We've previously spoken about DirtySixer
, who make larger wheeled bikes for taller riders including LeBron James and last year Trek told us that they are also testing larger wheels
(although they seem to have settled with just going to 32" for now). In fact, when you go digging there are actually quite a few companies building larger wheeled bikes including some who use titanium
, but none have ever created a carbon frame until now.
The 36pollici bike was unveiled at Garda Bike Festival and is part of a three-model range that the brand is planning on producing. It is the brainchild of Bruno Vittorio who has been toying with the idea of 36ers since 2016. Even when Focus designed one for an April Fools joke
he was not deterred and forged on inspired by the models coming out of the USA. Unfortunately, Bruno passed away in August 2021 so never got to see his dream come to life but his project has been carried on by his daughter Eleonora and a team of friends who work in bike production in Italy.
While Eleonora works on creating the moulds and laminating the carbon in Brescia, the rest of the bike spec has been created in collaboration with a number of other Italian companies. Bright Racing Shocks provided the rigid fork. Some 36" mountain bikes do have suspension forks, such as the Truebike MTB
, but 36pollici believes that the 36" wheel's angle of attack combined with high volume tyre and flex built into the BRS fork will be enough to smooth out.
The other Italian contribution comes from Braus Components who make the carbon wheels. One of the biggest drawbacks for the 36" design is the massive increase in rotational weight over a 29er. By building the first carbon 36er wheel, Braus was able to reduce the weight of a rim down to 460 grams per rim in the “lightened” version and about 680 grams in the standard version.
While the rims are a big improvement, 36pollici is struggling to find appropriate tires for a 36er. The best models are designed for unicycles and they currently spec the VeeTire T-Monster 36x2.25 72TPI that weighs about 1400 grams per wheel. The bike is set up tubeless but if you were running innertubes, you would have to add around 325 grams on top of that. They are hoping that their collaboration with Braus will result in more tire manufacturers producing higher quality 36" tyres.
In total, the bike weight comes to 12 kg, or 26.5 lb, which isn't a heavyweight in the grand scheme of things but is about a 3kg or 6lb penalty over the lightest carbon fibre hardtails on the market
. 36pollici will be hoping that the weight cost is overruled by the advantages of a 36" wheel that include more stability thanks to the “increased gyroscopic effect”, and more rollover than other mountain bike wheel sizes.
36pollici is hoping to begin selling the bike at the start of 2022, depending on supply chain issues, and will announce pricing then. Alongside the full carbon version, it is also creating a fully aluminum version and a bike with an aluminum front triangle and carbon stays. More info, here