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Crank Length for 59cm vintage build.

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Crank Length for 59cm vintage build.

Old 08-07-16, 06:57 PM
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WolfRyder 
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Crank Length for 59cm vintage build.

I am pretty tall 6'3 but have shorter inseam and like a longer top tube and stem to lean over because I have long torso. The average length I see for vintage cranksets is 170 to 172.5. I feel like I would rather have a 172.5 length but a sweet NOS cranksetset is up and available that is 170mm and I am thinking of going for it because it is perfect component for my build. Would I notice much diff between 172.5 and 170mm?
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Old 08-07-16, 07:11 PM
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i think so, yes...i'd wait until 172.5s at a good price come your way....they will. what frame do you have?
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Old 08-07-16, 07:24 PM
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I don't even have the frame yet lol. Total waste of time and money the other day though. Some guy on CL hyped up a 87 Bridgestone RB1 and I actually had to rent a car and travel 3 hrs rt for a total bust. RUST was the operative word that he neglected to mention about the frame. He played stoopid on me and took crap distance pics of the bike.

It was already getting expensive before that trying to piece meal. I am going with a Shimano Sante Group sans crankset because I prefer the Dura ace cranks.

I am looking for a clean frameset late 80's maybe Japanese or Italian with Ishiwata 022 Columbus or even a race geometry English Reynolds. I would like to go with a white color or white and black or something that matches well with pearl white Sante group.

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Old 08-07-16, 07:25 PM
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One variable to think about in these considerations is shell height and whether or not you like to pedal through hard turns.

Pole vaulting can be a bit disconcerting.
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Old 08-07-16, 07:39 PM
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I have bikes with 175mm (road bike), 170mm (tourer and folding bikes), and 165mm (tandem) crank lengths and switch back and forth between them frequently. Can't say I ever notice the switch between 170mm and 175mm. The 165mm is sometimes noticeable but not objectionable - I just tend to spin it a little faster in a lower gear than when using longer cranks.
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Old 08-07-16, 07:44 PM
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Unless you're predisposed to wanting either a short or long crank, I wouldn't pay much attention to 170 vs. 172.5. The mfgs certainly didn't when they built these older bikes which typically came with only a single crank size across all frames sizes.

- Mark
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Old 08-07-16, 08:20 PM
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Crank length is over-rated, IMO. A few mm's? If it were important, crank lengths would come in significantly different lengths than they do now.

Having said that, read this.
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Old 08-07-16, 08:33 PM
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this is an endless topic for discussion. Some firmly believe longer cranks for longer legs. I tend to agree that crank length should be proportional but I also think that the range available is good enough (165-180). I tend to run 180 on everything except mountain bikes (pedal strike being the first consideration and cost/availability is the second). I do have a set of 185s I paid a good amount for, the verdict is that it was worth it for the experiment but not really worth the difference it makes (marginal). I tend to prefer 180s over the 185s, they are just a little too hard to turn over.
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Old 08-07-16, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
I have bikes with 175mm (road bike), 170mm (tourer and folding bikes), and 165mm (tandem) crank lengths and switch back and forth between them frequently. Can't say I ever notice the switch between 170mm and 175mm. The 165mm is sometimes noticeable but not objectionable - I just tend to spin it a little faster in a lower gear than when using longer cranks.
Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
Unless you're predisposed to wanting either a short or long crank, I wouldn't pay much attention to 170 vs. 172.5. The mfgs certainly didn't when they built these older bikes which typically came with only a single crank size across all frames sizes.

- Mark
Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Crank length is over-rated, IMO. A few mm's? If it were important, crank lengths would come in significantly different lengths than they do now.

Having said that, read this.
...the only time I've ever wanted a different crank length was going around a corner full tilt and striking a pedal. Right then I wanted something shorter. Otherwise, like all the above guys i quoted, I don't much notice it.

I agree that you can tell going from a 175 to a 165, but both are still quite rideable. For me, anyway.

If you notice that the frame and wheel combination is going to have a particularly low BB height, you might want to go shorter to avoid pedal strike issues, assuming you intend to ride fast and pedal through the corners. Or maybe if your particular frame has a short wheelbase and there are some toe overlap issues.

There is, however, a dedicated group of "perfect for me" guys over in the road forum who probably have some very strong opinions on this. You should ask there, too.
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Old 08-07-16, 09:36 PM
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Admittedly he's trying to justify selling you a crank length you may not have been wanting but his point is only differences of >5% are significant. In your case the percentage difference is 1.5%. In response to your original question then, it won't matter.

See here: https://janheine.wordpress.com/2016/...-crank-length/

Last edited by hilltowner; 08-07-16 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 08-07-16, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Crank length is over-rated, IMO. A few mm's? If it were important, crank lengths would come in significantly different lengths than they do now.

Having said that, read this.
Good digging. I'm one guy that's picking up 145 mm Cobb compact double on Thursday. I can't bend my knee the required 120-125 degrees to get any effective torque on a 165mm or greater crank. This may be a godsend for me, I thought I may never ride in clips or clipless again. (If it's a fail, I have some NOS 46 Giro road shoes available cheap!). Hoping it may suit me well. I used to be a fast-twitch torque'y rider and always like short cranks. Might be liberating.

'll have a ride report in a a few weeks as I'm going to a cottage.
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Old 08-07-16, 11:23 PM
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I figure what was good for the majority of bikes and riders in that period is fine for me now. I'm just talking vintage steel road bikes for now, and 170 mm 172.5 seem to be the most common lengths. So I am not straying from that.

I imagine different styles of riding, type of bike and era could come into play with crank lengths. The next crank length I'll think about then is late 80s 90's MTB pre-weird suspension cat. Man I miss my MB2 lost it awhile ago left at an apt.
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Old 08-08-16, 05:27 AM
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WolfRider, For years I had crank arms from 165 mm to 175 mm on different bikes at the same time. The difference was only immediately noticeable and lasted only a very short amount of time if I switched from one length to another back-to-back. I noticed that I don't spin my longer crank arms quite as fact as the shorter ones. That maybe a consideration.

Brad
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Old 08-08-16, 06:57 AM
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Shorter is better.
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Old 08-08-16, 07:09 AM
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Longer is better.

;>
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Old 08-08-16, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
Unless you're predisposed to wanting either a short or long crank, I wouldn't pay much attention to 170 vs. 172.5. The mfgs certainly didn't when they built these older bikes which typically came with only a single crank size across all frames sizes.

- Mark
Yes, but Raleigh on the International would fit longer cranks as the frame sizes went up.

As to crank length in use, never owned 175's until I bought a Ritchey in 1988, even when used as a road machine I have to say it made little difference most of the time, maybe a bit better on steep ascents.
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