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Looking for frames with high BBs

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Looking for frames with high BBs

Old 04-04-21, 12:59 AM
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Looking for frames with high BBs

Looking to replace my cyclocross frame, but I can see in the past 5 years, frame makers have been dropping their bottom bracket heights. Even Ridley are going for around 6.5cm bb drop (Im sure they used to do 5.2cm).I'm a big fan of traditional super high BBs, it just suits my riding style - I feel out of place on my girlfriend's gravel bike with its 2cm greater bb drop.​​​​​​ But having a scout around, struggling to find any super high bb frame bikes.Anyone familiar with the frames from past 8-10 years with very high BBs (<6cm)?Might buy new or second hand, if I can ever find one ...
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Old 04-04-21, 04:32 AM
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I have an '08 Raleigh RX 1.0 with a 55mm drop. I also like the high BB's, it's classic CX geometry. I was looking at new bikes and they've all gone lower, it's like they're trying to merge CX and gravel bikes together so they don't have to produce as many models.

About two years ago I was looking at the Gunnar Crosshairs and it had almost the exact same geometry as my Raleigh with a 55mm drop. I was looking at them recently and now they're 75mm. The Giant TCX is the closest I've seen to classic geometry, it has a 60mm drop.
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Old 04-04-21, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass
I have an '08 Raleigh RX 1.0 with a 55mm drop. I also like the high BB's, it's classic CX geometry. I was looking at new bikes and they've all gone lower, it's like they're trying to merge CX and gravel bikes together so they don't have to produce as many models.

About two years ago I was looking at the Gunnar Crosshairs and it had almost the exact same geometry as my Raleigh with a 55mm drop. I was looking at them recently and now they're 75mm. The Giant TCX is the closest I've seen to classic geometry, it has a 60mm drop.
Yea, I agree, most CX bikes have become more gravel influenced. Guess that's the market. Can see giant have now cut the TCX range to just one bike.
I have taken a friend's and my girlfriend's gravel bikes (with >7.5cm BB drop) down single track a few times, but they feel so sluggish, and I always have scary pedal strikes. I can hop roots and rocks much more easily on my CX bike too. I know some people love that stability, but I just prefer to take my chances with the far nimbler CX geometry.

I've read some people say there's not much in it gravel vs CX geometry - but when you sit my girlfriend's bike and mine next to each other - its really quite striking how different they really are. And as said; the ride quality is completely different.

I did find this a recent high BB bike:
https://archive.fujibikes.com/2020/Fuji/altamira-cx-136

57mm, so reasonably high

will update as I find new frames to post
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Old 04-04-21, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by maxants33
Yea, I agree, most CX bikes have become more gravel influenced. Guess that's the market. Can see giant have now cut the TCX range to just one bike.
I have taken a friend's and my girlfriend's gravel bikes (with >7.5cm BB drop) down single track a few times, but they feel so sluggish, and I always have scary pedal strikes. I can hop roots and rocks much more easily on my CX bike too. I know some people love that stability, but I just prefer to take my chances with the far nimbler CX geometry.

I've read some people say there's not much in it gravel vs CX geometry - but when you sit my girlfriend's bike and mine next to each other - its really quite striking how different they really are. And as said; the ride quality is completely different.

I did find this a recent high BB bike:
https://archive.fujibikes.com/2020/Fuji/altamira-cx-136

57mm, so reasonably high

will update as I find new frames to post
I had a Diverge a couple of years ago and hated it. I don't like gravel geometry, it's long, low and slow steering. Great for stability on gravel but I don't ride gravel roads and wouldn't want to even if I had them in my area.
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Old 04-04-21, 04:42 PM
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https://www.trigoncycles.com/cyclocross-tx765fe.html
Have a look at the geo chart.

Trigon Taiwan has been around for quite a while, but their framesets (alu or carbon) can be tricky to track down.
BikeTone in Europe seems to carry some, but you'd need to contact them for a model's geo chart.

They did do qr back in the day (if you're chasing that). Would need to locate an old model catalogue I guess, then go from there in tracking one down.
Edit: 2018 TX682 carbon canti qr has same bb numbers https://edm.gocatalogs.com/Trigon/Tr...ndex.html#25/z

Ghost in Europe has their carbon Fire Road Rage with 55mm bbdrop across sizes, but that is a gravel/adventure frame.

https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/356502/ Vintage high-end steel canti build route, but you can see by the pic that frame has a pretty tall bb. I'd say under 60mm.
For a vintage project build I'd be grabbing this https://www.bricklanebikes.co.uk/for...-frameset-53cm .

Last edited by tangerineowl; 04-04-21 at 06:01 PM. Reason: txt
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Old 04-05-21, 06:08 AM
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Find a Giant TCX! It's a bummer they are cutting down their options for that bike.
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Old 04-05-21, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass
I was looking at new bikes and they've all gone lower, it's like they're trying to merge CX and gravel bikes together so they don't have to produce as many models.
Originally Posted by maxants33
Yea, I agree, most CX bikes have become more gravel influenced. Guess that's the market. Can see giant have now cut the TCX range to just one bike.
This doesn't really make sense to me. Most (all?) mainstream manufacturers making a dedicated CX bike also have a completely separate line of gravel bikes. Giant has the Revolt. Trek has the Domane and Checkpoint. Cannondale has the Topstone. Specialized Diverge, etc. These companies have no reason to "gravelize" the TCX, Boone, SuperX, CruX.

I think the reason manufacturers have fewer CX bikes in their lineup is that CX bikes used to cover as "do it all" adventure/gravel bike as well, and now that market has become gravel bikes. The CX market share does seem to be shrinking, as gravel bikes are more versatile and likely sell in far bigger numbers since they get marketed as that "do it all" bike now, where as CX bikes are really just specific to CX racing. There's no longer a need for CX bikes aimed at people who will likely never actually race them, and just want a sturdy all-purpose off-road capable drop bar bike.

I'd say current BB height on CX race bikes is just a reflection of current bike design trends in general, rather than a reflection of market consolidation.
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Old 04-05-21, 08:41 AM
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There are really very few people that want a CX bike nowadays. They were always a compromise for people that didn't want to race, but nothing better was available. The other factor going against you is that the thought leaders in CX bike design, e.g. Richard Sachs, say that lower bb height is better for CX.
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Old 04-06-21, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
This doesn't really make sense to me. Most (all?) mainstream manufacturers making a dedicated CX bike also have a completely separate line of gravel bikes. Giant has the Revolt. Trek has the Domane and Checkpoint. Cannondale has the Topstone. Specialized Diverge, etc. These companies have no reason to "gravelize" the TCX, Boone, SuperX, CruX.

I think the reason manufacturers have fewer CX bikes in their lineup is that CX bikes used to cover as "do it all" adventure/gravel bike as well, and now that market has become gravel bikes. The CX market share does seem to be shrinking, as gravel bikes are more versatile and likely sell in far bigger numbers since they get marketed as that "do it all" bike now, where as CX bikes are really just specific to CX racing. There's no longer a need for CX bikes aimed at people who will likely never actually race them, and just want a sturdy all-purpose off-road capable drop bar bike.

I'd say current BB height on CX race bikes is just a reflection of current bike design trends in general, rather than a reflection of market consolidation.
Fewer CX bikes isn't really the point. It's the change of geometry closer to gravel geometry.
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Old 04-06-21, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass
Fewer CX bikes isn't really the point. It's the change of geometry closer to gravel geometry.
Fewer CX bikes is entirely in line with the point I'm making.

BB heights on CX bikes are getting lower; I don't disagree with that fact. I disagree with the presumption that manufacturers are doing this to make CX bikes more like gravel bikes.

This might've made sense 10 years ago when the "gravel bike" segment barely existed and manufacturers needed to modify CX bikes to fill that market gap. This is no longer the case, as they all have gravel-specific bikes to fill that "all purpose" non-race market. CX bikes can just be for cyclocross racing now, and they don't need as many builds.
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Old 04-07-21, 07:55 AM
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I just think its a shame to see the market become more homogeneous in terms of cx geometry. Certainly they all do seem to be more gravelized - slacker head tubes, lower seat stays ect. And companies like Ribble are marketing their bikes as gravel and cx simultaneously. sure for many cx riders the lower bb is better - but for me, I can do more with traditional frames. Perhaps its a body geometry thing, or just depends on what you started with. I suppose there must be a big enough crowd who like high bbs as I'm pleased to see more high bb bikes than I expected. However these are all pretty high end frames. Not much in the alloy selection.

But, it is with great sadness that I observe giant have stopped the aluminium TCX. Truly a great bike. RIP ....

Last edited by maxants33; 04-07-21 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 04-07-21, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by maxants33
And companies like Ribble are marketing their bikes as gravel and cx simultaneously.
I don't really know anything about Ribble, but the marketing for the two CX bikes they have on their website seems mainly focused on racing:

https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/bikes/cyclocross-bikes/

Ribble CX SL: Pure cyclocross racing machine designed with the highest level of competition in mind

Ribble CX AL:The CX AL is a highly versatile all-road bike, it's ideal for those entering the world of cyclocross for the first time but can also be finely tuned to function as a gravel or road bike. With confident handling, lightning-fast acceleration and outstanding traction this is a thoroughbred racing machine.

They also have a full paragraph on there explaining what cyclocross racing is and how CX bikes differ from gravel. I do see that they have a bike called the CGR (Cross, Gravel, Road) but they list it among their 12 gravel bike offerings.
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Old 04-13-21, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
Fewer CX bikes is entirely in line with the point I'm making.

BB heights on CX bikes are getting lower; I don't disagree with that fact. I disagree with the presumption that manufacturers are doing this to make CX bikes more like gravel bikes.

This might've made sense 10 years ago when the "gravel bike" segment barely existed and manufacturers needed to modify CX bikes to fill that market gap. This is no longer the case, as they all have gravel-specific bikes to fill that "all purpose" non-race market. CX bikes can just be for cyclocross racing now, and they don't need as many builds.
I understand what you're saying, but I've never heard any other reasoning on why they are lowering CX bikes.
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Old 04-13-21, 07:34 AM
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Pre-'16 Cannondale SuperX's fit the bill.
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Old 04-13-21, 01:47 PM
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Might have to get Waltly to make you a frame. Most builders will tell you no deal, I think.
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Old 04-22-21, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota
Pre-'16 Cannondale SuperX's fit the bill.
Originally Posted by msu2001la
I don't really know anything about Ribble, but the marketing for the two CX bikes they have on their website seems mainly focused on racing:

https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/bikes/cyclocross-bikes/

Ribble CX SL: Pure cyclocross racing machine designed with the highest level of competition in mind

Ribble CX AL:The CX AL is a highly versatile all-road bike, it's ideal for those entering the world of cyclocross for the first time but can also be finely tuned to function as a gravel or road bike. With confident handling, lightning-fast acceleration and outstanding traction this is a thoroughbred racing machine.

They also have a full paragraph on there explaining what cyclocross racing is and how CX bikes differ from gravel. I do see that they have a bike called the CGR (Cross, Gravel, Road) but they list it among their 12 gravel bike offerings.
Ah, I had only seen the gravel-cross frame. However, it seems while their article on differences between cx and gravel bikes notes higher bbs in cx bikes, there is only 1mm difference between the aluminium cx and gravel bikes offered by Ribble.

Anyway, many thanks to all who named and shamed makes and models to look out for, got my ebay alerts set up and hopefully will find something soon.
Cheers!

Last edited by maxants33; 04-22-21 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 04-22-21, 07:18 PM
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I think the Fuji Altamira has a pretty high BB.

Personally Iíve never like the Euro-style super-high bottom brackets. I had a Ridley for a bit, with a 72 degree head angle and 52 mm of BB drop. That was one weird-feeling bike. Iíve mostly ridden and raced cyclocross bikes with BB drop ranging from 60-66 mm and thatís a good range I think. There are also still
plenty of bikes at around 60 mm. As far as I can tell, there hasnít been a massive shift toward >70+ mm of drop in cyclocross bikes. The majority are still between 60 and 70. So
I donít agree that geometry is becoming homogenous in this way. I donít think a super-high BB has any benefit on a CX bike but youíre used to what youíre used to.

On the other hand, there is definitely a trend toward long and slack in cyclocross bikes, with several brands now offering head angles as low as 70 or even 69.5 degrees in the smallest sizes. I emphatically disapprove of this trend. I donít need my cyclocross bike to slay technical descents, I need it to have some precision for fast corners or line choice on a steep ride-up. I donít get The Great Slackening at all.
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Old 04-23-21, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass
I understand what you're saying, but I've never heard any other reasoning on why they are lowering CX bikes.
Maybe the bb is lower now since nobody rides with clips and toe straps. The clearance isnt needed to accommodate for the clips and straps, so its been designed out?
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