Low BB and Pedal Strikes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Low BB and Pedal Strikes

    Ok, I am going post in a NE specific forum since other people may not quite understand what we mean by a "rock strewn trail".

    I recently bought a new bike (Transition Patrol) with "progressive" geometry that includes a super low BB. It's a Great bike in many respects, but I am a long time rider (25+ years) and never in my life have I had such an issue with pedal strikes.

    I have tries a bit more air in the rear suspension, low profile pedals, adding compression damping (a hack IMO) and am about to try 165mm cranks.

    Has anyone gone this route and have feedback on short cranks?
    I'd like to buy nice cranks and do not want to get stuck with a paperweight. Will I notice the 10mm? Will I lose climbing torque significantly?

  2. #2
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    I would rather correct that with technique than with gear. I just switched to a lower BB bike and I'm having a similar issue, but I'm working through it and I have already seen improvement in just the first few weeks.

    That may sound harsh, but I mostly ride in notoriously rocky terrain and I have recently been riding with a friend on his rigid, fixed gear. I asked how he avoids pedal strikes and he said you just get a feel for it... That made me realize that I have no excuse, I simply need to work on my skills.

  3. #3
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    @TheDwayyo - thanks for the advice, but I am asking specifically about gear, not technique. I can alter my technique, but the reason I wanted to post in a Massachusetts forum was that I am not sure some people understand that to make some of the technical climbs around here, you cannot stop pedaling over the rock gardens. technique will only get you so far. If you stop pedaling or ratchet you will lose momentum and not make the climb. This was a known tradeoff I made when buying the bike - I wanted it to shine up at Highland and the same low BB is going to rock up there. So if I can make up for some of the downside for trail rides (Vietnam) with some shorter cranks then that will be a huge win for me. I am just afraid to drop $$ on short cranks if I am going to feel weird on them or lose climbing torque.

  4. #4
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    Ok, I found this thread:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/airborne/peda...es-924660.html

    but comments like this are driving me crazy:

    "Most pedal strikes can be eliminated with proper technique and best practices. I've been riding so long its just second nature to me. "


    "Pedal strikes are certainly more to do with technique, gaging the terrain coming at you and adjusting your pedaling accordingly."

    Like I said I have been riding for 25+ years, 12+ on the very same trails, on different bikes over the years, and now suddenly my technique has not become worse. This is 100% to do with my equipment and the trails I am riding on. Yes, I can adapt, but if adapting means much less pedaling, than unfortunately I will not be clearing the same short technical climbs that I always enjoyed hammering up ;-(

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyFlow View Post
    Ok, I am going post in a NE specific forum since other people may not quite understand what we mean by a "rock strewn trail".

    I recently bought a new bike (Transition Patrol) with "progressive" geometry that includes a super low BB. It's a Great bike in many respects, but I am a long time rider (25+ years) and never in my life have I had such an issue with pedal strikes.

    I have tries a bit more air in the rear suspension, low profile pedals, adding compression damping (a hack IMO) and am about to try 165mm cranks.

    Has anyone gone this route and have feedback on short cranks?
    I'd like to buy nice cranks and do not want to get stuck with a paperweight. Will I notice the 10mm? Will I lose climbing torque significantly?
    Try thin pedals. My troy devinci has this issue and I bought a set of HT components Evo AEO2 Pedals on ebay and it really helped.

  6. #6
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    Low BB and Pedal Strikes

    Kind of comparing comparing apples & oranges but I use a 165mm on my "road bike" (Vassago Fisticuff which sees a fair share of trail work) & I like them. I've used 175, 172.5 & 170 crank arm lengths at different times. I highly doubt you will notice a lack of leverage, especially on a geared bike.

    I mentioned the cranks because you asked a gear question but frankly, & I know you don't want to hear this being a seasoned rider such as yourself but it really *is* about technique & like it or not, you are going to have to adapt your technique to the equipment you've chosen for the uses you've indicated. Why will you have to pedal less? Start picking better lines on those techy, rock garden climbs & before you know it, your pedal strikes will become less & less. Do you really think that 10mm, one centimeter, is actually going to solve your problem? Unlikely... Adapt & overcome.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Locoman View Post
    Try thin pedals. My troy devinci has this issue and I bought a set of HT components Evo AEO2 Pedals on ebay and it really helped.
    Already got em! (read the quote ;-)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior View Post
    you are going to have to adapt your technique to the equipment you've chosen for the uses you've indicated.
    ...
    Why will you have to pedal less? Start picking better lines on those techy, rock garden climbs & before you know it, your pedal strikes will become less & less. Do you really think that 10mm, one centimeter, is actually going to solve your problem? Unlikely... Adapt & overcome.
    Why? Because there are many many sections of trail that are nearly 100% covered in baby heads. There is no other line.

    I never said 10mm would solve the issue.
    If 10mm gets rid of 20% of strikes, and I can adapt my line choices to solve another 30% I will be much happier.

    Buried in there is the advice I am really looking for - Thanks! will I notice the shorter cranks? If not, I may try it as it can only help.

  9. #9
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    Bigger , taller tires? What length cranks are you using now? I run 175 on all my bikes, I would think twice about changing length. Max out fork length/travel? Max out rear sus firmness?

  10. #10
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    I don't think you'll notice the difference as far as leverage is concerned but it will feel just a little different -quicker around the circle may be the best way to describe it. Hope it works out for you!

  11. #11
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    I was on Transition's site reading about your bike. Very cool, but more for fast descents than rock gardens. I opened a review on the website and the only complaint was the low BB for climbing in rutted sections or rock gardens. Too many pedal strikes. But the low fast design was also praised in descents. I'd try a shorter crank for the fun of it. Cheaper than a new bike! How tall are you?
    My name is Chris and I ride a Ripmo now.

  12. #12
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    I'd always had 175mm cranks until I bought a Mongoose Beast singlespeed fatbike with 170mm cranks. Great for spinning on the rail-trail, and helped to get that monster up to speed quickly, but I did miss the leverage on tough climbs. Remember that reducing the crank length by 10mm reduces the circle formed while pedaling by 20mm in diameter. Also, if shorter cranks require a lower gear, you'll be making more revolutions of the cranks, increasing the risks of strikes. I'd like to try 170s again, but not 165 for tech trails.

  13. #13
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    So I rode some of the less rocky trails at Nam and had no issues.
    I just need to adjust and get used to the fact that a few trails are going to be harder for me. I will make up for it at Highland!

    Thanks for all the advice. I think I am just going to stick with 175 mm cranks for now and deal with it.

  14. #14
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    dump the low BB bike

    you got along fine with normal BB bikes, right ?

    all this new 'low' BB bike is doing is hassling you all day the way
    you know how to ride.

    what is it giving you above and beyond, that outweighs the
    pedal strike hassle ? I bet...not enough

    FIX: dump that bike

  15. #15
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    I'm with every other person who has responded to you...it's technique, not equipment.

    You've already tried all the bandaids...shy of getting offset bushings and running them reverse, you're SOL.

    I've had a couple of really low BB bikes and smashed them on everything. It was really frustrating. That's just a part of life around here. If it makes you feel any better, any section of trail that I had a problem on, I had a problem on virtually every bike I've ridden on, so some of the trails around here just suck, and are worth avoiding.

    Don't go 165, it's such a funny feeling pedal stroke. I hated it when I had one on my sunday. much better on even 170s.

  16. #16
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    Higher gear and more ratcheting in the pokey stuff helps me. I'm going through the same sort of adjustment with the bike I've been riding lately. Gotta get back into the habit of putting the back wheel where I want it instead of assuming it's gonna roll up there on it's own.
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