Huhn Cycles/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36: Mountain Bike in TEST

Huhn Jersey Giant mountain bike

Huhn Cycles/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36: Mountain Bike in TEST – Since their debut ten years ago, they have been seen in homeopathic doses, often ridden by U.S. basketball stars: mountain bikes with gigantic 36″ wheels. They are not only supposed to blend in with their giant riders but also to provide top-notch bike control and fun for riders of the appropriate height. Tim Ahnsorge has fulfilled the dream of his own 36er—what can such a giant bike do?

Tim Ahnsorge and his creation, the 36′′ mountain bike Jersey Giant 36, have one thing in common: both are above average in size. Ahnsorge is 2.06 meters tall and has huge 36-inch wheels on his Jersey Giant 36. That’s seven inches more than the already large 29-inch wheels—a lot!

Motivation from Tim Ahnsorge, who, as a mechanical engineer, heads the bicycle application area at the start-up company BASF 3D Printing Solutions: Create a tour-heavy, bikepacking-capable MTB that uses 36′′ wheels to distribute his body weight perfectly on the bike.

This means that the 36′′ bike, made together with the frame builders Ralf Holleis from Huhn Cycles and Hahn Rossman, should ride much better and be more controlled on descents than Ahnsorge was used to on the Twentyniner. Side effect of the Huhn/44 Elf (Unter 44 Elf Velos Art makes Ahnsorge bike accessories such as pepper mills from hub bodies): The dimensions of the bike match its size; the wheel doesn’t look dwarfed in comparison.

What makes the Huhn Jersey Giant 36 so interesting beyond its 36′′ wheels is the exciting technical implementation: The noble Reynolds 853 steel tubes were connected with 3D-printed parts using a soldering process at Huhn Cycles in the Fichtelgebirge.

The starting material for the 3D parts created in the high-tech 3D printer—seat tube nodes, bottom bracket yoke, stylish dropouts—is the Ultrafuse 17-4 PH stainless steel composite metal filament from BASF 3D Printing Solutions. In the comparatively inexpensive “Fused Filament Fabrication” process, the filament, which is in the form of a long wire, is melted in a nozzle, and the component is then precisely printed from many superimposed layers.

Benefits of 3D Printed Parts

The aesthetic 3D printed parts illustrate the potential of this still relatively new manufacturing technology for frame builders, who mostly produce in small series. With small quantities, creative, possibly lighter, and more cost-effective frame solutions can be implemented quickly. 3D-printed frame parts can also be adapted to special customer requirements.

Tim Ahnsorge also relies on the advantages of 3D printed parts when it comes to parts: the ergonomic Personomic grips, which are adapted to the shape of his hand, come from the 3D printer, as do the Posedla saddle and the cable fasteners from 76 Projects in England.

Huhn Cycles/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36, Buyer's Guide, Mountain Bike Test, BASF, Huhn Cycles
© Jens Scheibe – The Huhn Cycles/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36 in action

Uncomplicated warm-up phase

Driving test! With a big grin, the 1.80-meter-short rider heaves himself into the saddle, doing well to tilt the Ferris wheel a bit to the side in order to lift a leg over the saddle, which has been quickly lowered to the maximum with the smooth-running Vecnum dropper post.

Basic caution is required. As a smaller biker, you have to come to terms with the minimum step clearance; otherwise, certain parts of the body will suffer. The aha moment: a 1.80-meter driver can get along with the seating position. Although it adopts a fairly sporty sitting position due to the extra-long frame, the 36′′ Huhn/44 Elf comfortably embeds its rider between the huge 36′′ wheels.

The well-balanced geometry is pleasing, as is the super short stem, which produces surprisingly direct handling. A feeling of grandeur sets in on the first meters on fine gravel: What should happen if 36-inch tires are likely to roll over everything?

On the Rise: Be Patient!

The acceleration of the Huhn bike is striking because, due to the heavy weight of 19 kilos and the high centrifugal mass of the 36′′ wheels, you need a lot of strength and patience to get the bike up to speed. You have to get used to that at first. However, once the Huhn has gotten up to speed, you can easily roll over smaller roots in the terrain with the help of the large 36-mm wheels. Especially since the Intend air suspension fork works very sensitively and skillfully absorbs shocks.

The great cushioning of the Posedla saddle improves comfort, as does the steel frame equipped with valuable self-damping. Minor bumps? You roll over deeply relaxed sitting. On climbs, you have to use more leg power again to move the heavier 36′′ hardtail smoothly over fat ramps.

The Huhn does not move forward in a lively manner; here you need a little patience until the 36 tires roll. With a forward-looking driving style, you can still maneuver it safely up steep climbs, with the extra large contact surface of the VeeTire 36′′ tires pinning the Jersey Giant securely to the ground.

Thanks to the nimble steering, the Huhn is always easy to control and allows for nimble lane corrections.

Huhn Cycles/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36, Buyer's Guide, Mountain Bike Test, BASF, Huhn Cycles
© Jens Scheibe

Exclusive and unique: The Huhn/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36, which costs 14,000 euros, impresses thanks to its 36′′ wheels with top rollover behavior. Compared to the 1.80-meter-tall test editor Florian Storch, the dimensions of the bike become really clear.

Fast downhill

Downhill, the blazing speed of the Huhn 36′′ hardtail is impressive. With the help of the 36′′ wheels, it keeps the speed constantly high and, at the same time, lies comfortably, even when things get rough. The short stem allows quick changes of direction if necessary. At high speed, the Huhn is usually easy to control. This would be even better if the wheel stiffness were higher.

Caution is required when approaching tight serpentines. Due to the wheel diameter and high weight, the long 36′′ bike pushes hard, which requires you to approach the hairpin bends early if you want to ride them smoothly. Thanks to the good balance of the bike, the ride doesn’t get wobbly.

The fearlessness with which one glides casually down high terrain steps is great. The 36″ wheels don’t choke on them or on the biggest potholes, and they bump through the roadway much more gently than a 27.5″ hardtail.

See more: Koga F3 5.0 in Test: Dutch sprinter.

Huhn Cycles/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36: Discreet Criticism

Especially at low speeds, fast steering maneuvers produce a somewhat spongy driving experience on the front wheel. caused, on the one hand, by the softer impeller and, on the other hand, by the lower design-related rigidity at the interface between the front wheel axle and the impeller.

And as sharp as the look of the noble Ingrid rear derailleur is, its shifting speed under full load uphill leaves a lot to be desired. Its 3D-printed gear cage appears less stiff and twists quite quickly. In addition, the extra-long gear cable on the 36′′ bike and the delayed wheel rotation slow down the shifting process (the 36′′ wheel circumference is 24 percent larger than the 29′′ wheel).

You want more braking power when you’re racing downhill; the otherwise snappy Magura MT7 would decelerate the 36′′ wheels more efficiently with large 203 mm rotors.

Serious Potential for Tall People

The Huhn/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36 continues the idea of the 29er mountain bike. Tall riders will get a trail or touring hardtail that is easier to control and more fun than would be possible with 29′′ wheels and smaller frames thanks to the strong rollover behavior of the 36′′ wheels and the favorable wheel load distribution.

The condition for this is a growing range of 36-inch parts, which makes affordable MTBs possible. Smaller riders, around 1.80 meters, hardly benefit from 36-inch bikes but are in good hands on 29ers.

Detail Shots of Huhn Cycles/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36

Huhn Cycles/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36, Buyer's Guide, Mountain Bike Test, BASF, Huhn Cycles
© Jens Scheibe – Clever design highlight: the 3D-printed stainless steel dropout with integrated Supernova rear light
Huhn Cycles/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36, Buyer's Guide, Mountain Bike Test, BASF, Huhn Cycles
© Jens Scheibe – Ingrid’s 12-speed cassette and rear derailleur bring Italian shifting chic to the bike. The latter is CNC-milled, partly printed
Huhn Cycles/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36, Buyer's Guide, Mountain Bike Test, BASF, Huhn Cycles
© Jens Scheibe – This cool metal Huhn Head Tube Badge shines on the head tube
Huhn Cycles/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36, Buyer's Guide, Mountain Bike Test, BASF, Huhn Cycles
© Jens Scheibe – A Shutter Precision hub dynamo powers the bright Supernova lighting system
Huhn Cycles/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36, Buyer's Guide, Mountain Bike Test, BASF, Huhn Cycles
© Jens Scheibe – The bike is suitable for bikepacking thanks to the numerous pockets

Huhn Cycles/44 Elf Jersey Giant 36: Technical Details and Information

Priceapprox. 14,000 euros (without 3D printed parts of the frame)
Weight19.40 kg (incl. pedals & all bags)
FrameReynolds 853 steel, 3D printed stainless steel sleeves made from BASF Ultrafuse 17-4 PH
ForkIntend Samurai XC (with RockShox’ Charger Raceday damper), travel: 80 mm
stem / handlebarsRide Farr / Ride Farr MTB Aero, incl. triathlon attachment
handlebar gripsPersonomic, 3D printed
bar tapefizik
brakesMagura MT7, 180/180mm; Oak Components CNC brake levers
seat postVecnum Nivo, Stroke: 212mm
saddlePosedla, 3D printed/ Carbon stays
crankIngrid, chain ring: 42 teeth
pedalsCarder Two Twelve
impellersHubs: Shutter Precision hub dynamo, Damil / Rims: Alchemist Carbon
TiresVee Tire T-Monster, 36″ x 2.25″
cassetteIngrid, 10-48
Shift lever / rear derailleurSram NX/Ingrid (CNC-Alu/3D-printed), 12-speed
lighting systemf/r: Supernova M99 DY Pro/Supernova E3 Trail Light 2
bikepacking bagsWit Slingers

More information is available on the Huhn Cycles and BASF 3D Printing Solutions websites.

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