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  1. #1
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    BB height of the newest bikes

    So... My latest bike is a Niner Rip 9 with 27.5 plus tires. i won't get into a review of the bike. I do want to point out that it has the lowest bottom bracket of any production bike ever made, lol. needless to say, if there is a rock in the trail, your pedal will find it.

    this is great for groomed park riding. but i do alot of trail and rock climbing with break over. i want more of a trail oriented bike with a higher bottom bracket.

    does anyone got a list of all mountain bikes that has their BB height or at least can recommend a bike?

    thank you

  2. #2
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    Ive been having similar conversations recently. The highest B.B. I can find thatís available today is Gorilla Gravityís The Smash at 13.6Ē and I wish more manufacturers would go back to higher BBís.

  3. #3
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    awesome. i will do some research on that bike. never heard of that company.

    if it cant find anything i am just going to sell this rip and ride my hardtail and forget about it for now.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobiesmith View Post
    awesome. i will do some research on that bike. never heard of that company.

    if it cant find anything i am just going to sell this rip and ride my hardtail and forget about it for now.
    They get really good write ups and Iím considering one as my next fully, definitely check them out and hopefully someone else will have some other higher B.B. suggestions too...

  5. #5
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    Don't know if it makes sense for you but I was having a similar issue with my 2017 Fuel EX-8 27.5 plus. I changed the 175mm cranks to 165mm and the pedal strikes are very rare now. Made it a whole different experience for me. Best upgrade I have done so far.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Evil View Post
    Don't know if it makes sense for you but I was having a similar issue with my 2017 Fuel EX-8 27.5 plus. I changed the 175mm cranks to 165mm and the pedal strikes are very rare now. Made it a whole different experience for me. Best upgrade I have done so far.
    This right here, as long as your legs can handle it.

    10mm of additional pedal clearance will prevent a lot of pedal strikes. Me, Iím outta luck unless I go full custom. At 6í6Ē, Iím pretty much stuck with 175s...
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Evil View Post
    Don't know if it makes sense for you but I was having a similar issue with my 2017 Fuel EX-8 27.5 plus. I changed the 175mm cranks to 165mm and the pedal strikes are very rare now. Made it a whole different experience for me. Best upgrade I have done so far.
    i thought about doing this on my Rip 9. that would be my last thing to do to fix the problem.

    I already put on 3.0 instead of 2.8. i had to put spacers in the rear shock so i wouldnt blow threw the travel too quick. and i now run it a bit stiff to stay at the top of the travel which defeats the purpose of getting a 6" bike. i also added a 15mm stack under the headtube to raise the front end up and i also got smaller pedals.

    i asked niner about is and they stated that the Rip 9 27 was exact same frame as the rip 9 for 29er so with a smaller diameter wheel, the bb was even lower than whats on their website. they say a 29x2.6 can go in this frame, that is way taller than a 27x2.8 that comes stock on this bike.

  8. #8
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    So why not just look at some 29" wheels instead of a new bike? With 29" wheels and maybe some 170 cranks, you should be golden.
    You can't buy happiness. But you can buy a bike. And that's pretty close.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmanInTheD View Post
    So why not just look at some 29" wheels instead of a new bike? With 29" wheels and maybe some 170 cranks, you should be golden.
    yes i know. thats not the desired geo and ride that i want. i will keep doing some research and figure it out.

    right now it sucks not being able to ride technical climbs that i used to ride because i don't have the pedal clearance

  10. #10
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    That was one of the biggest positives I saw when going to my Intense Recluse. The reviews complained about the "high" bottom bracket.. well it was the first thing I noticed, and I love it!!

    We have some chunky rooty trail here as well, and on the climbs as well as the downs. Pedals strikes suck!!

    And I absolutely love that part of this bike. Ill take a higher BB any day of the week!

  11. #11
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    Iím going through a similar situation and bought a 170mm boosted SLX crank. I wish Shimano made a 165mm boosted crank.

  12. #12
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    I just ordered some 165mm cranks for my 2018 Stache 7. I love everything about this bike except the low bb. I'm tired of the pedal strikes.
    Change begins by doing something different.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by huckleberry hound View Post
    I just ordered some 165mm cranks for my 2018 Stache 7. I love everything about this bike except the low bb. I'm tired of the pedal strikes.
    That's why I went with the 2016 Aluminum model (wink)
    Trek had a good thing going but they needed to keep up in the arms race.

    I guess it is a race to the bottom (bracket) now!

  14. #14
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    I'm 6'4", and just put 165mm cranks on one of my bikes. The feel fine so far. My regular mtb is 170mm, I don't really notice any difference from my previous 175mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sage of the Sage View Post
    This right here, as long as your legs can handle it.

    10mm of additional pedal clearance will prevent a lot of pedal strikes. Me, Iím outta luck unless I go full custom. At 6í6Ē, Iím pretty much stuck with 175s...
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  15. #15
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    Rocky Mountain Inctinct/pipeline BC. One of my criticisms of the bike is the bottom bracket height is a bit high for my liking.

  16. #16
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    The new Pivot Trail 429 has a pretty high bottom bracket; 13.7" with 27.5+ tires. Plus, the amount of tire clearance is HUGE. You should be able to fit 3.0 in there with no problems.

  17. #17
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    How low is low on that Niner? My sc tallboy in 27.5+ is 13Ē BB un-sag with 165mm crankset. This is the lowest BB bike that I have. In fact, all the bikes that I have in my stable have 165mm cranksets. My timing is pretty good now, but occasionally get pedal strikes.
    Last edited by ckspeed; 07-09-2018 at 05:46 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Good thread. My Cube Stereo 150 has been merciless, zero margin for error. I immediately went on a search for solutions after my first couple of rides (including looking at other bikes). I've thought long and hard over the crank length but prevailing opinion seems to be that going shorter is a mistake. I guess it depends on the "motor". I'm still mulling it over. I started searching first for different pedals, then tweaking suspension settings, etc. In addition, it's also made me a lot more conscious of poor technique which has improved my riding on all my bikes. These days it's nothing like it was before, but it still manages to clip a rock now and then. I'm going to swap to a set of Spank Spoon pedals in the near future and see if that helps a little more and go from there. It's good to see that there's atleast a few folks out there that have gone to 165's and gotten what they wanted.

  19. #19
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    I got a new Canyon Spectral 6.0 this spring. Nice bike, but it had a very low BB. 12.8" unsagged on a 140mm travel bike. This was a fatal flaw for me as I was smacking the cranks and pedals constantly on the rocky central PA trails. My previous bike, a Remedy 29er had almost none of this
    2nd fatal flaw was the sram eagle rear der., such a loooong cage, that with 27.5 wheels I was stopping every few minutes to remove sticks it was catching. It hung down a full 2 inches closer to the ground than the Shimano XT 11sp on my remedy.
    Those 2 things forced me to sell an otherwise great bike. Sad.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Evil View Post
    ... I changed the 175mm cranks to 165mm and the pedal strikes are very rare now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sage of the Sage View Post
    This right here, as long as your legs can handle it.

    10mm of additional pedal clearance will prevent a lot of pedal strikes. Me, Iím outta luck unless I go full custom. At 6í6Ē, Iím pretty much stuck with 175s...
    Quote Originally Posted by BmanInTheD View Post
    So why not just look at some 29" wheels instead of a new bike? With 29" wheels and maybe some 170 cranks, you should be golden.
    Quote Originally Posted by goforbroke View Post
    Iím going through a similar situation and bought a 170mm boosted SLX crank. I wish Shimano made a 165mm boosted crank.
    Quote Originally Posted by huckleberry hound View Post
    I just ordered some 165mm cranks for my 2018 Stache 7. I love everything about this bike except the low bb. I'm tired of the pedal strikes.
    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    I'm 6'4", and just put 165mm cranks on one of my bikes. The feel fine so far. My regular mtb is 170mm, I don't really notice any difference from my previous 175mm.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher2011 View Post
    It's good to see that there's atleast a few folks out there that have gone to 165's and gotten what they wanted.
    I honestly don't understand how anyone over 5'10"ish could stand running anything shorter than 175mm. I'm 6'1.5" with a 34.5-35" inseam and shorter torso. I'm running 180mm XT crankset on my Stache. Proper leg extension during pedaling is important. Moving from 175mm to 170mm feels like I'm riding a little kids bike at Walmart. I couldn't fathom 165mm. Your knees either barely been or barely extend.

    I suspect people who struggle with excessive pedal strikes (once in a while isn't terrible) need to work on their awareness of the terrain they're riding and ratcheting their crankset over obstacles instead of intentionally pedaling even though they know the rock is right freakin there, man.

    It's kinda obvious that if there's a fair size rock or log on the trail, you need to either hop it or ratchet across it.

    It's not really difficult and becomes second nature after you get it.


    There's also something to be said about the difference between a rider who began on a rigid 26" who has evolved with modern changes versus the new Gen rider who started out on a long/low dually who hammers their bike into everything instead of riding light in the saddle.

    I agree to some degree with the poster who said you need to work on the motor...but you also (most importantly) need to ride a bike that fits your body properly. What you need to really work on is your skill and stop deep-pedaling over things that require either an intelligent line choice/ bunny hop/ ratchet pedal choice.

    Not bashing your skills because we all know that everyone who posts on here is the best rider in the world riding rougher terrain than anyone else, faster and gnarlier than anyone else, and can't be taught anything...but I can't tell you how many times I've ridden up on people who depend solely on their suspension to save them like they're driving a Sherman Tank/wrecking ball. They never learned to ride light in the saddle...same people who destroy wheelsets and burp all the air out of their tires and blame it on their equipment as well.

  21. #21
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    If you didn't have pedal strike issues before you changed bikes, odds are the low BB is the problem; people don't forget how to ride.

    Adapting to a low BB is necessary if you want to ride a low BB bike.

    Get shorter cranks, SRAM DUB 165mm, it'll help. Long cranks are not necessary, there's research to support that claim, but now you're gonna get an earful about crank length; I didn't open that discussion BTW.

    Low BB's suck! I feel your pain, I got one of them bikes now and it's a PITA!!

    Change bikes, change cranks, deal with it. Choose one.
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  22. #22
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    There is no benefit to a lower bottom bracket on a bike since the center of gravity (that which matters for balance and control) is about 4 ft. off the ground at your navel area and can be controlled with a dropper post or other bodily movements if you don't have a dropper post. Raising or lowering the bottom bracket has very little effect on stability on the bike but does have a big effect on whether or not you have pedal strikes and get thrown off the bike.

    The "low bottom bracket for stability" that the bike industry tries to sell people is bunk and nothing but marketing / false advertising.

    It's easier to buy a bike with a higher bottom bracket than trying to adjust your pedal stroke or change the crank arm lengths.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    I honestly don't understand how anyone over 5'10"ish could stand running anything shorter than 175mm. I'm 6'1.5" with a 34.5-35" inseam and shorter torso. I'm running 180mm XT crankset on my Stache. Proper leg extension during pedaling is important. Moving from 175mm to 170mm feels like I'm riding a little kids bike at Walmart. I couldn't fathom 165mm. Your knees either barely been or barely extend.

    I suspect people who struggle with excessive pedal strikes (once in a while isn't terrible) need to work on their awareness of the terrain they're riding and ratcheting their crankset over obstacles instead of intentionally pedaling even though they know the rock is right freakin there, man.

    It's kinda obvious that if there's a fair size rock or log on the trail, you need to either hop it or ratchet across it.

    It's not really difficult and becomes second nature after you get it.


    There's also something to be said about the difference between a rider who began on a rigid 26" who has evolved with modern changes versus the new Gen rider who started out on a long/low dually who hammers their bike into everything instead of riding light in the saddle.

    I agree to some degree with the poster who said you need to work on the motor...but you also (most importantly) need to ride a bike that fits your body properly. What you need to really work on is your skill and stop deep-pedaling over things that require either an intelligent line choice/ bunny hop/ ratchet pedal choice.

    Not bashing your skills because we all know that everyone who posts on here is the best rider in the world riding rougher terrain than anyone else, faster and gnarlier than anyone else, and can't be taught anything...but I can't tell you how many times I've ridden up on people who depend solely on their suspension to save them like they're driving a Sherman Tank/wrecking ball. They never learned to ride light in the saddle...same people who destroy wheelsets and burp all the air out of their tires and blame it on their equipment as well.
    I run 165's. Noticed ZERO difference in pedal power/comfort from 175's.

    And "nope" to the rest of that post. You aren't going to ratchet your way up a root infested 1/4 mile climb of switchbacks and have fun. It's not going to happen...

    The low BB is the issue. One can adapt to anything...whether it makes practical sense is a whole different issue.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Pierce View Post
    I run 165's. Noticed ZERO difference in pedal power/comfort from 175's.

    And "nope" to the rest of that post. You aren't going to ratchet your way up a root infested 1/4 mile climb of switchbacks and have fun. It's not going to happen...

    The low BB is the issue. One can adapt to anything...whether it makes practical sense is a whole different issue.

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    Ya some people like certain crank lengths and some seem to have no issue going to a different length crank but you are right about BB height.

    Perhaps the long and slack thing is OK but maybe they went too crazy with the low BB thing. And the worst thing of all is the frame builders take a low BB 29er and use the same frame for 27. 5 plus then people are shocked they get pedal strikes.

    And if you go full suspension with long travel and a low BB it is even worser!

    Then the band aids start and people have to dump a bunch of money into trying to take care of a situation that should have never been. It's all a scam I tell ya!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    I honestly don't understand how anyone over 5'10"ish could stand running anything shorter than 175mm. I'm 6'1.5" with a 34.5-35" inseam and shorter torso. I'm running 180mm XT crankset on my Stache. Proper leg extension during pedaling is important. Moving from 175mm to 170mm feels like I'm riding a little kids bike at Walmart. I couldn't fathom 165mm.
    Then you are not adjusting your saddle height correctly. As long as I set my saddle height at 36.25" from top of pedal when parallel with seat tube to top of saddle it doesn't matter how long the cranks are I will still get full leg extension. Regardless if it is 150mm to 180mm. Proper seat height is what determines full leg extension not crank length. I will spin smaller circles however with shorter cranks but that is not the same thing as leg extension.
    Change begins by doing something different.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobiesmith View Post
    yes i know. thats not the desired geo and ride that i want. i will keep doing some research and figure it out.

    right now it sucks not being able to ride technical climbs that i used to ride because i don't have the pedal clearance
    Understand, but can't help thinking you might be pleasantly surprised.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf View Post
    Perhaps the long and slack thing is OK but maybe they went too crazy with the low BB thing. And the worst thing of all is the frame builders take a low BB 29er and use the same frame for 27. 5 plus then people are shocked they get pedal strikes.
    Yeah thing is that even though the fatter tire makes up most of the BB height difference compared to 29 on the geo chart, you're gonna run lower pressure on a fatter tire, so the tire will sag more when you get on the bike.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Pierce View Post
    I run 165's. Noticed ZERO difference in pedal power/comfort from 175's.

    And "nope" to the rest of that post. You aren't going to ratchet your way up a root infested 1/4 mile climb of switchbacks and have fun. It's not going to happen...

    The low BB is the issue. One can adapt to anything...whether it makes practical sense is a whole different issue.

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    Good point. I'm not going to have "fun" climbing said climb with any bike though, hehehe.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    Good point. I'm not going to have "fun" climbing said climb with any bike though, hehehe.
    Oh, for sure! But it's a lot "more fun" when you don't have to ratchet constantly

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  30. #30
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    I have one on order, should be ready by the end of july.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    Ive been having similar conversations recently. The highest B.B. I can find thatís available today is Gorilla Gravityís The Smash at 13.6Ē and I wish more manufacturers would go back to higher BBís.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+
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  31. #31
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    Ellsworth has some high BB bikes.

    https://www.bikemag.com/gear/mountai...ution-convert/

  32. #32
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    Intense does as well. Maybe not "high" but not terribly low!

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  33. #33
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    Low BBs don't work on the trails I ride.

    My full suspension is a Lenz Behemoth plus and has a bb of 14". No issues at all with that height

    My rigid bike is 12.75", but since there is no suspension to compress and lower the BB, this works really well.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    I suspect people who struggle with excessive pedal strikes (once in a while isn't terrible) need to work on their awareness of the terrain they're riding and ratcheting their crankset over obstacles instead of intentionally pedaling even though they know the rock is right freakin there, man.
    I live some place with tons of rocks and roots. I've been riding 30yrs on MTBs. I can ratchet over stuff, but 1) thinking about my pedal position all ride is not particularly fun when a higher BB makes that almost unnecessary and 2) on steep techy climbs not being able to pedal steady and keep your momentum up means you are getting off and walking.

    Trails vary a lot. I've been to places where a low BB is not an issue at all. I've also been to places where I would hate having a low BB bike.

    FWIW I am 5'11" and wear 33" inseam pants. Going from 175mm to 170mm cranks is no big deal and has no impact on my riding performance. That said I don't feel any benefit to shorter cranks besides mitigating a low BB.
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    Unfortunately I am starting to notice the low B.B. trend to start to effect the trails I ride and not for the better. The pedal strike spots are starting to slowly disappear. I have no doubt this is going on.

    The bikes are dictating the trails as opposed to the trails dictating the bikes.

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    Intense Recluse has a 345mm bb.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    There is no benefit to a lower bottom bracket on a bike since .
    Disagree. In the twistys a high bb is no fun at all. I'll take the occasional pedal strike as long as my bike is fun to throw into turns.

  38. #38
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    Vik, of course you are right. Bikes are kinda generic in the sense they they are not exactly designed for all uses, but they sold and purchased for all uses.

    So what works one place (low bb) will not work well elsewhere. Just like some folks have rocky terrain and some folks live in a quarry, one person's rock is another persons pebble.

    I live in a quarry, so low bb's suck, but if I wanted to dumb down my riding I could get by just fine with a low bb. Riding those flat, flowy, uncluttered trails that are favored by people who like low bb's

    What would make these sort of discussions most productive is avoiding throwing the "just learn to ride" comments at people you don't know. There are times that newbies will complain of a bike's characteristic, but that's no the case in most situations.

    I agree that bb height has gotten too low, without subsequent changes in crank lengths and suspension design to accommodate, which makes it more important to test ride bikes and to evaluate whether a bike will work for your needs.

    My current FS bike has a low bb, even with an additional 20mm of fork travel and 165mm cranks; granted I'm running 2.6 tires on a bike designed for 3" tires. I came from a Lenz which prizes pedal clearance, so that was my mistake, but when I looked at my next bike I went with a GG Smash which has a higher bb.

    It's nice that we have choices

    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I live some place with tons of rocks and roots. I've been riding 30yrs on MTBs. I can ratchet over stuff, but 1) thinking about my pedal position all ride is not particularly fun when a higher BB makes that almost unnecessary and 2) on steep techy climbs not being able to pedal steady and keep your momentum up means you are getting off and walking.

    Trails vary a lot. I've been to places where a low BB is not an issue at all. I've also been to places where I would hate having a low BB bike.

    FWIW I am 5'11" and wear 33" inseam pants. Going from 175mm to 170mm cranks is no big deal and has no impact on my riding performance. That said I don't feel any benefit to shorter cranks besides mitigating a low BB.
    Last edited by Nurse Ben; 07-11-2018 at 10:00 AM.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Disagree. In the twistys a high bb is no fun at all. I'll take the occasional pedal strike as long as my bike is fun to throw into turns.
    The difference between a 300mm and 345mm BB height won't make a difference when your center of gravity is approximately 4ft. off the ground.


    https://www.daveypushbikes.com/blog/...tood-dimension

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    The difference between a 300mm and 345mm BB height won't make a difference when your center of gravity is approximately 4ft. off the ground.


    https://www.daveypushbikes.com/blog/...tood-dimension
    It'll make about a 45mm difference. You are wasting your time telling people that something they have empirical evidence for is not true. When your theory doesn't agree with real world observations you can either conclude that 1) the theory is flawed or 2) the observers are mistaken. Given the number of people that like low BBs and enjoy the improved handling I think it's option #1.
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  41. #41
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    It's all about compromises, whether it's the tire width/diameter, crank length, geometry, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

    Whatever works for one person is really only about that person, all others needn't apply.

    Avoiding the proverbial dumping of the baby with the bath water, if making a change works, then it works, can't get much more simple than that.

    I work in mental health, which suggests I have a fair understanding of why people make choices... and honestly, some folks are just more linear in their thinking than others. It's not a problem unless it causes a problem

    All that aside, I really get a smile about reading critiques of bikes that suggest a few mm change in anything will make a profound difference in how a mountain bike performs. After watching Semenuk do what he does on a what amounts to a fancy BMX bike, it really is not about the tool.

    All that aside, I still like short chainstays, so there's my bit of "stubbornness" for the day
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xterra123 View Post
    Unfortunately I am starting to notice the low B.B. trend to start to effect the trails I ride and not for the better. The pedal strike spots are starting to slowly disappear. I have no doubt this is going on.

    The bikes are dictating the trails as opposed to the trails dictating the bikes.

    I see it too, and it bums me out.

  43. #43
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    So fight back, choose a bike that fits the trails you "want to ride", in time the geo pendulum will swing the other way.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    I honestly don't understand how anyone over 5'10"ish could stand running anything shorter than 175mm.

    Sorry if this seems pedantic, but what's difficult to understand about someone having different observations and preferences than you?


    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    I suspect people who struggle with excessive pedal strikes (once in a while isn't terrible) need to work on their awareness of the terrain they're riding and ratcheting their crankset over obstacles instead of intentionally pedaling even though they know the rock is right freakin there, man. It's kinda obvious that if there's a fair size rock or log on the trail, you need to either hop it or ratchet across it. It's not really difficult and becomes second nature after you get it.

    All of this assumes that there's only one rock/root/ledge *right there*, with nothing in front of or behind it. So yeah -- you can ratchet for a sec, then resume. Fine.

    But what if the whole trail is littered with stuff like that -- literally on every pedal stroke? How do you maintain forward momentum when climbing if you have to ratchet every pedal stroke?

    I'll answer that: You don't -- you start walking.

    Anecdote: We met some friends in the desert last fall to ride a favorite chunky trail. Solid crew of riders. One woman, whom has ridden off-road for decades and podiumed in several enduro races, was having a really hard time with pedal strikes on a ~2 month old bike. For awhile we sorta figured she was just having a gravity squall sorta day -- bad timing on ratcheting, etc... Eventually she got so frustrated -- largely because she was falling further and further back as the rest of us slowly dieseled our way up the climb -- that she had a minor meltdown and started crying. I handed her my bike (14" static BB with 140/125mm travel) and started climbing on hers.

    And immediately realized it wasn't her -- it was her low BB bike. You literally couldn't get one complete revolution of the pedals without smacking something. And if you can't get the pedals around once, while climbing, you can't climb.

    Clearly there are lots of places where low BB bikes can work. And when descending it's less of a concern as long as you're on your game. Where I live descending is only half of the ride, and low BB bikes just don't work for climbing tech.

  45. #45
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    Mike, good story, really gets to the meat of the issue.

    I had the same issue with my wife's bike, I never rode her bike until one day when she was having a very hard day, literally melted down on a very rocky section of trail.

    I jumped on her bike to run it through the rocks thinking she's just wimping out, when I started smacking rocks like I was playing golf with the pedals. When we got home I immediately did some research and ordered shorter cranks, now she's happy as a clam; what a strange saying, like how is a clam happy?

    Anyway, blaming the rider does not negate the realities of current mountain biking trends like low bb's, groomed trails, dumming down the ride so we can get a Strava ranking, as if mountain biking is supposed to be easy like road biking.

    What I'm finding in my mature years in that I tend to seek the most brutal, ugly trails I can find, even off trail stuff, so I can test my skills and go places that others avoid... like out my back door.

    Like skiing/boarding, some folks prefer resorts and some folks like to earn their turns.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+
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    Lrg Devinci Hendrix 27+ (Loaner)
    Pivot Shuttle 27+ (wife)

  46. #46
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    It's 13.08 with 27.5+ tires on the Pivot Mach 429 btw- I think it changed- and that's with the 'lifted' headset cup.

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    Thanks guys for all the comments. its been years and years since i bought a new bike because i was happy with all my other bikes, stumpy fsr 29ers, many 29er hardtails, 26er genius, spearfish, norco 26er, 26er hardtails. etc... finally got a new one and i didnt even think about the bb being a problem but wow! all of those bikes i could pedal right up certain tech climbs but not on this Rip9.

    and guess what, tech climbs ARE my thing! i love to be able to pedal up things that no one else can. its my competitive nature. and now its not even an option and i have to do the walk of shame up a climb.

    well lesson learned. i don't want to put alot of time and effort to bandaid my Rip9. so i think i will sell it and go find something else to ride.

    take away from this thread:

    low bb is a thing now BUT
    coupled with slack head angles, long travel front and rear and with squishy fatter tires, makes this lower bb trend all the worse. got it.
    Last edited by hobiesmith; 07-12-2018 at 07:12 PM.

  48. #48
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    This is my informed amateur understanding on this whole low BB thing, but it's unlikely the pendulum is going to swing back the other way. So if you like high BB's, you'll be looking more and more at boutique brands in the future.

    So- shorter chainstays, longer fronts aren't going away any time soon. Even without the 'benefits' of a lower BB on its own. It's easier to make a shorter chainstay by having a lower BB. So you've got 2 major GEO trends facilitating each other. And the shorter chainstay is also facilitated by the more upright seat post. The more upright seatpost is easier to pull off if you have a dropper... at least this is how I understand it. Basically the design margins are tight enough now on GEO that you are basically pulling the whole tablecloth to decide where the spoon goes. I don't build frames, I'm sure someone smarter will chime in and explain it better.

    On the trails getting easier thing, at least in my area- A lot of the trail reformation/sanitation is done for erosion control and drainage. In most cases, it isn't because they set out to make the trail easier- they want it to last. So they move rocks to armor the trail and help prevent channeling which ends up making it easier as a side effect. They do make some of the areas closer to town easier because of the traffic volume, but much of the time they don't set out with the goal of making it easier. I guess I've just come to accept that as the price for having a growing and well maintained trail system.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrIcky View Post
    This is my informed amateur understanding on this whole low BB thing, but it's unlikely the pendulum is going to swing back the other way. So if you like high BB's, you'll be looking more and more at boutique brands in the future.
    When I was shopping for a new bike I noticed the GG Smash had a high [compared to what's in fashion] BB...especially when their previous generation bike had a really low BB and was leading that trend. Their reply was "We realized we went too low and got lots of rider feedback that the previous bike handled great, but had problems pedalling in chunk."**

    I ended up buying one and it's so nice to pedal without having to think about my feet every 5 seconds. The BB is low enough that it's not immune to pedal strikes, but now it's only something I have to deal with occasionally, which is fine. I don't mind a bit o' ratcheting.

    I'm hopeful other companies get enough negative feedback that we either see BB heights go up a bit [possibly adjustable geo?] or at least companies offer some models with higher BBs.

    ** - I'm paraphrasing from memory. Not an exact quote.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    When I was shopping for a new bike I noticed the GG Smash had a high [compared to what's in fashion] BB...especially when their previous generation bike had a really low BB and was leading that trend. Their reply was "We realized we went too low and got lots of rider feedback that the previous bike handled great, but had problems pedalling in chunk."**

    I ended up buying one and it's so nice to pedal without having to think about my feet every 5 seconds. The BB is low enough that it's not immune to pedal strikes, but now it's only something I have to deal with occasionally, which is fine. I don't mind a bit o' ratcheting.

    I'm hopeful other companies get enough negative feedback that we either see BB heights go up a bit [possibly adjustable geo?] or at least companies offer some models with higher BBs.

    ** - I'm paraphrasing from memory. Not an exact quote.
    good to know though. they seem like cool guys.

    looking back it seems the 29er thing was good for XC but then the AM guys came along was all, its not flickable so there began the short chain stay race.

    Then folks were all, lets ride 27 because its best of both worlds. okay.

    but then 3" wide tires came along and now the guys that went to from 29 to 27+ didn't really drop in diameter much.

    i personally like the 27- size diameter. thats what i am looking for but with a bigger footprint like the 3" wide tires gives you.

    therefore it seems like the 26 x 3 inch wheel is really the tire i want being that its diameter is close to what the regular 27 is and thats what i want.

    I wonder if i can find an older 6" bike with a high bb, like a nomad that would accept a 26x3 tire in the frame. the fork is the easy part. (this also just gives me another reason to build a bike, lol)

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    The difference between a 300mm and 345mm BB height won't make a difference when your center of gravity is approximately 4ft. off the ground.


    https://www.daveypushbikes.com/blog/...tood-dimension
    But he says:
    ... When determining the geometry of my own frame I went with a relatively large bottom bracket drop of 70mm, resulting in a bottom bracket height with 650b wheels and 2.6 inch tyres of just 290mm. The thinking being that I want the stability under braking combined with the agility in the corners that this would afford."

    So his own bike uses a very low BB for a combination of braking stability and cornering agility.

    Personally, I think the critical thing is that the lower the rider and pedals, the easier it is to get your weight vertically over the tire contact point (throwing the bike to the side beneath you). But pedal strikes suck, and can wreak a lot more dangerous havoc than a little bit more difficulty managing the bike in general. One needs to know their local conditions.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobiesmith View Post
    I wonder if i can find an older 6" bike with a high bb, like a nomad that would accept a 26x3 tire in the frame. the fork is the easy part. (this also just gives me another reason to build a bike, lol)
    I just sold an AL SC Nomad MK2. Tons of tire clearance out back. I figured a 26 x 2.75" Surly Dirt Wizard would fit. Not sure about a true width 3" tire, but it might work. That bike had a 14" BB with a 2.35" wheel.

    Although the way the suspension curve worked off the top it eat into its travel pretty well so it didn't feel like the BB was that high.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  53. #53
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    The All City Electric Queen has a very high BB. My friend has one and he rips.

    I too switched to 170 cranks and couldn't be happier. Im 6'1" with a 33 inseam. Ride large bikes, and notice ZERO different in 170 (raise the saddle a smidge) except now I can pedal through chunk easier in Vermont.

    And yes, ratcheting is just a technique we all use. We have too. Been doing it for decades. Just be aware of the trail the best you can...
    Hightower
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonraker View Post
    2nd fatal flaw was the sram eagle rear der., such a loooong cage,
    My kid has this setup, and a stick destroyed the rear derailleur within the first 20 miles of bike ownership. The 12 speed seems to be made out of tissue paper.

  55. #55
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    Xt-11 ftw

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    There is no benefit to a lower bottom bracket on a bike since the center of gravity (that which matters for balance and control) is about 4 ft. off the ground at your navel area and can be controlled with a dropper post or other bodily movements if you don't have a dropper post. Raising or lowering the bottom bracket has very little effect on stability on the bike but does have a big effect on whether or not you have pedal strikes and get thrown off the bike.

    The "low bottom bracket for stability" that the bike industry tries to sell people is bunk and nothing but marketing / false advertising.

    It's easier to buy a bike with a higher bottom bracket than trying to adjust your pedal stroke or change the crank arm lengths.
    This post is complete bullshit.
    We don't ride to add days to our life, we ride to add life to the days we have left here.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    The difference between a 300mm and 345mm BB height won't make a difference when your center of gravity is approximately 4ft. off the ground.


    https://www.daveypushbikes.com/blog/...tood-dimension
    Ahh, now I understand why its bullshit.

    He is looking at a low BB like balancing a broom, when in reality its like a tightrope walker's pole: he is stable on because the pole is effectively lowering his CoG many feet BELOW the rope. On a bike, when you couple wide bars, wide knees, lower stance, dropper AND the lower BB height, you are effectively lowering your CoG to well below the ground that you are riding on. That is where your stability is coming from.

    Or you could lock your knees and stand on your tip toes while riding i guess... whatevs.
    We don't ride to add days to our life, we ride to add life to the days we have left here.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thustlewhumber View Post
    This post is complete bullshit.

    I actually think there's a lot of truth to what he's saying, I just don't think it's as black/white as he's making it out to be.

    Lowering the BB of any given bike by ~1/2" has nowhere near as much effect as lowering the saddle by 5".

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I actually think there's a lot of truth to what he's saying, I just don't think it's as black/white as he's making it out to be.

    Lowering the BB of any given bike by ~1/2" has nowhere near as much effect as lowering the saddle by 5".
    Bingo. But lowering the bottom bracket a 1/2' is the difference between getting a pedal strike and not getting a pedal strike.

    You can throw the "alleged" lower bottom bracket stability theory out the door when pedal strikes are throwing you off the bike. Unless for some reason a person thinks pedal strikes and being thrown off the bike is the definition of stability.


    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Last edited by prj71; 07-19-2018 at 08:10 AM.

  60. #60
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    My fix for this problem was a custom frame. A high POE hub also helps. BB height is always a compromise, I prefer it to be on the high side.

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