Introducing the 32er DirtySixer!
On a bicycle ride, a day of September 2011, I broke my ankle on a big road bike. That day changed my life and did lead me onto a path to create the best bicycle ever for us tall. That first solution materialized in the 36er DirtySixer that we introduced on April 2013. A scaled up bicycle, with bigger wheels, thoughtful geometry designed specifically for us tall and very tall people, hand fabricated here in California. A good looking, proportionate high quality bike, safer, more stable, more comfortable and durable. Today we are about to ship almost 25 newly hand fabricated DirtySixer to their tall owners. What a trip. The 36er DirtySixer is the best bike in the world for my fellow tall and very tall cyclists. But I knew all along that there was a gap between 29er and 36er… Enter some math sessions!
Why 32″ wheels you might ask? Truth is that a big box store came up with that wheel size maybe 2 or 3 years ago when they offered a cheap 32″ cruiser. Talk about another opportunity in disguise. Technically their cruiser bike wasn’t very exciting. But they did set the wheels size and it opened a door. The real outer diameter of their wheel was more 31.5″ rather than 32″. But they had settled for a BSD (Bead Seat Diameter) of 686. No more choice then. We believed it was too close to the 622 BSD of the 29er and too far from the 787 BSD we have on our 36er DirtySixer. As we didn’t have the resources to come up with our own rim/tire combo size before, we had to accept it. Technically tires are called ISO (57-686). So yes this is a really a brand new wheel size.
After getting the first high quality prototype 32″ wheels, I went to the renowned titanium frame building fabrication school in Ashland UBI to take a class and weld myself a 32er prototype. The instructors there, Mike DeSalvo and Rich Bernoulli (both master titanium fabricators) and owner Ron Sutphin, looked at me as if I was from another planet (and not only because I’m 6’6″!). They had never heard of a 32″ wheel size (but knew about our 36″ tho!).
One of our provider had decided to jump on the 32″ wagon (!) and made their own rims and tires in 32″ using their existing rim extrusion and tire thread pattern. A real 32″ outer diameter this time (yes we measured it)! The rim is the exact same strong 42mm wide profile, drilled with 36 holes as the one we use on the 36er. The tire is a cross type pattern (versatile thread, understand good on asphalt and gravel roads) that is 2.25″ wide, same as our 36er tire! This tire works very well on asphalt roads, fire roads, gravel roads, light trails and even single track. It is definitely not ideal for mud, sand or real Downhill of course. If these tires are not the lightest possible yet (we are working on having different threads fabricated), they are very resistant! We did no get any flats in a lot of miles testing them on all sorts of ugly roads with bunch of debris/broken glass and it look like they could hold for a lot of miles.
The 32er DirtySixer is truly the first serious purposely built 32er bike in the world (to my knowledge) using this newer wheelset. And I guess that this prototype is the only titanium 32er, with an inverted fork and a Rohloff XL. The DirtySixer 32er will be available to pre-order on KickStarter (like we did for the 36er Dirtysixer) in a few weeks. There will be the All Road (flat bars, same version as our 36er AllRoad) and maybe a Road (drop bars) versions. Delivery is scheduled second quarter of 2017. Later on we will offer a mountain bike version (like the one pictured here) but it won’t be before we can make real new MTB (dirt) tires. Like our current 36er DirtySixer, they will offer the same high quality. They will be hand fabricated by Ventana in California (aluminum frame and chromo fork), in a small batch. And of course 3 big sizes will be offered. Size S for riders from 5’8″ (or 173cm) to 6′ (or 183cm), size M for riders 6’1″ (or 185cm) up to 6’4″ (or 193cm) and size L for riders from 6’5″ (or 195 cm) up to 6’8″ (or 203cm). Sizing not set in stone, it will ultimately depend on rider’s body proportions. Drivetrain choices will be as usual single speed, 1×11 and Rohloff, 17 colors powder coated in house to chose from, custom dedicated rear rack available, longer cranks and high quality components from american companies all around.
Thanks for your support and following. Tell your tall friends, we are -again- reinventing the wheel (size)!