feeling dead in trials, out went $180... Annnndddd, my JJ 4.8 liteskins have been tubeless for more than 4 years on what some idiots say cannot be done tubeless, Rolling Darryls, without any form of drama, I forgot that I need to get a time mosheen and put tubes in em! Was I really sposta tube em after 100 meters of riding em? Shit! I'm doin it wrong!!!
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