DirtySixer is a company that specializes in making 36-inch-
wheeled bikes for riders who are too tall for normal bikes. Their
average customer is 6 feet, 11 inches tall, and the company’s
social media pages show that their bikes are popular with professional basketball players. Company founder David Folch, who is
6-foot- 6 himself, knew how hard it was to find bikes that work for
riders his size, so he set out to remedy the situation. He created
his original DirtySixer 36ers for riders 6-foot- 3 to 7-foot- 5 using
wheels that were made for unicycles.
Upon seeing that Walmart was offering 32-inch-wheeled bikes
in their stores, Folch decided to make his own 32-inch-wheeled
bike and try out the new size. If the 32-inch size had promise, he
Another Wheel Size: Are 32-Inchers The Next Thing?
figured he could expand the potential market for his bike brand.
After all, it was a big jump from a 29-inch wheel to a 36er, and
Folch felt that bicycle wheel sizes were best if they were proportional to the rider’s height. Folch also learned that his 36-inch
rim and tire manufacturer, Unicycles.com, was preparing to make
32-inch sizes as well.
Folch ended up seeking the guidance of the instructors at the
United Bicycle Institute (UBI), where Folch signed up for a titanium
welding class so he could build himself a bike using the 32-inch
wheel size. Folch liked the new wheel size after he tried it and felt
that it helped fill in the size gap for tall riders who were a little too
small for DirtySixer’s 36-inchers.
“We are launching the crowd-funding campaign in a few
weeks,” Folch told us, regarding his new 32-inchers. “The production bikes will be hand-fabricated in Rancho Cordova by Ventana.”
Delivery is expected this summer.
Folch says his new 32-inch-wheeled bikes will come in three
frame sizes. The small size will be designed for riders from 5-foot-
8 to 6 feet tall. The medium size will be targeted at riders from 6
feet to 6-foot- 4, and the large size will be designed for riders from
6-foot- 4 to 6-foot- 8. The bikes will offer rigid aluminum frames
with steel forks.
Folch told MBA, “I’m actually trying to push up the minimum
height for the riders on 36-inch wheels to 6-foot- 5 (previously
6-foot- 3). The idea is to provide a proportionate wheel solution for
riders from 5-foot- 8 to 6-foot- 8 on 32-inch DirtySixers and from
6-foot- 5 to 7-foot- 5 on 36-inch DirtySixers. Or, in other words,
“From point guards to centers! Although, I’m also aiming at
If you want to see Shaquille O’Neal with a DirtySixer 36er,
check out the website www.dirtysixer.com where we found a shot
of Shaq and his 36-inch DirtySixer posing for a shot with Folch,
whose company is an official partner of the National Basketball
Retired Players Association.
Our good friend and long time reader of MBA John Horning, recently joined the
crew on a fun group ride. John has a keen eye and knack for restoring sweet vintage
bikes. We thought you’d like to see one of his classics. It’s a modified 1940’s Schwinn
DX with a forged Schwinn Ashtabula fork. Here are the details:
John Horning’s Custom Schwinn
Frame: 1940 Schwinn DX
Fork: Schwinn Ashtabula forged fork
Brakes: Schwinn cantilevers in front, and Sturmy
Archer drum rear mated with Honda 305 levers
Drivetrain: Suntour V-GT derailleur with thumb
shifters and a Sugino crank
Pedals: VP Beartrap
Other highlights: Sun Ringle rims, Sturmy Archer
rear hub, Brooks saddle, Renthal handlebars
Photos by Pat Carrigan
Perfect fit: Eric Gingold, 7’ 3”, and Will
Alvarado, 5’ 4”, pose with Eric’s 36-inch
DirtySixer at Toga Bikes in New York City.