If you think your 29er hardtail already has good rollover, the Slovak bike builders behind TrueBike and their 36ers have something to make you rethink even bigger wheels. Showcasing a new frame, new wheels & an adapted DH fork, the new TrueBike prototype moves in a higher performance direction than their other steel bikes for true trail riding.
TrueBike 36er aluminum hardtail mountain bike prototype
The most obvious difference to their current 36″ wheeled mountain bikes is the addition of a suspension fork to replace the semi-truss steel fork that they typically build with. Of course there aren’t any suspension forks for 36″ wheels on the market, so TrueBike repurposed an MRP Groove inverted DH fork.
To make it work they slid the double crowns a bit closer together and internally limited the stock 200mm of travel down to a more reasonable 100mm for general trail riding. And since it won’t be bashing downhill as hard as a DH might be used to, TrueBike pulled the guards off the lowers so you get to see all of that inverted fork goodness.
Not to be missed under the reborn DH fork are a new set of carbon 36″ wheels made for TrueBike by Alchemist wrapped in 2.25″ Vee rubber tires. They share the typical reinforcement design at each nipple as found on regular size Alchemist carbon rims. Rotating weight is obviously a huge concern for a 36er, so these carbon hoops likely shave tons off the standard double-wall alloy Nimbus Stealth 2 rims that are claimed at 1173g a piece.
While the fork isn’t actually new (or even currently in the MRP catalog any more), this prototype gets an all-new aluminum frame, handmade in Slovakia.
TrueBike usually custom builds each of their steel 36ers to order (including custom geometry). But this new high chainstay alloy frame will be made in small batches and in a few stock frame sizes to fit riders from around 165cm / 5′-5″ and up.
So the new alloy bike will use an elevated chainstay design that will be compatible with both geared and singlespeed setups, and even belt-drives. Gates makes some crazy long belts for other atypical applications like tandems, so you could probably find a combo that would work here.
Sliding modular dropouts make chain tensioning possible, and a bit of chainstay length adjustment for geared setups (although I doubt it would have much impact on what already must be a monstrously long rear center.) But modular dropouts also mean multiple thru-axle compatibility, with this needing at least Boost if not Super Boost rear spacing.
All of the cable routing is external to keep things simple, and there is ample clearance around the tubeless-ready 2.25″ Vee tires (with few other tire options available.)
Already one of the big obstacles to creating a 36″ wheeled rigid mountain bike was getting a bar position low enough for comfortable handling & control. The use of a double crown DH fork actually offered a solution. And TrueBike created a two-piece motorcycle style bar with two stem stubs that bolt right to the fork, actually giving more fit flexibility even with the additional 100mm of front wheel travel.
How much does it weigh? How much does it cost?
So how heavy is it, how much will it cost you, and when can you actually buy one? The alloy bike with a suspension fork is still technically in development, so there isn’t a set date. But TrueBike says that after building 36ers for years, they turned this from idea to rideable prototype in just a couple of months. So hit them up now if you are interested, and you might be riding one sooner than you would think. Standard TrueBike custom delivery time is approximately 4-8 weeks.
As to weight, the complete bike should come in under 16kg/35lb, making it more than 3kg lighter than their rigid steel 36ers. And price isn’t set, but TrueBike expects it to come in under 5000€ fully built with an XT drivetrain, the adapted inverted fork & carbon wheels.