Bottom Bracket heights – how high is high ?

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  • Bottom Bracket heights – how high is high ?
  • andrewh

    13″ on my Marin, about 11″ on my other bikes.
    People say a lower BB gives a lower centre of gravity and better cornering. I don’t notice this. I do however notice the lack of ground clearance. I’m all in favour of higher BBs


    ever ridden a (trials) bike with BB higher than the axles? utterly unstable on 2 wheels but awesome on 1. weird.


    And what diffeence does it make?

    Way back in 2005 when I bought my Ventana El Saltamontes, I wanted a bike which could do me for most things. It goes up, goes down, and goes along.

    Now clearly current bike marketing implies I am compromised all over the place (though it seems to do everything I want of it).

    FWIW it is definitely a bike you sit “on” rather than “in” so shifting your body about is a pre-requisite for getting down steep stuff – but isn’t that the same for most bikes ?

    For buggerations sake, the other day I measured the bottom bracket height (I’ve read no end of angst related to BB height on the El Guapo threads so it must be important).

    My BB is 14″ exactly with 5″ bounce at either end.

    Is this high ?
    Why should I care ?
    What difference would it make if it was lower ?

    Your opinions appreciated.


    I went from a Kona Dawg with a 13″ BB to an Ellsworth Moment with a 14″+ BB, I absolutely hated the Ellsworth, felt like I was perched on it rather than sat in. Completely lost my confidence rolling down anything very steep and technical, slabs, steep rock gardens etc.

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