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Old 07-12-18, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by 124Spider View Post
Simple question: My wife is 5'4" tall, with proportional legs. She has a 175 crank on her single bike, and a 170 crank on the tandem.

Would replacing the 170 on the tandem, with something shorter, perhaps help her spin faster (and perhaps help with limiting body movement when pedaling fast)?
IME spin is intrinsic. It can be modified with training and effort of will but it cannot be influenced by equipment. I 'spin' the same regardless of the length of crank I am using. A 5'4" woman is not exactly short. A womans legs are proportionately longer than a man of similar height. I know really tiny women that do as well as any man they ride with on standard size cranks. I don't think anyone really knows for sure what changing crank length actually does or does not do. Racers have winning as an incentive to use a rapid cadence and as high a gear as possible to win. Maintaining the set speed of the A, B, or C riding group on a club ride offers a different kind of incentive. And no, excessive body movement is completely independent of crank length and if anything says the gear is too high. Shortening the crank actually raises the gear because it reduces the torque the rider can apply. She might actually need a longer crank. There is that. FWIW.
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