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Crank Position For Photographs

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Crank Position For Photographs

Old 09-15-21, 01:47 AM
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P!N20
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Crank Position For Photographs

When photographing your classic and/or vintage bicycle, what position should the cranks be at?

Let's see what the holy trinity thought.

Bianchi circa 1985 had them aligned with the seat tube (note no bothersome tyre valves):



Colnago circa 1988 had them at 6 o'clock:


Pinarello circa 1985 had them at 2:30:



All with gravity defying pedals that stay upright.

So who was right?

Noting that this is obviously a critically important thread and any incorrect responses will have the poster permanently banned.
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Old 09-15-21, 02:09 AM
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hose
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I charge extra for Pedal photos
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Old 09-15-21, 02:32 AM
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Should be aligned with chain stay. Seat tube alignment isn't terrible. And at least Bianchi hid the tube valve behind the seat stays & fork blades. I don't know wtf Colnago & Pinarello were thinking.
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Old 09-15-21, 03:29 AM
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Koga-Miyata often had them aligned with the seat tube as well



No idea what Gazelle is aiming for here. The tip of the fender maybe?



And they have been doing it for a long time:

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Old 09-15-21, 04:01 AM
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In my opinion, they cranks should be aligned in a way, that makes it possible to read the writing on the crankarms, if any such writing is present. As an example, a first generation Suntour Superbe crank, should be aligned with the left arm over the chainstay, and the driveside crankarm pointing straight ahead. If for some strange reason the writing is made in such a way, that it is readable with the crankarms pointing forwads on BOTH sides (Stupid!) as Shimano 7100 series Dura Ace, then it should of course be the driveside cranarm that is readable.
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Old 09-15-21, 04:15 AM
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As I don't really care, I usually set the DS crank at about 1:00 as Gazelle did (above). 1:00 since the bikes are in the wild and the NDS pedal is my bike stand, propped on a log or beer can or curb or rock. I then ensure its in bad light, out of focus and neither centered properly nor cropped to fix that. Wadda ell, I am good at mowing the lawn.
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Old 09-15-21, 05:09 AM
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When people post their bikes here, I don't think I give a hot fudge where the crank arms or valve stems are or even if the picture is drive side out. I usually enjoy the backdrops of where they rode the bike, the perfectly organized home shop or chaotically cluttered basement or garage workbench.

Long story short, someone enjoying their bike is better than trying to recreate a vintage advertisement.
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Old 09-15-21, 05:46 AM
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clearly, the cranks should be aligned with the seat tube!
However, as far as other OCD details are concerned, the valve stem should be at the bottom, wingnuts aligned,and the spokes should be hidden/removed....




Steve in Peoria
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Old 09-15-21, 06:10 AM
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OH Fun!
Tire ID should be on the DS and centered on the valve for ease of finding the valve (tubulars don't have an option). If you have colored spokes then the spokes adjacent to the valve should be a contrasting color.
P1030014 on Flickr

Crank position should be with the DS pedal down and the cranks aligned with the ST.
P1030584 on Flickr

We have not discussed where the chain should be! Large ring, middle sprocket, single sprocket bikes excepted!
P1030591 on Flickr

One of the reasons I take so many pictures is that I forget about the "settings!" The order of improvement is cranks, valve stem and now working on the drive train.

Another issues is camera location. I am liking the camera to be in the plane of the top of the tires. Gives you that golden section kinda vibe.
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Last edited by SJX426; 09-15-21 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 09-15-21, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Highmass View Post
In my opinion, they cranks should be aligned in a way, that makes it possible to read the writing on the crankarms, if any such writing is present.
Probably explains why Colnago had the cranks at 6 o'clock; the Campagnolo shield would be the right way up.

Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
and the spokes should be hidden/removed....
Those superconductor rims never really took off.

Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
We have not discussed where the chain should be! Large ring, middle sprocket, single sprocket bikes excepted!
Top gear, so your pulleys are aligned and your drive side shifter is parallel with the down tube.


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Old 09-15-21, 07:50 AM
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Wow, and I thought Porsche owners were compulsive about the details!
Best, Ben
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Old 09-15-21, 08:09 AM
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In the world of Bikedom, The Captain would be the ultimate authority- pedal forward, gives the feeling of speed and excitement at exploring the road ahead


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Old 09-15-21, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by xiaoman1 View Post
Wow, and I thought Porsche owners were compulsive about the details!
Best, Ben


…from a guy that worked at a Porsche dealership…
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Old 09-15-21, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
In the world of Bikedom, The Captain would be the ultimate authority- pedal forward, gives the feeling of speed and excitement at exploring the road ahead


I dunno about the Captain.. look at those pockets and tell me he isn't a career shoplifter.

but as far as the Schwinn corporate standard for bike photos... there does seem to be a consistent policy, at least based on how my 1976 Schwinn catalog uses the same practices.....



Steve in Peoria
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Old 09-15-21, 10:02 AM
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If you watch GCN videos you might be led to think this is much more crucial than it really is.

The annoying reality is that half of online ads for used bikes have multiple photos of the all-important non-drive side of the bike, and none of the drivetrain. Cranks not aligned or valves visible? Derailleurs not in 53-11? Not an issue.
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Old 09-15-21, 10:10 AM
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Pedals should always be in a position that allows you to step into them. It just seems to be a more inviting position. Hey... I'm ready... Lets go for a ride...
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Old 09-15-21, 10:21 AM
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Always with number one cylinder at tdc.
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Old 09-15-21, 10:53 AM
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This a most important topic...

I tend to always place mine in what I belive is the most dynamic position - between chainstay and seattube angles. It gives a certain stance and impression of movement - and speed. And when I remember - on the big ring for even more power.




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Old 09-15-21, 11:28 AM
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In a world where drive side pics are rare you are asking a lot!
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Old 09-15-21, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger M View Post
Always with number one cylinder at tdc.
A few other things of note.....TDC with both valves closed, be certain that the timing mark is visible on the balance wheel with the distributor placed correctly, rotor pointing to #1and corresponding wires placed in the recommended firing order. J.A.T.
Best, Ben
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Last edited by xiaoman1; 09-15-21 at 01:01 PM. Reason: Checking for TDC and closed valves ;)
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Old 09-15-21, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by xiaoman1 View Post
A few other things of note.....TDC with both valves closed, be certain that the timing mark is visible on the balance wheel with the distributor placed correctly, rotor pointing to #1and corresponding wires placed in the recommended firing order. J.A.T.
Best, Ben
Thanks for the correction, Ben

Nice looking Rochester unit! What year Vette? 58-59?
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Old 09-15-21, 01:10 PM
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Although I usually go with crankarms parallel to the ground, here's a slightly different take:



DD
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Old 09-15-21, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger M View Post
Thanks for the correction, Ben

Nice looking Rochester unit! What year Vette? 58-59?
Mine is a 1958 with F.I. but has a distributor cover on it with no exposed wires so I "borrowed" this one from the net for illustrational purposes....good eye, not many know what this is.
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Old 09-15-21, 01:20 PM
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When I'm intentionally staging a bike for a picture, I try to put the cranks at 3 o'clock and position the valve stems according to where I want the tire labels, usually either top center or bottom center. I want to emphasize that I "try" to do this, but I generally fail and don't bother to correct it when I look at the picture and see that I failed, so you get what you get, typically something very slightly, but definitely noticeably, off from what I attempted.



Crank arm at about 3:08, valve stems at 5:53 and 5:46.
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Old 09-15-21, 04:48 PM
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I like the idea of the seasoned professional with a set of oral tradition rules and quirky tools going from photo shoot to photo shoot in the early 80's catalog heyday. "Fix the pedals like so, hide the valve stems, and brighten the sidewall." Sort of like the food photographer using a blowtorch to brown the skin on a raw turkey.
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