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Interview: Walt Wehner Designed A 36" Tire & Doesn't Think They'll Catch On

Dec 7, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  

For every 32" or 36" bike we've covered on Pinkbike, there has always been one big drawback, tires. Trek's Travis Brown politely put it as, "the quality compared to what enthusiasts are accustomed to of those tires is pretty low, so that kind of influences the impressions," while 36pollici described them as a limit of their carbon 36er project.

An increase of 7 inches in the diameter of the tire means an increase in the circumference of more than 21 inches. That's a lot more rubber and a lot more bead and that brings with it a lot of issues. The larger diameter tires are also a very specialist bit of kit. As a lot of vendors simply don't have the oven drums to go larger than 29", those wanting to build larger wheeled bikes have to go to more economy-based manufacturers who can't provide the same quality as the brands we may be more used to.

36er MTB36 36er whells bike36 moutainbike 36 36er bike 36er frame 36er wheels 36er tyres 36er size 36erdimensions bike wheels 36 bike big wheels 36er inch bike bike wheels 36 inch mtb 36 pollici MTB 36 mtb 36 pollici ruote da 36 pollici telaio mtb 36 pollici pneumatici 36 pollici 36 36 inch bike 36er 36er MTB36 mountainbike36er MTB36inches rims36 36erRIMS 36erbike bikewheels36er 36pouces wheelsset36er fork36er 36er fork 36er fork bike mtb wheels 36er 36er MTB 36 pouces VTT bici 36pollici TRENTASEI TRENTASEI twentysixer bikes ALCHEMIST 36 ALCHEMIST 36ER ALCHEMIST 36ER WHEELS aLCHEMIST 36 WHEELSET

The most popular choice for larger diameter wheels at the moment is the Vee T-Monster 36x2.25 from Vee Rubber. While we previously enjoyed riding Vee Tire Co's dedicated mtb options, Vee Rubber's 36er is from their mass-market focused parent company and is reported to leave a lot to desired, despite being the best option on the market.

Although this is a Vee branded tire, it was actually designed by Walt Wehner of Waltworks, a custom frame builder based out of Park City, Utah who claimed at one point to have built more 36ers than anyone else on the planet. He approached Vee to make the tire as a contract job and says, "Vee did not design the tire (or particularly want to make it), I designed the tire and then we argued about minimums and bead characteristics and such."

The tire is now around 15 years old and was, and still probably remains, the lightest and most mountain bike worthy option among larger wheeled tires. It has also been adopted by unicyclists who use it as an off-road option on large wheeled touring unicycles. We caught up with Walt to understand what the biggest issues are in designing larger tires and what that might mean for the future of mountain bikes with larger diameter tires (answers edited for clarity).

What are the key characteristics you want in a 36” tire? are they different to a 29” tire?


The key characteristics really aren't much different if designing purely for bikes (more on that in a minute). This is a 15-year-old tire at this point and 36ers were (and still are) basically XC bikes, so the design was XC oriented.

What considerations do you have to make to a tire to work with both unicycles and bicycles?


Unicycles suffer from something called camber steer - essentially this means that on uneven terrain, the tire tries to "climb" into/up the ramp, because the side of the tire is moving slower than the bottom of the tire as the wheel spins. This means that (on a unicycle) it's very hard to ride on off-camber surfaces, especially at low pressures with flimsy/flexible sidewalls. So unicycle-specific tires have a MUCH stiffer carcass in general. It's worth noting that bikes camber steer too (if you've ever had your front wheel try to climb up out of a rut you've experienced it) but having 2 wheels on the ground makes the problem much more manageable.

What are the difficulties in designing a tire larger than 36”?


The biggest difficulty is keeping the tire on the rim. As the bead gets longer and longer, a little bit of stretch matters more and more because the bead stretches more in absolute terms on a bigger tire even if it's the same as a percentage. Once there's enough absolute stretch, the tire can come off the rim. So the 36er tire bead has to be crazy burly.

What are the biggest limitations of tires larger than 29”?


The beefy bead and resulting weight is the biggest drawback/limitation, probably, setting aside the relatively tiny market for the tires which is obviously a bit limiting factor.

What are the biggest advantages of tires larger than 29"?


The advantages are the same as with any other wheel. Bigger is more efficient as the terrain gets rougher. Believe it or not, the US government studied this with tractors during WWII when trying to save fuel. They found that basically there was no size too big for tractor tires (confirming what farmers had already figured out, of course).


How much lighter could a 36” tire be made?


I can't be sure how much lighter a 36" tire could be made but I'd guess the lower limit would be around 1000g? Until someone puts a lot of effort into it and there's a market, I'd guess we'll be stuck with the Vee tires.

You mentioned you would rather the tires be wider than lighter, why is this?


The existing tire is a 2.25" which is pretty skinny by modern standards, and to be honest I don't give a rat's ass about bike weight anyway, so I'd rather see the tires get more capable than lighter. If you ever get a chance to ride that Vee tire, it's just fine in most situations (as intended) but it gets in over its head pretty quickly on anything rough/loose/etc. To take full advantage of the 36" rollover on rough stuff, it would be nice to have a more aggressive tire.

Do you think larger tires will be adopted by the industry in future?


There are a lot of problems fitting even average-sized riders onto 36" wheels (suspension is mostly impractical, for example) but the longer/slacker trend is a good thing - wheelbases on 36ers are now right in line with normal trail bikes, when back in the day they were crazy long. If I were a betting man I'd bet we'll see 32" wheels on mainstream bikes in the next decade, but 36" will probably remain a niche/unicycle item.





So, there we have it, as it stands there's a chicken and egg situation going on. Tire manufacturers aren't willing to invest in the technology to produce bigger tires until here's demand for them and currently demand is stifled by a lack of suitable tires. Travis Brown said, "People are definitely going to be messing with this for a while and depending on what happens with tires, I see that as kind of the biggest restriction on really feeling into what the potential is of larger diameters than 29. I would bet that when one of the quality tire manufacturers or someone commissions a prototype of a really high-quality tire, our understanding of what the potential is will experience another breakthrough. And that'll be fun." Until that time, it looks 29ers will be the biggest common wheel size we'll be seeing for a while.


194 Comments

  • 324 2
 waltworks.blogspot.com/2013/05/everything-youve-ever-wanted-to-know.html

To be clear, I made the tires because (at the time) a bunch of people wanted 36ers and there was a parallel unicycle market. I don't personally own a 36er or recommend them to anyone, but they can be really fun as an N+1 type bike for XC riding or goofing around with novice friends or on trails you're bored with at the end of the season.

At the peak of the "craze" I was making 4 or 5 a year. Now it's one or two maybe. Over all the years that has added up to a decent number of these things out there. DirtySixer probably has more in the wild but they don't actually build their stuff in house AFAIK.

I mean, they're slow. There's no getting around that. But in the right situation they can be really fun, just like a unicycle or a gravel bike or a swing bike or whatever other goofy thing.

-Walt
  • 1 0
 Yeah I was surprised the title page said it was the only usable 36" tire whereas in mountain unicycling they've been around for longer. The one on the Kris Holm KH36 is from Nimbus. Does that imply VeeTire makes them for Nimbus?

I've got to say I have no personal experience with tires this long (and I'm not one for the N+1 scene either) and I'll stick with 24x3" on my unicycle. So good luck with your project but I hope it doesn't make any of the standards we have currently obsolete.
  • 5 0
 @vinay: This was a "project" from 15 years ago. Your standards are safe.

For what it's worth, the KH36 is intended for basically gravel riding. I don't think anyone uses 36" for MUNI unless you had really flat trails available. The cranks needed would just be too long.

-Walt
  • 1 0
 @waltworks: Thanks, yeah it seems to me that on a slope with a large wheel, you need to shift your weight a lot to stay over the tire contact patch. I wasn't aware that this was a project from 15 years ago so sorry there!
  • 1 0
 I could imagine that in a situation--downhill of course--downhill road riding, taking this thing on a really long trip down a long stretch of paved road would be a trip! I'd like to wonder though how it would perform on a flatter fire-road ride in the dirt. I'm impressed with the design and the accomplishment at least! Very nice!

~JSV
  • 2 0
 @ScaryGuiTarS: I would hate to have to fight a tire of this diameter on trail that required quick steering input counter to the gyroscopic forces of such a large tire
  • 1 0
 @Monster-G: Yeah you're right. I'd think the only hope for this in the dirt would be how well they could redesign a frame with enough BB drop to get the center of gravity somewhere that still makes the large wheels 'somewhat' manageable.

I could see though in the article that there MAY BE a practical option someday soon for a 32".

~JAV
  • 1 0
 @ScaryGuiTarS: COG is the same, there's just more BB drop to put the rider/cranks in the same position relative to the ground.

Indeed, tight/quick turns are not a 36er's forte, to say the least. Then again, modern long/slack geometry isn't great for that sort of riding either.
  • 1 0
 @waltworks: Who knows? Maybe someday they'll make special DH tracks that these things CAN navigate well. That'll be something. It seems no matter what the viable invention, they find some way to make a sport out of it lol
Hey, I'd at least like to TRY one!
~JSV
  • 1 0
 Good evening Mr. Walt,
reading the article I hope our statement did not sound like a criticism.
In reality, the term "limit" is only linked to a question of weights.
The quality of the tires design is out of the question, it works well even on the most demanding trails.
I hope you didn't take our impression as an offense, on the contrary we just have to thank those who thought and created these tires.
It was precisely the fact that we found them already made that allowed us to imagine making a carbon frame. Thank you.
Greetings. Luca
TRENTASEI//36
  • 181 1
 #29aintdead
  • 10 0
 Yet.
  • 136 20
 Imagine how much flex a 36" Lefty would have...

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 8 0
 ask this guy (or girl)
youtu.be/xbhV2_nbEnU?t=64
  • 3 0
 @higgir: Saw Brian Keener and his lefty 36er in Vegas a long time ago. It stood massive and a single speed too.
  • 3 0
 Less than a 36” two tine? I mean, if the 26”, 27.5”, and 29” lefty are anything to go by (Ocho excluded).
  • 6 3
 I'll tack this shitpost here since IR is the most popular commenter on his platform.....

Sure, TrentaSei means 36 in Italian, but TRENTASEI is an anagram for REINSTATE. Clearly a hidden BIG LIE signal.

Doppelclown, WYA fool?
  • 91 1
 What until a load of people have bought them, then bring out 32.5" and say 36 is rubbish, then go 32.5"+, then go back to 36".
  • 13 0
 Don't forget about rear hub sizing!
  • 45 1
 Pick a wheels size, and be ... ok with it.
  • 9 0
 Perhaps square wheels were not such a bad idea...
  • 1 0
 @Jacquers: "The Texas A&M Physics Department experimenting a square-wheeled trike"... hum hum.
And they didn't earn a Nobel prize with this? Surprising Smile
  • 1 0
 @Jacquers: Yes It can work, but terrain has to fit wheels rather than other way around ?
So bigger wheels work, but present designs adds limitations when supersized
So tyres & wheel designs will get better if have a better way of fixing tyres too the wheels, simple in theory
Not so easy in practice?
  • 2 0
 @Jacquers: OMG this makes me think of creating octagon wheels for technical climbs LOL
  • 1 0
 @danstonQ: they had their time...
  • 34 0
 Imagine the mullet possibilities.
  • 4 0
 26” 26” mullet! Or 36” 24” mullet!
  • 3 1
 Oh no - dont let Mattp76 see this
  • 7 0
 I can just see a 36" 26" mullet hanging out of the back of a Carolina squat truck
  • 1 0
 @Offrhodes: Penny farthing front wheel could work if you use a hubless front wheel and hang the bars in the middle of the wheel, with a small amount of suspension between the rim and the bars.
  • 1 0
 @LS3VER33: Free the Squat NC!
  • 27 0
 More Walt articles pls.
  • 22 0
 Wait.... how is Wehner pronounced??... Is it pronounced how I think it is or am I wrong? I hope I'm wrong. I can see why he went with Walt Works instead of Wehner Works. All due respect to a legendary frame builder.
  • 100 0
 It was the best name ever in middle school. -W
  • 2 0
 Yep sounds like
  • 58 0
 Yeah, but imagine the looks if you told someone you had a 36" Wehner
  • 2 0
 @bigdood: exactly Bigdood exactly my friend
  • 9 0
 @bigdood: Not nearly as perplexed as when you say you used to ride a 27.5” Wehner, but it wasn’t big enough so went to a 29”.
  • 8 0
 Conventional wisdom is it pronounced "Wehner" but some more radicals change it to "Wehner".
  • 1 0
 From the spelling I would guess it is orginally a German name. I'm not a German but do speak the language, I would say it is pronounced the way an English speaker would pronounce "Wayner"
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: Pronunciation on many German words gets mangled in the US -- as an example, we have a road nearby named Schoenherr.

In German, it translates as "nice man" and should sound more like "shown hair".
In practice, everyone locally says it as "shay ner".
  • 2 0
 @TimTucker: It is not just the German words that get mangled... I remember being in a bike shop in the US asking about a pair of shorts. It took a lot of puzzled looks from the guy in the store to realize that the French word 'chamois' is pronounced completely differently by English speakers. Probably it's nothing compared to how all Westerners slaughter words from tonal languages like Chinese or Thai, but it's amusing sometimes.
  • 2 0
 @losidan: wrong on both counts, it’s clearly pronounced “Wehner”!
  • 22 1
 I’m never gonna be able to unsee that bike.
  • 19 0
 I don’t like the 36” wheel but I liked this article. I had never heard of camber steer before and you learn something new everyday!
  • 6 0
 It's a real issue with fat bikes too.
  • 1 0
 @hirvi: lol is that what that is? Always called it auto-steer or just that the things wandered. but that makes sense. upper body workout sometimes keeping my Surly straight on a steep climb
  • 1 0
 First time really noticed camber steer was on a fat bike with slow puncture !
But ride any bike with front flat will give you an idea what it is/ feels like?
  • 16 1
 I'm sorry, which "rough, loose terrain" am I riding my rigid 36er in? No thanks.
  • 27 0
 *Throws on helmet*

*Chugs beer*

I'll send it
  • 6 6
 BB so low it's going to be unweighting the front wheel descending.
  • 33 0
 @nouseforaname: BB height is the same as for any other mountain bike, but you're correct that you are so far below the axles that unweighting wheels is very difficult.

-Walt
  • 2 29
flag nouseforaname (Dec 7, 2021 at 14:13) (Below Threshold)
 @waltworks: Yes, not that it's lower than other bikes, but that it is so low relative to the axles. Is this not going to cause front wheel *un* weighting under braking due to rider weight on pedals when riding 'steep' terrain. #notanengineer
  • 51 0
 @nouseforaname: Um, no.

-W
  • 13 0
 @focofox37: Let's be honest if beer and a 36er are involved, helmets, likely, will not be.
  • 2 1
 @nouseforaname: Dude, go back and read the title of the article then look at the user name of the guy you are arguing with lol. (Hint- @waltworks is Walt Wehner).
  • 4 2
 @oldmanbucksaw: I'm not arguing with anyone. I asked a question - from ignorance. He answered. I've got a lot of respect for his work, even if he doesn't make bikes I'd want to ride. There's no arguing going on.
  • 12 1
 according to Gary Fisher, the first MTB's were intended to be designed around 29" wheels, but getting the wheels made was prohibitively expensive at the time, so they redesigned for 26.
  • 50 0
 It was the tires that was the problem, not the wheels. But that's basically the story, yes. -Walt
  • 11 0
 Still don't understand why wheel size and frame size aren't more correlated. I'm 5'7'', my friend is 6'3'', how can 29'' or 27'' or 36'' be the "best" for both of us? I saw a custom 36'' for Shaquille O'Neal once (Dirtysixer frame), it looked good and up to size (for him).
  • 22 0
 @Jo-rides: It's expensive to build all those different bikes. Same reason you see the same chainstay length on every size of frame. More profitable to stuff everyone on the same wheels, unfortunately.

-Walt
  • 8 8
 @Jo-rides: I imagine it has something to do with the fact that the trails we're riding have the same size bumps.
  • 1 0
 Interesting! Where did you get that info from? Would love to see/read more of that
  • 10 5
 @Jo-rides: Same reason fat people and skinny people pay the same price for an airplane seat
  • 13 0
 Pick a wheel size and be a Wehner about it.
  • 9 0
 Best comment of the article. My hat is off to you sir! -W
  • 11 0
 dont care want it N+1
  • 7 0
 This was kinda the same issue with 29ers for a long time. They existed, but the tires sucked so they didn't really catch on.
  • 4 1
 also, geometry
  • 7 0
 Might as well not even have a dropper. You're going to be buzzing your backside like crazy if you try to move around on the bike.
  • 8 0
 yellow Porsche with that in the back? Can't imagine other than George Costanza being the owner
  • 8 1
 well the jerk store called...
  • 4 1
 George Cantstandya
  • 10 2
 Why Are we skipping right over 32"? As a tall dude I'd love a gravel/hardtail based around 32" wheels
  • 6 3
 Yeah that's sorta the elephant in the room isn't it? I'm a little tall, 6'3", and I could see 32 front, but not sure about rear. Also at some point, roll over isn't worth the added weight. That's one thing I hated about the interview with that half wit from trek about 32/36 wheels. He kept saying the cheap tires they were testing with are heavy, but with high end tires the weight would be closer to current 29 tires.... NO! hard no, on that.
  • 21 0
 32 is what I should have done, but at the time 36 (32 was not, really) was an existing unicycle size so at the very beginning we were using tires and rims from Nimbus (2100g and 1100g, respectively!) and that was that.

There is now a rim and tire for 32 from Unicycle.com. If people got really excited I could perhaps be convinced to spearhead a tire project with Travis but the timing kinda sucks given that we can't even get regular tires right now.

32 would actually make sense for many riders in at least some situations. 36 basically doesn't unless you're just looking for novelty.

-Walt
  • 2 0
 @waltworks: isn't a 3 inch jump to 32 a big jump? 26 to 29 is a big jump in size. I'd have thought a smaller jump of 1-1.5 inches would be more reasonable...
  • 3 0
 What cyclist likes novelty... as I look over at my swing bike.
  • 18 0
 @mdinger: A 29x2.4 wheel is about 29.5". I guess you could go to 31 or something but IMO a 10% jump is about right, enough that it's actually a noticeable difference.

To be fair, too, a 29+ wheel is over 30.5" already, so your proposed wheel size (kinda) already exists.

-Walt
  • 9 0
 @waltworks:
Here's my 32 trail bike. Rides like a blast...on dry&hard. Would be glad to test some new tire!
m.pinkbike.com/u/jansportsi/album/32er-XXL-TRAIL-BIKE
  • 4 0
 @jansportsi: that looks great! I’m no expert and not ridden one but I think that’s what 32 & 36” bikes need to look like. When 29er’s first came about they tried fitting the wheel base in a 26” bike form, and looked like the current 36ers.
  • 3 0
 @mdinger: Welcome to the world of 29+ and fat bikes.

29x3.25, 27.5x4.5, and 26x5.05 all have options that are pretty close to 31.8", with lots of 29x3.0 options that are close to 30.5" in diameter like you're asking for.
  • 1 0
 @TimTucker: had no idea! I'm actually short so I'd never ride one but was curious anyway.
  • 1 0
 @waltworks: I'd emailed Vee over the summer about availability and they were pretty up front that they're not planning on any more production runs of the T-Monster until at least 2023.

Recently heard that also applies to their 29x3.25" Bulldozers as well.

Running at full capacity for "normal" stuff is a good sign that more people are taking part in the sport, but it stinks that it has to come at the expense of experimentation around the edges.
  • 1 0
 @mdinger: 30.5+ just for the lols
  • 4 0
 I like open minded custom frame builders who dare to dream big, there is obviously a niche market for this type of bike glad PB is covering this. NBA players deserve bikes that fit and anyone else that this wheel size speaks to. Whatever floats your boat ride it like you stole it!!
  • 4 0
 Camber steering happens on fat bikes too, at least sometimes. I was riding my cousin's on the road and it kept trying to climb up towards the center. Didn't know there was a word for it, but very interesting.
  • 3 0
 Still riding my home made 36er from 2012 (PAYASO) it rides way better than you would believe. I track my milage and times closely and believe it or not im faster on these wheels than my 29er (GGTP) in most places. Gearing was a big factor back then we struggled with getting a low enough gear for climbing. Now I run 26-51. The tires are all wire bead we need a folding kevlar bead and several tread options.
  • 2 0
 That's a pretty slack seat tube angle. Also, are we ready for 300mm rotors yet? Wait... 303mm rotors... And if it has a standard head tube, can I put an angle headset in it to get that slacker front end? I'd probably never figure out a proper use for something like this and still want one in my stable.
  • 10 0
 That particular bike predates steep seat angles (as well as head angles slacker than about 69 degrees) by many years. It even has a front derailleur, lol.

-Walt
  • 2 0
 At Santana Tandems we used to sell our 255mm rotors to a frame builder who made 36" MTBs. He was the guy you'd see at Interbike Outdoor Demo.
  • 1 0
 DirtySixer's approach has been to go to dual rotors
  • 3 0
 @TimTucker: That is more about rider weight than wheel size. They do a lot of bikes for 100 kg+ riders. For a normal sized person, normal 180/200 rotors will stop you just fine on a 36er.

-Walt
  • 2 0
 Seems to me like the stretchy bead issue could be solved by scaling up the rim bead, right? It stretches more in absolute terms, so why not reshape the rim to have higher walls? That way, relatively, everything has the same proportions?
  • 8 0
 Higher rim sidewalls would mean it would be impossible to install the tire, unless you radically reshaped the rim cavity. which you could probably do, but it's a bigger project than I was interested in tackling for a novelty bike. -Walt
  • 3 2
 @waltworks: I understand you not wanting to tackle that, but I’m just pointing out that I don’t think it’s insurmountable with the right resources.

My thought is that if you scale everything up (vs just taking a standard alloy rim extrusion and making it 36 inches in diameter (which is, I assume, how the rims are currently made?) it should be possible to get something closer to what we have today on 29ers. I know this stuff is always harder than it seems from the outside so would love to hear any more of your thoughts on if this seems feasible with the right resources. I personally would like to see 32 inch wheels on bikes at some point so I’m curious
  • 6 0
 @sdurant12: Agreed, certainly not insurmountable. It would be a great way to burn off some extra cash if you have that problem!

I'd love to see 32 take off, but someone would have to simultaneously invest in a rim, tire, and probably suspension fork, at a minimum. It's unlikely to happen anytime soon.
  • 2 0
 @waltworks: On the suspension side, I keep thinking that the easiest to maintain custom option for some of these bigger tires would be a linkage fork that uses a standard shock.
  • 3 0
 S*d the tyres, how have they got a hitch rack working with a 911? Isn’t that hitch mount exactly where the exhaust is, what’s strong enough back there to take the load from a rack?
  • 2 1
 The exhaust comes out on the back of the rack and the hitch mount is directly welded to the chassis the exhaust is mounted where it is from the factory and the hitch mount was done by someone with a angle grinder and welder probably.
  • 1 0
 pimcycles.co.uk
Was doing 36 back when in UK - I also met a guy when I worked in Dubai who was on a 36 although there it’s because no one else had one. - his words - I don’t have the web links to hand but 10 years back when fat bikes were a thing and you could still get a decent 24 tyre ……..
Anyway the guy from PIM stayed on my radar but i recall tyres were the limitation - UNICYCLE won’t really work on a fast mtb? - With the £€$ behind it and for those who are 1.8m plus and you upscale the components why not but maybe 32” first?
  • 1 0
 I ride on wheels bigger than 29". That being the old school 27", which is actually 30.25" measured in 29'r inches. Sadly the tire selection really is crap. They are great for road bikes. For serious off pavement riding on 36" you would need minimum of 39.68 spokes, a 37.2mm rim width and 183.52mm boost hubs. It gets kind of silly. Think it will remain in the realm of 6' 8" basketball player millionaire's custom bikes.
  • 1 0
 I liked into the highest pressure rating possible, when selecting my 36er tyres, and can recommend these:
www.unicycle.com/nimbus-nightrider-36-lite-tire
Pumped up hard, they steer well... Just takes a bit of effort to gather momentum off the mark! )
  • 5 0
 I liked how he talked...
  • 3 0
 Throw a Super Monster T on it and send it at the Red Bull Rampage. That is just ridiculous!!!
  • 9 0
 Yep, you can get like 40mm of travel before the tire bottoms on the crown! I think a few people have actually done it, but I don't see the point personally. -W
  • 3 0
 And that's a wrap, we've found the end of the internet.
  • 4 0
 36/29 mullet?
  • 1 0
 look.....this is perfectly viable, as soon as we get suppa duppa mega 275mm boost, an integrated step ladder and Cushcore to get on board. there. I did it.
  • 3 1
 I definitely think that there is space for a 32" in the mainstream market, especially in a mullet configuration.
  • 3 0
 32in front, 29in rear mullet could definitely work, especially for taller riders on longer travel bikes.
  • 1 0
 I think 36" is just far from 29", dont know why they are skipping 32"....

unless the cabal wants us to complain about 36ers and then settle with 32"
  • 3 0
 They said all the same things about 29ers...
  • 2 0
 I’m not sure what’s funnier, the three ring up front or how ridiculous it looks like on the bike rack!
  • 3 0
 "Let my 36er do the work!"
  • 1 0
 I'm sure rollover and grip would be next level. I'm also sure I'd get my junk ripped off on any steep descent with the dropper down. Bigger is better.....until it isn't.
  • 2 0
 Forget the 36" wheel, I want to know more about this Porsche 2" hitch hidden behind the license plate. Is that custom?
  • 3 0
 36" front, 16" in the back.
  • 1 2
 "Unicycles suffer from something called camber steer - essentially this means that on uneven terrain, the tire tries to "climb" into/up the ramp, because the side of the tire is moving slower than the bottom of the tire as the wheel spins. This means that (on a unicycle) it's very hard to ride on off-camber surfaces, especially at low pressures with flimsy/flexible sidewalls."

See also Plus tyres.
  • 2 0
 Someone give that thing to Sam Pilgrim so we can laugh as he puts it out of it's misery.
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure he rode one already about 6-8 months ago, maybe was a 32". But as you might guess, it lasted about 5 minutes before catastrophic wheel failure.
  • 2 0
 This is like those facebook articles that are tailor made to invoke outrage. Well played Outside.
  • 2 0
 Anybody else Fat29 curious? I'm looking at you, Surly.. Make a hardtail Monstagator with 4.2" wide Wizards. or rigid...
  • 1 0
 Very much so from having tried ridden 29x3.25".

Just cut to the chase and release a full 29x5" and we can skip the whole "bigger diameter vs. bigger width" arguments of 27.5x4.5 vs. 26x5.

A real monster truck would be 29 fat version of something like a Foes Mutz:
www.ridefatbikes.ca/foes-mutz

Or a Lenz Sport Fattilac:
lenzsport.com/product/fatillac
  • 1 0
 Man, I thought the toe overlap on my Cross bikes are bad! Looks like that orange bike on the back of the Porsche would slam into your heel!
  • 1 0
 Functionality, technical advantage back and forth, but aesthetics is a factor that is just as important. Therefore never ever. My god that's ugly !
  • 1 0
 Functionality, technical advantage back and forth, but aesthetics is a factor that is just as important. Therefore never ever. My god that's ugly!
  • 2 0
 I know a German cycle gymnast …..
  • 2 0
 Probably the best bike for rolling in a straight line.
  • 1 0
 I've heard it before :-D
  • 2 0
 Send the grim donut was conservative after all?
  • 4 1
 Gross
  • 1 0
 My 'boys' hurt just looking at how close that rear tire is to the seat. Yikes!
  • 1 0
 Not that much different than bikes that many kids ride hard with no issues on a regular basis.
  • 2 0
 mmmm say "stiffer carcass'' again
  • 1 0
 Wait what!!! Larger wheeled, off-road, touring, unicycles are a thing? Who are these people???
  • 2 0
 "Large wheeled touring unicycles" You learn about something new every day.
  • 1 2
 As someone that's running 27.5 and moving to mullet, and who also get's toe overlap on my gravel bike with 700x38c, I don't see why. But for custom builds for retired NBA players - why not.
  • 1 0
 Yeah that toe overlap... slow speed tight turns while pedaling? Forget about it
  • 2 4
 The 36" wheel is really big, hard to describe unless you've ridden one, but suffice to say they like going straight and they like to stay going, so slowing down and quick transitions are not a benefit of a 36" wheel.

Yeah, it's a gimmick.
  • 1 0
 I could see a 32"/29" mullet but beyond that it would be a packaging nightmare
  • 1 0
 Imagine catching your shorts whenever you try to get behind the rear axle on a steep descent.
  • 2 0
 WTF is a touring unicycle? is that really a thing...
  • 1 0
 Yes. They have racks and look really hard to get going. Watched a video on the tube about a guy going on some really remote road recently.
  • 2 0
 36" tires...for when you want to look like Kermit the frog on a bike.
  • 2 0
 I'm tall. I'm keen. My xxl 29er looks like a BMX when I'm on it
  • 2 1
 Looks like your feet will hit the front tire when one foot is forward and turning. I have urban street bike that does that.
  • 1 0
 100%
  • 4 0
 I do actually design so that this doesn't happen, for what it's worth. Believe it or not toe overlap was an issue with some very early 29ers (low fork offset, steep HTA, long stem... you see where I'm going with this) too.

-Walt
  • 3 3
 Of course it will catch on. MTB'ers are dumb enough to buy any old useless shit as long its the latest new gimmicky fad...... Truth
  • 2 1
 Black Sheep had a beautiful Ti 36er at NAHBS a few years back. Wish I had ordered one…
  • 2 0
 What the shit
  • 1 0
 several people didnt think 29'ers would catch on either
  • 1 0
 thank God it won't catch on
  • 1 0
 Waiting for a 39/36 mullet option.
  • 1 0
 How is that last name pronounced?
  • 1 0
 @waltworks: thoughts for touring?
  • 1 0
 What is that beautiful bike rack ?
  • 1 0
 YEAH ME LIKE IT VERY MUCH!
  • 1 0
 Ridiculous today, trendy tomorrow... :/
  • 1 0
 This looks just like what 29ers did when they first started showing up.
  • 1 0
 I would love to get an enduro version of this
  • 1 0
 A Porsche and big tires, are we over compensating for something?
  • 1 0
 What madness is this!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 That is the ULTIMATE pub-crawler!!
  • 4 4
 It's the fastest hunk of junk around in the universe
  • 2 1
 just no for f#ck
  • 1 0
 I'd definitely try this
  • 1 0
 Recumbent 36er now
  • 2 3
 So stupid. And yet AGAIN people will jump on this because they’re being told it’s “innovative” just like 29”
  • 1 0
 But Why?
  • 3 0
 For taller riders, it's about having a proportional bike. You wouldn't expect a kid to stay on the same size wheels when they grow a foot taller, so why would you expect someone who's 6'5" to ride on the same size wheels as someone who's 5'5"?

For everyone else, it's the same reason why people ride on mini bmx bikes with fat 10" wheels, tall bikes, or swing bikes -- because trying something different every now and then is FUN.
  • 1 0
 But why...
  • 1 0
 Please stop
  • 1 0
 #29aintdead
  • 1 0
 ..
  • 1 2
 ugh is that a triple chainset?
  • 3 0
 That bike they chose to use pictures of is ~12 years old, lol.

-W
  • 1 1
 Just burn it with fire
  • 1 0
 Most 36ers are made from chromoly steel, so they'd only get stronger when heat treated.
  • 1 0
 @TimTucker: lol true, but at least it melt the wheels
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