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I used to own a mountain bike that I truly enjoyed – a full-suspension (Sisku D7). Transitioning from a hardtail, my initial experience with the full-suspension ride was mostly positive, but there were some quirks that caught me off guard.

One of the first things I noticed was that in certain curves, the pedals occasionally grazed the ground. This wasn't a deal-breaker, but it did demand a bit of adjustment to my riding style. However, the real challenge arose during minor falls. It felt as if I was instantaneously placing my foot in the inner part of the crank arm when I was attempting to touch the ground to prevent a fall, resulting in a few unfortunate collisions – about three or four times, to be precise.

The turning point, or rather the tipping point, came when navigating those wooden bridges connecting the trails. A fall ensued, and my ankle ended up wedged between the crank arm and the downtube. As I slid down a hill with the bike entangled with my ankle, I thought that my leg would be broken Stranded on the trail with no one in sight, I had to summon all my strength to pull out my leg from the bike.

This traumatic incident left a lasting impact, prompting me to sell my full-suspension bike and revert to the simplicity of a hardtail. Reflecting on it now, I've noticed that the downtube geometry of many full-suspension bikes extends parallel to the ground before taking a bend upward. This raises a crucial question for me – has anyone else faced similar challenges, or is it a matter of adapting my riding style?

I dream of embracing the full-suspension experience once more without the lingering fear of unwelcome encounters between my legs and the bike. Any insights or shared experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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  • Jsut to clarify - your right foot was inside the front triangle and held there by the right crank? Or the right crank was pushing your right foot up against the underside of the downtube ? Or something else ?
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 29 at 2:18
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    "in certain curves, the pedals occasionally grazed the ground" This is why your inside pedal should be up when cornering! At a minimum, you pedals should be level. If your inside pedal is down, this is guaranteed to happen eventually.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 29 at 19:01
  • @FreeMan For context: Asker has a previous question about pedal strikes on this bike. Commented Mar 1 at 21:14
  • The problem is that the right crank pushes my ankle against the underside of the downtube Commented Mar 2 at 21:04

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Transitioning to a full squish requires time to adapt. It has been twenty years so my recollection might be off and bikes have changed a bit, but I will give it a go....

Easy one is the pedal strike - on a hard tail the bottom bracket height is pretty static. You learn to corner with that BB height and where the pedals are in relation to the ground and angle of bike lean. You subconscious mind is dealing with this all the time, and you don't think too much about it, your pedals never touch the ground - it 'just happens'. When you jump on a full squish, the BB height changes much more, based on loading of the rear suspension. Until you have trained you subconscious mind where the pedals are, and that it has to take into account rear wheel loading, you will get pedal strike. geometry difference could be a part of it - the new bike might also have a lower BB compared to the old one.

The problem when falling is probably to do with the bike moving around as the suspension is unloaded during a fall. The BB, hence, frame, cranks and pedals are no longer where the use to be (when compared to a hard tail). You are getting 'tangled up' because you are putting your feet down where your subconscious mind expects the pedals.

The number of falls (You don't say over what time frame) might be an indication you have taken on more trail than you can handle, probably too soon after going to the full squish. Are you riding the same trails at similar speeds, or have you been able to up the anti and go harder/faster with the full squish (Feeling like you are riding the same as the hard tail).

Suspension setup could be coming into play - too fast rebound on the rear shock on the rear comes to mind (I am far from an expert in this area).

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  • Thank you for taking the time to explore possible explanations for why this is happening to me. In definitive, there is a learning curve when transitioning from a hardtail to a full suspension. Commented Mar 2 at 21:02

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