Notices
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

Race Crank Length

Old 02-19-10, 01:50 PM
  #1  
andre nickatina
not actually Nickatina
Thread Starter
 
andre nickatina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: OR
Posts: 4,447
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Race Bike Crank Length

What length crank do you run on your road bike? How do you like it? If you know your real inseam, post that up too.

I ride 172.5 on the road but am looking to go 170mm, mainly for crits but also because I want to get my crank lengths from bike to bike closer as a whole. I think shorter could also be better for seated high cadence climbs (even though longer is clearly nicer for standing grinds up steep grades). And, since SRAM offers it for Red, I'm almost tempted to try 167.5 on the road so I'd have an exact match between that and track. Plus pedal clearance in crits for days. ~81cm insean, BTW, and I prefer high cadence spinning when I'm in a race paceline because it means fresher legs and easier to adjust distance behind the wheel in front of me.

So, what do you ride?
andre nickatina is offline  
Old 02-19-10, 01:54 PM
  #2  
dmb2786
Senior Member
 
dmb2786's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,020
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
175 because they came on my first bike
dmb2786 is offline  
Old 02-19-10, 02:12 PM
  #3  
mike868y
Senior Member
 
mike868y's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 9,284
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 248 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
172.5...I liked my 170s better though.
mike868y is offline  
Old 02-19-10, 02:26 PM
  #4  
waterrockets 
Making a kilometer blurry
 
waterrockets's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Austin (near TX)
Posts: 26,129

Bikes: rkwaki's porn collection

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 4 Posts
175s for a 91cm inseam, same bike for all training and racing.
waterrockets is offline  
Old 02-19-10, 02:42 PM
  #5  
saratoga
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tampa
Posts: 1,088

Bikes: ?

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
175 mm... 87 cm inseam. No problems with spinning high cadence.
saratoga is offline  
Old 02-19-10, 04:19 PM
  #6  
vladav
Senior Member
 
vladav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
On 170's now, but considering some 165's for my 72cm inseam. My problem is something stiff and cheap and not too heavy. Wanted 7800 but it is not available anymore, could afford new ultegra but my mechanic says I need all new FD&Brifters cause of the chainring spacing? 105 I guess is my only option, ick.
vladav is offline  
Old 02-19-10, 04:23 PM
  #7  
gwchem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
On a somewhat related note; At what inseam would any of you recommend going to a longer crank? I've always ridden 175's, and do not know my inseam, but am 6'5". Does anyone think it would be a good idea to try longer? Or would you need to know my inseam to advise either way?
gwchem is offline  
Old 02-19-10, 04:31 PM
  #8  
waterrockets 
Making a kilometer blurry
 
waterrockets's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Austin (near TX)
Posts: 26,129

Bikes: rkwaki's porn collection

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by gwchem View Post
On a somewhat related note; At what inseam would any of you recommend going to a longer crank? I've always ridden 175's, and do not know my inseam, but am 6'5". Does anyone think it would be a good idea to try longer? Or would you need to know my inseam to advise either way?
There's a lot to the decision. A local coaching group posted this brief article on the subject: https://www.duratatraining.com/community/?p=163rel=
waterrockets is offline  
Old 02-19-10, 05:11 PM
  #9  
kensuf
My idea of fun
 
kensuf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 9,892

Bikes: '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '02 Kona Lavadome, '07 Giant TCR Advanced, '07 Karate Monkey

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 24 Posts
part of me feels this thread is a throw-back to the 41, but there's another part of me that's really curious.

FWIW, I'm 5'9.5" (don't forget that 1/2 inch dammit!). I've never actually "measured" my inseam, but I suspect it's about 32" (I wear 32x30's), which puts me at 81.5cm. I ride 172.5's, but for awhile I had 170's and actually liked them for climbing. I'm more of a spinner than a masher even though I have legs that would make Chris Hoy jealous, and I'm getting a professional fit by the #1 bike fitter in the country done in early March.. I'll report back if he says I should go short, longer, or stay the same if someone remembers to bump this thread.
kensuf is offline  
Old 02-19-10, 05:40 PM
  #10  
voltman
It is fantastic.
 
voltman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: The OC
Posts: 7,977

Bikes: 05 Specialized Allez Elite; 06 Fuji Team Pro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
part of me feels this thread is a throw-back to the 41, but there's another part of me that's really curious.

FWIW, I'm 5'9.5" (don't forget that 1/2 inch dammit!). I've never actually "measured" my inseam, but I suspect it's about 32" (I wear 32x30's), which puts me at 81.5cm. I ride 172.5's, but for awhile I had 170's and actually liked them for climbing. I'm more of a spinner than a masher even though I have legs that would make Chris Hoy jealous, and I'm getting a professional fit by the #1 bike fitter in the country done in early March.. I'll report back if he says I should go short, longer, or stay the same if someone remembers to bump this thread.
Bump.
voltman is offline  
Old 02-20-10, 12:27 AM
  #11  
carpediemracing 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,178

Bikes: Tsunami Bikes

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 299 Post(s)
Liked 34 Times in 20 Posts
Crank length preferences are personal. I use longer cranks. 175. Inseam is 29"? Something like that. I used to use 167.5s. As I lost my top end but gained power, I've gone longer.

I use 170s in the summer - track, flatter races, more fitness, more speed.
175s until end of April or so - Bethel Spring Series. I go back to 175s after race season, for me Sept or so.

I lose about 30 rpm off top end with 175s. I am maybe 20 rpm slower in general. But I can turn gears over much better on power hills (instead of a 39x 14 I can roll a 53x15).

When I went to 175s and found them useful, my friends allowed themselves to try longer cranks. One rides a 64, the other a 60, and both now use 180s.

cdr
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 02-20-10, 02:40 AM
  #12  
Sassonian
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 124

Bikes: Custom Zinn Dolomite Ti

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by gwchem View Post
On a somewhat related note; At what inseam would any of you recommend going to a longer crank? I've always ridden 175's, and do not know my inseam, but am 6'5". Does anyone think it would be a good idea to try longer? Or would you need to know my inseam to advise either way?
I'm 6'6.5" and my inseam is 97cm. I ride 210mm cranks. Have a custom built Zinn that's designed around proportional length cranks. (Ie the idea that taller people with longer levers should be pedalling proportionally the same sized circles). Whole bike is designed with this as a key factor - so the bottom bracket is higher so that I have the same clearance as any other bike would have.

Had this bike a few months now and the difference is honestly mind blowing. I race regularly and was previously a middle of road average club racer - and now I can foot it with the fastest in our club. It's meant that I can accelerate quicker - so that surges that used to spit me out the back are handled without too much drama - and I can climb incredibly better.

I rode 175's too on my old bikes - and went back and rode one of them the other day. Felt like I was riding a kids bike.

If you are tall - I would highly, highly recommend investigating longer cranks.

I updated the Zinn Blog the other day with my adventures on this bike. Click here to see.
Sassonian is offline  
Old 02-20-10, 04:26 AM
  #13  
Braden1550
Senior Member
 
Braden1550's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 550

Bikes: I hate bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I went from 170's to 172.5's and freaking loved them. Way more power on tap. I could spin 130 comfortably on the roadie with 170's, and 115-120 with the 172.5's. I'm thinking of going to 175's for road now, this thread seems to have convinced me...172.5's max for crits however.
Braden1550 is offline  
Old 02-20-10, 06:21 AM
  #14  
carpediemracing 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,178

Bikes: Tsunami Bikes

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 299 Post(s)
Liked 34 Times in 20 Posts
I should point out that I get more results in the summer on 175s, at least within the last 5-6-7 years.

I only used 170s for one year in a recent summer - 2008?. I had an extraordinary year training, doing 3x as many hours as normal. Felt really strong. I didn't place as well on 170s. I failed to place well at Bethel for example, failed to place in a bunch of sprints. To be fair I finished extremely difficult races, averaging much higher heart rates than I normally could sustain. I figure that's the training.

In 2009, back to riding much fewer hours (employment can have that effect), I won races and field sprints on much less training but almost always riding 175s. I even placed in races where I mentally gave up in the last lap. On 170s on the track I had limited success.

However, I'm willing to sacrifice my whole summer crit racing season to see how my track racing improves if I use 170s consistently, both on the road and on the track. Last year, for all but one week, I used 175s on Sat/Sun/Mon/Tue (easy, race, hard group ride, race). Then Wed I went to the track and raced on 170s. I returned to 175s when I rode again on Saturday. I felt like I had no top end on the 170s. The last week full week I raced I put 170s on my road bike before Wed/Track. Won a fast event (requiring high top speed) that week at the track, one that used to get me shelled (Keirin). I crashed the following week on Tues so my experiment ended early.

Anyway, in 2010, 170s in the summer for me. If I cared more about placing in a crit in the summer I'd use 175s. I've decided to sacrifice my whole post-Bethel season on the road to help teammates and to see how using 170s on the road affects my track racing.

For crank length changes I move my saddle up and down 5 mm, to keep max extension consistent. Otherwise I keep things the same. I feel more aero on the 170s, can spin faster, but have a lot more leverage on the 175s. I sometimes move my saddle forward (when raising it) or backwards (when lowering it), but I don't have a real good "sit spot" on my saddle so it doesn't make a huge difference.

cdr
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 02-20-10, 07:10 AM
  #15  
Soil_Sampler
A little North of Hell
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,892
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
175mm-90.2cm inseam
Soil_Sampler is offline  
Old 02-20-10, 10:11 AM
  #16  
TheStott
Cross-Chainer
 
TheStott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eastern Panhandle, WV
Posts: 343
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
There's a lot of reference to cadence in this thread. I switched from 175's to 172.5's around mid-summer last year, and eliminated some knee/IT pain. My cadence remained about the same, with no difference in top end/low end power, etc. The big difference came when I switched from a triple to a standard double (53/39). I'm still struggling to get my cadence back up, and I still fatigue much quicker.
In my opinion, the small change in crank arm length shouldn't make much difference in cadence, but rather correct a fit issue. Of course, there's a leverage issue, but unless all you do is mash or spin, it should equal out over the course (throughout the hills/descents).
TheStott is offline  
Old 02-20-10, 10:39 AM
  #17  
roy5000x2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,133
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I run 172.5 on both of my bikes, mostly because that's usually the longest crank arm length the buyers I've gone through have had. I usually run on a time constraint as well, so I don't have time to wait for 175s. I wouldn't mind running 175s though, since my legs could use another mm or two of extension on both of my bikes.
roy5000x2 is offline  
Old 02-22-10, 11:36 AM
  #18  
kensuf
My idea of fun
 
kensuf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 9,892

Bikes: '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '02 Kona Lavadome, '07 Giant TCR Advanced, '07 Karate Monkey

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 24 Posts
After doing a bunch of reading on the subject over the past few days, I just ordered a set of 170's..
kensuf is offline  
Old 02-22-10, 12:14 PM
  #19  
ZeCanon
Writin' stuff
 
ZeCanon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
After doing a bunch of reading on the subject over the past few days, I just ordered a set of 170's..
+1 almost everything I've read has shown shorter cranks are almost always better.
ZeCanon is offline  
Old 02-22-10, 12:20 PM
  #20  
gwchem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
+1 almost everything I've read has shown shorter cranks are almost always better.
I seem to be reading this as well. Though like some of you mentioned, it's probably best to get a coach/fitter to evaluate each individual's efficiency with different lengths. Someday, when the money isnt so scarce...
gwchem is offline  
Old 02-22-10, 12:42 PM
  #21  
fordfasterr
One speed: FAST !
 
fordfasterr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ft. Lauderdale FL
Posts: 3,375

Bikes: Ebay Bikes... =)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
175's 32" inseam.
fordfasterr is offline  
Old 02-22-10, 12:50 PM
  #22  
kensuf
My idea of fun
 
kensuf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 9,892

Bikes: '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '02 Kona Lavadome, '07 Giant TCR Advanced, '07 Karate Monkey

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by gwchem View Post
I seem to be reading this as well. Though like some of you mentioned, it's probably best to get a coach/fitter to evaluate each individual's efficiency with different lengths. Someday, when the money isnt so scarce...
Well I still have that date to get fitted next month... But I'll be swapping to 170's this week..
kensuf is offline  
Old 02-22-10, 02:05 PM
  #23  
LesterOfPuppets
cowboy, steel horse, etc
 
LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Valley of the Sun.
Posts: 34,643

Bikes: everywhere

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5552 Post(s)
Liked 1,282 Times in 673 Posts
172.5 cranks, 82.5 inseam. I've run 170s a lot, and run 175 often on MTBs only, but 172.5 is just the most comfortable circle for me to turn.
LesterOfPuppets is online now  
Old 02-22-10, 03:07 PM
  #24  
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Posts: 9,666
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 249 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
172.5...I liked my 170s better though.
If I remember your height correctly (around 5' 6", right?), 172.5 is waaaay too long for you.

I'm 5' 5" and ride with 165s. ZeCanon has it right; shorter is better (there are obvious exceptions, like CDR's preference for long cranks, but it's a safe rule). It's a problem; we're still dealing with the fall-out of the long-crank fad of the 80's, when suddenly everyone needed to be on 180s. Now the short-crank end of the market is badly under-served, especially women riders. When Specialized makes a big deal about their new womens' bike coming with cranks as short as 167.5mm, you know there's a problem. It used to be possible to order 160s at your LBS; they might not stock it, but the option was there. No such product even exists anymore, except for custom-made cranks.
grolby is offline  
Old 02-22-10, 03:31 PM
  #25  
procrit
carbon is too light
 
procrit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,065

Bikes: Yes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked 92 Times in 51 Posts
I'm 5' 11" and use 170mm cranks. Don't plan on going back.
procrit is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.