Ask Pinkbike: Tire Width, Pedal Strikes, Fork Options, and XXL Bikes

Jul 12, 2016
by Pinkbike Staff  
Ask Pinkbike Header

Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul-searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand-picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.

Larger Equals Smoother?

Question: Pinkbike user count210 asked this question in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear forum: I was running a set of 26'' x 2.1'' Geax Barro tires before switching to a set of (way larger) 2.4'' wide Maxxis Ardents. Would the larger tire width make any difference when it comes to the smoothness of the ride?

bigquotesWell, I'm assuming that you're asking because you noticed that the trails feel a bit smoother than when you were running those little pizza cutters, so you probably already know what the answer is. You hit on one of the main reasons that more and more people are using wider tires - increased comfort. This will be most noticeable when you've put some high-volume rubber on a short-travel bike, or especially a hardtail, and can be amplified even more by also using wider rims that further help matters. I'm a big fan of short-travel bikes combined with wide rubber as it makes the bike more forgiving and capable without taking away from the agility advantage that most short-travel rigs have over their longer-stroke brothers.

Added comfort isn't the only benefit of going wide, however, as the combo of high-volume rubber on a wide rim can also deliver much more traction thanks to the lower air pressures that it requires. I'm not convinced that there's much downside to such a setup if one isn't a cross-country racer (the tires and rims weigh more, of course), and I'd also argue that a wide setup doesn't roll any slower than a skinnier, more traditional setup of similar weight. You don't need to go plus-sized, either, as a large 2.3'' wide tire on a wide rim can do the trick if you're used to a skinny tire on a narrow rim. - Mike Levy

Kona Honzo CR Photo by James Lissimore
  There's a lot to like about wide tires on wide rims.

BoXXer World Cup or Team?

Question: Dug S asks in the Downhill forum: I am about to purchase a new DH rig that comes equipped with a RockShox World Cup but I was curious on whether I should exchange it for the Team. On a couple of my older bikes I have a 2013 BoXXer Team (coil) on one and a Totem Air on another and I prefer the feel of the coil for how lively it feels. The Totem Air is a decent fork but just doesn't feel as lively in comparison. I don't care about the weight difference just on the feel of the fork, as in how supple it is. Any input from those that have ridden the newer Boxxers with Charger Damper is appreciated.

bigquotesI'd keep the BoXXer World Cup on if I was in your shoes. The Charger damper makes it feel much better than the Totem ever did when it comes to small bump sensitivity, and you should be able to adjust the rebound to make the bike feel as 'lively' as you'd like. It used to be that the feel of a coil sprung fork was drastically different than that of one with an air spring, but those days are becoming distant memories, and today's air sprung options feel better than ever. The BoXXer World Cup is basically an oversized Pike, and that's a good thing - it's supple, predictable, and easily adjustable.

The ability to fine tune the air pressure of the BoXXer World Cup puts it ahead of the coil sprung Team in my book - that way there's no chance of getting stuck between spring rates. Plus, you can alter the the amount of end stroke ramp up (via the use of Bottomless Tokens) to further adjust the fork to suit your riding style or for different tracks. - Mike Kazimer

n a
New BoXXers come equipped with RockShox's Charger damper and have externally adjustable low speed compression and rebound damping.

Pedal Strikes and Low Bottom Brackets

Question: guybff asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I've read literally everything I can find about cranks, but am somewhat undecided, as nothing seems to apply to my situation. I've built a Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon and just need to replace the cranks to finish. Currently running loaner 175s, which is what SC specs on their large. With the low bottom bracket and lots of sag this bike likes to have, I'm definitely noticing I need to change how I ride a bit to avoid pedal strikes. I could probably get used to it, but I know these bikes are often mated to 170s for enduro, which is what started me thinking maybe I should consider shorter cranks.

However, I'm 6'1", with about a 34.5" inseam to floor. According to all the scientific charts (I tried the leg length, femur, seated measurements, etc.) they all put me in at least 175s, 180s or even longer cranks. I ride this bike on long cross country and trail rides to get to where the good trails are (often 100km rides), so if the 170s are going to make the bike noticeably less efficient that wouldn't be ideal and I'd just learnt to avoid things. I've had 165s, but on previous 50lb monster a decade ago which didn't like to be pedaled, so maybe that's what's worrying me about short cranks.

Santa Cruz Nomad review
PB's Mike Kazimer also had pedal clearance issues with the Santa Cruz Nomad's 175mm crankarms and suggested that 170mm arms may help.

bigquotesYour research is correct. With long legs for your height, you would be a more efficient pedaler with 175 millimeter crank arms. That said, road racers with similar body types commonly use 172.5-millimeter crank arms and they slog up steep grades in massively tall gears all day long, so you should be able to get used to the reduced leverage of 170's, considering that your Santa Cruz is geared considerably lower.

I also prefer 175 millimeter cranks, however, especially for technical climbing, and have found alternatives to running shorter crankarms that may be a more effective solution to your problem. While your Nomad's static bottom bracket height measurement is fixed, its ride height - where the suspension settles while it is rolling - is affected by its suspension settings. If you have the option, adding a small amount of low-speed compression damping to the shock and fork will raise your bike's ride height. Also, excessive low-speed rebound damping will lower the bike's ride height, so check that too.

You can also adjust ride height using spring pressure, but it's more complicated. Removing a volume spacer and increasing spring pressure will raise the ride height and maintain bottom out control. Conversely, adding volume spacers and reducing spring pressure will lower the ride height while maintaining bottom out control. A crank purchase is final, but you can micro-adjust your damping to find the right balance between pedal clearance and cornering stability.

Also, if you ride Crankbrother's Mallet pedals, you might try switching out to the shorter Mallet E spindles, which will give you a narrower Q factor (52mm vs. 57mm) and more pedal clearance while the bike is angled or being maneuvered. - RC

Crankbrothers Mallet E review
Crankbrothers Mallet E pedals have shortened axles for better cornering and rock clearance. The shafts are interchangeable with DH Mallets

Bigger Bikes

Question: Pinkbike user Oli Lindley asked this question via email:I am looking into getting a new bike soon, I was wondering if you guys could help out with information about bikes for bigger riders. For example, I am 6'5" and most XL's only suggest they will fit riders up to 6'4" or 6'5" but I am only 17 and still growing. Hopefully, you guys can help my sized rider community out as it's not easy to find good XL and XXL frames out there. I know that Santa Cruz are making the XXL V10 but I am interested to see if there are any other downhill and enduro frames being made this size?

bigquotesBike sizing is always going a contested argument, so to preface this answer I will let you know where I am at: I am 6'1" with a 6'4" arm span and a 36" inseam. Currently, my preferred 160mm travel bike that I feel fits me the best is a Nicolai GeoMetron in Longest size which is around the 510mm reach mark and using a 35mm stem. I'm also riding an XL Canyon Sender at 480mm with a 50mm stem which is the most comfortable downhiller I've ridden to date. So my recommendation is that you would be after something that fits properly with the shortest stem possible, I would never recommend using a stem to make a bike fit and a stem over 60mm will ruin any kind of ride quality on anything except road climbs, in fact, anything over 45mm makes me a little queasy.

After hearing these recommendations people think I just have a big length fetish, but having a bike that fits well and is long enough makes every aspect of your riding life easier: Having space in the cockpit lets you breathe more easily, straightens your spine takes pressure off your lower back and lets you relax. It makes absorbing impacts and pumping through compressions easier and balancing the bike to get weight on either tire becomes much more sensitive.

So what does that leave you with? Downhill bike wise the Canyon Sender, Pivot Phoenix, Santa Cruz V10, are the biggest all around the 480mm reach mark. The Pole Evolink is the biggest production downhill bike at 510mm and make shorter travel bikes up to a 530mm reach. Opting for a shorter travel bike opens up your options somewhat with Mondraker, Santa Cruz, Guerilla Gravity and Nicolai all having options over 500mm. Finally, you could go custom, Nicolai can make bikes to order and somebody in Switzerland recently received a custom built GeoMetron with a whopping 580mm reach. Robot Bike Co can print you a monster if you have deep enough pockets and maybe a smaller brand like BTR Bikes from the UK could knock something up for a price. I'm sure there are some other brands out there, so check the comments as I'm sure people will pipe up. I hope that helps. - Paul Aston

Pole Bicycles - Eurobike Media Days Kirchberg 2016
This massive Pole 176 DH bike has a 510mm reach in a large size.
Canyon Sender - Pinkbike First Look. Photo credit Markus Greber
Canyon's Sender is one of the longest production downhillers available and the least expensive option mentioned in this article.
Robot Bike R160
Robot Bike Co can print you a bike in any size you like.
Greg Minaar s XXL Santa Cruz V10
The XXL Santa Cruz, developed for Greg Minnaar has made it onto production lines.

Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


  • 171 41
 I'm going to be an asshole here, but A - changing crank arm length to suit trails is insane, crank arm should be determined by your physiology and neuro-muscular system, to make the length suit your body, PERIOD and B - learn to fkng pedal, if you can't time pedal strokes then either change a hobby or stop whining.
  • 32 10
 Waki... Nail. Head. You. BAM!!!
  • 52 6
 Yeah you're right! About that a*shole thing at least..
Physiology is indeed a major factor to determine crank arm length, but depending on what formula you use, experts you ask or theories you apply, you may find yourself wandering between 2 or 3 viable options.

So.. considering other factors (such as ground clearance) is totally fine.
  • 32 22
 @t1000: i reserve myself a privilege to an opinion because my trails are a one big rock garden while at least 50% mountain bikers in the world climb on fireroads. First off you need to learn to time pedal strokes, second of all you need to use harder gear when cranking through rocky bits, 3rd, learn to ride over rocks than just between them. Then we can talk BB height. If some dude spins 90 RPM through a rockgarden (and I've seen lots) then he will suffer from rock strikes. Learn to pedal.
  • 25 0
 Pedal preference can make as much difference at actual extension as the 5mm are talking here. Much ado about nothing IMHO. 170/175 is basically fine tuning especially when you consider pedals could be 25mm thick or 7mm thick. Given the application - this is a preference/tuning choice.
  • 17 2
 RE: B - there is obviously always some mind paid to where your pedals are in technical terrain, but for stupid low BBs, it's constant to the point of being a compromise. If you cannot pedal, or constantly have to ratchet, to avoid a pedal strike, you are making a compromise...not a F-ing thing to do with knowing how to pedal.
On top of that, you are processing a lot of stuff, quickly (assuming you are trying to go fast)...having to worry about that is one more thing you don't need.
  • 19 2
 That's a pretty outdated way to look at crank length, the old "rules" are dieing. the trend across the board is to go with a shorter crank, even on TT and road bikes.

Also, we've changed crank lengths to fit the bike use forever...short cranks on track bikes to give more clearance same with DH bikes, 165 cranks are the rule no matter your height.
  • 9 3
 A - the upper limit of crank length is determined by anatomy but you can ride much shorter cranks without loss of power. All that happens is that torque goes down whilst cadence goes up, so you need to switch to a smaller chainring when shortening cranks.

B - a whole load of my local singletrack is very tight and twisty and rooty, whilst being relatively flat, so when you're in a fast mood you're pedalling as soon as you exit a corner. In dry conditions a higher BB is simply quicker. In slippery conditions a lower BB is better on the same trails, as it is on steeper trails all the time.

(Based on bikes with 294-333mm sagged BB heights, 165-175mm cranks and 34" legs!)
  • 13 1
 I'm kind of a crappy rider, so I usually stop pedaling and keep the crank horizontal when I'm doing something challenging... also, I do this thing where I keep my pedal down opposite of the direction I turn... I rarely get pedal strikes. But like I said, I'm a crappy rider
  • 4 2
 Low bottom brackets suck for technical climbing. Luckily my current bike (2016 Remedy) sits pretty high and climbs really well. I have 175 crankarms and hardly ever pedal strike.
  • 4 0
 @wolf-amongst-lambs: Preach! Homeboy probably argues that bikes aren't getting longer and slacker, and that running a 120mm stem won't make your bike handle any worse than a 40mm stem.
  • 5 0
 @zutroy: Yes.

I'm 6' with 34" inseam and run 165mm cranks on road/cx bikes and 170mm on MTB. I used to run 175mm cranks on all my bikes.. in my experience there is minimal downside to shorter cranks and lots of advantages.
  • 2 4
 @axleworthington: I ride a bike with low BB and 175 crank arms and all the climbing I have in my area can be considered technical or like I prefer to call it: bumpy trail. It takes skill and torque, lots of standing pedaling, lots of working with the whole body. For me personally, kind of muscles I have and the technique I have developed short cranks suck because I can generate some power by just ratcheting through the rocks and sometimes I need to make a BMX gate start to get over a big rock step, I need to cover longest possible distance with one spin of the crank arms. When I go over steps I need my cranks in a certain position, when I climb over slippery surfaces, roots in aprticular I need good power modulation.
  • 2 1
 Let's start a list of top riders who use 175mm cranks... Nino Chris Froome
  • 3 0
 @zutroy: There's "road" research showing better power at very short lengths of 140....
I have found 170 better than 175 for demanding trail and I use 165 for DH...I will try 165 on a trail bike next time I buy a crank...
They seem to stress my knees less and keep me much smoother and more ready to push (I think that's because my knee bend angle is on average lower with shorter cranks).
  • 3 0
 @Travel66: I went to a lecture by the guy who designed Boardmans Olympic bike. He said we should all be running 120mm cranks and spin faster. I think it was to do with having less rotating mass (legs and feet) and energy that goes into keeping it all rotating. It does make sense but im sticking with my 175mm cranks.
  • 1 3
 Knee stress is a factor indeed. Just like knee wear. I know several people with knee problems: runners, skiers. I also know a physician who is a btch because she says that most people's problems are either genetic and nothing can be done about it,eventually a surgery, or in most cases they come from poor hip stability and wrong patterns of movement. What a btch, how dare she suggest that whatever I buy won't make it better, that it's just going to be a trade off, and the only thing that really helps is accurate exercise.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: that all makes sense to me.

I've got very long legs...the weight of lifting my legs is very noticeable and I'm definitely able to climb technical much better with shorter cranks....I'm getting over stuff twice the size I normally would struggle on ... ground clearance helps but its pedal stroke "readiness" that make the difference (whether seated or out of the seat).
  • 10 2
 Pick a crank length and be a dick about it...
  • 10 2
 @WAKIdesigns: "I need to cover the longest possible distance with one spin of the crank arms."
That's gear choice, not crank length.
  • 1 0
 @axleworthington: I've got the 2016 remedy with 170 cranks in 18.5 frame size and still get pedal strikes (low position with a 150mm fork) it's rare but happens. That being said I went shorter on my cranks for flexibility reasons not pedal clearance
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Don't forget, some people are still stuck in the mindset of "spin to win". I've heard of people complaining of pedals strikes while pedaling IN a corner...
  • 5 0
 @Thustlewhumber: Spin to win, unless you are Gwin.
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: With 4 knee surgeries (3 of them reconstructive) and enough titanium in my ankle to retire on, I ride 170 cranks with a ridiculous 36t front ring with no issues.. my frame is probably too small, and I like it lower in the travel as it handles better, so I should be smashing pedals left and right and icing my knees after every run. Turns out you condition yourself to the bike and terrain if you pay attention- like you mentioned I have found myself half-cranking through sections of deep cut rock or root runs to ensure I don't whack a pedal. Especially if you are charging through, a solid pedal plant can be catastrophic. But at this point foot/pedal placement is automatic and I can't remember the last time I had a strike; back when I raced BMX we were on crazy long 190s and such, you learn pretty quick where your foot is.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: sounds awful.after a 13hr shift scrubbing the town centres urinals,I'd need something less taxingtup
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: "Chain or no chain, it's all in the brain"
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: crank length doesn't have anything to do with distance the bike moves, that's all gearing and wheelsize. Gearing and wheel/tire size are the only things that change roll-out.
  • 1 0
 no dupes.
  • 1 1
 @zutroy: yes it has, indirectly, because if you run hard gear then you need that leverage.
  • 1 0
 I just bought a New XL Transition Patrol and in the shop, even though I insisted for long crankarms (I'm 6'6" or 194cm) they advised me to run 165mm. I kind of thank them because pedal strikes are super frequent (maybe just because I live on the north shore this year and rocks and roots are super exposed) and since I have low gear ratio I can still pedal everywhere no problem!
  • 1 0
 In summary, I think we can agree that if you really have to worry about a 5mm crank length difference and the impact it has on your riding you should get out and ride more.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: If that guy was Mike Burrows, listen to him and take his advice, he knows a lot of useful stuff about bikes
  • 1 0
 @JackWatson: I think it was him. It was a really interesting lecture. Mainly road / track stuff but very interesting.
  • 1 0
 I had issues with my bike. It turned out to be the rear shock setup. It was blowing into its travel at the hint of any movement with less than 20% sag. I would hit pedals whilst riding smaller than 1" drops. Thrown off my bike several times. It was diagnosed as a broken (from new) Rockshox vivid, that they won't warranty. Fox X2 solved the problem for me
  • 1 0
 i went from a Slayer to Meta SX and noticed a lot more pedal strikes on the Meta. it's something you get used to in terms of timing and line choice. i don't think the extra 5mm of clearance from a shorter crank will make much of a difference, although i'll admit to toying with that exact idea while i was hitting rocks on ascents.
  • 1 0
 Since geometry fashion is pushing bb's down one might as well stick with the fact that pedal strikes are part of it and buy some crank-protection-boots as the ones from raceface, although they are too expensive in my ever-broke opinion and I will stick to some custom ones :p
  • 1 0
 @TheLongMan: did exactly that!
  • 71 3
 recommending a $$$ Robot bike Co $$$ custom geo bike to a 17 year old kid is great advice....
  • 19 2
 Didn't go to college cause he needed a few extra millimeters...
  • 44 9
 Boys in college are usually more occupied by extra milimeters than keeping the length maxed out for a decent amount of time once they finally get the chance to use it...
  • 9 0
 Also told him to ride a pole...
  • 10 0
 6'5 and stil growing!? Go play elite basketball man!
  • 23 2
 Modern bikes = pedal strikes. It's the price we pay for a low COG and a plush ride. As someone who rides flats, deep ruts are avoided and so is pedaling around corners.
  • 57 1
 For someone with one leg longer than the other I'm stumped.
  • 3 1
 @Earthmotherfu: I suffer from this and have to wear an orthodontic shoe.
  • 29 2
 @LemonadeMoney: Does that mean you wear shoes on your teeth or braces on your feet?
  • 1 0
 @Earthmotherfu: Upper leg or lower leg? You can move your cleat back or forward to compensate for discrepancies in femur length, and orthotics or building up the cleat/pedal interface (you might have to get creative to get a stable platform) can help a bit with lower leg length discrepancies.
  • 8 0
 @acali: My mistake. I stand corrected.
  • 1 0
 Crank boots from race face or customized if you feel they are to pricey and we should be good to go..
  • 26 11
 Still not understanding how anyone thinks air feels like coil now...? I far and above prefer a coil DH fork- am I missing something?
  • 7 11
flag titaniumtit (Jul 12, 2016 at 12:51) (Below Threshold)
 Must be a bs marketing move meaning more service i tervals on air forks and unreliability probs with neg and pos air chambers equalizing and shit. Much prefer coil ime.
  • 2 0
  • 19 7
 Ya you are!!! Go ride a "properly" tuned air fork. I'll never go to coil again!!!
  • 9 0
 I've been riding 10 years and 'air feels like coil now' has been around longer than that...
  • 6 1
 A new high end air fork might feel better than a really cheap coil that hasn't been serviced in a year, but will never match the activeness of a really good freshly rebuilt coil fork. If you've ever converted an air fork to a coil you can immediately notice all the extra stiction when examining the air spring assembly vs coil assembly. Less seals with a coil assembly make for a much more responsive active ride.
  • 2 1
 only thing I like with air forks is the super easy adjustability for weight. But I love me some coil when its actually set up for me
  • 10 1
 Conventional crank "scientific chart size" advice is big BS. There are several studies out there that suggest otherwise. After a short habituation Phase you are as fast as with longer crank. You automatically compensate for the less leverage with a higher cadence in a lowerlower gear. Better for the knees too, because most people spin way too slow in a too high gear.
Only technical climbing (there you have high torque situations, like roots or steps) could suffer. But it is suffering now too because of pedal strikes.
  • 12 20
flag WAKIdesigns (Jul 12, 2016 at 14:05) (Below Threshold)
 I may be living in an alternative reality but in my world higher cadence means more chances to strike rocks with pedals... If you make 100 pedal strokes through a rock section then you are more likely to hit something than with 80 strokes. Also the knee bit is bollocks. If you have excellent hip stability, a reasonable weight and no genetic knee issues and you run into problems then we can talk. Otherwise...
  • 24 3
 Come on Waki, i thought you were an engineer! If you take 80 pedal strokes with a 175, crank, a 165 crank with same size chainring will equal... 80 pedal strokes. To keep leverage the same going from 175 -> 165, you drop 2 teeth on chainring. In that instance, using 80 pedal strokes with 175 cranks and 34t ring = 85 pedal strokes with 165 cranks and 32t ring.

Im 6'2" , ride an XL Nomad, and 165 cranks - I love it, and dont feel anything wierd, except better clearance. Matching cranks to physiology is BS best reserved for roadies, and even they did studies where they determined cranks from 130 to 180 produced the same power output, with slightly different cadences.

@guybff go short!!! You wont notice, and the Nomad is best served with 165 cranks, 170 if you must. 175 cranks are unnecssary for 99% of riders. Physiology is BS, as preference and feel matter more. How many of you did physiological measurements to determine ideal stem length and bar width to within 5mm?!? 175 -> 165 is a ~6% change, it is not extreme. Drop 2 teeth in the chainring and youll pedal the same.
  • 8 24
flag WAKIdesigns (Jul 12, 2016 at 14:32) (Below Threshold)
 @Drbillin: how long is your leg is only one part of eqation, what is your muscle structure of fast/low twitch balance is another, I guess you call that preferenceBig Grin
  • 49 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Ok lets do the math:
69cm quads
222cm femur
51 % fast twitch
Universal multiplier of 8
6922251 * 8 =
and I look at the calculator upside down and now I'm BOOBLESS.
I'm confused, what length stem do I need again?
  • 10 0
 @Drbillin: 222cm femur you must be riding like 2 tandems behind each other with 4m wheelbase (mad props up tho)
  • 1 0
 Another thing to consider is having shorter cranks moves your feet closer to the bottom bracket which can change handling for better or worse depending on what you're riding.
  • 1 0
 I switched from 175 to 165 last year and didn't like the feel. I'm going to compromise on 170 for my new Nomad build. Spank pedals are super thin which will help with clearance.
  • 1 0
 @Drbillin: nomad best served with short cranks? i run 175's on mine, i hit things on the first few rides then got used to it. maybe you're just poor at timing pedal strokes?
  • 1 0
 I think there is something in it. Road bikes with no suspension or rocks are running 175 cranks. It makes sense that a bit shorter would help on a mountain bike, especially one that is biased towards descending.
  • 10 0
 3" Gazzalodis on 24" - you'll see.
  • 4 0
 The new 24+ standard!
  • 3 0
 I smile every time Nokian's entry into awesomeness is mentioned. I have one of those hanging on the wall in my shop just for its awesome factor.
  • 1 0
 @VwHarman: Haha I just came across an old Maxxis Mobster 2.7 in my back room - that was no Nokian, but still pretty big...suprised I used to roll those.
  • 2 0
 Those who rode Gazzas know the benefits of fat rubber
  • 6 0
 I live and ride on the north shore vancouver . Ive tried 170's but always end going back to 175's Im only 5'8 but all th techy rocky climbing needs more torque not less. I time my strokes and rarely hit anything and I like the low cog feeling .
just waiting on my new turbine cinch 175's to show upSmile I also ride a 2x 21/34 front 11/36 rear best up and down shore combo ive tried.
  • 6 1
 Picking a crank length based on your height is totally bogus. I'm 6'4" and ride 165s on all my bikes, even my road bike, due to messed up hips. Conversely, I know a lot of 5'7" and below CX racers who swear by 175s. Try a bunch of different cranks and find out what works for you.
  • 7 2
 " I'm not convinced that there's much downside " regarding wider tires.. err.. someone drank too much cool-aid.
wider tires are:

- less aerodynamic (which is a *huge* deal on mtbs above 20kph)
- heavier (some "same weight setup" is just a pink pony - same everything, a 2.1" tire is lighter than a 2.4" tire and a 24mm rim is lighter than a 30mm rim. every. single. time. logic is hard how much?)
- higher rolling resistance (what do you think "traction" is exactly? its friction between the tire and the ground. also called rolling resistance. Sometimes you want more. Sometimes you want less.)

So they have drawbacks. For slowish descending and slowish climbing, for quite a few people that's totally fine trade-offs to make though, and many end up with 2.4 to 3.0" (fat) tires.

At the end of the day it's all about balance. Anywhere from 2.0 to 3.0 seem to have its place - but saying wider is always better with no drawback, is incorrect and honestly, just stupid.
  • 5 1
 I've had good luck with 170mm cranks on Santa Cruz's spec'd for 175's, just takes a few rides to get used to. The slack geometry on the Nomad (esp with enough sag) and the lower bb's on the 5010 can cause pedal troubles but 170mm cranks let you ride just a bit more worry free. Worth it in my opinion @guybff - easier to charge hard on such a sick bike!
  • 3 2
 Amen brotha! Switched to 170s on my 5010 and was way easier to ride really pedal strokey trails.
  • 2 1
 I also thought I'd hate the switch to 170s, but actually love it on my HT. Thinking about some 170s for the big bike if the cranks ever need an upgrade.
  • 3 1
 Exactly. All this about optimal power delivery is rubbish, unless perhaps you are a professional athlete. 170mm cranks aren't unridable by big guys...I'm 6'2" & run 170s on my TBc & can't tell the difference in pedalling action from my HT with 175s.

Cranks are a fairly cheap thing to try too.
  • 2 0
 Using 170mm cranks on an xl banshee rune. Will be going back to 175 as my next bike is a full build, but 170 was definitely noticeable for less pedal strikes, and I still climbed that bike absolutely everywhere.
  • 1 0
 @hifiandmtb: Same here. 170mm cranks on my Nomad and I can't really say I can notice a difference in pedaling power. I'm 6'2 as well.
  • 4 0
 I say don't be afraid to rock a 60 mil stem if you find the right bike at the right price and that's what you need to make it fit. 50-ish ideal though.
  • 10 1
 Peaty and Minnaar won most of their races on V10s riding 60, sometimes 70mm stems.
  • 3 0
 I do think Marshy's comment on never running a larger stem than your fork offset makes a lot of sense though.
  • 1 0
 @thestigmk1 :i think he said never run a shorter stem than the fork offset
  • 1 0
 @zede: "Greg convinced me that you don't want a stem any longer than the offset of your fork," says Marshy. Greg didn’t want a stem length too different to the offset of his fork,” says Marshy. He said he didn’t like the nervous steering when running a stem shorter than 45mm. - XXL V10 development article is awesome btw. Smile
  • 5 2
 If you are not concerned about weight, coil is going to trump air in regards to performance and maintenance. Coil forks can be very tuneable as well.
  • 5 4
 For Oli with the XXL bike question. I am 6'8 and ride a Pivot Pheonix and an Intense Tracer. The reason a chose the Tracer is that the seat tube legth is fairly long like 21.25 if I remember right. That is really important if you have long legs like most of us tall people. I am lucky enough to work at a shop so when I test rode some of the SC bikes the seat tube was too short to get me to my proper pedal height. Lucky for us though RS has got their 170mm dropper now to we might be able to ride some more bikes like a Process 153 which has got a ridiculously short seat tube for an XL frame. For XC I race a Kona King Kahuna but really anything with a 22" seat tube should work for you and for DJ I had Carter over at Black Market make me a custom frame. Don't worry man you have tons of options!!!!
  • 1 0
 Agreed. I'm 6'4" and always choose bikes with longer seat tubes: 21" or more is ideal.

When bike shopping as a taller guy, you need to look at seat tube length in addition to top tube length and the reach measurement. There's no sense picking a bike with a long top tube that fits horizontally but when you pedal, your knees collide with your elbows. Go long in all directions.
  • 2 1
 I knew you would have a post on this article
  • 1 0
 The XL Evil Wreckoning is damn big as well. Longer reach, ETT and more stack than the XL Enduro 29. It's got a short seat tube so you'll need a 170mm dropper to make it work.
  • 1 0
 Yup you have a lot of options. Evil wreckoning, Yeti 5.5, Turner rfx, Pivot switchblade are all options.

I have an XXL Tallboy LTc that I will be selling shortly (no pun) if you are interested Smile
  • 1 0
 Similar reply here. I'm 6 ft 6. XL Mondraker Dune with a 40mm stem is the first bike that has ever felt like it fits me. Just got an XXL V10 and my god... it's like I've never actually ridden a bike before. Riding has changed overnight.
  • 1 0
 Pivot Phoenix XL :-))))) great for big loving mine. Its worth noting the Phoenix and V10 have pretty long CS to preserve balance.

For trail also look at the Mega 290 also has decent length CS (why I bought one)...this matters if your tall and climbing steeper stuff.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy "... 2.3'' wide tire on a wide rim can do the trick ..." what is considered a wide rim in this instance? Thank you
  • 3 0
 128cm is pretty wide.
  • 2 1
 170 cranks on a nomad 3 is good. 165 would be even better if u are not peddling a lot. The be on those bikes is low and with the 165 mill travel it put the cranks very low to the ground. The monarch shock sits to low in its travel so it's bad for pedal strikes. The float x sits higher in the travel. And a CCDba rides even higher in its travel. The problem with the CCDba with the climb switch is. The bike sits low when climbing hard and that can cause pedal strikes. Run 170 cranks. Low profile pedals. And adjust suspension to ride a little higher. And of corse learn to pedal at the the right time to not hit stuff.
  • 5 0
 The Sender is such a sick looking bike!
  • 4 3
 You can solve the Nomad pedal strike issue by replacing the POS monarch shock. I replaced mine with a float x2 and it solved my pedal strike problem (175 cranks) while allowing me to dial in the exact ride characteristics I wanted. The monarch is an turd, I don't understand why they even spec that shock as every review/rider has the same complaints about it.
  • 1 0
 When your tall you first have to get rid of thinking you get a fitting bike for a bargain unless it's a used one and you are very lucky to get a good one!

Bikes that fit well too: Banshee Prime, Pivot Switchblade, Canyon Spectral 27,5. The last one is a bargain compared to the others.

The recommended Nicolai Geometron rides well but is very expensive at 6200€.
  • 1 0
 An XL Evil Wreckoning has a VTT of 671 and seatpost length of 495. Pair that with a 170mm rockshox reverb stealth and you've got the most bad ass do anything bike that pedals better than you think an when the seat is dropped 170mm its a killer DH bike without having to change anything at all.
  • 2 0
 I swapped-out my 175 mm crankset for a 170 mm SixC crankset last year (Santa Cruz Nomad 3). Makes a huge difference with pedal strikes and I like it for climbing.
  • 3 3
 Can someone please do a test and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 2.1 width, will roll faster then the identical tread pattern, but in a 2.8, or 3 tire. Id like to know how they compare, and then to see what changes as volume and sidewalls vary.
  • 3 4
 if you run the same pressures, very little will change as your contact patch will stay the same size.
  • 1 0
 Depends on what type of terrain you want to roll faster. On smooth dirt thin tyres with high pressure will roll faster. In bumpy places a fat tyre with low pressure will roll faster because it conforms to the bumps (before suspension has a chance to react). The latter will have more grip, so go for big meat and low pressure. Roadies discovered that even on bitumen there was a limit to high pressure after which the tyre will roll slower. With a bit of googling you'll find comparisons that show I speak the truth. Everything in mountain biking is a compromise.
  • 2 0

I agree higher pressures run faster on smooth, lower faster on rough. But still hold that width has very little effect for a given pessure. Infact wider is arguably slightly faster on any surface for a given pressure as the contact patch wont be as long. Pressure is the most important variable by far.
  • 3 0
 Im 6'2" and I went one step further/shorter and put 165mm cranks on a large Nomad. No complaints here...
  • 3 2
 I am surprised that with the shift to making low BB bikes that there hasn't also been a shift to putting 170mm cranks as default - it just seems to make sense for the average sized rider.
  • 2 1
 True that, I have seen some silly sizes with 175. Mediums should not come that way, bike industry.
  • 2 6
flag Drbillin (Jul 12, 2016 at 14:55) (Below Threshold)
 @groghunter: Agreed! Kill 175 cranks with fire! 165 on anything over 150mm travlel or size S and M. 170 cranks belong on shorter travel rigs in L and XL only.
  • 2 2
 Yes Waki, too many people complaining of pedal striking far too much in the mtb e-world. If you can't ride without being in fear of hitting your pedals all the time, it's time to take up or stick with road riding. Tall mtb's suck for slaying trails regardless of chunk and chunder
  • 2 0
 7ft here...went with Waltworks and got a fantastic 160mm 29+ trail bike! Only downside is a bit of a wait, but definitely worth it!
  • 5 0
 Can you slpost some piccys as im really interested to see this. It must be an absolute monster truck.
  • 1 1
 Doug S.... boxxer world cup and team feel nothing like each other. Fox 40 air feels nothing like a boxxer world cup. I have all 3 and ride the team boxxer. If you know what you are doing, the charger damper is defiantly a step backwards, but if you were never sure of what all the dials did amd how they effected tbe ride then the charger damper will be much more suitable. I remember the totem solo air, I bought a set to replace the totem coil.... they were a world apart, I didon't like the solo air at all. I still have a set of totems on my all mountain bike as they make a really nice climbing fork.
  • 2 0
 I'm 6ft and love my 170mm cranks on a 1x set up 36t Renthal up front 11-42 in the rear.
  • 2 0
 Gosh the words "printing bikes" just sounds so crazy. It's amazing how advanced the tech is in the world
  • 3 1
 That confirms how f///ing odd I am, 6'2" and I much prefer my large E29 to the Xl.
Horses for courses I suppose.
  • 1 0
 Pretty tough to say everyone needs to change their crank length. I think just like anything else the determining factors are, where you ride, how you ride, what you ride.
  • 1 0
 175 cm cranks plus azonic flat iron pedals,or similar thin pedals, act like 180 cm cranks when pedalling and have the ground clearance of 170 cm cranks.
  • 3 0
 I love fat rims!
  • 7 1
 I love fat birds!
  • 2 1
 @Earthmotherfu: put the two together and you have a beaut of a relationship fat bike and fat bird together working in perfect harmony .
  • 9 1
 @titaniumtit: I love fat birds rimming..
  • 8 14
flag WAKIdesigns (Jul 12, 2016 at 12:58) (Below Threshold)
 I love fat Dicks
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: did u turn into diesel?
  • 3 0
 @gapos999: yes he diesel.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm 110% sure you do. If you could only get you a electric one.
  • 8 6
 thumbs up if u road ur byke last weeknd
  • 20 1
 what's a road bike?
  • 3 6
 Last weekend --Check Today--check
  • 1 0
 I would love to try 2.7's on my 27mm wide rims and just see how that rolls. It'd look like a monster truck!!!
  • 1 0
 It would look something that's for sure I'd never put a 2.7 on anything less then a 32mm rim but that's my preference
  • 2 0
 Maybe a bit squirmy around the corners. Ive got 2.8" on my 30mm internal rims and its not too bad as the tyres have pretty stiff walls. I would go wider rims but the weight goes up. Its all a trade off.
  • 2 0
 Guerrilla Gravity also offers custom geometry
  • 1 1
 There's most likely a reason that Ken Roczen prefers the KYB coil fork over that piece of shit Showa air fork but what do I know?
  • 1 0
 26x2.75" on 50mm rims rule hahaha!
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 510 mm reach.... holy crap.
  • 1 1
 I'm 6'5" and I think my GT Sanction is the best fitting bike i've ridden. Check it out in my profile, its for sale!
  • 7 10
 Dear pinkbike, what kind of underpanties should I wear to protect my sensitive vagina when I ride my pink and turquoise bike?
  • 4 0
  • 3 5
 Can I have stickers? No seriously, want some stickage.
  • 1 0
 Meeeee tooooo.

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