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About a year ago we reported on the 36 inch wheeled bike belonging to Ben Witt of Milltown Cycles. We got to ride it there and we also got another look at it in June at the Big Wheeled Ballyhoo. Since it has been awhile since we had heard anything on the “big” big wheels, we called Ben up and chatted with him. He told us about some recent developements in the wheels that might make future 36″ers a bit more practical.

Nightrider 36 inch tire and wheel.

Of course the really astounding and problematic thing with any 36″er design is the wheels. Ben was quick to point out to us last year that he was concerned about the stresses that a disc brake would put on the spokes and in particular, the spoke bed of the rim. Ben was concerned that a spoke might be pulled through the simple rim design he had to use, ( seeing as how it was about his only choice) and that the lack of eyelets to reinforce the area around the spoke drilling was to blame. Well, now it appears that another, more refined rim choice is available along with a better tire. Enter the Nimbus Nightrider tire and Stealth rim combo that will soon be available from Unicycle.com.

The Nightrider tire and Stealth rim have made many improvements over the original wheel and tire used on the 36″er we saw at Frostbike last year. The rim has reinforcing eyelets around the spoke holes and has a parallel machined brake track. Ben says he has not seen the rim yet, but the features indicate to him that the rim is of a better manufacture than he used before. It is also reportedly lighter as well. The Nightrider tire is of a 2 ply design, which Ben says will lead to a more supple casing, lower rolling resistance, and will be lighter. The cross hatched tread pattern will also make customizing the tread easier for Ben and will result in further weight loss.

It looks as though we will be seeing more developements in 36 inch wheeled bikes besides these tires and rims. Ben and others interested in this wheel size are playing with some ideas and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Ideas that will be revolutionary and at the least, very interesting to check out.

Twenty Nine Inches will continue to keep tabs on the future developements in 36 inch wheels and bring them to you as they appear.