Is 36 Inches the Measure of Fun?

by 24

In the mountain bike world, we’re no stranger to new standards, some things catch on straight away. Other things? Well, they may take some time to warm up to. So how about a 36er? Perhaps not as odd as it first sounds, 36-inch wheels are certainly not unheard of. A quick search of 36er on Instagram brings up a few thousand posts.

The internet is a treasure trove at times if you just go digging. It’s also kinda awful, but in this case, we came up with some of the good stuff. A 36er from Trentasei. With a carbon frame and 36″ Braus carbon wheels from Italian company Alchemist.

36 Inch Wheels

36 inch wheels
36er. Carbon Wheels.

On their website, the brand notes a few advantages of riding 36″ wheels:

  • Greater stability – a larger diameter of the wheel increases the gyroscopic effect * produced by the rotation of the wheel itself, allowing the bike to proceed with greater stability and greater sense of safety. On a 36, ​​taking your hands off the handlebar even at reduced speed, you immediately perceive this effect.
  • Why a rigid fork? – with a 36 × 2.25 ″ cover we have a large volume of air, working at a pressure of about 1.5 / 1.6 atm we already obtain from the cover a good damping effect useful for overcoming the obstacles of a normal path without problems.
  • 36 ″ wheel angle of attack – we made use of this term with reference to the 4 × 4 automotive sector, a 36er really “attacks” the terrain and obstacles. There is no better term to explain how compared to a 29er (with a larger angle of attack) with this bike you literally float on holes, stones and roots.

Trentasei Bikes


The website also details that the bike has the first dedicated fork for a 36er, made by Bright Racing Shocks, another Italian company.

TRENTASEI // 36 ALU1 – alu frame, carbon chains and seat stays

Just a few weeks ago, Sam Pilgrim took a 36″ wheeled bike for a ride (not the Trentasei). Here’s an idea of how the wheel size rides. Sam seemed pretty pumped to try it out. It does look kind of funny, but never say never!

I have an amazing bike here for you, this is the 36″ wheeled cruiser bike and it has to be the biggest bike in the world, with its huge wheels, frame and forks it surely is something to be admired! So with the admiring done it was time to get this bike tested and to start things off I find a big hill and blast down it full speed to get a feel for the bike. After completing the speed test, it was time to ride down some stairs and the huge wheels really did make the ride super smooth so what could be harder? We then arrived at Tiptree skatepark to see if the bike could get airborne and my god was it sketchy. After the sketchfest we then hit some full speed MTB trails and had the best time ever until something on the bike bent which meant it was time to fit some new parts to the bike!!!! But for how long would the bike last!? Thanks a lot to Steve Peat and Joe Rackley for arranging the bike for me

Sam Pilgrim

It seems Sam also found another wonderful bike park built by a local council. At least it seems to have a little more in the way of features than the one in Carlisle.

36 inches, the measure of fun?

So, will we all be in 36ers in years to come? Would you try one? I guess we’ll have to see. For now, if you want to see a little more, you can check out the Trentasei Facebook page.

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Viewing 24 posts - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • Is 36 Inches the Measure of Fun?
  • Premier Icon Tom Howard
    Full Member

    Would love a go on one, if only to tell myself I didn’t want one. Could go either way…

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Full Member

    Why a rigid fork? Because any form of suspension would make the front end high enough to give you vertigo.

    Premier Icon fadda
    Full Member

    Looks like a recipe for horrendous toe overlap!

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Looks like muddydwarfs 29er

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Full Member

    Would love to try one

    Premier Icon tazzymtb
    Full Member

    keener cycle works had an awesome 36er with custom lefty fork about a decade ago. looked bloomin marvellous. blacksheep 36ers were always a thing of mad titanium joy as well. nice to see the nichce still trundling about in the background

    Premier Icon James
    Full Member

    36 is dead. 37.5 is the future.

    Premier Icon elshalimo
    Full Member

    How long until someone builds a 369er Mullet?

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    This keeps cropping up every now and again. Remember listening to the Pike Bike podcast and they were talking to a guy who was test riding the concept for on of the big manufacturers IIRC.
    would also love to have a crack at one, they look heaps of fun

    Premier Icon harry_the_spider
    Full Member

    Looks like a Clown’s Bike.

    Premier Icon happycrenker
    Free Member

    29 is definitely better than 26 and it’s only an increase of 3. An increase of 7 must be more than twice better than 29 was over 26. The numbers don’t lie, my only question is why they didn’t turn it up to 11 and go for a 40er.

    Premier Icon Michaela
    Full Member

    Jebus wept. 29″ to ‘bring the trails back to life (again, cos we didn’t rinse you for enough last time)” in a few years’ time?

    Premier Icon dyna-ti
    Free Member

    Is it April already ?.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Full Member

    Hideous and ridiculous in equal measure.

    Premier Icon Charlie Hobbs
    Full Member

    I once rode a titanium black sheep 36er space frame and truss fork. A bit like a Jones with bigger wheels. It had about an inch of suspension sag, measured at the BB, all achieved via frame flex alone!

    Riding down steps was fun. Brrrrrrr brrr brrrr

    Premier Icon Charlie Hobbs
    Full Member

    Check out dirty sixer bikes for really tall people. I am gutter to be too small for one at 6’3”

    Premier Icon 5lab
    Free Member

    it might seem like a joke, but 32″ is coming. I recon xc bikes first, size l and xl.

    Premier Icon tazzymtb
    Full Member

    32 has been around for ages in a similar niche to 36. The main issues are lack of decent tyres and rims. (unicyle rims and rubber for the win) hell even 29+ (about 31″ outside diameter with a duro crux 3,25) is on the way out with manufacturers dropping models and lines and going back to the fluffy conservative world of 2.6 rubber or similar.

    Travis Brown of TREK 69er wheel madness fame, has been looking at the R&D an 32 and 36″ wheel bikes for ages.

    Premier Icon qwerty
    Free Member

    There’s a GCN documentary (out or imminent) about this, one of their riders is huge and never had a 700c bike fit properly, so goes down the full custom build 36er route with TJD, the only downside was the wheel weight as they had heavy aluminium rims, carbon rims on the build could be a total game changer.

    Premier Icon Metasequoia
    Full Member

    Of course for tall people it’s proportional…The small frames up there
    = less sensible!

    Premier Icon mike smith
    Free Member

    Only suitable for tall riders.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    Well, it might sound terrible, but at least it looks terrible.

    Premier Icon rocketdog
    Full Member

    Meh, been there and done that
    36er 2

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Full Member

    Had a go at this 36″ stuff over 10 years ago when I built this, but I was a bit half-hearted about it because I also thought 20″ might be the way to go.

    Note how I was ahead of the trend on modern trail geometry with a very slack HA. 🙂

Viewing 24 posts - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)

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