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Old 06-22-20, 10:19 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Rt 12 Washington USA
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Bikes: 2013 Ridley Helium, 2017 Blue Pro-Secco EX, 1987 Schwinn Super Sport

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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Longer cranks do give you more leverage. However, I'll always go for shorter cranks just because I can maintain a high cadence more comfortably. I have a fairly low and aero position even when on the hoods. So longer cranks are going to be uncomfortable for me just in the extra little bit of shove they give my thighs as they push into my gut. Perhaps if set my bars a little higher, it would be different, but then I'd be wasting watts on long rides.
This was my thinking initially for switching to shorter cranks.

Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post

At the times you struggled to stay at 65 rpm:
  1. Was this for a significant amount of time?
  2. Did you have a lower gear you could have shifted to? If so, why didn't you?
  3. Do you struggle on your normal rides to keep a decent cadence on the hills you ride?
1. Yes - It was a 15 mile climb over 5% and most of it was 6-8%. So 2 hours of climbing. I started out around 75 -80 RPM but couldn't maintain for the 2 hours.

2. No. I ended up in 34x28 by the end of the first 30 minutes of climbing

3. No. But my normal rides dont have 15 miles of climbing. Some of the climbs i normally do have in upwards of 12-14% grade but thats only for a short distance and I think the longest climbs i have on my regular routes are 4-5 miles at 4% - 5%.

Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
If you only had to struggle briefly when a grade suddenly got steep, then not a big deal. But if you don't have the gearing to let you maintain a decent cadence for the hills you regularly do, then you might want to change the front crankset, rear cassette or both.

Just remember when changing crank lengths, if you do go shorter, and you didn't have a low enough gear with the longer cranks, then you'll definitely be in trouble with shorter cranks.

Great that you did the ride and finished. Don't wait too long before doing another.
My initial thought was shorter cranks would be more comfortable at a higher cadence for the long climb. I notice on my regular climbs of 2-3 miles that on my road bile with 175mm cranks its a bit of work on the climbs but there seems to be more acceleration as I stand up and sprint to get over the tops. On my gravel bike with 172.5mm cranks (Its also 4 pounds heavier but is a better fit for me) It feels like I spin more over the top and its not the quick acceleration that I get with the longer cranks. I notice it on group rides as well. The shorter cranks feel more "Spinny"

Anyway - Thanks all for the feedback. Its great to learn from your experiences. I may try to do this ride again later in the season and I will swap out the cranks if I do just to see if it feels different. I'll probably be in much better shape later in the season as well so it won't really be a good comparison.
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