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Old 06-29-09, 02:49 PM   #1
EraserGirl
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crankset conundrum

So, I buyed myself this bike see?
and I like this bike, I think she's IT, you know?
cept she has some problems
so i throw some money at this bike.
I buyed her a new seat post and new gear shifters
and make her all prepped and pretty
and THEN i discovered something about NEWish bikes
that I hadn't known unto forth about...
crankset inadequacy!!

my 95 Trek Antelope has a 170mm crankset, me being a woman of short stature
finds pain in the angle this puts my knee into.

am i imagining something or are the prices for SHORT cranksets USURIOUS?
Cause it won't do no good to buy ANOTHER bike if none of them come with short cranksets
I didn't have this issue with bikes of a certain age if you know what I mean.




•es i do write good English, i just wanted to come across extra annoyed without every third word getting bleeped.
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Old 06-29-09, 03:05 PM   #2
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Just start looking for a replacement crankset on ebay. That is a pretty simple crank, you should be able to find something at a low price.
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Old 06-29-09, 03:05 PM   #3
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Short cranks are highly prized by the fixed gear crowd, and so they sell for lots of money.
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Old 06-29-09, 03:10 PM   #4
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Well, you have choices.

Find a used crankset with the same BCD on ebay or craigslist, or on this forum.

Our very own Mark Stonich, in fact, shortens crank arms for a living (among other activities, I'm sure): http://bikesmithdesign.com/

... ooo. On closer inspection, he only does this for recumbent use.

Buy $120 set of tandem crank arm shorteners.
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Old 06-29-09, 03:10 PM   #5
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my research so far tells me the short cranksets are all the rage with recumbent riders, too.
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Old 06-29-09, 03:36 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=

... ooo. On closer inspection, he only does this for recumbent use.

[/QUOTE]

No, he does them for:
"... shorter riders, on upright bicycles, can also benefit from short cranks. As well as anyone with a leg length discrepancy or range of motion limitations."
But I see short-arm cranks going for reasonable $ every now and then: many fixie-pixies upgrade to something with a NJS stamp on it, and they jettison their old 165mm cranks (only one chainring supplied, however).
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Old 06-29-09, 03:44 PM   #7
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Older BMX cranks can be a source of shorter crank lengths too

Nowadays, 170 is on the short end of the common spectrum i.e. 170, 172.5, 175

You get below 170 and you're in track territory.
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Old 06-29-09, 08:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EraserGirl View Post
my research so far tells me the short cranksets are all the rage with recumbent riders, too.
EraserGirl, how long are the crank arms on your fleet of three-speeds? I realize a "lady of a certain age" never tells, but this is just between us, right?
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Old 06-29-09, 08:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
Short cranks are highly prized by the fixed gear crowd, and so they sell for lots of money.
Too bad for those of us who need them to ride regular bikes in comfort. (Myself included.)

That makes buying modern, say, Campy Centaur, hard, because the smallest they make is 170. (Insert a giant frowny face crying, here)
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Old 07-07-09, 07:35 AM   #10
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I have an upright bike and had a set of Mark's http://bikesmithdesign.com/ 153mm short cranks installed on my bike and my knee pain vanished immediately and completely. I'm 5'6" 140lb 35 year old woman, and the 165mm cranks that came with my bike killed my bad knees.

If you go down in crank size you might want to order a slightly smaller chainring set to make it even easier to pedal. Mark (Biksmithdesign) can sell you the entire crankset custom made for you so you will have the perfect crank size and gearing for your situation. It was the best money on the bike I ever spent.

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Old 07-07-09, 09:05 AM   #11
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I think I have researched the short crank arm problem pretty thoroughly, and I applaud anyone who wants them. 170 is too long, in my opinion, and I'm 6' tall. For a smaller person to use 170's seems insane, but the options are few.

Check this out if you need a triple. I have one of those on my recumbent; it's pretty good. Not the finest crank out there, but the price seemed about right.

For your three speed with cottered crank, you can get a 36T, 6" steel crank, not quite the ugliest thing you've ever seen, for $13 or so. I had one of those on my Raleigh Twenty for a while, and it was fine. Just kinda ugly.

I had so many 170 and 175 cranks that I bought a Park crank tap and have been shortening my cranks. It's a bit time consuming, and I probably don't do quite as nice a job as Mark does, but I can't afford to send him every crank I own!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
EraserGirl, how long are the crank arms on your fleet of three-speeds? I realize a "lady of a certain age" never tells, but this is just between us, right?
English three speeds usually came with 6 1/2" cranks, about 165 mm.

Last edited by rhm; 07-07-09 at 09:10 AM.
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