Newbie with some questions

Hi all, I've been riding bmx for years but have decided to progress to big boys bikes now ( I am 51 after all) and got myself a Merida 140 all mountain. I really love it and have been heading to Loftus, Menai, Westleigh and hopefully other venues soon.
A couple of questions..... would the bottom bracket height of most all mountain bikes be about the same? I've noticed myself having a heap of pedal strikes on rocks when going uphill and am curious to know if that is just a symptom of suspension or if I can alleviate a lot of that by having a different geometry frame? If so does anyone have any recommendations?
Also, I have the vertical style rear suspension whilst I see a lot of enduro/all mountain bikes now have the suspension running almost horizontally under the top tube. Is one better than the other and if so why?
Lastly, I can't see the benefit of a dropper post. Am I kidding myself and I will notice a massive difference or is really just another lever to break off?
Thanks, and I hope to read lots of interesting replies in the future.
 

Nambra

Postmeridian
Welcome! I’ll have a go first...

BB heights are all fairly similar, and have tended to get a little lower to lower the centre of gravity so you’re more stable in turns. Without looking it up, the Merida 140 is probably on par with other bikes. Check your rear sag is correct and learn techniques to avoid pedal strikes eg. half cranks etc.

Shock orientation doesn’t make much difference, aside from perhaps more rotation at the pivots. Some longer travel bikes probably can’t fit the required shock length vertically with their particular suspension design, which is why they place them horizontally.

A dropper is pretty much standard kit these days. It allows you to get your seat out of the way when descending. Once you try one you’ll see what they do, and why you will want one.

That’s my layman’s take on things. Cue the usual suspects to correct me... ;)
 

downunderdallas

Likes Dirt
Assuming you have a new Merida, Flow Magazine said this:
"Banging pedals.
Perhaps the only downside to this bike is the very low bottom bracket, which saw us clipping pedals more than usual, especially when climbing. The flipside is that the low centre of gravity gives you a nice feeling of being ‘in’ the bike, rather than on top of it." - at least you know it's not just you!

In my limited experience their reviews are usually pretty solid, good neqws is they like the bike and I believe it has been generally well reviewed, if it's any consolation I had about 4 pedal strikes on my last ride!

Otherwise what Nambra said, yes definitely get a dropper post, shock is fine vertically plenty of well respected bikes do it that way.
 

Ultra Lord

Beanie Fitment Specialist
Also loftus does have plenty of places to smack pedals. The trails are pretty rough and worn in, lots of rocks and steps to be clipped.
 

creaky

The obviative
What sag are you running? Try a bit more pressure, maybe it’s just wallowing through the travel, causing the bottom bracket to drop.
 

Boom King

Wheel size expert
Shorter cranks might lessen strikes. If you like pointing the thing down hills, get a dropper.
 

Plankosaurus

Hydraulic Jack specialist
As with the others, I'd check the sag first to see if I could help the pedal strikes that way a bit. I had a Titus that had seriously low BB and I got strikes all the time. Having said that, you'll also learn to watch what you're climbing too and avoid the strikes a bit by having the pedals in the right spots.

I like horizontal shocks, it's not because it performs better, I just like them that way. There will likely be some differences in the way they perform, but that'll be to do with the linkage types rather than the shock position.

And droppers are the best thing to happen to MTB since suspension, Even better than e-bikes! I have a mate with a bmx background though and he doesn't use his or get the need for it. Solid rider too, just manages to get himself around the post without needing to drop it.

Sent from my G8441 using Tapatalk
 

Cardy George

got ink? want some?
And droppers are the best thing to happen to MTB since suspension, Even better than e-bikes! I have a mate with a bmx background though and he doesn't use his or get the need for it. Solid rider too, just manages to get himself around the post without needing to drop it.
And then there's me. I totally get the point of a dropper, gets the seat out of the way and the lower centre of gravity makes a huge difference for ripping corners. But I don't have one because there is literally only one drop on our club track where it would be useful, and we don't even race that every meet. Everywhere else is dead flat so it's a waste of weight and money
 

Halo1

Likes Dirt
You will probably find that the pedal strikes will become less frequent over time as you learn to time your pedal strokes around stuff and ride the bike better. If not, you could go for a slightly bigger travel fork up from that will raise the BB a bit. In most cases this will improve the bikes descending capabilities and make it more fun to climb if you are not striking stuff all the time.
 

fatboyonabike

Eats Squid
you will now have to get used to things like rocks and roots, as generally there is not very much of these types of trail debris items on a BMX track!
learning how to corner with respect to pedal placement comes with time, but it is an essential skill in mountain biking and one worth learning well.
 
great replies from all so thanks heaps. I run the shock pressure at 180psi. I'm 78kg's so think that is about right....??? I'm usually pretty good at having my pedals in the right place but I guess riding up hills with obstacles around is always going to offer up some pedal strikes so maybe it's something that just goes with the territory. I'm still not convinced on the dropper post yet. I guess riding old school bmx made me accustomed to having to negotiate out of the way of the seat going down hills. It hasn't been an issue for me once yet. BUT, there is always a first time ;-)
 

JTmofo

XC Enthusiast
great replies from all so thanks heaps. I run the shock pressure at 180psi. I'm 78kg's so think that is about right....??? I'm usually pretty good at having my pedals in the right place but I guess riding up hills with obstacles around is always going to offer up some pedal strikes so maybe it's something that just goes with the territory. I'm still not convinced on the dropper post yet. I guess riding old school bmx made me accustomed to having to negotiate out of the way of the seat going down hills. It hasn't been an issue for me once yet. BUT, there is always a first time ;-)
  1. Shock pressure means bugger all. Check YouTube for some videos on how to set sag (Front and rear). This is the first stop when setting up suspension. It will have a huge influence on bb height and responsive feeling in general.
  2. A dropper post is without doubt, the single, most important development in recent MTB technology. When you get quicker and start riding bigger and more technical features, a fixed seat post will kill you...dead. Unless you feel like manually dropping the seat, which is so 2012. Just get a dropper and live happily ever after (just don't buy a reverb). There are heaps of "affordable" options now, so you don't need to spend upwards of $500 on one.
  3. Pedal striking and pedal position are all relative to terrain and the load on the bike. The more you ride and get the feel for suspension compression in certain circumstances, the fewer pedal strikes you will have. You will learn when to half stroke as you get familiar with reading the terrain and how the bike responds.
  4. Get some flat pedals and some 5.10 freeride pro shoes.
  5. Bars must be a minimum of 780mm and stem a maximum of 40mm
  6. All ebike riders are dicks.
  7. 26" wheels are dead and only dinosaurs still sing their praises.
  8. Shimano everything sucks balls. SRAM drivetrain and Hope everything else.
 

Cardy George

got ink? want some?
Aaannnndddd don't forget the grain of salt.

The only thing on my bike that has anything to do with SRAM is covered in Rockshox stickers. Not touching anything else with a barge pole
 

Kerplunk

Likes Bikes and Dirt
And then there's me. I totally get the point of a dropper, gets the seat out of the way and the lower centre of gravity makes a huge difference for ripping corners. But I don't have one because there is literally only one drop on our club track where it would be useful, and we don't even race that every meet. Everywhere else is dead flat so it's a waste of weight and money
Bunny hops? Those jumps at coomie?
Droppers are one of those things that once you are used to having one riding without it feels horrible.
Ignorance is bliss.. (i have one on my xc hardtail)
 

Cardy George

got ink? want some?
Bunny hops? Those jumps at coomie?
Droppers are one of those things that once you are used to having one riding without it feels horrible.
Ignorance is bliss.. (i have one on my xc hardtail)
Nope, the 'drop' is actually the big tree stump over the back of the basin known as the playpen. There's nothing I ride over that's long enough in duration for me to justify one. Hell, I took the fork lockout remote off yesterday, it had seized up from lack of use.

Happy to stay ignorant on this one! :D
 

silentbutdeadly

Eats Squid
Nope, the 'drop' is actually the big tree stump over the back of the basin known as the playpen. There's nothing I ride over that's long enough in duration for me to justify one. Hell, I took the fork lockout remote off yesterday, it had seized up from lack of use.

Happy to stay ignorant on this one! :D
I have a dropper now. By Huey...I am a convert! But at Coomie...no.
 
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