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Bicyclochondriac.
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14,813 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see bb height discussed often in threads comparing different bikes, and sense I get generally is that higher is better. In particular I notice that the Heckler is dismissed do to it's relatively low (for a 5.7" trail bike) 13.2" bb height. The reason has always seemed obvious: the pedals are more likely to hit the ground in technical situations. Being a Heckler owner for the past two years I can confirm that it is something to be aware of when riding.

I recently bought a new frame with nearly identical geometry (azonic saber), but the bb is around 14". Build was identical to the Heckler. I was looking forward to the extra clearance, but over the course of a somewhat technical ride, I found that the higher bb had some real disadvantages, ESPECIALLY in more technical situations. The higher CG means the front end lifts more on steep climbs, and it feels more endo prone on steep down sections. To me this is a much bigger issue than the rare pedal smack. It also explains to me why the Heckler felt so good going up and down, a lower CG is better for both, as well as railing singletrack.

I now realize why so many trail bikes have longer top tubes (and therefore longer wheel base): you need it to compensate for the higher CG. I think I just learned a leason here: Take bb height into account. The fact that the geometry (HA, wheelbase, chainstay, seat angle combinded with top tube) of the the Heckler and the 17" Saber are essentially identical is almost irrelavent if one is a inch higher off the ground. It also explains why Hecklers get away with shorter top tubes than many bikes in it's class and still remains balanced: It's lower to the ground.

I guess I should consider the next size up for the longer top tube, but the time I've spent on bikes with longer wheel bases has left me feeling they were harder to throw around and use body english to clear technical sections.

I'm going to give this a while and mess around with different setups before I make any final conclusion about this, but I am starting to see real merit in the Heckler's 13.2" bb height for trail riding.

Kapusta
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
Joined
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14,813 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some interesting observations in this post from 15 years ago and now we are all about lower longer slacker.
Just curiois,, did you search for this, or did the new MTBR algorithm suggest it?

As an epilogue to that post, I ended up short-shocking the Azonic Saber. Lower and slacker, was an improvement.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
Joined
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14,813 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did not search out a 15 year dead thread. It was presented to me 😂
I think we are going to see a lot of reanimated zombie threads and resulting confusion until MTBR fixes this algorithm.

Should be entertaining, at least.
 

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Disgruntled Peccary
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3,208 Posts
There are sites I'm on that have a pop up when you reply to an aged thread. It's helpful, and prevents this sort of (accidental) dredging, while allowing people to still reply to old threads when appropriate. The Recommended Reading algorithm needs an adjustment, none of the recommended threads on this are newer than 5 years old
 
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