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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 07-24-14, 12:10 PM   #1
bowzette
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Anyone Using 165mm Cranks?

After a century on fixed gear I think I will change 170 to 165 to reduce hip angle at top of stroke. I'm only 5'5" with short legs for that height. Of course easy to get 165 cranks for the fixed gear bike. If that works out I may change cranks on my road bikes. Was wondering if any short riders here are using cranks shorter than standard road 170mm, what are they using, and do they notice a difference with reduced hip angle?
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Old 07-24-14, 12:22 PM   #2
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I bought a gruppo off someone who stripped a bike, and found it had a stock crank with 165. It was a smaller Bianchi with Sport LX. I'm 6' and think I will swap them before I complete the build.
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Old 07-24-14, 02:16 PM   #3
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I bought 165's for my wife's road bike, since she is also short. But when she's on the tandem, she's riding 170's or maybe even 175's, I can't remember. She's never commented on the difference.

For that matter, I have 170's on some bikes and 175's on others and I've never noticed going back and forth between them.

Nick
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Old 07-28-14, 11:02 AM   #4
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I use 165mm cranks, and I am taller than you with a long-ish inseam for my height (I am 5'6"). I started using them on my fixie, but still had 170's on my road bike for awhile. But at a certain point, when I'd been doing most of my road riding on the fixie for long enough (and my commuting on a different fixie, also with 165's) the switch to 170's on the road bike started to bug me. I guess part of it may just be a matter of what I'm used to, but when I realized that I was pedaling squares for the first 30 mi of any ride on the road bike until I got used to it again, I switched to 165's and now I have 165's on everything. It's been probably ten years since even half my annual mileage was on a geared bike though, and for most of that time it was probably more like 10-20%. So maybe I'd feel differently if I wasn't primarily used to riding fixed. But as it stands, I keep 165's on everything and don't really like the feel when I ride someone else's bike with longer cranks.
FWIW, my better half is 5'5" and has a shorter inseam, and he rides fixed mostly for commuting and geared for road riding. He isn't as picky about crank length as me, but he still has 165's on most of his bikes.
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Old 07-28-14, 04:22 PM   #5
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I'm 6'1" with 34" inseam, and I use 165mm cranks on the road fixie. The shorter cranks are an advantage spinning down hills (for a given angular velocity, your linear foot speed is slightly slower than with a longer crank). You lose a little leverage on steeper climbs, but I can usually finesse these grades, and at the point where I need to get off and walk (around 18%), it wouldn't make much difference if the cranks were 5 or 10mm longer.

The shorter cranks also help with cornering. The bottom bracket drop on my Rodriguez fixie is 60mm. Combined with the short cranks, I can lean the bike into fast turns without scraping anything.

Luis
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Old 07-29-14, 07:47 AM   #6
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just got Sugino 75s 165mm installed yesterday but haven't had chance to ride yet. I think they will work better for me riding fixed. Riding a geared bike the 170s feel fine. I guess shifting with gears instead of my legs and the ability to rest some coasting makes the difference.
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Old 07-29-14, 07:54 AM   #7
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BTW Luis my wife and I and some friends are spending two weeks in Alaska beginning September 1. We are taking an extra day to see Vancouver-looking forward to seeing your city.
Mike
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Old 07-29-14, 09:07 AM   #8
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I use 165's on my recumbent. I will use them on my road bike when I get around to swapping out the crankset.
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Old 07-29-14, 12:29 PM   #9
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Make sure that you readjust your saddle for proper leg extension after making the switch. You'll probably need to raise it slightly if it was correct with 170's.
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Old 07-29-14, 06:55 PM   #10
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I use 165s . Love them. Get a more aerodynamic position with a more open hip angle. I'm 5'2"

ThermionicScott, that is incorrect, you will raise the saddle.
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Old 07-29-14, 08:25 PM   #11
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ThermionicScott, that is incorrect, you will raise the saddle.
Whoops, you're right, I had it flipped around in my head. Edited.
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Old 07-30-14, 12:11 PM   #12
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I'm 5'6" with 29" inseam and use 165 cranks.
my bike came with 170 and when I did one legged drills I really struggled at the top of my stroke. Changed to old Takagi with updated rings and all is sweet again.
any future cranks I buy will be 165mm
Allan
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Old 08-03-14, 09:57 AM   #13
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I'm 74, 5'4", had ridden 170mm or 175mm all my life (whatever my bikes came with). Lots of riding--4,900 mi. last year. After arthroscopy on my knee in April, I decided to (finally) get properly fitted. Turns out I've needed 165mm all along. Installed Sugino with a compact triple. Got one ride in, seemed ok. Will test them with a week ride in FL later this month.
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Old 08-03-14, 08:03 PM   #14
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rode 2/10 of mph faster with adverse wind direction on a out and back course with rollers. may be the shorter cranks or motivation-quien sabe but the shorter cranks didn't slow me down.
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