Are 36-inch wheels the wave of the future? The 29er was met with skeptical gasps when they first hit the trails, but now — 29ers are everywhere. Slowly and steadily, more products are supporting the 36er concept. Available for the first time in a full carbon frame (claimed), with carbon wheels — these beasts could be hitting the trails around you soon.36 Pollici unveils first full carbon 36er MTB, plus a 36er gravel bike?

The company taking up the charge is 36 Pollici from Italy — which directly translated from Italian means 36 Inches. They heard the call of the 36er and are slowly prepping the cycling world for its release.

36 Pollici alloy 36er

Now we’ve seen the larger tire novelty bikes before, but this isn’t that. The team from 36 Pollici is working closely with tire, fork, and wheel manufacturers for a push into the real world. Vee-Tire is mass producing a 36-inch tire, and from the looks of it, the team at 36 Pollici are testing many prototypes from other manufacturers.

The latest (and coolest) from 36 Pollici is their Trentasei full carbon 36er mountain bike. This new full carbon frame offers a lightweight option for the 36er, paired with a full carbon rigid fork — the Trentasei looks fast.  The Trentasei frames (carbon and alloy) are made entirely in Italy —more precisely in the city of Brescia.

TRENTASEI pollici 36er carbon frame assembly

We spoke with the crew at 36 Pollici, and they believe the 36er has a home on the trails, but what it seems to do the best is wide open and gravel. 36 Pollici doesn’t want to narrow the scope of the 36er, and they feel the platform is suitable for a multitude of terrains.

36 Pollici Gravel bike 36

Dropbars, aluminum frame with carbon stays, and 36″ wheels? Yup, it’s a big wheel gravel bike.

If you’re looking to take this 36er to your local noodlely single track, you should do fine. 36 Pollici engineers worked the geo and wheelbase to handle tight trails, and with a wheelbase of 1200 mm, it’s not too far off a 29er. They assured us that the bike is more agile than the large frame looks, and can fit a wide range of riders — ranging from 5’4″ to a max of 6’3″.

TRENTASEI 36 POLLICI 36ER carbon frame mountain bike with added tech

What about tires?

Now that rims (both alloy and carbon) are available for those looking, what about the tires? 36 Pollici admits this is the biggest obstacle right now. The Vee-Tire T-Monster 36×2.25 tire currently is the only option and was originally an MTB unicycle offering.

36 Pollici 36er mountain bike

What’s the big deal with 36″?

Having never ridden one but hearing the claims, it sounds eerily familiar to those of the early 29er days, but some benefits are new.

Greater stability: 36 Pollici believes the wheel’s large diameter increases the gyroscopic effect produced by the wheel in motion. This gyroscopic effect allows the bike to track and roll with greater stability.

Angle of attack: You’ll often see this phrase on the 36 Pollici website, and it comes from the automotive world. Basically, the larger wheel has a shallower angle of attack— similar to the 26″ vs. 29″ debate years ago, except now we are comparing 29″ vs. 36″. 36 Pollici claims the 36er wheels float over roots, rocks, and log piles. Having experienced the 29er against the 26er debate, I’m nodding in skeptical agreeance.

TRENTASEI 36 POLLICI 36ER Carbon frame prototype jpeg

What does a 39er weigh?

For reference, the bike in the photo (carbon version) is about 26.6 lbs with tubeless carbon wheels. The “gravel” pictured is the alloy version with carbon stays and weighs about 30 lbs with alloy rims. A heavier bike and larger wheels could mean a lower gear range, which we see on the bikes pictured — though it is hard to tell with the 36er wheels.

Pollici 36 over the city

Are you ready to go 36er?

Sales for the bikes will start at the beginning of the new year (depending on component supply). For more information, check out the 36 Pollici website and sign up for news.

www.36pollici.it

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19 Comments
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The KOM Hunter (@theKOMhunter)

36″ MTBs are ridiculous! I want a 32″ MTB. Dual-suspension too, none of this early 90s full-rigid stuff.

When are Maxxis coming out with some 32″ Rekon Races?

Hexsense
Hexsense
1 month ago

I already have to use Canecreek Slamset thin headset and FSA Drop stem (-20 degree, plus 12mm extra downward offset) to get the bar to where it’s supposed to be on 120mm travel fork 29er bike.
If you give me 36er, Can I mount my handle bar between the fork and the head tube, rather than on top of the head tube?

Pete
Pete
1 month ago

Agreed. They should consider a (shortish) stem mounting point coming directly off the fork, rather than down from the upper bearing. Like the old track pursuit bikes with their bullhorns attached to the fork.

K-Pop is dangerous to your health
K-Pop is dangerous to your health
1 month ago

Those “skeptical gasps” to 29″ lasted about one season. 36″ has been trying for years (decade or more). So no, 36″ is absolutely not the wave of the future.

eddiecycle
eddiecycle
1 month ago

+1 for 32″ wheels. 36 is a neat novelty but too big to be practical for most uses

Kermit
Kermit
1 month ago

Can I put a 170 mm dropper on that frame . What’s the stand-over?

The KOM Hunter (@theKOMhunter)

I was being a little bit facetious with my comment I know there are major brands working on 32″ MTBs, so I guess it’s just a matter of time before they appear on shelves, but I think there are other issues to deal with before that, like efficient gearboxes.

As for 36″ bikes, I can’t see them being widely adopted. Sure, they have some of the same benefits that 29″ had over 26″, but as with everything, there’s a point of diminishing returns, and that sweetspot might be 29″….or 32″. I really don’t think it’s going to be 36″, at least not for MTBs.

Steven
Steven
1 month ago

Something I would try, but not something I would own.

Michiel
Michiel
1 month ago

At what point will my feet hit the front wheel?

ChopStiR
ChopStiR
1 month ago

I could see benifets with a gravel bike, but definitely not a mountain bike.

Jaap
Jaap
1 month ago

Their website is unusable

Commenter #1970
Commenter #1970
1 month ago

Remember to NOT shift your weight back on a descent or jump.

Andy Salmon
Andy Salmon
1 month ago

I like the idea of 36er bikes but that’s because I’m tall, with long legs and find traditionally sized bikes too small. What I don’t understand is why, when the 36er approach provides a great opportunity to cater for taller riders who don’t want to be riding with 2 feet of seat post sticking out of the frame do they ruin the aesthetic by fitting those big wheels to a squished frame suitable for riders from 5ft4 to 6 ft3?

An opportunity missed I think.

Rick
Rick
1 month ago

Very odd looking. I’ll stick with a 29

Arlan Howe
Arlan Howe
1 month ago

If they make one that will fit me, I’ll take it with sliding drops, split chain stay, gates carbon drive and… In Titanium!

Cory Livingston
Cory Livingston
1 month ago

Some people struggle with hitting the rear tire with their butt when hitting steep descents on 29ers. How will this work with larger wheels? I’m still rolling on 26″ wheels and there are some low branches on my local trails that I struggle to duck under (my butt nearly rubbing the wheel with my chest on my saddle). There’s no way you could fit with wheels that big.

David Robinson
David Robinson
1 month ago

I’m going to watch this trend rise up, make millions for the businesspeople, leave a new population of suckers riding un- necessarily large wheeled bikes, complete with super expensive tires, and quietly shop for bargains in the 26″ market, storing up a lifetime supply of perfectly fine tires, and rims. I have ridden across Canada on 26″, 20″, 16″, 27″, 700C, and I’ll say this;
Doesn’t matter. Wheels are circular and paths of motion are straight.
What’s important is quality. Bearings, materials, proper design. Ageless elements, not new fangled notions. I think the phrase ” re-inventing the wheel” applies here.

Sham
Sham
1 month ago

Not approve by UCI…FOR ANY KIND OF RACE.

Gert Koijen
Gert Koijen
22 days ago

Try to put these bikes on the roof of your car when going on a vacation. I like to ride technikal singletracks but i don’t see that working with these bikes