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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 04-15-07, 04:38 PM   #1
Robbykills
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Crank Length for Track

So I got measured at my LBS and my crank length should be 170. Pretty soon I'd like to get a track frame (mainly for street use but maybe one day I'll be in shape enough to race?) and 165 seems to be the preferred size. Now has this come about as a remedy for conversions to have less a chance of pedal strike? Should I get 165's or will the increased bottom bracket height on a track frame compensate for the risk of pedal strike and allow me to safely run 170s?
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Old 04-15-07, 05:56 PM   #2
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I've been running 170's on a road conversion almost daily for two years and have never had pedal stike happen to me. Don't forget that all the fuss is over a 1/4". Buy what you like and buy what you can afford.
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Old 04-15-07, 06:06 PM   #3
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In reference to whatever is the best crank length for you on a road bike, its fairly standard for cyclists to use a 2.5-5mm shorter crank on a track bike and a 2.5-5mm longer crank on a mountain bike. So if your "fit" is 170mm cranks, I'd go with 170s on a road bike, 165s on a track bike, and maybe 172.5s on a mountain bike.
For my height, I use 175s on a road bike, but I use 167.5mm and 170mm cranks on a fixed gear. You'll benefit from shorter cranks on fixed gear bikes because a shorter crank gives you a wider range of cadence and is more comfortable to spin at high cadence.

Last edited by mihlbach; 04-15-07 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 04-15-07, 06:08 PM   #4
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165s are preferable. if you are taller and run a larger frame then go for 167.5. if you are using them for street then this will definitely be better than 170, but for sue if you are buying new and have a choice do not buy 170 cranks
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Old 04-15-07, 06:16 PM   #5
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Buddy of mine just went down from pedal strike the other day. THE THREAT IS REAL.

If I were you I'd defy your roadie numbers and just go for the 165. I'm sure it'll be fine.
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Old 04-15-07, 06:19 PM   #6
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thanks guys.
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Old 04-15-07, 07:11 PM   #7
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Crank lengths would depend on the type of track you race on. If it has steep banking, you'd want 165's. If its not as steep, 170's. Best thing to do is go talk to the racers at your velodrome. They'd help you with gearing too.
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Old 04-15-07, 11:29 PM   #8
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T-town is the local velodrome but I've only been once. I've been riding my fixed gear road bike for about 3 1/2 years with 170s but I wasn't sure if the 165 length was just a concern for street or not. I think I'm gonna go with them for now. And I shouldn't have to worry about proper track gearing for quite some time as I think it will be a little while before my fat ass tries to ride competitivly on a track haha. once again, thanks.
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Old 04-16-07, 02:02 AM   #9
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I have slid through corners at 25 MPH on my pedals, It makes you pee a little. Reduce your chances of pedal strike where you can.
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Old 04-16-07, 08:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjvw
I've been running 170's on a road conversion almost daily for two years and have never had pedal stike happen to me. Don't forget that all the fuss is over a 1/4". Buy what you like and buy what you can afford.
all that fuss over 1/4" is warranted. i've never ridden on a track but i spent two years on 170s before getting 165s for another bike. the difference is huge and comfortable.
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Old 04-16-07, 08:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbykills
T-town is the local velodrome but I've only been once. I've been riding my fixed gear road bike for about 3 1/2 years with 170s but I wasn't sure if the 165 length was just a concern for street or not. I think I'm gonna go with them for now. And I shouldn't have to worry about proper track gearing for quite some time as I think it will be a little while before my fat ass tries to ride competitivly on a track haha. once again, thanks.
If you've been fine for 3 1/2 years and you are getting a bike with a higher bb you will continue to be fine.
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Old 04-16-07, 04:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by queerpunk
all that fuss over 1/4" is warranted. i've never ridden on a track but i spent two years on 170s before getting 165s for another bike. the difference is huge and comfortable.
I can't speak to the comfort issue with 165's, but I've managed another 25 miles still without pedal strike on my 170's.

If you make hard and fast turns on the rough streets on a track bike with an already high bb and you feel you need the tiny bit of extra clearance then go with what makes you comfortable.
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Old 04-16-07, 04:17 PM   #13
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you should really run the crank length that is most comfortable for you
for me 165s are very good for the spin nice even tight small circles
170s are better if you have longer legs

I have never had a pedal stirke on my conversion with 171 and a bb that is lower by a cm
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Old 04-16-07, 04:37 PM   #14
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crank length also depends on bb height, and to a lesser extent width. if it is a true track frame the height of your bottom bracket will compensate for cornering-banking. but that doesn't mean you should throw on 180's...
if u dig thru some old threads there was a poll (maybe last week) on crankarm length. quite a few riders here are on 170s.
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Old 04-16-07, 05:04 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by EyeRobot
Buddy of mine just went down from pedal strike the other day. THE THREAT IS REAL.

If I were you I'd defy your roadie numbers and just go for the 165. I'm sure it'll be fine.
I had pedal strike all the time on my last bike and I never went down. Maybe because I was used to it from my bmx bike, but it never phased me.
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Old 04-16-07, 05:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitropowered
Crank lengths would depend on the type of track you race on. If it has steep banking, you'd want 165's. If its not as steep, 170's. Best thing to do is go talk to the racers at your velodrome. They'd help you with gearing too.
Agree. There are some tracks that are so steep that you have to be going pretty fast on the banking to avoid strikes with any crank legnth.
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Old 04-16-07, 05:31 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by me thinkst
crank length also depends on bb height, and to a lesser extent width. if it is a true track frame the height of your bottom bracket will compensate for cornering-banking.
That is simpy not true with steep banking and a good abrasive surface a high bb won't save you from pedal strike even with 165s. If you are a sprinter or just don't want to worry about accidentally going to slow 165s are your best bet.

The OP doesn't ride regularly on a track anyway though. This thread is somewhat deceptively titled.
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Old 04-16-07, 06:50 PM   #18
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The difference is not just 1/4" since your pedal strikes when the bike is at an angle, not standing up straight.

Narrower pedals help alleviate pedal strike. Don't use BMX platforms or touring pedals and make turns using common sense. I wouldn't go with 165s if you intend to use the bike for the street mostly. They will make you lose much-appreciated leverage. I also find that vintage 165 cranks are more expensive, so I just buy the 170s, haha.
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Old 04-16-07, 07:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjvw
I can't speak to the comfort issue with 165's, but I've managed another 25 miles still without pedal strike on my 170's.

If you make hard and fast turns on the rough streets on a track bike with an already high bb and you feel you need the tiny bit of extra clearance then go with what makes you comfortable.
but i wasn't talking about pedal strike. i was talking about the comfort difference that i felt.
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