Tired of having to push your bike up steep slopes? Apparently, if you were on the Ascendu 3 x 3, you wouldn’t have to. Unless it’s really steep. Aside from the obvious addition of a second wheel up front, the Ascendu combines an insanely wide gear range with looong chainstays to climb just about everything.
What are you looking at here? Basically, the Ascendu is a steel mountain bike with an extended wheelbase and dual, articulating suspension forks up front. Each side of the front wheel arrangement has up to 450mm of articulation in addition to the 100mm of travel from each suspension fork. According to the Ascendu team, this gives the bike no minimum speed. If you come to a complete stop, the balance of the dual wheels means you can just start up again once you regain traction.
When it comes to steering this beast, you have two options. When climbing, the lower ‘handlebars’ are split with one on each side of the bike. The positioning looks quite wide and with a substantial backsweep.
Up top, there is a second handlebar which looks to be very upright, and is used for descending or normal trail riding.
Built with 1×12 wide range drivetrains, the Ascendu doubles the typical gear range with the addition of a Schlumpf Drive mountain drive crankset providing a gear range up to 1045%.
Between the gearing, the super long chainstays, the additional balance of the articulating front wheels, and the optional fat bike rear wheel, the Ascendu is supposedly capable of climbing up comical grades. Ascendu claims that you can comfortably climb up to 50% slopes with loose surfaces, or up to 70% slopes with ample traction. Granted, that with this gearing and what is definitely a heavy bike, you won’t be traveling very quickly.
The complete weight isn’t given, though Ascendu states that the bike is about 10kg heavier than an unspecified bike. That means it’s at least 22lbs heavier than the next closest… thing? Our guess is somewhere around 50lbs for the complete bike, but Ascendu does some complex math on their site to tell you that weight doesn’t matter for the average cyclist – especially if it means you’ll be pedaling up that hill while other have to walk.
And since most bike racks will not work with this thing, the front of the Ascendu comes off without tools so the bike can fit in many cars.
Available through a pre-order, there are two complete versions available the 3 x 3 and the 3 x 3 F. The standard 3 x 3 uses a SuperBoost 157mm rear hub and 73mm bottom bracket and will fit up to 3″ wide tires. The F version is the fatbike version which moves to a 197mm rear end, 100mm bottom bracket, and up to 4.8″ tires. Pricing for the two completes is 9,900€ plus delivery, or you can buy the frame for 4,950€.