Solo For East Coast Riding
Any New England riders riding a Solo? I am concerned about the BB height with the rocky and rooty trails around here.
I guess my real question is what is the sweet spot for bb height on an New England ride.
I currently ride a Superlight 29er in the Boston area, I ride a lot at Harold Parker, which has a reputation for being rocky an rooty. BB height is 13.1 inches, same as the Solo. Supension travel is 4 inches versus Solo 5 inches, so with sag factored in, the BB heights may differ a bit. I have some pedal strikes, but not enough to make me want to get a bike with higher BB. I've adjusted my style a bit when pedaling. I hit the third ring every now and then, usually when I do something stupid. If I ever go 1x11, I would think about putting some sort of bash guard on, but if I am hitting the ring on a 1x11, I probably really did something stupid.
Others have suggested taping some wood blocks on the bottom of your pedals on your current ride to mimic lower BB height and ride your favorite trails and see what you get for strikes.
I went to the Santa Cruz demo in Orono, Maine today. Wanted to ride a Solo, but they didn't have any. Wanted to ride a Bronson and the last large had just been checked out and the demo team said I really should be on a large bike, so I demoed a large Blur Tr, since the geometry is similar to the Solo, (BB height is the same). I wasn't familiar with the trail system, but managed to find some nice rooty single track and didn't have any pedal strikes.
I've been on a Blur TRc for near a year now, with the fork & headset on mine, it's just a hair over the stock number - same as listed for the Solo. I was initially a little worried as well, but...
No big deal. Had to re-time my pedaling in a couple rocky spots from my prior bike, but after the first 2-3 rides, get used to it and haven't had any issues. I'm out of western CT, and have had the bike all over here, and a few spots in MA, VT, NH, NY, and ME with the same sort of rocky/chunky/log overs/log skinnies in my local spots.
I get up and over big rocks and logs all the time on mine - work on being smooth, timing your pedals when in chunky stuff, and don't just plow into stuff and it's a non-issue. Or unless the bike is markedly lower (like over a half inch maybe) than your current ride.
I do suggest some form of bash protection for your chain/ring though. My bash doesn't get hit all the time, but it has certainly saved my ring and lower linkage bits a time or two.
Anyhow: the TRc has been a fabulous medium travel trail XC all mtn cross stuntry bike for me, and I don't doubt the Solo would work out just as well.
Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper
Solo For East Coast Riding
I was smacking on my Camber constantly last year. It went from 175 cranks to 170, and it really helped. I also got better, but I didn't really notice a negative impact on my pedaling.
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