Review Updates: Carver O’Beast Carbon Fork, 45 NRTH Husker Dü Tires

Carver Carbon Fork:

I’ve previously talked about the install of the Carver carbon O’Beast fork on the Mukluk.

I now have quite a few miles on it, in varying conditions from summer’s hottest temps to the mid 20s. Here are my updated thoughts:

  1. It’s full carbon, with a carbon steerer. Because I’m a big weenie, that makes me intrinsically scared that it’s going to snap off and put my dentist’s kids through college. That irrational fear aside, it’s been bulletproof. No reliability problems of any kind. I have bombed singletrack, hopped curbs and logs, crushed gravel, bogged through mud and water, and otherwise ridden the Mukluk as a fatbike should be ridden. I’ve used the hydraulic brakes to their fullest ability. No issues of any kind.
  2. It’s light. Putting this on made a noticeable difference in the ‘loftability’ of the Mukluk’s front end. Huge. A very positive improvement…although I do have to remember to change how I balance the Muk when I’m doing my massive big-air hop off of a curb.
  3. It’s surprisingly sturdy. Even suffering under my massive 148 pounds, there’s no flex or wobble in it. But…
  4. It does a far better job of dampening chatter than the stock steel fork. When I roll longer distances, I pump the tires up to a massive 22psi or so. At that kind of pressure, you do get some chatter on rough gravel…and the carbon fork does an appreciably better job of dampening it than did the steel fork.

You do lose the anything cage mounts, but I never found those to be terribly effective, anyhow. I’m very pleased with the fork. I’m still very intrigued about trying a lefty, but we’ll see if that’s in the cards.

45NRTH Husker Dü Tires

I’ve got several hundred miles on them in varied conditions, and at varied pressures. I will say that the little tread molding nobbies are very resistant to rubbing off.

I run the rear backwards, and I believe it offers greater drive traction in that direction. I have run it in the ‘regular’ direction as well, and while it might roll a smidge better, the traction tradeoff isn’t worth it. Maybe for Barry Roubaix.

Traction wise, they are much better than the Big Fat Larry’s I used to run, in just about all conditions. I haven’t had them in snow yet, and that is why I got them (I was displeased with traction from the rear in anything but really packed snow with the BFLs), but am hopeful they’ll work well.

They do seem to be more puncture resistant than the BFLs, too…probably as a function of the tread design. I do some fatbike bushwacking, and with the BFLs, that occasionally resulted in a thorn through the tread. No issues with the HDs…yet.

They are molded well, and don’t have any appreciable hop in them. My BFLs did have some hop.

Only criticism?

They’re too small. Sure, comparing to 4.7″ BFLs isn’t fair, but they do not seem like 4″ tires. The sidewalls seem short, and the volume seems off. I’m disappointed in the overall size of them, and concerned about how much float I’ll get in the winter. With my 17″ Muk and setback seatpost, the vast majority of my weight is on the rear tire…so time will tell how the tires do this winter. I just wish they were a little bit taller–I wish they was a baller, I wish they had a girl who looked good…wait.

Sorry about that.

They’re nice tires. They roll fast, and I appreciate the weight savings. Maybe I’m getting into too small of a niche, but Bud and Lou tires are too big. I want a tire that is the size of a BFL, the weight of a Continental Cyclocross Speed, and the tread of a HD. I want a BFHD…but not bigger than a BFL. And I’m willing to compromise on the weight. A tiny bit. (But it shouldn’t be heavier than a BFL).

And I want a supple casing and a folding bead.

And resistance to Stans, so I can set it up tubeless.

Anyone? Anyone?


5 thoughts on “Review Updates: Carver O’Beast Carbon Fork, 45 NRTH Husker Dü Tires

    • Rob,

      Let me say…I have absolutely no basis in fact to suspect that in any way…and certainly no basis to say it about this fork, which has been great thus far.

      It’s purely an emotional response. I know the strength/weight of Carbon Fiber. I have a full carbon fork/steerer on my road bike, too. It’s just a little scary, holding a fork this light and thin in your hands, and thinking about all that tire up front. The fact that this fork comes from Carver (made god knows where) and not from a bigger manufacturer (would probably also be made god knows where) is disconcerting…but not so much that I don’t ride it!

      So no, I don’t think that full carbon forks have a greater failure rate. I just have a little emotional/visceral response to how light and thin the fork is, and that gives me a twinge in the pit of my stomach sometimes…but is wholly unsupported by fact thus far, and hopefully always will be.

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