Low BB's – Talk to me

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  • Low BB's – Talk to me
  • Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    lower BB = stable bike at high speed and better cornering. bad point is you get a lot of pedal/rock strikes if its silly low

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    I think there may be an issue with manuals as well. Having gone through this the other week I think I’m now convinced that you pivot about the rear axle. So, if your centre of gravity is lower then it’s harder to rotate the bike back around the axle.

    +ve’s low center of gravity, you’r weights acting through the pedals/BB. This makes stuff like cornering (as your weight is almost over the tyres contact patch), or riding through rocks easier (as there’s less moment pitching you over the front of the bike).

    -ve’s you hit the pedals/chainrings on rocks/bumps a lot more, and it’s harder to wheelie/manual, trials and jump bikes often have zero drop BB’s to make them more manouverable.

    Traditionaly Canandian bikes (Kona, transition, Cove) had tall BB’s and slack angles, British bikes (Saracen, DMR, Orange) had steep angles and lower BB’s. And ammerican brands (Spesh especialy) had really low BB’s. These days everythings more homogenous, but there’s still examples to back up that pattern.

    retro83
    Member

    On certain trails you’ll be whacking the pedals quite a bit.

    My trance X has quite a low BB (13 inch i think) and the only place I recall having issues with is the open bit of Penmachno loop one. The stones seem to be in just the right place to snag your pedals every time your front wheel drops into a puddle 😆 worth it for how it rides on swoopy stuff though. You get used to it quickly anyway.

    Milkie
    Member

    Commencal Ramones -30mm bb height

    I hope you mean 30cm 😯

    I have a Genius LT and when the shock was a bit iffy, the BB height was down to 10″ (standard is 13″ with it set on Low BB)! It was getting caught on a lot of things, but I blame my riding style! I didn’t notice any difference when it went back to 13″, apart from it not getting caught on everything.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    maybe he means the BB is 30mm below the wheel axles?

    titusrider
    Member

    a mate has bought a new stumpjumper FSR evo 26’er and is getting really frustrated by the BB, it is pretty ridiculous low for a 150mm bike

    really compromising his enjoyment of what is otherwise a great bike (SPD’s would help a bit but he doesn’t want them)

    kudos100
    Member

    When you start smashing your pedals on every other bit of trail it is too low.

    I put up with pedal strikes as I like the stability and better cornering you get with low BB.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    My intense SS has a stupidly low bb, great in the corners but my pedals and bash look like they have had a fight with an angle grinder. You get used to it though, a bit like riding a hardtail, teaches you line choice 🙂

    tymbian
    Member

    @ Milkie…as ahwiles says the BB is 30mm lower than an imaginary line that runs from front to rear axle on the Ramones wjere as for comparison the Bfe is 7.5mm at 160mm travel ( according to the Geek ‘ slider on cotics web-site )

    mindmap3
    Member

    I’m getting more used to lower BB’s and they do feel help to feel more stable and corner better but can be a pain in really rocky stuff although you learn to work around it and carry as much speed as possible through the bumpy stuff to avoid the need to pedal.

    Spesh do seem to be a big fan of low BB’s; I mullered the pedals on my Demo on rocks.

    My new Banshee has a pretty low BB, but I find it easier to manual than my SX (although I’m not that great at manualling).

    tymbian
    Member

    Why are they ghood & how low is too low ie. Commencal Ramones -30mm bb height.

    a mate has bought a new stumpjumper FSR evo 26’er and is getting really frustrated by the BB, it is pretty ridiculous low for a 150mm bike

    really compromising his enjoyment of what is otherwise a great bike (SPD’s would help a bit but he doesn’t want them)

    I’ve a Pitch which off the top of my head was the same (or very similar) geometry, you get used to it and learn to make the most of it. For example you can’t sprint through a section of rollers (unless your a riding god and can manual them at the same time), but it makes up more time with the insane cornering speeds.

    Horses for courses, for trail centers then it’s largely wasted as 95% of the corners are bermed to such an extent you’d struggle to ever run out of grip. For more open, loose tracks it’s perfect (California where it’s designed). For tight woodsy/rooty/fallen trees/drops you’d want a higher BB for clearance, which is why bikes from Canada (well Vancouver/north shore anyway) have that in common.

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    My Anthem (pre-X) had a really low BB. As above you get used to it after a while, and on regular trails you learn where the likely grounding spots are. The frame’s still hanging up in my garage for when I get the urge to rebuild it.

    mindmap3 – Member

    My new Banshee has a pretty low BB, but I find it easier to manual than my SX (although I’m not that great at manualling)

    How is that Banshee? I was looking for people’s thoughts on them. Bit late now, as I bought something else, which shipped this morning….

    Euro
    Member

    a mate has bought a new stumpjumper FSR evo 26’er and is getting really frustrated by the BB, it is pretty ridiculous low for a 150mm bike

    Mine (’11) has a similar bb height (possibly a smidge higher) and i love how it feels. I’m tall and this is the first mtb makes it feel like i’m in the bike and not sat on top of. It corners very well indeed and does a few things that my other bikes never did e.g. it’s really easy to get the rear end to drift on flat turns, which is really good fun – though i’m not sure if the bb height or the general frame design that’s aiding this. Pedal strikes are a bit more common, but only when climbing.

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