Bicycles

A really big bike for vertically-gifted riders

A really big bike for vertical...
David Folch with his own personal DirtySixer (it's a size Small!), at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show
David Folch with his own personal DirtySixer (it's a size Small!), at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show
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The DirtySixer head badge
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The DirtySixer head badge
The DirtySixer utilizes unicycle wheels
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The DirtySixer utilizes unicycle wheels
Shaquille O'Neal with his own DirtySixer (David Folch at left)
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Shaquille O'Neal with his own DirtySixer (David Folch at left)
David Folch with his own personal DirtySixer (it's a size Small!), at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show
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David Folch with his own personal DirtySixer (it's a size Small!), at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show
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If you're an exceptionally tall cyclist, then you'll know that finding a bicycle that fits can be quite the challenge. Some manufacturers place a sort of teetering high-rise frame on regular wheels, but according to Santa Cruz-based frame builder David Folch, that setup doesn't result in proper handling or ergonomics. That's why he's created the ginormous DirtySixer.

Each DirtySixer features two 36-inch wheels, originally manufactured for use on unicycles – by contrast, the largest conventional mountain bike wheels top out at 29 inches.

While some tinkerers have placed giant unicycle wheels on regular bike frames before (albeit with a few adjustments), Folch claims that the DirtySixer is unique in that its frame is designed and built around the big wheels, plus its main components are accordingly oversized.

The DirtySixer utilizes unicycle wheels
The DirtySixer utilizes unicycle wheels

"I created a safer, more balanced geometry that puts the rider in the center of the bike," he says. "The longer wheelbase moves the weight of the rider forward, to the center of the bike, resolving the inherent instability of the regular bikes that were 'adapted' to tall riders. I wanted tall-specific ergonomics, with a more comfortable riding position."

Although Dave has actually been making individual DirtySixers for the past several years, he's now hoping to go into larger-scale production (no pun intended), and has started a Kickstarter campaign to fund that effort. A pledge of US$3,499 will get you one of his big bikes, when and if the funding goal is met. Plans call for the DirtySixer to be hand-built in California, and to retail for $4,499.

Source: Kickstarter

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11 comments
zevulon
a man by the name of rheland rides one regularly in new york. he's 6'5'' and very broad and big, weighs over 320 pounds.
the bike looks normal size because of his size, but then when he rides near something on the street that provides scale, like a fire hydrant, it's very amusing.
Kpar
At 6'5", I wonder how big is too big (or little)?
For the money talked about here, I would expect some suspension and shock absorption.
JspWayne
So not only do the tall and big people get singled out for these special order bikes; like all other items including shoes, clothes, etc., but you also have to be incredibly wealthy to afford one of these bikes.
Timelord
I don't see why a big bike absolutely needs oversize wheels. "Normal" people ride bikes with small wheels and as long as the frame is properly designed, say they can't feel the difference. Owners of Moultons and Bike Fridays would attest to that.
Bob Stuart
I'm with Timelord. With regular wheels, you get a far better selection of tires, and you can put them as far apart as you want. Larger wheels are better on potholes and potentially easier rolling, but otherwise irrelevant to handling. This is just another expensive gimmick based on confused thinking, selling looks rather than transportation.
JD Clinchfield
I'm 6' 10" tall and I wish this would have been available when I was young enough to enjoy it...
I do agree somewhat with the fact that tall people can ride bikes with normal size tires and such without too much trouble, but if you like to do some off-road riding then a larger size bike would be beneficial. I did some trail riding in my younger days on a normal sized bike that had a long seat post, but when going up or down steep grades, the geometry of that setup gave me a very uncomfortable feeling. I would really have liked to have a setup with a longer wheelbase and larger diameter tires to give me a bit better stability.
Too bad I'm too old to really enjoy a rig like this. Get off my lawn! ;-)
unklmurray
Question is, where and How much are the tires/tubes.....I like tall tires/wheels but worry about where to find new rubber when needed?????.......LOL :-)
Douglas Bennett Rogers
A larger composite frame is needed, as power-to-mass doesn't scale linearly. The bigger and taller rider needs a proportiately lighter bike. Also, I am 6' 4" and ride a 24 in. Schwinn Voyager, which seems big enough. I made 3 fiberglass bikes around my dimensions in the 70's, gradually reducing the mass. Now, I am trying to come up with lugs for off-the-shelf composite tubing.
pickypilot
I've had a Coker Monster Cruiser for years. They have 36" wheels and cost only $700 dollars. It sure is an attention getter. It's fun to get on and off since I'm only 5'8". http://www.cokercycles.com/coker-monster-cruiser/
LakeeshaGobeatcha
The price is a stunner. Walmart had a 32" wheel bike a few years ago, but they're gone now. Plenty of 29" wheel bikes out there, and many are quite suitable for guys up to 6'6" and maybe taller. Here's a good one for about $320: Mongoose Impasse ... http://www.mongoose.com/usa/bikes/mtb/xc/impasse-hd