Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Is There a 39er in Your Future?

Ever get to thinking we need more tire/wheel sizes? I mean, between 700c/29er, 650b/27.5, and 26-in., not to mention plus-size and fatties, it seems that there just aren't enough choices. What's a die-hard equipment junkie to do?

(All photos from Patrick Ng's Behance page)
Enter the Ridiculous XC Interpolate 39er, from the same people that introduced us to the Roost Carbon. That hypothetical, satirical mountain bike defied all current bike industry standards with its 188 mm rear dropout spacing, 28-in. wheels (situated between 29er and 27.5), and 11 - 53 tooth 13-speed cassette.

Ridiculous Bikes is back at it again with another standards-defying XC bike, computer rendered by Patrick Ng. With its 39-in wheels, the bike is completely nuts, but has some unusual design features to make such stupidly large wheels at least theoretically workable. And there's probably no terrain that those wheels wouldn't just swallow up.

The Interpolate's 39-inch wheels dwarf the 29er - but the the overall riding position is claimed to be similar. On the other hand, it has an unwieldy 1487 mm wheelbase (around 58 inches), and I'm thinking the overall length would be around 8 feet.
One of the more unusual features is the bike's geared steering system. The front fork is positioned far out in front to keep the huge front wheel from clipping the pedals or downtube. The handlebars are positioned closer in toward the rider and connected to the fork using sprockets and a chain.

The geared connection between the bars and the front fork help make the bike seem workable - and the designer points out that different sized sprockets could be swapped in or out to alter the bike's steering characteristics.
Ng's computer rendering skills are pretty damned good - good enough to probably fool more than a few people that the 39er is real. Right now, somewhere in America, a bike shop sales manager is trying to explain to a customer that he can't actually buy a 39er XC bike. And somewhere else, in a major bike company's marketing department, someone else is asking "why not"?

Ridiculous or not - don't rule it out.


  1. A couple of years ago I encountered a guy riding one of Coker Tire’s 36ers. He was very tall, so it seemed like a normal size for him. This 39er doesn’t look normal at all, and I’ll bet it would be expensive. The Coker is $700.

  2. The renders are quite above-average. The tires and grips are the only parts that really stick out as cgi.

    I like that he drew in a stick to "hold up" the bike for the image.

    Aside from that, I'd actually like to have a go at a bike w/ 39" wheels. I could get a frame that looks more like a normal diamond frame rather than a lopsided square...


    1. Thank you for pointing out the stick. That is hilarious.

    2. I have to say, the stick IS an excellent touch. A perfect bit of realism.

  3. Too big for safety bicycle, too small for penny-farthing.

  4. This makes a monowheel seem more sensible.

  5. But the 36er is real. The company was founded by a guy who is 6'6" and was tired of looking and feeling like a bear on a bike. So he found a frame builder who was willing to take on the project and produced a bike that he loved to ride. Now he is selling them. Shaquille O'Neal ordered one...