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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 03-02-13, 07:10 PM   #1
lockwood1
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165mm vs. 160mm crank arms difference

I'm kind of newbie here so here it goes I bought a fixie bike a few weeks ago and would like to change the stock white crankset (165mm crankarms) to black however the seller does not have black one with 165mm crankarms, he does have black but 160mm crank arms my question is am I gonna feel much of a difference 165mm vs 160mm? or should I go for another crankset brand like Origin 8 with 165mm arms?
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Old 03-02-13, 07:15 PM   #2
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From what I've gathered in my short time here, you may notice a slight difference at first but for the most part it should feel about the same.
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Old 03-02-13, 10:02 PM   #3
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~5mm
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Old 03-02-13, 10:36 PM   #4
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so small

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Old 03-02-13, 10:36 PM   #5
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The problem w riding 160mm cranks is that you might fall in love and forever want short cranks, which are not always easy to find.

Go for it.
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Old 03-02-13, 10:42 PM   #6
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You will have about 3% less leverage. My bet is that you won't notice the difference, unless you have a toe strike or pedals strike issue, and that will be better with the shorter cranks.
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Old 03-02-13, 10:57 PM   #7
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[ ] <--- That much difference
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Old 03-04-13, 11:42 AM   #8
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Especially since you're new, and I'm sure you have no idea what spinning cranks of different lengths feels like, you won't notice a difference.
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Old 03-04-13, 12:37 PM   #9
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Especially since you're new, and I'm sure you have no idea what spinning cranks of different lengths feels like, you won't notice a difference.
Well, yeah, but get narrower pedals first, save your money. Especially if the cranks aren't a marked improvement.

Also- check how much clearance you have between the crankarm and the chainstay- BB's are cheap.
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Old 07-31-14, 06:22 PM   #10
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Well, yeah, but get narrower pedals first, save your money. Especially if the cranks aren't a marked improvement.

Also- check how much clearance you have between the crankarm and the chainstay- BB's are cheap.
How does this help?
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Old 08-01-14, 04:51 AM   #11
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How does this help?
How does bumping a dead thread from March help? Hmm?

Also, it helps because pedals are cheaper than cranks.
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Old 08-01-14, 06:20 AM   #12
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Well, yeah, but get narrower pedals first, save your money. Especially if the cranks aren't a marked improvement.

Also- check how much clearance you have between the crankarm and the chainstay- BB's are cheap.
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How does this help?
The biggest reason for getting shorter cranks is to improve ground clearance in corners. Narrower pedals do the same thing.
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Old 08-01-14, 07:58 AM   #13
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I just spent a ton of money going from 170 to 165 to reduce amount of knee angle at top of stroke. I have realy short legs or I wouldn't have spent the money. Don't know if it will make a difference or not. I "suspect but don't know" whether the shorter your legs the more benefit or less noticeable the shorter cranks. Recumbent riders often ride really short cranks like 150mm-160mm.
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Old 06-09-17, 06:41 PM   #14
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I just spent a ton of money going from 170 to 165 to reduce amount of knee angle at top of stroke. I have realy short legs or I wouldn't have spent the money. Don't know if it will make a difference or not. I "suspect but don't know" whether the shorter your legs the more benefit or less noticeable the shorter cranks. Recumbent riders often ride really short cranks like 150mm-160mm.
Resurrecting this since I see you still post on the forum and i have the same issue (on road bike), short legs leading to very upright position (for a racing cyclist). Wondering if I can pepper you with questions...

Did the 5mm difference helped at all, and did you lower the front end? If so by how much? Do you feel like you could go even shorter to 160mm? Or did you ever go back to 170? Was this on single speed, and have you tried on a geared bike?

I have I believe 172.5 now, with a stages power meter. Thinking of going shorter - I really want to try 160 because I feel like I need to go a lot shorter, but worried about gambling on it with the cost of a new power meter on an odd sized crankset
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Old 06-10-17, 06:46 AM   #15
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Hi aaaronmcd. My best "guesstimate" is the 165 crankarms are a benefit in reducing the amount of knee flex/angle. I don't notice this on the geared bikes. I ride 170mm on the geared bikes. At one time I had 172.5 on one of the geared bikes and 170 on another one and didn't notice the difference. But I think I notice the difference more on the fixed gear bike. I do 3-4 hour road rides on the fixed gear bike through rollers and grades and lots of wind sometimes. On the fixed gear my quads are my "gears" and with my really short legs the shorter cranks seem to be a benefit to avoid irritating the knees. On a geared bike I am a master of staying in the most efficient gear which I think avoids stressing the knees with the longer crankarms. I assume you are riding fixed gear if you are posting in this forum. If you are in SF Bay area I assume you have some real climbs to deal with. With 160 crankarms you will not climb standing as efficiently as with 165. A 160 crankset will be harder to find and maybe rather heavy if for recumbents. My recommendation is to go with 165mm and if not happy sell them and go shorter. For fixed riding I'm happy with the 165mm and wouldn't want to go shorter-don't want to lose power with each stroke and I spin fast enough as it is. Hope I answered your question.
Mike
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Old 06-11-17, 11:58 AM   #16
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Hi aaaronmcd. My best "guesstimate" is the 165 crankarms are a benefit in reducing the amount of knee flex/angle. I don't notice this on the geared bikes. I ride 170mm on the geared bikes. At one time I had 172.5 on one of the geared bikes and 170 on another one and didn't notice the difference. But I think I notice the difference more on the fixed gear bike. I do 3-4 hour road rides on the fixed gear bike through rollers and grades and lots of wind sometimes. On the fixed gear my quads are my "gears" and with my really short legs the shorter cranks seem to be a benefit to avoid irritating the knees. On a geared bike I am a master of staying in the most efficient gear which I think avoids stressing the knees with the longer crankarms. I assume you are riding fixed gear if you are posting in this forum. If you are in SF Bay area I assume you have some real climbs to deal with. With 160 crankarms you will not climb standing as efficiently as with 165. A 160 crankset will be harder to find and maybe rather heavy if for recumbents. My recommendation is to go with 165mm and if not happy sell them and go shorter. For fixed riding I'm happy with the 165mm and wouldn't want to go shorter-don't want to lose power with each stroke and I spin fast enough as it is. Hope I answered your question.
Mike
Hi thanks for the reply. I actually ran across this thread from a Google search and spend most of my time in the 33 - road bike racing. I did track for a year but never fell in love with fixed. Now I just do road. I tend to prefer spinning up to standing and mashing for short climbs or attacking the peloton (spinning attacks are so stealth lol), but as a crit and road racer I often have to stand to get a good jump to follow attacks when I'm chilling at 90 or 95 rpm. I am a bit concerned that 160s won't provide the desired torque for those jumps, even if my cadence might be a tad higher. My jump is already on the weak end so maybe Ill avoid 160s and try out 165 for a year.
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